40th Anniversary

1982 - 2021

1982 - 2021

Celebrating 40 Years of Stewardship

In 2021, RMFI is celebrating 40 years of stewardship! We couldn't have reached this phenomenal milestone without the support of volunteers and partners like you. That's why we will be celebrating all year long with events, prizes, and more! Scroll down for information on our "40 Years of Discovery" Contest and how you can participate and win BIG prizes from Mountain Chalet!

RMFI was founded on January 5, 1982 by Mark Hesse, an avid mountaineer and outdoor enthusiast, who had a vision of creating an organization to care and protect public lands in Southern Colorado. RMFI's original name was known as the American Mountain Foundation, and the organization was initially formed in to support expeditionary climbing. In 1997, Mark officially changed the group’s name to the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and its focus to education, sustainability and organized maintenance of climbing areas. Now, 40 years later, RMFI still works at climbing areas, but has grown to encompass a much broader focus on stewardship, conservation, and education at all public land settings in Southern Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. 

Mark tragically passed away in a climbing accident on January 27, 2014. You can read more about Mark's life and impact here. We remain honored to carry on Mark's legacy as we continue to lead RMFI into many more decades of public land stewardship.

Enjoy some photos below of RMFI through the years. And click here to read a wonderful article about our history written by The Gazette. 

April 1 - October 1, 2021

40 Years of Discovery Contest

In celebration of RMFI's 40th Anniversary, we are excited to announce our "40 Years of Discovery Contest" in partnership with Mountain Chalet

We have curated a list of 40 locations in and around the Pikes Peak Region where RMFI has worked and invite you to go explore them! The more locations you visit, the more opportunities you'll have to win rad prize packages from Mountain Chalet, including items like wool socks, headlamps, hiking boots, trekking poles, sleeping bags, tents, and more!

To participate in our contest, you must travel to the GPS location provided and take a selfie, or have a family member or friend snap a photo, of you holding your 40th Anniversary edition bandana! You'll then email your photo to our team at [email protected] to be counted. Depending on the number of locations to explore, you will be entered for a different prize package level! The various prize packages are listed below.

40 Years of Discovery Guidebook

40 Locations for the Contest

All locations are in the map below! Don't forget to click on the guidebook link and download it on your phone (or print out pages) so you're ready for your excursions!

  1. Austin Bluffs Open Space, 38.900935, -104.796968
  2. Switchback 14 on Barr Trail, 38.854638, -104.940442
  3. Incline Connector Trail from the Manitou Incline or Barr Trail, 38.855633, -104.946051
  4. Mt. Kineo Trail in the Bear Creek Watershed, 38.792894, -104.930000
  5. Buckhorn Connector in the Bear Creek Watershed, 38.799139, -104.907000
  6. Beaver Creek Trail in the Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area, 38.57049, -105.012
  7. Black Forest Regional Park, 39.021575, -104.734653
  8. Dry Creek Trail in Blodgett Peak Open Space, 38.947606, -104.886000
  9. Dixon Trail in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, 38.722772, -104.855274
  10. Cabin Canyon Trail in Garden of the Gods Park, 38.869017, -104.891123
  11. Upper Loop Trail in Garden of the Gods Park, 38.875449, -104.880645
  12. Palmer Trail in Garden of the Gods Park, 38.881289, -104.883670
  13. Scotsman Trail in Garden of the Gods Park, 38.872417, -104.883917
  14. Ute Trail (SE) in Garden of the Gods Park, 38.871163, -104.878428
  15. Gray Back Peak Trail, 38.73147, -104.907
  16. Paradise Cove in Guffey Gorge, 38.771890, -105.333850
  17. Prairie Loop Trail in High Chaparral Open Space, 38.904606, -104.721000
  18. High Drive in the Bear Creek Corridor, 38.812803, -104.899782
  19. Upper Valco Ponds in Lake Pueblo State Park, 38.259920, -104.704515
  20. Rock Canyon Trail (#15) in Mueller State Park, 38.876260, -105.201946
  21. Chamberlain Connector Trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, 38.791600, -104.869000
  22. Silver Cascade Falls in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, 38.788781, -104.905000
  23. Mt. Cutler Trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, 38.790799, -104.883323
  24. Mt. Muscoco Trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, 38.791866, -104.886907
  25. Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail in Palmer Park, 38.881351, -104.777000
  26. Templeton Connector in Palmer Park, 38.880919, -104.779108
  27. Devil’s Playground Trail in Pike National Forest, 38.873801, -105.123682
  28. Mile Marker 17 along the Pikes Peak Highway, 38.848733, -105.057048 - The Pikes Peak Highway is only accessible by shuttle from Mile Marker 16 until the end of July. 
  29. Cascade Creek along the the Pikes Peak Highway, 38.897537, -105.004176 - The Pikes Peak Highway is only accessible by shuttle from Mile Marker 16 until the end of July. 
  30. Pineries Open Space, 39.027682, -104.652000
  31. Sand Canyon Bike Ramp in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, 38.851061, -104.884000
  32. Rainbow Gulch Trail #714 to Rampart Reservoir, 38.979500, -104.991667
  33. Roundup and Mesa Trails in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, 38.839231, -104.887000
  34. Willow Lake Basin along the Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Trail, 37.99333, -105.613
  35. The Gym - Ejection Seat at Shelf Road Recreation Area, 38.632922, -105.216496
  36. Lake Moraine Trail on the South Slope of Pikes Peak, 38.840915, -105.001000 - The Pikes Peak Highway is only accessible by shuttle from Mile Marker 16 until the end of July. 
  37. Gold Camp Path in Stratton Open Space, 38.799347, -104.875900
  38. Stratton Springs Path in Stratton Open Space, 38.7993, -104.861
  39. Black and Blue Loop in Ute Valley Park, 38.90856, -104.827
  40. Hunter’s Ridge Trail in Ute Valley Park, 38.91237, -104.849

FAQ about the Contest

Below are frequently asked questions about the 40 Years of Discovery Contest. If you can't find an answer here, please email [email protected]!

Our 40 Years of Discovery Contest will begin on April 1 and run through October 1, 2021! All winners will be announced at our annual Fall ShinDIG scheduled for November 18!

Nope, it's FREE! Once you sign up, you'll receive a custom RMFI 40th Anniversary edition bandana in the mail, and, depending on how many locations you visit, you'll have a chance to win some outdoor gear from Mountain Chalet.

People of all ages can participate! We require those younger than 18 years old to have a guardian or parent sign their liability waiver while signing up for the contest.

We are not offering the opportunity to participate in the contest as a team. 

However, you can still visit locations with friends (while still remaining socially distant and safe) and/or members of your household! Each person who wants to participate must sign up individually to receive our 40th Anniversary edition bandana and for the possibility to win an outdoor gear prize package.  

We have a map of all 40 locations, a digital guidebook, and a list of all 40 locations above! Scroll back up to see all of the amazing parks and spaces you can discover through the contest!

Your bandana will be mailed to you once you sign up for the contest!

Once you've explored the location, learned about RMFI's work there, and snapped a photo of yourself with our bandana, send your photos via email to [email protected]

Mountain Chalet is putting together some amazing prize packs with items like wool socks, headlamps, hiking boots, trekking poles, a sleeping bag, a tent, and more! You can learn about each level's specific prize items by scrolling down below this FAQ section.

We list a difficulty level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) along with each location to help guide the contestants on how to prepare for traveling to the location! We will also list the mileages and sometimes terrain (stairs, high elevation gain, etc.) you encounter while traveling to the location. However, always research the location before you head out the door, we want you to explore these areas safely!

Some of our locations are accessible for all, but others are located at higher elevations with more treacherous terrain, with features like rock steps and longer distances. Please review the 40 locations prior to setting out and exploring to fully understand the intensity of the area.

And please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions about accessibility or anything at all!

The winners from each group will be announced at our Fall ShinDIG event on November 18!

Fantastic! Join the contest by clicking here!

Prize Packages from Mountain Chalet

Each group is categorized by how many locations you visit from April 1 through October 1! One winner will be selected from each group at random.

Level 1 | 1 to 10 Locations (valued at $60)

Smartwool Socks, Mountain Chalet Nalgene, and headlamp

Level 2 | 11 to 20 Locations (valued at $140)

Smartwool Socks, Mountain Chalet Nalgene, and a daypack

Level 3 | 21 to 30 Locations (valued at $380)

Smartwool Socks, Mountain Chalet Nalgene, hiking boots, and trekking poles 

Level 4 | 31 to 39 Locations (valued at $650)

Smartwool Socks, Mountain Chalet Nalgene, stove and fuel, dinnerware, cookware, water filter, National Geographic map set (Loops, 14ers, and Colorado Trail), and guidebooks (Pikes Peak, Lost Creek, and Colorado Springs)

Level 5 | All 40 Locations | GRAND PRIZE (valued at $1,200)

Smartwool Socks, Mountain Chalet Nalgene, backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad

40 Years of Discovery