Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Geography and the Environment

First Advisor

Matthew Taylor

Second Advisor

Helen Hazin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Kerwin, Ph.D.


Estes Park, gateway communities, repeat photography, Rocky Mountain National Park


Since the creation of the National Park Service in the United States, tourists from around the world visiting America's national parks are served by gateway communities. Gateway communities are the towns and cities that border public lands and protected spaces. The impact of our visits on these gateway communities is considerable, with many gateways and their residents relying on consistent and ever-increasing visitation to national parks to spur economic growth and development. To better understand the impacts that national park designations have had on their gateway communities, it is important to determine what changes have occurred both physically and culturally in these communities. This research is a case study of Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway community of Rocky Mountain National Park, the third most visited national park in the United States in 2018. This project utilized a repeat photography method to analyze the changes in Estes Park since the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915. This analysis suggests that Estes Park has grown considerably around tourism, with new development focused mainly on meeting the needs of visitors and a larger resident population spurred by the creation of the park.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Caitlin Lebeda


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

89 p.


Geography, History