Alpine ecosystems account for c. 3% of terrestrial habitats yet, along with adjacent mountain systems, provide water resources to nearly half of the world's human population. Approximately 20% of humans live in or near mountain areas, making it inherently important to understand contemporary impacts on these systems. Here, I review literature regarding contemporary and projected human impacts on alpine ecosystems, including the direct and indirect impacts of human-induced climate change on alpine plant, animal, and soil communities. I also discuss the influence of recreation and tourism, grazing, and other land use changes including the introduction of nonnative and invasive species in alpine systems. I conclude with management implications as well as future areas of research needed to better understand changes to these systems.