Trail Ridge closed for winter
November 4, 2014
Trail Ridge Road is closed for the winter.
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) announced Tuesday afternoon its decision to close Trail Ridge Road, or U.S. Highway 34, for the season.
The road had previously closed on Sunday evening, Oct. 26, at 5:30 p.m. due to blowing snow, low temperatures and low visibility. Trail Ridge Road is closed at Many Parks Curve on the east side of the divide, approximately eight miles from the Estes Park entrance to RMNP, and at the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side, approximately 10 miles from the Grand Lake entrance.
Bear Lake Road, Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park and the section of Trail Ridge Road along the Kawuneeche Valley all remain. Endovalley Road was recently reopened following last year's flood damage.
Trail Ridge Road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet and is America's highest continuous paved road. Eleven miles of Trail Ridge Road are above 11,500 feet with few guard rails and no shoulder.
"At high elevations we continue to receive high winds and freezing temperatures," said RMNP Superintendent Vaughn Baker. "The snow continues to blow and drift on Trail Ridge Road, making snow clearing operations and driving conditions extremely hazardous.
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"During the winter season, weather permitting, we will keep Trail Ridge Road open to Many Parks Curve on the east side of the park and to the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side of the park."
Trail Ridge Road has transitioned to "winter trail status" meaning only hiking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing are permitted on the road.
No motorized vehicles of any kind are allowed on Trail Ridge Road until it officially opens in the late spring. Similarly, bicyclists are no longer allowed on the road and pets, whether on a leash or not, are not allowed either.
Trail Ridge Road typically opens for the summer in late May, weather permitting. This year the road opened for the summer on May 23.
For current road conditions you can call the National Park Service Trail Ridge Road status line at 1-970-586-1222. For RMNP information please call the park's information office at (970) 586-1206.