Rocky Mountain National Park delays opening of Old Fall River Road | SkyHiNews.com

Rocky Mountain National Park delays opening of Old Fall River Road

Cars entering Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park last year.
Courtesy / National Park Service

Late-season snow continues to push back openings at Rocky Mountain National Park with the most recent announcement being that Old Fall River Road won’t open until mid-July.

Old Fall River Road is typically ready for the Fourth of July weekend, but the route isn’t anticipated to open until July 13 this year, conditions permitting, with park crews still working to clear all the snow, according to Kyle Patterson, public affairs officer for the park.

The road was originally built between 1913 and 1920, and it remains unpaved. The path is 9.4  miles and winds from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass, following the slope of Mount Chapin’s south face to Trail Ridge Road. Vehicles over 25 feet and those pulling trailers are prohibited because of the winding, narrow nature of the road.

Currently, the route remains closed to all traffic from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, including pedestrians and bikes. Old Fall River Road is open to pedestrians and bicyclists Saturday through Monday, but it remains closed to other traffic at that time.

The lingering closure follows the park experiencing ice and snow as recently as June 23, which led to several delays opening other parts of the park, including Trail Ridge Road. 

While the later opening is unusual for Old Fall River Road, it’s not the latest the path has ever opened. In 2011, the road didn’t open until July 30, which was the latest it had opened in 26 years.

The road was also closed for a period of time after it was damaged by flooding in 2013. Old Fall River Road is scheduled to close on Oct. 7 this year. 

Late snowfall continues to delay openings at Rocky Mountain National Park, with the most recent announcement being that Old Fall River Road won’t be open until mid-July.

Old Fall River Road typically opens for the Fourth of July weekend, but isn’t anticipated to open until July 13 this year, if conditions allow, since park crews are still working to clear snow, according to Kyle Patterson, public affairs officer for the park.

Currently, the road is closed to all forms of traffic, including pedestrians and bikes, from Tuesdays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Old Fall River Road is open to pedestrians and bicyclists on Saturdays through Mondays, but remains closed to traffic.

Rocky Mountain National Park experienced winter conditions, including ice and snow, as recently as June 23, which has led to several delays in opening parts of the park, including Trail Ridge Road. 

While this year is unusual in the history of Old Fall River Road, it’s not the latest the path has ever opened. In 2011, it didn’t open until July 30, which was the latest it had opened in 26 years. The road was also closed for a period of time after being severely damaged in the 2013 floods.

The road was originally built between 1913 and 1920 and remains unpaved. The 9.4 mile path winds one direction from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass, following the slope of Mount Chapin’s south face to Trail Ridge Road. Vehicles over 25 feet and those pulling trailers are prohibited because of the winding, narrow nature of the road.

This year, Old Fall River Road is scheduled to close October 7. 


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