Rocky Mountain National Park outlines Wednesday’s opening plans
Rocky Mountain National Park will begin a phased reopening Wednesday with limited services including basic park road and trail access.
The park announced Tuesday what would be opening and what would remain closed after the park shut down for over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many outlying areas will reopen, visitor centers and the Wild Basin area will remain closed.
Trail Ridge Road will be open to the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side and to Rainbow Curve on the east side. Park snowplow operators continue to plow snow along the roadways and parking lots.
Trail Ridge Road will open as soon as plowing is completed, weather permitting. Fall River Road will not be open to motorized vehicles during this phase, but will be open to bicyclists and pedestrians.
While much of the park will be accessible for visitors, a return to full operations will be phased and services limited. Park officials said that visitors’ actions will help determine if areas remain open.
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Park managers are seeking approval to implement a timed entry system, which would increase park access and allow visitors to plan ahead while giving the public a reasonable opportunity to comply with health guidelines.
When the park reopens, staff will evaluate the level of visitation, crowding and congestion and will meter access based on the level of visitation. Officials say this will be evaluated throughout the day.
Because of this, visitors may be delayed entering or asked to return later if congestion warrants. Visitors should expect restricted vehicle access, particularly in the Bear Lake Road corridor.
At this time, visitors can only purchase entrance passes at entrance stations with credit cards; no cash will be accepted.
When recreating, park visitors should follow local area health orders, avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities. Park staff will monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to public health guidance.
The park reminds visitors to keep their distance and to wear a cloth face covering when distance is not possible. Visitors should also follow leave no trace principles and to know your limits when recreating to avoid straining search and rescue resources.
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