Trail Ridge Road closes to through travel for season |

Trail Ridge Road closes to through travel for season

A National Park Service worker measures a 22-foot drift on Trail Ridge Road on May 23, 2017. Courtesy of National Park Service

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park officially closed today for the season to through travel.

The most popular destinations for this time of year, including Bear Lake Road, Moraine Park, Horseshoe Park and the section of Trail Ridge Road along the Kawuneeche Valley, remain open for hiking and wildlife watching.

Trail Ridge Road, which connects Grand Lake to Estes Park along Highway 34, is not designed as an all-season road as 11 miles of the stretch are above 11,500 feet with few guard rails and no shoulder. Winter conditions of drifting snow, high winds and below freezing temperatures occur above 10,000 feet and greatly impact the road.

Traffic moves along Trail Ridge Road between Milner Pass and the Alpine Visitors Center in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2016 after the highway opened for the season — the latest date the road had opened in the past 20 years. File photo/Sky-Hi News

During the winter season, weather permitting, Trail Ridge Road will be 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.

Old Fall River Road, another popular drive inside the park, closed for the season earlier this month.

Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road will remain open to bicycles and leashed pets until Dec. 1, re-opening on April 1, except during road maintenance operations and emergency closures as posted. Cyclists and pet owners may utilize the road at their own risk. On Dec. 1, both roads will revert to “winter trail status,” meaning that bicycles and leashed pets are no longer permitted beyond the closed gates, but pedestrians are.

Trail Ridge Road normally opens the last week in May, weather permitting. This year, Trail Ridge Road opened on May 31.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User