Trail Ridge Road to open for season Thursday
Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park will open Thursday, but visitors will need a reservation to drive the road.
Park officials said that due to melting snow on the road and the potential for freezing temperatures, visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. At this time, night closures with not be implemented, but remain possible based on weather conditions.
Parks visitors should prepare to adjust travel plans accordingly and should call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at 970-586-1222 for the most recent update on the road.
The Alpine Visitor Center will not open until the end of June, while Trail Ridge Store will tentatively open June 15. Due to limited services along Trail Ridge Road and a lack of staff presence at the Alpine Visitor Center, visitors should be extra prepared when traveling on the road. Vault toilets are open.
Reservations for August will be released on July 1. Permits will allow park visitors to enter within two-hour windows of availability from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At this time, reservations are not required prior to 6 a.m. or after 5 p.m. and will apply to all areas of the park, including to drive Trail Ridge Road.
National Park Service plow operators began clearing the snow in mid April, park officials said. This year, crews ran into average or below average snow pack in many locations.
Trail Ridge Road is opening a day earlier than last year, when the road opened June 5 due to a late May snowstorm. The earliest the road has opened was May 7, 2002, and the latest was June 26, 1943.
Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbing to 12,183 feet. It connects Grand Lake to Estes Park and officially closed for the season last year on Oct. 31.
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