Yesterday, Monday, October 25, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park officially closed for the season to through travel. Many popular driving 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, are all open.
Trail Ridge Road is not designed to be an all-season road, with 11 miles above 11,500 feet, few guard rails, and no shoulders. Winter conditions of drifting snow, high winds, and below-freezing temperatures occur above 10,000 feet. Weather permitting, Trail Ridge Road will remain open to Rainbow Curve on the east side of the park and Milner Pass on the west side. Eventually, those closures will move down in elevation for the winter season to Many Parks Curve on the east side and Colorado River Trailhead on the west side.
Trail Ridge Road typically opens the last week in May, weather permitting. This year Trail Ridge Road opened on May 29.
Old Fall River Road closed for the season to vehicles on October 4. Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road will remain open to bicycles and leashed pets through November 30. Leashed pets and bicycles are only allowed on the road, not on side trails. On December 1, both of these roads will revert to “winter trail status” which means that bicycles and leashed pets are no longer permitted beyond the closed gates but pedestrians, snowshoers, and skiers are.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
The road was closed on September 21 when a snowstorm brought snowdrifts up to 3-FEET deep. The road typically closes for the winter in mid-October, depending on the weather, and reopens in late May.
According to Wikipedia, Trail Ridge Road is a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado, in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado, in the west. The road is also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway.
The road is closed during the winter and often remains closed until late spring or early summer, depending on the snowpack. The road is the highest paved through road in Colorado. It is also the highest paved road in Colorado that crosses the continental divide (Cottonwood Pass at 12,126 feet is the second-highest, and Colorado State Highway 82 at 12,095 feet going through Independence Pass third-highest).