On Wednesday, September 25, three trails and areas of Rocky Mountain National Park on the east side that were impacted by the flood are reopening for public use.
Hidden Valley nature trail loop, picnic area, parking and restrooms are now open. This site is located along the lower stretch of Trail Ridge Road just off Highway 34. For those familiar with the park they will remember that this is the former Hidden Valley Ski Area. At times, when Trail Ridge Road is closed as low down as Deer Ridge Junction, Hidden Valley will not be accessible. For a recorded message on the status of Trail Ridge Road, call 970-586-1222.
Most of the Lily Lake Trail and the parking area, vault toilet and picnic area are also open. The trail around the lake received considerable damage and crews have been able to repair most of the trail. The trail will remain closed along the south end where trail damage and standing water block safe access. Visitors will be able to walk around most of the lake and then retrace their steps to the trailhead. This trail was originally constructed as an accessible trail for wheelchair use, but is not currently considered accessible. Additional trail improvements will be needed before safe wheelchair use can resume. The Lily Ridge Trail which connects with the Lily Lake Trail is open.
Deer Mountain Trail has reopened from the trailhead at the junction of highway 34 and 36 at Deer Ridge Junction. While there are other trailheads that access Deer Mountain, connector trails have not yet been assessed for damages and all access to Deer Mountain should be through the popular Deer Mountain Trailhead.
All backcountry trails on the WEST side of the park are open, but, for day use only at this time.
The National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Type 2 Incident Management Team transitioned the flood incident back to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Type 3 Incident Management Team on Tuesday morning. The team continues to assess flood damage, manage stabilization operations and incrementally open park roads and trails as conditions allows.