Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened late Friday morning. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbing to 12,183 feet and connecting the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road officially closed for the season last year on October 17.
Due to heavy melting on the road during the day and freezing temperatures at night, visitors should plan for likely night closures in their travel plans. Because weather conditions may change rapidly, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line during and after regular office hours, when the road status changes.
Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Road Store are expected to open sometime next week. (see photos below). National Park Service plow operators normally begin clearing the snow in the middle of April. Crews from the west side of the park and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet at the Alpine Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is the highest in the National Park Service, sitting at 11,796 feet above sea level. Spring storms often impact plowing activities. This year, plow operators encountered average snow drifts from 18 to 22 feet. Much of the snow came in the early spring.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.