Highest Road In Rocky Mountain National Park – Trail Ridge Road Open for the Season Permit to enter on time. Reservations are required for Trail Ridge Road from 9am to 3pm
This afternoon, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened for the season. Due to the snowmelt on the roadway and the possibility of freezing, visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. At this time the night closure will not be implemented. However, as weather conditions can change rapidly and winter weather is forecast for higher elevations this holiday weekend, including freezing temperatures and snow accumulation, park guests should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call Trail Ridge Road Park. national toll-free number (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line when/if road conditions change.
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The opening of the Alpine Visitor Center is scheduled for Saturday 28 May. The Trail Ridge Store will likely open later in the week.
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Rocky Mountain National Park is implementing a pilot permit reservation system that began today, May 27. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the busiest national parks in the nation, with more than 4.4 million visitors in 2021. Visitor overcrowding and congestion have led to further negative impacts on visitor and staff safety, security of resources, visitor experience and operational capacity. The park has been testing several strategies for managing visitor use since 2016, including first-come, first-served policies, as well as different reservation systems for entry permits expected at the park in 2020, 2021 and again in 2022.
There are two types of reservations available. One permit is for the Bear Lake Road corridor, which includes the entire corridor and access to the rest of the park. This booking period is from 5am to 6pm. The second permit is for the remainder of Rocky Mountain National Park, excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor, and includes Trail Ridge Road. This booking period is from 9am to 3pm. Permits issued through the booking system will allow park guests to enter the park within two hours. The booking system will be valid for all parts of the park. For more information, visit https:///romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm
Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road was opened on May 28th. The highway first opened on May 7, 2002; most recently on June 26, 1943. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, rising to 12,183 feet and connecting the cities of Estes Park and Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road officially closed for the season last year on October 25th.
National Park Service plowmen began clearing the snow in mid-April. West side park crews and east side park crews travel the road, eventually meeting at the Alpine Visitor Center. The visitor center is the tallest in the National Park Service, located 11,796 feet above sea level. Spring storms often affect plowing activities. This year the crews encountered average to below average snowpack and a heavy spring snowstorm in late May.
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For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, visit /romo or call the park information office at (970) 586-1206. To obtain a state line registered on Trail Ridge Road, call (970) 586-1222.
The information office is open all year round: 8:00 – 16:00 in summer every day; 8:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday and 8:00 – 12:00 Saturday and Sunday in winter. Trail Ridge Road State Registration: (970) 586-1222. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States and is 48 miles long. The road is part of US Route 34 and passes through Rocky Mountain National Park in the state of Colorado. The main hubs are Estes Park at the eastern end and Great Lakes at the western end. Due to traffic, among other reasons, the trip on Trail Ridge Road can take up to two hours.
Starting at the Great Lakes Highway entrance, Trail Ridge Road heads north through the Kawuneeche Valley, where there are numerous trails. At Milner Pass, the highway crosses the Continental Divide at an elevation of 10,758 feet and climbs to 12,183 feet at Fall River Pass. One outstanding trail in the valley is the Colorado River Trail, which is always closed during the winter season. Near the highest part of the trail, Iceberg Pass is 11,827 feet above sea level. The eastern end is at the entrance to Fall River, although some guidebooks will place it at Deer Ridge Junction. Off the elevated paved road, between 1955 and 1991, there was a local ski attraction at Ski Estes Park, which is no longer in operation.
The first road in the elevated section of Rocky Mountain National Park was Fall River Road which opened in 1921. Fall River Road had very steep grades, was too narrow, and had a short annual season due to snowfall. Construction on the new highway began in September 1929 and reached the Fall River Pass in 1932. With a maximum gradient of 7%, construction of Trail Ridge was completed in 1938 on the Great Lakes. Then-director of the National Park Service, Horace Albright, stifled resistance to road development within the park because he saw Trail Ridge as a way to encourage people to visit. 150 workers had to work from mid-June to mid-October to avoid frost. Equipment used included horses, motor graders and tractors.
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Native Americans traversed the mountains between their homes and hunting grounds using the route now followed by the Trail Ridge Road. The trail was so steep that it took children that the Arapahoe Indians called it “taienbaa” which means “where the children walked.” The current Ute Trail in the park moderately follows the path marked by the Ute tribe on the eastern side. Around 1880, the west side had a carriage road that ran up the Kawuneeche Valley from Big Lake to the town of Lulu where the mining camps were abandoned.
Trail Ridge Road is used from late May through October as this is the best time with no ice or snow on the road. The road is temporarily closed during September and October with the occurrence of snow. People are encouraged to call ahead before making a trip through Trail Ridge. Trail Ridge Road offers spectacular wildlife views from the comfort of a vehicle due to its high elevation. Rocky Mountain National Park was established on January 26, 1915. Rocky Mountain encompasses 415 square miles of spectacular mountain environments that are just a short drive from Denver, Colorado. Rocky Mountain, one of the most visited national parks in the United States, welcomed more than 4.5 million people in 2016 to enjoy world-class recreational opportunities, from hiking, biking and fishing to horseback riding and camping and hiking.
As we celebrate more than a century of Rocky Mountain National Park, check out 7 facts about this amazing park.
1. Rocky Mountain is one of the highest national parks in the country. With elevations ranging from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet, Rocky Mountain makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. Within the park boundaries are 77 mountain peaks over 12,000 feet and the Continental Divide. The park’s Alpine Visitor Center also sits at the highest elevation of any National Park Service headquarters. With breathtaking landscapes that take visitors to new heights, it’s no surprise that the Rockies are world-renowned for their beautiful landscapes.
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At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the highest peak in the park. Longs Peak at Bear Lake photo by Steve Perry (www.sharetheexperience.org).
2. Rocky Mountain offers more than rugged mountains. Here you will see an incredible variety of landscapes within a short distance. A labyrinth of evergreen trees covers the mountain slopes of the subalpine areas. Hidden among the trees are crystal clear lakes and fields of wildflowers that may surprise you. About one-third of this national park is above the tree line in northern Colorado (about 11,500 feet above sea level), creating an alpine tundra ecosystem. The mountain ecosystem has the richest diversity of plant and animal life. Meandering rivers and open meadows are surrounded by mountain slopes.
3. Trail Ridge Road in the park inspires awe even before the first driver hits it. Completed in 1932, Trail Ridge Road has taken visitors to new heights and has been called the “Scenic Wonders of the World.” Rising just over 12,000 feet, it’s the highest continuous paved highway in the country—so tall, drivers will soar 4,000 feet in minutes! Covering 48 miles between Estes Park on the east side of the park and the Great Lakes on the west, it is still a major attraction for park visitors today.
4. Most of the park is designated desert. Nearly 250,000 acres of the Rocky Mountains were declared wilderness by Congress in 2009, protecting the rugged beauty of the park’s meadows, forests, alpine peaks and tundra. Learn the principles of Leave No Trace before exploring the park’s wilderness.
Tips For Driving Trail Ridge Road
5. Rocky Mountain has a huge collection of museums. Museum of the Rockies
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