Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National park opened today, Monday, June 6 at 10:15 a.m. for the season. This year, park snowplow operators faced many challenges while clearing the road; encountering the most snow they have seen this late in the season for thirty years. The amount of winter snowpack that faced park snowplow operators when plowing began, combined with late spring storms, hampered park snowplowing efforts.
Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road opened on May 28. The latest the road has opened in the past twenty years was June 4, 1994; the latest the road has ever opened was June 26, 1943. 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 29; however, it never reopened after October 22.
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.
Visitors planning to recreate in the park’s backcountry should be prepared for heavy/wet snow, slush and ice. Avalanche danger remains a concern and backcountry users should expect to encounter conditions that present additional hazards and risks than what is typically encountered this time of year such as steep snow slopes, thin ice over water, snow cornices, snow bridges over moving water, and fast moving streams.
For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park information office at (970) 586-1206 or check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/romo