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Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road opens for the season

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Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 01, 2024

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Trail Ridge Road fully opened for the season Friday, but a temporary timed entry permit reservation system is in place to enter the park.

Park officials said visitors should prepare for icy conditions due to melting snow and the potential for freezing temperatures.

There are two types of reservations available: a permit for Bear Lake Road corridor from 5 a.m. - 6 p.m., which includes the entire corridor and access to the rest of the park, and a second permit excludes the Bear Lake Road corridor but allows access to the rest of the park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors will have two hour windows of availability to enter the park.

The Alpine Visitor Center, Trail Ridge Store and the large adjacent parking area are closed at this time.

Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road opened on May 26. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943.

National Park Service plow operators began clearing snow from Trail Ridge Road 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.

This year, May storms with significant winds at higher elevations hampered snow plowing operations.

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road officially closed for the season last year on October 18.


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