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Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park expected to open Thursday

Trail Ridge Road Plowing East of Forest Canyon May 1 2020 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.JPG
Alpine Visitor Center May 2020 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.JPG
Posted at 6:37 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 11:56:09-04

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — The 48-mile road that cuts through Rocky Mountain National Park between Estes Park and Grand Lake is set to reopen Thursday.

Trail Ridge Road will open for the season on Thursday, though drivers should be prepared for melting snow and possible ice on the road. It closed for the season on Oct. 31, 2019.

The park is advising visitors to be more prepared overall when traveling along this road, since there are limited services available and fewer staff at the Alpine Visitor Center, which will remain closed until the end of June.

The National Park Service began clearing snow in the middle of April. This year, crews found average to below-average snowpack across much of the road.

Trail Ridge Road historically opens over Memorial Day weekend. In 2019, the road didn't open until June 5 due to a late-May snowstorm. The earliest the road has ever opened was May 7 in 2002.

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the country. It climbs up to 12,183 feet.

For the latest updates on Trail Ridge Road conditions, call 970-586-1222.

Rocky Mountain National Park reopened May 27 — under guidance from local, state and federal health officials — and will start using a timed entry system Thursday.

The park said it will temporarily implement this system and will stop using it in later phases of the reopening. The purpose of this system is to increase park access while also giving visitors the opportunity to comply with health guidelines related to COVID-19.

Visitors will need a timed entry permit or camping reservation to enter the park between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. Visit the RMNP Timed Entry page on to make a reservation to enter the park.

A few other high-elevation roads opened this week, including Independence Pass and Guanella Pass (set to open at 2 p.m. Thursday).