‘Too soon to predict’ when Trail Ridge Road will open for the season, RMNP officials say

Alpine Visitor Center May 29, 2019 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.jpg
Back of Trail Ridge Store May 29, 2019 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.jpg
RMNP Snowplow operator below Gore Range overlook May 28, 2109 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.jpg
Posted at 5:40 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 19:40:53-04

ESTES PARK, Colo. – It is ‘too soon to predict’ when Coloradans will be able to drive through America’s highest continuous paved road, Rocky Mountain National Park officials said Thursday.

Snowplows from both the east and west met on Trail Ridge Road Wednesday for the first time this year, according to Kyle Patterson, a spokeswoman for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Snowplow operators coming from the east had already reached the Alpine Visitor center and the Trail Ridge Store area on May 15, but multiple spring storms several days later pushed plowing efforts back to lower elevations on Trail Ridge Road.

Photos sent by park staff to Denver7 Thursday showed the visitor center and Trail Ridge Store, located at an elevation of 11,796 feet, covered in even more snow than before.

Officials say the extended forecast for higher elevations in Colorado’s backcountry is improving next week, at which point RMNP officials will reassess conditions for the opening of Trail Ridge Road.

The latest that Trail Ridge Road has opened to vehicle traffic was June 26, 1943, officials said. The earliest was May 7, 2002. In 2011, the road opened on June 6.