Winter Road Conditions as of 3pm 12/4/13
Rim Rock Drive is closed from DS Road to Independence Monument Overlook to all traffic, due to hazardous driving conditions from heavy snow and ice. The east and west hills are OPEN, expect slick conditions. Information Hotline: 970-858-3617, ext 402
Plowing Changes for Rim Rock Drive
Contact: Joan Anzelmo, 970-858-3617 x300
The National Park Service has worked out a contractual agreement with Mesa County to plow four miles of Rim Rock Drive from Colorado National Monument’s East Entrance in Grand Junction, to the DS Road turn-off to Glade Park. Plowing of these four miles by Mesa County will begin the week of December 10, as winter storms dictate. Mesa County will be reimbursed by the National Park Service for these plowing services.
The National Park Service will plow the west hill from Colorado National Monument’s west entrance in Fruita to the visitor center.
Rim Rock Drive from Colorado National Monument’s visitor center eastward to DS Road will not be plowed during active storms and will not be a primary access road for those who may use 16 ½ road in good weather. Commuters needing to access Rim Rock Drive during winter storms should plan to use the DS Road on East Rim Rock Drive to exit the Monument as the rest of Rim Rock Drive will not be plowed.
Once storms subside and conditions permit, Colorado National Monument staff will plow the length of Rim Rock Drive to make it available for all motorists.
Motorists need to give plows ample room and keep a safe distance from snowplows as plow operators may not be able to see cars following too close. Cyclists may not use Rim Rock Drive while plows are working on any portion of the road.
Motorists driving through Colorado National Monument are reminded to drive cautiously and obey posted speed limits. During winter months be prepared to encounter ice and snow conditions at any time and any location. Be especially alert for ice on the switchbacks on both the east and west hills of Rim Rock Drive. Speed enforcement is being increased and tickets are being issued regularly to speeders requiring some mandatory court appearances.
Did You Know?
Each Independence Day, local climbers scale the iconic Independence Monument in Colorado National Monument and raise an American flag on top. This tradition dates back to early park promoter John Otto, whose route up Independence Monument climbers still follow.