Winter Road Operations for Rim Rock Drive
Colorado National Monument will continue to maintain the east hill of Rim Rock Drive and provide plowing and sanding by contracting with Mesa County to do this work, just as we have for the past three winters at the Monument’s expense. This provides Glade Park residents with a well maintained route from the east gate of Colorado National Monument to the DS Road during the snowy and icy winter months.
New this winter, in an effort to reduce operating expenses, we will be closing the top portion of Rim Rock Drive from the DS Road to the Independence Monument overlook to all traffic throughout the winter season. The winter closure will take effect on December 1 and continue through February 28. The road will re-open to all traffic on March 1.
During the time period from December 1 to March 1, we will not maintain or plow the top portion of Rim Rock Drive but allow snow to accumulate. This section of Rim Rock drive will be closed with gates on Rim Rock Drive immediately west of the DS Road, at 16 ½ Road and at Independence Monument overlook.
This will enable the Monument to make significant cost savings by reducing plowing, sanding and road patrol operations across the top of Rim Rock Drive, which receives very minimal traffic during the winter months.
During this time period all Glade Park motorized traffic will be directed to the DS Road or Little Park Road as 16 ½ Road at Rim Rock Drive will be closed for the winter season.
If the closed section of Rim Rock Drive receives adequate snow, the public will be welcome to snow shoe or cross country ski on accumulated snow on the closed roadway surface during daytime hours only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Day use parking will be available at the Independence Monument Overlook and at Otto’s Trailhead.
Bicycles will not be permitted in the closed sections of Rim Rock Drive during the winter closure. Furthermore, bicycles are not permitted to use any portion of Rim Rock Drive, including the east and west hills, during snow plowing operations.
For a detailed map of the road closure, please click here.
Did You Know?
John Otto's efforts almost a century ago continue to help visitors experience Colorado National Monument. Of the 40 miles of trails available to hikers in the monument, many of them were first built by original park custodian John Otto. More...