• Photo of golden aspen with Hallet Peak in the background. NPS Photo by J. Frank

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood - Old Fall River Road, Alluvial Fan and Trails

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Flood Impacts and Closures

Rocky Mountain National Park received significant damages on bridges, roads and trails during the historic floods that occurred in September 2013. However, impacts in the park were relatively minor in comparison to the disastrous flooding that downstream communities east of the park experienced. The west side of the park was largely unaffected by the storm with flooding occurring only east of the Continental Divide.

Keep reading...to access the interactive map of damaged bridges and trails.

Alluvial Fan and Old Fall River Road
Roughly one-half mile of the Endovalley Road has reopened to vehicles in Rocky Mountain National Park. This area, along with Old Fall River Road, suffered extensive damages during last year's flood. Currently, there is no trail access in the Alluvial Fan area from either the east or west parking areas as those trails were destroyed. If walking or hiking off road or trail in flood-damaged areas use caution and check area signs or ask a ranger for information and safety tips.

Endovalley Road is closed to vehicles past the west Alluvial Fan parking lot. Until October 31, leashed pets and bikes are allowed past this point and can continue up Old Fall River Road on the roadway only. Visitors walking or biking should use caution as the road may be icy and snow-covered at higher elevations. Beginning November 1, leashed pets and bikes will only be allowed from the west Alluvial Fan parking lot to the gate at the base of Old Fall River Road.

Old Fall River Road is expected to open to vehicles in the summer of 2015. Normally the road is open from the fourth of July to early October.

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Sign at the West Alluvial Fan parking lot entrance after the flood.
NPS
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Debris at Alluvial Fan bridge September 2013
NPS
New pavement and culvert near Alluvial Fan

New section of pavement and box culvert on Endovalley Road at the Alluvial Fan.

NPS

Major work was completed on Endovalley Road and Old Fall River Road this summer.

Damage to Trails & Pedestrian Access
Note! Due to the flood, backcountry travelers may encounter different conditions than they have experienced in the past. Visitors may find missing foot bridges, missing trail segments, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs. Be prepared. Route finding skills may be required. Carry a map and compass and other backcountry travel essentials. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance, discovery and adventure are expected.

The following information is NOT an inclusive list of all of the flood impacts in the park. If recreating in these areas, please be aware of warning signs and potential hazards. Bridge Out hazards include cold, fast moving water, slippery rocks and logs, risk of injury or drowning.

Fall River Area: Lawn Lake and Ypsilon Lake Trails have significant damage with sections that are missing. The bridge across the Roaring River to Ypsilon Lake Trail is missing. Access to Ypsilon Lake, Fay Lakes and Spectacle Lakes will be difficult during high water.

Alluvial Fan Area: Area has reopened after road work was completed however, there is no trail access in the Alluvial Fan area from either the east or west parking areas as those trails were destroyed.

Lumpy Ridge Area: There is damage on the McGregor Falls Trail, the Black Canyon Trail, the North Gem Lake Trail and the Bridal Veil Falls Trail. The Bridal Veil Falls bridge has been replaced.

Twin Sisters Area: The large landslide on the west side of Twin Sisters impacted the switchbacks leading to the upper portion of the trail. Aspen Brook Trail received damage.

Northfork Area: The US Forest Service has reopened the Dunraven Trailhead. There is damage on the North Boundary Trail and the Lost Lake Trail. Bridges have been repaired on the North Boundary Trail. Bridges on the North Fork Trail and Lost Lake Trail have been repaired.

Wild Basin Area: The Ouzel Falls bridge is missing. The spur trail to Ouzel Lake is damaged and the bridge is missing. A detour to Ouzel, Bluebird and Thunder lakes is posted on the trail. The section of trail between Finch Lake junction and Calypso Cascades is damaged. The Sandbeach Trail bridge at Hunters Creek has been replaced.

Bear Lake Area: The bridge across Fern Creek to Odessa Lake has been replaced. There is damage on the North Longs Peak Trail.

To see the map of some damaged bridges and trails, click here.

Trail Closures For Stock Use

Some trails which are normally open to stock use are currently closed due to flood damage. Please see map

In 2014, the priority has been replacing missing foot bridges. Construction on the Ouzel Falls Bridge is ongoing and will continue next summer. The next steps will be to assess at what level park staff will "repair" damaged trails. The flood was a natural event which will be taken into consideration as park staff move forward to determine what repairs should be made.

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Bridge Out Flood Poster 300X389
Backcountry Camping Impacts
Permits are required for backcountry camping. The backcountry office can provide updated information on the status of access to backcountry sites. Call the Backcountry Office at (970) 586-1242.

For more detailed information about flood impacts, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

A photo of arrowheads that archeologists found in the park.

The area now known as Rocky Mountain National Park has been occupied by human beings for 10,000 years. Archeologists have found more than 300 prehistoric sites at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. More...