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Colorado National Monument will temporarily open the upper portions of Rim Rock Drive to motorized vehicles from Thursday, December 23, at 9am MST through Sunday, January 2, at 8pm MST to provide motorized access for Grand Valley residents and visitors during the busy holiday travel season.
The winter closure of upper Rim Rock Drive was put in effect on December 1 and intended to run through February 28 as a cost saving measure in anticipation of a normal snowy winter season.
In the absence of the normal snowfall on Rim Rock Drive, which averages more than 27 inches annually along with black ice, the Monument will open Rim Rock Drive for motorists through January 2. Should there be a new storm with heavy snow fall the road will be subject to an earlier closure. If rain persists motorists are cautioned to be on the lookout for rock fall while driving Rim Rock Drive. Motorists are also cautioned to be aware of patches of black ice along sections of upper Rim Rock Drive.
The temporary winter closure of the upper portions of Rim Rock Drive will most likely go back into effect on Sunday, January 2 at 8pm MST, depending on the weather conditions. The Monument will advise the public in advance of the next planned closures.
Special Planned Closure: December 31 for Fireworks Display
On Friday, December 31, in preparation of the Centennial Fireworks Display, Upper Rim Rock Drive will be fully closed to all motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians at 2pm. The gates on Rim Rock Drive will be closed at the DS Road, 16 ½ Road, Independence Monument View parking lot, and just beyond the visitor center parking lot. This closure will be in effect to provide a safety perimeter in advance of and during the fireworks display.
For more information about the event, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/colm/ or call 970/858-3617, ext. 360.