Rim Rock Drive Current Conditions

Equipment and pallets of large sandstone rock in the foreground await shaping and placement. In the background 6 staff members are working to install new rock to form walls along road.
NPS Staff at work restoring one of the many rock guard walls along Rim Rock Drive.

NPS Photo

Historic Guardwall Restoration

During the summers of 2016 and 2017, National Park Service staff are restoring the historic guardwalls along Rim Rock Drive. These guardwalls were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp and the Work Progress Administration from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Today's staff are trained in historic masonary techniques to remove crumbling morter and rocks. To the degree possible they save and return original stones to their locations. When necessary they replace broken rocks with new ones hand cut to fit into the hole left by the original rock. They use morter of the same consistency as the original. Over the years they have found if the morter is too hard it can cause additional weathering of the sandstone rocks.

In areas where work is being done, vehicles will be limited to one lane with flaggers directing traffic. Motorists should expect 5-10 minute delays.


Repairs to Rim Rock Drive

Colorado National Monument is partnering with the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration to repair sections of Rim Rock Drive. Below is a sampling of the work they are doing or have done.
Heavy equipment extends drill over edge of road to repair culvert. Worker on ropes below road to direct work.
A crew from GCS, LLC works on a bedrock culvert below Rim Rock Drive.

NPS Photo

South of Grand View

The work in this area included repairs and stabilization to a bedrock culvert and the rock face below the roadway. Work was completed from April 26 through May 12. GCS,LLC from Grand Junction completed the work.

The road and the bedrock culverts were installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It is critical to keep water from rain and snow moving effectively under the road without eroding it, due to the soft sandstone surroundings.

Winter Storm Response Plan for Rim Rock Drive

Motorists driving through Colorado National Monument are reminded to drive cautiously and obey posted speed limits.

A safety plan is in place to reduce winter hazardous driving conditions for visitors and snow plow operators. During active snowstorms, Colorado National Monument will temporarily close the upper section of Rim Rock Drive from DS Road to Independence Monument Overlook to all traffic.

Once the storm has subsided, upper Rim Rock Drive will be plowed, sanded, and cleared within 24 hours.

During plowing and sanding operations, upper Rim Rock drive will be closed with three traffic gates. The gates are located west of DS Road, at 16 1/2 Road and at Independence Monument Overlook.

Temporary closure of the upper section of Rim Rock Drive during active storms will make clearing routes safer and more efficient. Closures may be a few hours to a few days depending upon the duration of the storm.

During temporary storm closures, all Glade Park motorized traffic will need to use DS Road or Little Park Road because 16 1/2 Road at Rim Rock Drive will be temporarily closed. Glade Park commuters who normally access Rim Rock Drive are encouraged to use DS Road on east Rim Rock Drive during active storms.

All motorists and cyclists should be prepared to encounter ice and snow conditions on Rim Rock Drive even when roads in the Grand Valley are clear. Icy conditions often occur on switchbacks on the east and west hills of Rim Rock Drive.

Colorado National Monument will continue to maintain the east hill of Rim Rock Drive by contracting with Mesa County for plowing and sanding the road when necessary. This provides Glade Park residents with a clear road from the east gate of Colorado National Monument to DS Road during winter.

Pedestrians and bicycles are permitted on the upper section of Rim Rock Drive during active storms and when gates are closed. However, care should be exercised when walking or riding beyond gate barricades as snow removal equipment may be operating. The gates will be reopened as soon as the upper section of Rim Rock Drive has been cleared.

Information on developing storms and temporary road closures can be found by calling
Colorado National Monument's Winter Information Hotline at 970-858-3617, ext 402

Last updated: May 22, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1750 Rim Rock Drive
Fruita, CO 81521


(970) 858-3617 x360

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