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Contact: Murray Shoemaker, 970-586-1443
Rocky Mountain National Park continues to incrementally reopen. The Alpine Ridge and Tundra Communities Trails, as well as the Forest Canyon Overlook, all located above tree line on Trail Ridge Road, are now open to park visitors.
Trail Ridge Road is open to both east and west bound visitor traffic and the communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park are open and welcoming visitors. This morning, Trail Ridge Road was temporarily closed due to snow and ice, but is now reopened. Because weather conditions may change rapidly, particularly in spring and fall, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park's Trail Ridge Road recorded status line at 970-586-1222. Highway 7 is now open to all traffic, so commercial traffic is once again prohibited on Trail Ridge Road.
To clarify: those wishing to access Rocky Mountain National Park from the east should leave Interstate 70 at exit 243, follow State Highway 119 north from the Blackhawk area to Nederland. Then follow State Highway 72 to Highway 7. Follow Highway 7 north to Estes Park. A GPS may not show this route, so consider using a paper map.
If you are coming from the west, take Highway 34 north from Granby to Grand Lake where you will enter the park via Trail Ridge Road. Park staff continues to examine the condition of facilities and trails to determine which areas can be reopened. Debris is being removed and facilities cleaned where needed. A Facilities Management team arrives today to begin assessing the scope and scale of the flood damage and risk to park facilities, roads, and infrastructure as an initial step in determining long-term repair and rehabilitation needs.
Nearly all Rocky Mountain National Park employees who were evacuated from in- park housing are now back in their residences.
Rocky Mountain National Park is rendering assistance to other agencies when possible. Yesterday, the park provided a front end loader, rock, material, and technical expertise to the Bureau of Reclamation to address some slope stability problems at the East Portal of the Alva B. Adams Tunnel. The park's Environmental Education staff is assisting a local school that isn't yet fully functional by providing curriculum based educational programs.
Acting Intermountain Regional Director Laura Joss and Deputy Regional Director of Operations Colin Campbell will be in the park today inspecting recovery operations.
For Rocky Mountain National Park information, call the park's Information Office at 970-586-1206.