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Contact: Larry Frederick , 970-586-1443
Estes Park, CO -- On Thursday, September 26, ninety-three percent of Rocky Mountain National Park is now open to the public. By Thursday afternoon gates will be opened on Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows, Lumpy Ridge and Longs Peak Road. Trail Ridge Road opened earlier in the day after a second convoy of critical rock crusher equipment moved through the park from Grand County to Estes Park.
Areas that remain closed due to severe flood damage are: Twin Sisters Trail; Aspenglen Campground, Longs Peak Campground, McGraw Ranch Road and Cow Creek Trailhead; North Fork Trail; and, the Ypsilon and Lawn Lake trails. Wild Basin beginning at the entrance station is closed, but the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead is open. Endovalley Road and Old Fall River Road are closed to all use, including pedestrian traffic. Condition assessments are continuing in these areas and while some areas may remain closed for the long term, additional sites will be reopened as quickly as possible.
Fees at the entrances, campgrounds and backcountry will not be charged through the weekend.
Loop B and C of Moraine Park Campground are open for camping beginning Thursday evening. Water, toilets and the dump station are provided. Timber Creek Campground is open on the west side of the park in the Kawuneeche Valley, but the water is off and dump station is closed. Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, and Kawuneeche Visitor Center are open daily. Alpine Visitor Center is open, weather and road permitting.
The backcountry is open throughout the park, with the above exceptions. Backcountry permits are available for trips on the west side of the park today and for the east side of the Continental Divide starting Friday. Backcountry conditions are changing daily so overnight users should check trail and site conditions on the park's website or through the Backcountry Office prior to planning trips.
Backcountry travelers will encounter different conditions than they have experienced in the past. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure are expected. Hikers should be prepared to take responsibility for their own actions; search and rescue may be delayed. Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. Route finding skills may be required. Carry a map and compass and other backcountry travel essentials. Expect missing foot bridges, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, standing water, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs. Be prepared; hike at your own risk.
The park website and Facebook page will continue to be updated as conditions change. Seenps.gov/romo for a map of the closed areas.
For the most up-to-date park information call the park's Information Office at 970-586-1206 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. For a recorded message on Trail Ridge Road status call 970-586-1222, 24-hours a day.