Park Roads

Trail Ridge Road with snow on the tops of near by pine trees and lining the road.
View of Trail Ridge Road in April 2024


Planning to Drive in Rocky During the Spring?

Road conditions and weather can vary greatly throughout the year. All visitors driving in and around the Rocky Mountain National Park area from mid-October to early June should be prepared for winter driving conditions. Roads may be snowpacked and icy. Remember to slow down and keep your distance from other vehicles. Keep an eye out for wildlife crossing roads. Due to weather and adverse conditions, roads in Rocky Mountain National Park may close at any time. Colorado Traction Control Law may be implemented as conditions require.

What Does it Mean When Traction Control is Active in the Park?

For the safety of all motorists driving in Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter season, the Colorado Vehicle Traction Law may become active at any time, based on weather and road conditions. While Rocky Mountain National Park has federal exclusive jurisdiction, the park is authorized under 36 CFR 4.2(b) to enforce applicable local and state traffic regulations. When the Colorado Vehicle Traction Law is active in RMNP, this means that all vehicles (including 4-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive, and 2-Wheel Drive) must have properly rated tires (Mud and Snow, Mountain and Snow or All-Weather Tires) with a minimum of 3/16" tread. If you have improperly rated tires on your vehicle, then you must use an approved traction control device. These may include snow chains, cables, tire/snow socks, or studded tires. When the traction law is in place in RMNP, if a ve hicle is involved in a motor vehicle crash, to include sliding off the road due to icy conditions, motorists will be cited if their vehicle does not meet Colorado Traction Control Law requirements.

Where Can I Learn About the Current Status of Park Roads?

  • For the latest information on park road status, keep an eye out for variable message boards in the park and follow us on Twitter @RockyNPS.
  • Since conditions change quickly, road status updates are not posted on the park's website.

How Can I Find Information on Roads Outside the Park?

Visit the Colorado Department of Transportation for road conditions outside the park.

Bear Lake in Summer
Bear Lake in summer


Interested in Exploring the Bear Lake Road Corridor?

Bear Lake Road is a paved road that is 9.2-miles long. It winds and climbs in elevation from 8,200 feet above sea level (2,500 meters) at the junction with Trail Ridge Road to 9,475 feet (2888 meters) where the road ends at the Bear Lake Parking Area and Trailhead.

To see a map of the Bear Lake Road Corridor and to learn more about hiking and scenic destinations located along Bear Lake Road, visit the park's Bear Lake Road webpage.

Trail Ridge Road_10-24-22
Trail Ridge Road is covered with snow in the winter


All About Trail Ridge Road

Did you know that Rocky Mountain National Park has the highest paved roads in any national park in the United States? Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, cresting at an elevation of 12,183 feet above sea level.

In 1931, Horace Albright, second director of the National Park Service, said "it is hard to describe what a sensation this new road is going to make... you will have the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions."

What is the current status of Trail Ridge Road?

Trail Ridge Road, which is Highway 34 through Rocky Mountain National Park, is closed to through travel for the winter season. Weather permitting, the road is closed at Many Parks Curve on the east side of the park and at the Colorado River Trailhead on the west side of the park.

Trail Ridge Road was Not Designed to be an All-Season Road

With 11 miles above 11,500 feet, winters are brutal at these high elevations. There are high winds, drifting snow, lots of ice, and below-freezing temperatures. The road has no shoulders and few guardrails.

Weather permitting, the road typically re-opens to through travel during the last week in May.

Looking for information? Call the Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at 970-586-1222.

This recorded phone line has the most up-to-date information on the status of Trail Ridge Road. This information is available 24-hours a day.

  • Extreme weather can change the status of Trail Ridge Road at any time—be ready to adjust your travel plans if needed, and always check the weather before you start your drive.
  • There are no shoulders and few guardrails.

Click here to learn more about driving on Trail Ridge Road

RMNP Hiker Shuttle at the EPVC
Hiker Shuttle picking up passengers at the Estes Park Visitor Center


Interested in Learning About Rocky's In-Park Shuttles, the Hiker Shuttle, or Bustang Buses?

Click here for information on Rocky's Shuttle System and Public Transportation

The road closed gate is locked and a sign is posted at the entrance to Old Fall River Road showing the road is closed for the winter season.


Experience Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River Road is a seasonal road that is typically open early July to mid-October. Old Fall River Road is currently closed to vehicles.

Old Fall River Road is open to bicycles, walkers/hikers, and visitors walking dogs on-leash. Users must remain behind any signs indicating the road is closed to pedestrians and bicycles. Posted signs will be moved, based on spring opening and snowplowing operations.

  • Leashed pets and bicycles are only permitted on the road, they may not travel on side trails.

What is a Drive on Old Fall River Road Like?

Experience an incredible 9-mile scenic drive on Old Fall River Road, beginning at the Endovalley Picnic Area and ending at the summit of Fall River Pass and the parking area for the Alpine Visitor Center at an elevation of 11,796 feet. This road is a narrow dirt road that is one-way uphill only with sharp switch backs.

Take in stunning views of Mount Chapin and Chasm Falls as you climb through the sub-alpine and into the alpine life zones. Old Fall River Road was built over 7 years, beginning in July 1913 and dedicated on September 14, 1920.

Things to Know:

  • While safe to drive for most passenger vehicles, Old Fall River Road has a dirt surface and is winding and narrow. AWD and 4WD vehicles are advised.
  • Beginning at the Endovalley Picnic Area, Old Fall River Road is a one-way road only that ends at the Alpine Visitor Center and connects with Trail Ridge Road. At Alpine Visitor Center, you can choose to return to the east side of RMNP and Estes Park or drive on Trail Ridge Road to explore the west side of the park and Grand Lake.
  • This road is very narrow and steep, with sharp turns. Vehicles longer than 25 feet in length and vehicles with trailers are prohibited.
  • Use a lower gear. The speed limit is 15 mph.
  • Be prepared for cooler temperatures as you climb in elevation and keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms, especially as you climb above treeline.

Last updated: May 8, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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