Park Roads

Snowy Road
Highway 34/Trail Ridge Road near Deer Ridge Junction is snowpacked and icy.

NPS Photo

Planning to Drive in Rocky During the Month of May?

Road conditions can vary greatly during the month of May. All visitors driving in the park between mid-October and 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 vehicle 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.

 
The surface of a park road in Rocky is snowpacked and icy during the winter season
A road in Rocky is snowpacked and icy following a recent winter storm

NPS

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

  • Road conditions in the Colorado rockies may change quickly due to blowing snow and incoming storms. Conditions at 5,000 feet are dramatically different from conditions above 8,000 feet.
  • Temporary road closures may be put in place at any time for motorist safety, based on weather and road conditions.
  • 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.

Where Can I Get More Information on Park Roads?

  • You can call Rocky Mountain National Park's Information Office at 970 586-1206.
  • The Information Office is open 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Saturdays - Sundays during the winter season.
  • You can also call the Recorded Trail Ridge Road Status Line at (970) 586-1222.

I'm Driving from Grand Lake to Estes Park, Can I Drive Over Trail Ridge Road?

Trail Ridge Road is a high-alpine mountain road. During the winter season, motorists cannot drive over the top of Trail Ridge Road. Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round on both the east and west side of the park.

How Can I Find Information on Roads Outside the Park?

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

 
Trail Ridge Road closed to public access when posted during snowplow operations

NPS Photo

All About Trail Ridge Road

  • Rocky Mountain National Park has the highest paved roads in any national park in the United States, with Trail Ridge Road (Hwy 34) cresting at 12,183 feet above sea level. Motorists should be prepared for strong winds and rapid weather changes.

  • Trail Ridge Road (Hwy 34) is closed to all vehicles for through travel for the winter season. Weather permitting, it normally opens for the summer season from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October.
  • From April 1 until the road opens to vehicles, Trail Ridge Road converts to winter road status. During this time, bicycles, pedestrians and pets on leashes can use the road when permissible. Each year, RMNP snowplow operators post signs alerting park visitors that plowing operations are occurring and that Trail Ridge Road is closed to all vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians beyond the posted "Road Closed" signs.
  • These Road Closures are rolling closures, which means they move based upon where the active snowplow operations are taking place. Staff at our Visitor Centers and the Information Office do not know exactly where the closures are each day, as they will move as needed for active snowplowing operations.
  • For your safety, do not travel past any road closure signs. Park Rangers will issue citations to any visitors who ignore these "Road Closed" signs and enter a closure area.
  • Be prepared for varying conditions on Trail Ridge Road. Conditions can change quickly and visitors should be prepared for snow, ice, rain, and freezing temperatures to occur at any time.

Trail Ridge Road Recorded Status Line: 970 586-1222
This recorded message 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.
  • Trail Ridge Road is not plowed between 4 pm and 7 am.

Learn more about this scenic drive.

 
Old Fall River Road with Snow
A winter view of Old Fall River Road

NPS Photo

Old Fall River Road

  • Old Fall River Road is CLOSED for the season to vehicle traffic.
  • Beginning on April 1, Old Fall River Road reverts to winter road status. Hikers, bicycles and leashed pets are permissible.
  • When active snowplowing operations begin, signs will be posted stating "Road Closed to All Vehicle Traffic." When these signs are in place, there is no pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicle access beyond the posted "Road Closed" signs. These closures are rolling closures that will move as determined by conditions and active snowplow operations.
  • Old Fall River Road normally opens to vehicles for the summer season from mid-June through mid-October.
  • While safe to drive for most passenger vehicles, Old Fall River Road has a dirt surface and is winding and narrow.
  • The road is one-way only from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass.
  • Vehicles over 25 feet or pulling trailers are prohibited.
 

Last updated: May 4, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park , CO 80517

Phone:

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.

Contact Us

Stay Connected