Park Roads

 
 
 
Section of Road in RMNP during Summer. The paved road is lined with green evergreen and aspen trees.

NPS

What is the Current Status of Trail Ridge Road?

Trail Ridge Road is Open for the Season

Due to melting snow on the road and the potential for freezing temperatures, visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. Because weather conditions may change rapidly at higher elevations, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly at any time and are encouraged to call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded status phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line when/if the road status changes.

Additional Trail Ridge Road Information

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."

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

NPS

Interested in Learning About the Park's Shuttles or Bustang Buses?

To see the shuttle route map, hours, and other information related to Rocky's Shuttles or Bustang Buses, Click here for information on Rocky's Shuttle System and Public Transportation.

 
A section of Bear Lake Trail is dry and snow has melted.
A section of Bear Lake Trail, as seen on June 3, 2024

NPS

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.

 
View of the upper section of Old Fall River Road
View looking down at Old Fall River Road

NPS

Spring Opening Operations are Underway on Old Fall River Road

Beginning at 6 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, Old Fall River Road will be closed to all uses, including to bicycles and pedestrians, for dust abatement through Saturday, June 29.

All users must adhere to posted road closure signs. Violators will be cited. Parking in front of the access gate to Old Fall River Road is prohibited. Park vehicles will be entering and exiting Old Fall River Road throughout the day. Visitors are prohibited from parking and blocking road access gates. Any vehicles that block road access will be towed and cited.

Old Fall River Road will open to vehicles on Sunday, June 30.



During certain hours of the day, visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park will need a timed entry reservation. There are two reservation options available: Timed Entry or Timed Entry + Bear Lake Road. Timed Entry Reservations are required to enter the park between the hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. These reservations provide access to areas of Rocky Mountain National Park located outside of the Bear Lake Road corridor, including access to Old Fall River Road. To learn more visit https://go.nps.gov/romo/timedentry.


What is a Drive on Old Fall River Road Like?

Built between 1913 and 1920, a drive up Old Fall River Road is an incredible 9.4-mile scenic drive. This unpaved road begins next to Endovalley Picnic Area and follows the steep slope of Mount Chapin's south face. The road ends at the summit of Fall River Pass and the parking area for the Alpine Visitor Center at an elevation of 11,796 feet.

Due to the narrow and steep nature of this road with sharp switch backs, travel on Old Fall River Road is uphill, one-way.

Things to Know:

  • While safe to drive for most passenger vehicles, Old Fall River Road has a dirt surface. The road is winding and narrow.
  • 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.
  • 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, Old Fall River Road ends and merges with Trail Ridge Road. You can choose to return to the east side of RMNP and Estes Park or explore the west side of the park and Grand Lake.
  • Be prepared for cooler temperatures as you climb in elevation and keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms, especially as you climb above treeline.
 
Box with Question Mark

NPS

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

NPS

Be Prepared for Varying Conditions at Different Elevations

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 snow, ice and winter driving conditions. 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, based on conditions.

What Does it Mean When Traction Control is Active?

For the safety of all motorists driving in Rocky Mountain National Park, 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.
 
 
 
 

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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.

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