Rocky Mountain National Park: Trail Ridge Road may not open in time for this Memorial Day weekend. Maybe a car-free bike ride this weekend?
Trail Ridge Road is the stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that crosses the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park and is the highest continuous highway in the United States. The road closes to motor vehicle traffic at Rainbow Curves every winter. The park service traditionally works to open Trail Ridge Road to cars, trucks and motorcycles before Memorial Day weekend.
In spite of record snowpack in the Colorado high country, officials hoped to open the road by this Friday. Rocky Mountain National Park tweeted this morning that “several feet of new snow” piled on top of existing deep snow is challenging the road plows to keep up, putting Friday’s opening date at risk.
Trail Ridge Road is open right now to cyclists and walkers (along with their pets) above Rainbow Curve, though you can expect periodic closures during plowing operations. When I lived in Colorado, I enjoyed a couple of trips up Trail Ridge road before Memorial Day and I’ll tell you, a bike ride to 12,183 feet without sharing the road with RVs and motorcycles is EPIC and beautiful. Be mindful that more snow is expected in the Rocky Mountains this week.
$20 buys you, your automobile, and as many passengers as you can fit a seven day pass into Rocky Mountain National Park. Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders must each pay $10, so it’s as cheap or cheaper for you and your friends or family to drive into the park than it is for you to park somewhere and bike the rest of the way into the park.