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Trail Ridge Road closed to through traffic for season

The high-elevation road closes each winter due to snow and other winter weather conditions.

ESTES PARK, Colo. — Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is now closed to through traffic for the season. 

The popular high-elevation route closed on Monday.

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. It climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake.

> The video above is about restoration efforts of Trail Ridge Road.

RELATED: He has painted in same spot in RMNP for 20 years, but this year is different

The road has few guardrails and no shoulders, and 11 miles of it are above 11,500 feet. In the winter, drifting snow, strong winds and below-freezing temperatures create hazardous driving conditions.

> The video below shows what Trail Ridge Road looks like in the winter months.

While weather conditions permit, the road will remain open to Rainbow Curve on the east side of the park and to Milner Pass on the west side of the park. During the winter months, the closures will move down in elevation to Many Parks Curve on the east and the Colorado River Trailhead on the west, according to the park.

This means that many popular fall destinations remain open, including:

  • Bear Lake Road
  • Moraine Park
  • Horseshoe Park 
  • The section of Trail Ridge Road along the Kawuneeche Valley

Trail Ridge Road also will remain open to bicycles and leashed pets through Nov. 30. Beginning on Dec. 1, only pedestrians, snowshoers and skiers will be allowed beyond the closed gates.

RELATED: Snow, ice close two Rocky Mountain National Park roads

The road typically opens each year during the last week in May and stays open as long as the weather permits. This year it opened on May 29. Last year, Trail Ridge Road closed for the season on Nov. 17. 

Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park closed to vehicles on Oct. 4 this year.

RELATED: Old Fall River Road closes to vehicles for the winter

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