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Snow closes the highest continuous paved road in US

Trail Ridge Road has not yet opened as a through road for the season.

ESTES PARK, Colo. — Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) closed late Thursday due to planned winter-like weather.

The National Park Service (NPS) said Trail Ridge Road is closed on the east side of RMNP at Many Parks Curve and on the west side at the Colorado River Trailhead. 

Previously, the closures were at higher elevations along the road at Rainbow Curve on the east side and Milner Pass on the west side.

Trail Ridge Road has not yet opened as a through road for the season.

NPS also said Wild Basin Road has also closed at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Credit: National Park Service
Fall River Entrance is located just west of Estes Park on US Hwy 34 on May 20, 2022.
Credit: National Park Service
View of Trail Ridge Road on Aug. 20, 2021.

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 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.

In 2020, Trail Ridge Road closed for the winter season permanently on Nov. 17, and in 2019 the road was closed Oct. 31.

For an updated recorded status line of Trail Ridge Road, call 970-586-1222.

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