In Estes Park: Hwy 66 failing as Hwy 7 reopens

Highway 7 between Lyons and Allenspark at Riverside has been completely blown out by the South St. Vrain. This section of Highway 7 is not part of the reopened route into Estes. However, it illustrates the type of damage that has closed many roads in the area, including highways 34 and 36 into Estes. (Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
Highway 7 between Lyons and Allenspark at Riverside has been completely blown out by the South St. Vrain. This section of Highway 7 is not part of the reopened route into Estes. However, it illustrates the type of damage that has closed many roads in the area, including highways 34 and 36 into Estes. (Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)

Update, Sept. 22: Two routes into Estes Park are now open to all traffic: (1) Trail Ridge Road, weather permitting, and (2) the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway from Black Hawk / Central City. Closed indefinitely are Hwy 72  through Coal Creek Canyon, Hwy 119 from Boulder to Nederland, Lefthand Canyon from Boulder to Ward, Hwy 7 from Lyons to Raymond, Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park, and Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park. See listings below for current road closures, conditions.

The Estes Park Trail Gazette reported last night that Highway 7 into Estes Park from the south is being reopened to emergency traffic only.* Because of road closures around Boulder and points north, the access route will require heading north on Highway 119 from Black Hawk/Central City, and then through Nederland, Ward, and Allenspark to Estes.

While the road will be open only to those on critical missions, this signals that Highway 7 is not completely washed out. Vital news to residents of Estes. Until now Trail Ridge Road was the only way in or out of Estes, and winter weather normally closes it by the end of October.

In other news, the Trail reported that Highway 66 west of the Dunraven Inn in Estes is failing. That means the YMCA of the Rockies and all the homes in that area will be cut off. Residents were told to leave late last night.

The Rocky Mountain National Park website reports that although Trail Ridge Road is open for essential  travel only, the park is now closed to recreational use.

Road damage in the area between Denver and Cheyenne is so extensive that it can be difficult to navigate from Point A to Point B without numerous detours. Most roads won’t reopen until inspectors confirm that roads and bridges are structurally sound.

And despite the fact that the sun is currently shining in north Thornton, more rain is forecast for later today and tomorrow.

*Note, Sept. 18: Highway 7 is now open to all traffic north of Allenspark. See “Two routes into Estes Park reopen to visitors.”

This is Highway 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon, and it looks like this in many places. Some reports have described the highway as scrubbed away down to the bedrock. (Image: StormChasingVideo.com)
This is Highway 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon, and it looks like this in many places. Some reports have described the highway as scrubbed away down to the bedrock. (Image: StormChasingVideo.com)
This is, or was, Highway 36 north of Lyons (Image:CDOT)
This is, or was, Highway 36 north of Lyons (Image:CDOT)

Some suggested news sources:

The Denver Post
Estes Park Trail Gazette
Boulder Daily Camera
Longmont Times-Call
KUSA Denver Channel 9
KMGH Denver Channel 7
KCNC Denver Channel 4
Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Town of Estes Park Facebook page
Town of Estes Park Twitter feed
Denver Post videos
Google Crisis Map

What you can do to help:

Help Colorado Now

Current road conditions, closures:

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
CDOT Colorado Flood Highway Updates
Boulder County Office of Emergency Management
Larimer County, Colorado

10 comments

  1. Good grief (again) PT. Knowing how nature tries to balance itself out, I guess a swing of the pendulum in the other direction was to be expected, considering how long that dry spell lasted. But still… 😯

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