Elkhorn Avenue in downtown Estes Park is dry and open for business. (Photo: VisitEstesPark)

Two routes into Estes Park reopen to visitors

Elkhorn Avenue in downtown Estes Park is dry and open for business. (Photo: VisitEstesPark)
Elkhorn Avenue in downtown Estes Park is dry and open for business. (Photo: VisitEstesPark)

Great news this morning on the Rocky Mountain National Park website. 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 Riverside, Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park, and Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park.

From RMNP:

On September 18 at 10:00 a.m., Rocky Mountain National Park will begin to incrementally reopen. As conditions improve, additional road, trails and facilities will open. The following is a summary of the current situation:

Trail Ridge Road is open to both east and west bound visitor traffic. Since Highway 7 to Highway 72 to Hwy 119 is now open to all traffic, commercial traffic is once again prohibited on Trail Ridge Road. The town of Estes Park is once again open and welcoming visitors.Entrance stations at Grand Lake, Fall River, and Beaver Meadows will all be open. No entrance fees will be charged at this time. Kawuneeche, Alpine, and Beaver Meadows Visitor Centers will be open. Fall River Visitor Center is closed for the winter.

On the west side of the park, the majority of trails are open for day use only. Please check trailhead signs for more information. Longer trails that cross the Continental Divide are open only to the Divide as trail travel to the east side is still closed. All trails on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park remain closed. As weather conditions improve, trails will be assessed for damage and slope stability. Of special note: Longs Peak, Wild Basin, Lily Lake, Lumpy Ridge, McGraw Ranch/Cow Creek, and their associated trails are CLOSED. Please help us focus on our recovery efforts by honoring these trail closures. And, remember – large landslides have occurred because of the rain saturated soils.

All of Bear Lake Road is closed.

Upper Beaver Meadows Road remains closed.

The Fall River Road is open. Old Fall River Road is closed.

The Intermountain Incident Management Team and the staff of Rocky Mountain National Park would like to thank you for your support and patience as we continue to assess park conditions.

For Rocky Mountain National Park information, call the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.

The Visit Estes Park Facebook page confirmed 3 hours ago:

Highway 7 is now open without restrictions! Please try to limit traffic as much as possible to allow crews to work on repairs.

The official Town of Estes Park Facebook page concurs.

For current road closures and conditions:

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

Estes Park. Mountain strong. Welcome back!

13 thoughts on “Two routes into Estes Park reopen to visitors

    1. I can’t imagine the work it must have taken to get Estes open and ready for business again so soon. But there are some major highways that were completely washed out and could be closed for months. Winter is not the best season for road building in the mountains.

        1. Hearing estimates of one to two years to get all roads fully repaired, bridges rebuilt, etc. And just as we thought road repairs were being wrapped up for the year. Meantime … free or cheap tetanus shots for everyone in flood zones, boil orders, warnings of increased mold and allergies, more mosquitoes and West Nile virus. Cold weather will reduce a lot of that, but increase other problems.

          1. Icing not preferable on this cake. Eventually it will get done and it will all be wonderful again. Must hold that thought. (works for hurricane zones…that was a sea floor at one time, right? Aren’t there fossils? I could be confused)

    1. I’m so happy for the folks in Estes, and for those who love to go there this time of year. Not sure if I’ll make it myself, though. The route that’s open is about an hour longer than my usual route, which was about my limit as it was.

... and that's my two cents