Winter knocks in Colorado high country
It’s been snowing in the high country off and on for the last few days, and when the clouds break, the snow is clearly visible from Denver. Up and down the Front Range, skiers and boarders are checking their gear, getting ready to hit the slopes in a few weeks. But not being a skier, I’ve just enjoyed watching the weather via webcam. A fierce wind was scrubbing snow off Niwot Ridge as fast as it fell, and necessarily pushing it into drifts elsewhere. Clouds were streaming over the Divide at speeds I’ve never seen before. And for two days the lens on the Trail Ridge Road cam has been completely obscured with snow.
Throughout it all, however, it had not occurred to me that TRR might actually be closed. At least, not until one of my readers wrote from Florida to tell me about it and about this photo from the Rocky Mountain National Park Facebook page. It’s a snow plow operator’s view as he works to clear 2-3 foot drifts from Trail Ridge Road. Low visibility has also been a problem, and that was easy to see today on the Estes Park webcams; clouds hung low over the valley, obscuring most of the view, and a rain/snow mix was falling.
Park officials say they expect to have the road open again by this weekend and that this is not the season-ending storm (average closing date is October 23). Good news for Estes Park, because this weekend is the annual Elk Fest. The forecast is for sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s in Estes, 70s in Denver. Gotta love Colorado weather.
Meanwhile, snow is falling tonight as low as 8,000 feet.