With luck, Trail Ridge Road will open May 22
The National Park Service reports that Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is expected to open for the season on May 22 — weather permitting. That last part is a given in the mountains, but it’s always worth repeating for newcomers. The Estes Park Trail-Gazette reports that the road is already open as far up as Rainbow Curve, about 12 miles into the park. It’s a particularly great overlook (my favorite) and the perfect destination/turnaround point for those wanting to experience the road but not go all the way to the Alpine Visitor Center. Many’s the time I’ve grabbed a drive-thru lunch in Estes and taken it up to Rainbow to enjoy. And it was the usual destination for my joy rides when I was staying in Estes and had a sudden urge for a little altitude. (If ever a drive typified “joy ride,” this is it.) I confess, though, that I was never up early enough to see a sunrise like this, captured two days ago by Erik Stensland. The early bird gets the great photos. (I know, I know, I sound like a Stensland shill, but hey, it’s not my fault he takes all the best pictures of the places I love.) My photos from the same overlook are typically taken in the afternoon.
For current road conditions in the park, see the National Park Service’s Road Status Report.