ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Trail Ridge Road closed to travel for the winter season on Friday, Rocky Mountain National Park officials said.
Trail Ridge Road, which connects Estes Park and Grand Lake through the park, is the highest continuous paved highway in the U.S., reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet.
The road has 11 miles that are above 11,500 feet with few guardrails and no shoulder.
Driving snow, high winds and below-freezing temperatures forced park officials to close the road for the season at the Colorado River Trailhead on the west and Many Parks Curve on the east.
“The mild weather this fall has given us a rare opportunity to enjoy Trail Ridge Road this late in the season,” park superintendent Darla Sidles said. “During this most recent storm we have received an accumulation of snow accompanied by high winds and freezing temperatures. Driving conditions are extremely hazardous at higher elevations.”
The latest Trail Ridge Road has closed was Dec. 2, 1933. The average closure date is Oct. 23. Park officials try to reopen the road by Memorial Day weekend.