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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (CBS4) – The highest continuously paved road in the country is open to vehicle traffic much earlier than normal this year.

Last year snow removal crews had to push back the opening for Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park past the Memorial Day weekend due to all the snowpack in the high country. This winter much less snow fell in Colorado’s mountains.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road runs from Estes Park on the eastern edge of the national park to Grand Lake on the southwestern side of the park. It climbs above 12,000 feet as it crosses the Continental Divide.

Monday’s May 14 opening is the third earliest opening of Trail Ridge Road.

Independence Pass in the center of the state is also now open for the season. State Highway 82 south of Aspen opened two weeks earlier than scheduled.

RELATED: Top Scenic Drives In Colorado


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