ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– Snowfall and cold temperatures have delayed the opening of Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend. The road opened last year on May 24.
This year, the road will open once it is deemed safe for travelers.
“This May’s snowy and wet weather patterns have certainly hampered this year’s efforts. As is typical, park plow operators have dealt with days of low to no visibility, wind, drifting snow and icy road conditions. This May, freezing temperatures above 10,000 feet, the lack of sunshine and the fact that Memorial Day is earlier this year have added to the challenges,” said Rocky Mountain National Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker in a statement.
Park snowplow operators will continue to plow the road but park officials said it was too soon to predict when the road will open.
Rocky Mountain National Park snowplow operators begin plowing Trail Ridge Road in mid-April to clear it of snow. Crews from the west side and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet in the middle, around the Alpine Visitor Center.
Plow drivers typically have to re-plow certain sections because of snowfall and drifts up to 22 feet high.
The earliest the road has opened was May 7, 2002 and the latest June 26, 1943.
Despite the delay, the park remains open for Memorial Day weekend, although visitors should be prepared for a variety of conditions including snow, ice, slush and mud.
Additional Information From Rocky Mountain National Park:
For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park Information Office at (970) 586-1206, the Trail Ridge Road status recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222 or check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/romo.