ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Just in time for the weekend, more areas of Rocky Mountain National Park will reopen. Much of the park has been closed since Oct. 22 due to the East Troublesome Fire.
A release from park officials said beginning Saturday, Nov. 14, US 36 past Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to Deer Ridge Junction will reopen. This includes the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, as well. The ongoing road construction project in that area will continue again Monday, Nov. 16, so visitors should expect up to 20-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On the east side of the park, Trail Ridge Road is open to Many Parks Curve. The west side of the park, however, will remain closed past the Grand Lake Entrance, the release stated, as well as the North Inlet Trail and the Sun Valley Trail. This is due to the level of the wildfire’s impact and ongoing safety assessments. East Inlet Trail and East Shore Trail on the west side of the park have already reopened.
Other areas will remain temporarily closed to park visitors on the east side of the park, too. This includes Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road, the North Boundary Trail, the North Fork Trail, Mummy Pass, Stormy Pass, Comanche Peak and Mirror Lake Trails. Park staff will continue to assess these areas for fire activity, safety and downed trees, according the news release.
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the East Troublesome Fire ran about 18 miles before moving into the west side of RMNP. The nearby Cameron Peak Fire forced evacuation in Grand Lake that same day. The majority of the Estes Valley was evacuated Oct. 22 with winds and dangerous conditions pushing the fire further to the east.
Firefighting actions and favorable weather eventually helped hold the movements of both wildfires. Approximately 30,000 acres — or 9 percent — of RMNP has been impacted by the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires.
Park officials said visitors should be aware of smoke, wind, weather and fire conditions.