Saturday, June 18, 2011

Traversing the Trail Ridge Road

On my “speedy” drive back to Indiana from Salt Lake City (1600 miles in 4 days) I chose to go through Rocky Mountain National Park. I knew I wouldn't have any time to spend there but also knew that it would be a nice drive!

Trail Ridge Road, the road through Rocky Mountain National Park, opened on June 7th, just three days before I arrived. The highest continuous paved highway in the United States, connecting the towns of Estes Park on the east side and Grand Lake on the west, it reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet and affords some spectacular views.

This winter, Mother Nature, dumped a lot of snow on the area. More than she has in 30 years. The amount of snow that the snowplow operators faced when they began clearing the road in April along with a big snow storm the last week of May, which produced 17 foot drifts in some areas, delayed the opening of the road. It is usually open by Memorial Day weekend.

I was fortunate that it was open by the time I went through. I was also fortunate that it was a most beautiful day!

A big snow blower at the Alpine Visitor Center.

This fellow was about 15 feet off the road.

If you look closely, you can see guardrails along the road on the right-center side of the picture. This is looking back from the Rock Cut parking area.


DianaR said...

Love Trail Ridge Road! When we go late in the summer we always drive up Old Fall River Road (or "the scarey road" as my niece used to call it when she was little) and then we'd take Trail Ridge Road back down into the park.

Thanks for sharing -

Michelle Goodrum said...

Those are some spectacular snowdrifts alongside the plowed road!