- Old Fall River Road
- Trail Ridge Road
- Timed Reservation System
- Elk Rut closures
- Fall Color
Rocky Mt National Park, Colorado
ROCKY MT NATIONAL PARK
Visitation to the park in July and August was approximately one million! It was about 10 percent down from 2020, same months. 2019 was the park’s busiest year on record with 4.6 million total visits, and 2021 which was second with 4.4 million. Many credit the large numbers to the pandemic limiting choices of vacation destinations.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
OLD FALL RIVER ROAD
Old Fall River Road closed for the season to vehicles on Monday, October 3. The road closed to all uses for park staff to conduct road maintenance. Starting, Tuesday, October 11, Old Fall River Road closed again to all uses for continued road maintenance through Friday, October 14. On Saturday, October 15, the road will reopen to bicycles, leashed pets and walkers through November 30. Leashed pets and bicycles are only allowed on the road, not on side trails. On December 1, the road will revert to trail status and bicycles and leashed pets will not be allowed on the road.
TRAIL RIDGE ROAD
TRAIL RIDGE RD celebrates 90 years. The paved road opened in 1932, because Old Fall River Road, which opened in 1920, the original road to the tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park, was narrow, dirt and difficult to maintain.
SNOW CLOSING ROADS: On October 1, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park was temporarily closed at Rainbow Curve on the east side of the park and Colorado River Trailhead on the west side of the park due to snow and ice on the road at higher elevations. (Old Fall River Road also temporarily closed.) This continues to happen each year in September/October, so be sure to call for updated information on the Trail Ridge Road recorded status line (970) 586-1222 and/or follow them on twitter at RockyNPS (@RockyNPS) / Twitter — This recorded message has the most up-to-date information on the status of Trail Ridge Road. This information is available 24 hours a day.
Extreme weather can change the status of Trail Ridge Road at any time—be ready to adjust your travel plans if needed, and always check the weather before you start your drive.
There are no shoulders and few guardrails. Trail Ridge Road is not plowed between 4 pm and 7 am. Click here to learn more about driving on Trail Ridge Road
TIMED ENTRY NO LONGER NEEDED
Timed Entry Permit Reservations were in effect from May 27 – October 10, 2022.
Timed Entry Permit Reservations were from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all areas of the park outside of the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which required a separate ticket, including Bear Lake, Sprague Lake, and and Moraine Park. — This will also be in effect next year, 2023. Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available through Recreation.gov. www.recreation.gov.
It addressed the problem by minimizing traffic congestion, lack of parking, visitor crowding, and negative resource impacts at trailheads and throughout the park. The reservation system allocates approximately 90 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity which is approximately 20,000 visitors per day or 7,200 vehicles over a 24-hour period.
Watch for Signs — Tundra Closures are designated to restrict use and protect fragile alpine tundra from damage caused by heavy, concentrated foot travel. Off-trail hiking is prohibited within 100 yards of the trails and parking lots in these areas unless otherwise designated
ELK RUT CLOSURES & SAFETY
September 1 through October 31
To prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk-viewing opportunities, areas in Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Harbison Meadow, and Holzwarth Meadow are closed to the following acts from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. daily:
Foot travel off established roadways and designated trails or on closed roadways or trails.
Fishing in those sections of Fall River, Big Thompson River, or Colorado River within the areas listed above are closed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Entering closed areas is a violation of 36 CFR 1.5. Violators are subject to a fine of $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
To see elk herds from the road, please carefully pull off in designated areas; do not block traffic; stay 50 feet away from the elk. They are wild animals and can charge at you at any time.
FALL COLOR: As of the publishing of this article, October 13, 2022, the fall color is peaking in the middle of the state, north and south of I-70 (east and west interstate). Some color can still be found in and around the RMNP. The recommended area to visit in late October is the lower one-quarter of the state. The state has experienced mild fall temperatures in the first two weeks of October, below or above 70 degrees.