Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road opens for the season
May 26—The iconic Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park opened for the season at 6 a.m. Friday morning, but with some limitations: Visitors during certain hours of the day will need to make reservations.
According to a news release, a pilot timed entry permit reservation system went into effect at the park Friday. As one of the busiest national parks in the U.S., with more than 4.3 million visitors in 2022, RMNP is taking steps to manage visitor crowding and congestion that have begun to negatively impact the park.
Since 2016, RMNP has tried different strategies to manage visitor use, such as first-come, first-served and various timed entry permit reservation system pilots since 2020. The 2023 reservation system will offer two options. One permit is for the Bear Lake Road corridor, with a reservation period between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. The other permit allows access to the rest of RMNP, except the Bear Lake Road corridor, and has a reservation period from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The reservation system is parkwide, and park visitors with permits issued via the reservation system will be able to enter RMNP within two-hour windows of availability. The reservation system will apply to all areas of the park. More information about the timed entry system is available at bit.ly/3MGDN7s.
Visitors should be prepared for potential icy road conditions due to melting snow and a chance of freezing temperatures. Nightly closures are not being implemented at this time, but visitors are cautioned that weather conditions fluctuate quickly at high elevations, and travel plans may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Additionally, the Alpine Visitor Center is set to open Saturday, but the Trail Ridge Store will have limited services over Memorial Day weekend.
Anyone planning a trip to Trail Ridge Road is encouraged to call 970-586-1222 to reach the road's recorded status phone line. When and if the road status changes, RMNP staff will update the recorded line.