Trail Ridge Road Through Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- Distance: 89 miles / 143.2 km
- Ride Time: 1 day
- Approximate Fuel Costs: $6.76
- State: Colorado
LocationRocky Mountain National Park is located northwest of Denver, Colorado. It has an area of 414 square miles. For comparison, the size of the English county of Bedfordshire is 477 square miles. Denver is on the western edge of the Great Plains, which slope gently upwards from the Mississippi valley westwards. Denver is known as the mile high city because of its altitude above sea level. Immediately to the west of Denver the massive front range of the Rocky Mountains rises, marking a sharp transition from the plains. The Rocky Mountain National Park is located in this front range. DescriptionThe Trail Ridge Road, US34 through Rocky Mountain National Park, is the highest through road in the USA. Even in June you drive between eight foot high walls of snow. The highest point on the road is at 12,183 feet, well above the treeline and into tundra. The ascent is equivalent to driving hundreds of miles north into the arctic regions of Canada. The Trail Ridge Road is a high quality road, paved for its entire length. The views from the road are magnificent. This road hasn't got a toll as such but in order to drive it you must pay the entrance fee for the National Park through which it runs. Winter AccessThis road is closed in winter. The road closes with the first heavy snowfall, which can occur any time from late September to mid-November. The road normally re-opens around Memorial Day weekend near the end May, subject to snowfall.
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Colorado. This motorcycle route has 8 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by DBaum in August. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by DBaum
Between Estes Park and Loveland, try the side route through Glen Haven along the Little Thompson river. It's a good alternative to the main Big Thompson canyon road and has less traffic.
Also, although the high road through the park does close with snow, some years (like now--Oct., 2007) it is open and fall is a spectacular time to make the ride. If the high road is closed, just take the Peak to Peak highway south from Estes Park to Blackhawk/Central City, then go up through Central City over the new parkway and down into Idaho Springs.
From there, look for the sideroad paralleling I-70 for a lot nicer ride with less traffic.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM
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The best of the best. These folks have ridden and shared more roads than any other ORJ member this month.