Rocky Mountain National Park: Trail Ridge Road

Nearly every visitor to Rocky Mountain National Park will travel over Trail Ridge Road. Trail Ridge Road is synonymous with Rocky Mountain National Park. Not only is Trail Ridge Road the highest continuous paved road in the continental United States reaching heights over 12,000 ft above sea level, it offers visitors some of the best views in the park. Trail Ridge Road allows visitors to visit pristine alpine tundra above treeline where one is likely to find Elk grazing alongside Big Horn Sheep.   

Prior to the completion of Trail Ridge Road in 1938, travel over the Continental Divide between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake had to be done on the steep and windy dirt track known as Fall River Road. Today’s Trail Ridge Road roughly follows the trails used by earlier Arapaho and Ute Native Americans as trading and hunting routes over the divide. Trail Ridge Road is a seasonal route which is typically open from Memorial Day until the first heavy snow occurs sometime in the fall.