Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 and is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. Also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway, it traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west.
Trail Ridge Road is closed during the winter, and often remains closed until late spring or early summer depending on the snowpack. It requires access to Rocky Mountain National Park even for local residents.
Route description 
Late-summer tundra well above the treeline along Trail Ridge Road
View of Trail Ridge Road from a hill above the Ute Trail, nineteen miles from the eastern end of the highway
The wooden poles mark the edge of the road for the spring snowplowing. The road is closed through the winter. 
From Kawuneeche Visitor Center at the park's Grand Lake Entrance, Trail Ridge Road follows the North Fork of the Colorado River north through the Kawuneeche Valley. There are several trailheads along this section of the road, notably the Colorado River Trailhead, which is the western terminus of the road segment closed during the winter.
The road crosses the Continental Divide at Milner Pass (elev. 10,758 ft/3,279 m) and reaches a maximum elevation of 12,183 ft (3,713 m), near Fall River Pass (elev. 11,796 ft/3,595 m). Near the highest point on the road is another pass, Iceberg Pass (elev. 11,827 ft/3,604 m).
Trail Ridge Road - elevation profile, screenshot from Google Earth
Fall River Road was the first road into the park's high country. It opened in 1921 and quickly proved inadequate for motor travel as a single-track road with steep grades (up to 16%), tight curves and a short annual season due to snowpack. Construction began in 1929 and was complete to Fall River Pass by July 1932, with a maximum grade of 7%. The road was complete through the Kawuneeche Valley to Grand Lake in 1938. The route followed what was known to local Arapaho Indians as the Dog Trail. Internal opposition to the construction of a road through the park's alpine tundra was overruled by National Park Service director Horace Albright, who wished to encourage park visitation. The road was designed to intrude as little as possible into the landscape, in accordance with Park Service design principles.
Hidden Valley (or Ski Estes Park) was a local ski area attraction from 1955 - 1991, off of Trail Ridge Road, now in defunct status.
See also 
External links 
Colorado Motorcycle trip: Trail Ridge Road
Part 8 of our 36 day Western America Motorcycle Tour. Ride with us from Granby, Colorado through Rocky Mountain National Park to Estes Park on Highway 34, mo...
Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park Time Lapse Drive
This drive begins at the RMNP gate on US 36, just outside Estes Park, Colorado, and takes you over America's highest continuous paved road, Trail Ridge Road....
Trail Ridge Road drive timelapse
A beautiful two hour drive condensed into about seven minutes. Shot with a ContourHD helmet cam mounted to the roof of the truck, post-produced in Adobe Afte...
Trail Ridge Road: almost opening day
Quick tour over Trail Ridge Road on June 7, 2011 from Grand Lake to Estes Park side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn how snow is made and follow the wa...
Trail Ridge Road Drive Lapse HD 2012
US Highway 34 aka Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Shot in 100% GoPro HD Hero 2 on June 12th 2012. Note: There is a small section ...
Trail Ridge Road
A ride west through Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road.
Trail Ridge Road - RMNP
Awesome Views from Rocky Mountain National Park, Trail Ridge Rd
Recommend watching in 1080 HD. A Compilation of my Rocky Mountain National Park Videos from my drive down Trail Ridge Road on the day the road opened for the...
Plowing Trail Ridge Road in RMNP 2009
Video of 2009 plowing of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mtn. National Park today, May 15. The road is scheduled to open to the public 5/22/09, weather permitting.
Scary drop-off from Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park Colorado
Scary drop-off on the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park Colorado. It is the highest road in the entire USA. This video shows h...
Fri, 24 May 2013 13:52:36 -0700
Because weather conditions may change rapidly, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park's Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line ...
The Denver Channel
The Denver Channel
Fri, 24 May 2013 18:58:52 -0700
Several passes and roads will be open for the season today and over the weekend, including Independence Pass, Trail Ridge Road and Cottonwood Pass. -- Independence Pass --. Independence Pass opened for the season on schedule at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Tue, 21 May 2013 16:04:03 -0700
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK , Colo. (CBS4) - Officials at Rocky Mountain National Park are still hoping to open Trail Ridge Road on Friday despite still having a lot of work to do. Park spokesperson Kyle Patterson said winds on Monday and Tuesday ...
Tue, 21 May 2013 14:50:59 -0700
ESTES PARK - Though spring has hit the rest of Colorado in full force, areas in Rocky Mountain National Park must not have gotten the memo. Snow drifts are still piled along Trail Ridge Road, parts of which are still paved with ice. Plow crews are ...
Fri, 24 May 2013 11:07:19 -0700
Crews dig out the parking area at the Alpine Visitor Center along Trail Ridge Road on. Crews dig out the parking area at the Alpine Visitor Center along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, located at 11,796 feet. (credit: nps.gov/romo) ...
The Denver Channel
Fri, 17 May 2013 18:21:48 -0700
Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the United States, and is a popular destination for park visitors and local residents wanting to explore the terrain above timberline. Along the 48 miles connecting Estes Park and Grand Lake, ...
Wed, 15 May 2013 10:03:54 -0700
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK — Crews are working to open Trail Ridge Road in advance of the summer tourism season. Officials from Rocky Mountain National Park reported on the parks' Facebook page that as of Tuesday, there was 16 feet of ...
Fri, 24 May 2013 15:10:32 -0700
Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened for the summer Friday. Trail Ridge road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend. Last year, it opened May 14. The earliest it has ever opened was May 7, 2002 and the latest was June 26, 1943.
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