Friday, June 28, 2019

Delayed Opening For Old Fall River Road In Rocky Mountain National Park

Old Fall River Road, which normally opens to vehicles by the Fourth of July holiday weekend, is anticipated to open on Saturday, July 13, if weather and conditions allow. Winter conditions at higher elevations in the park, as recently as June 23, have delayed the snow clearing and maintenance of Old Fall River Road. The road is currently closed to all uses, including bicycles and pedestrians Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and open Saturday, Sunday and Monday to bicycles and pedestrians. This schedule will continue until the road opens to vehicles.

Although the trail leading to Chapin/Chiquita/Ypsilon will not be accessible until at least the road opens, hikers will still have access to Chasm Falls during the schedule mentioned above.

There are limited long term records of the opening dates of Old Fall River Road prior to 1985. In 2011, after the heaviest late spring snow seen in decades, the opening was delayed until July 30. That was the latest the road had opened in 26 years. Old Fall River Road received significant damage during the historic flood of 2013 and reopened in July of 2015.

Old Fall River Road was built between 1913 and 1920. It is an unpaved road which travels from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass, following the steep slope of Mount Chapin’s south face. Due to the winding, narrow nature of the road, the scenic 9.4-mile route leading to Trail Ridge Road is one-way only. Vehicles over 25 feet and vehicles pulling trailers are prohibited on the road.

Old Fall River Road is scheduled to close to vehicles for the season on October 7, 2019.

Ramble On: A History of Hiking

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