Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park will give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget. This highway to the sky offers stunning views, an abundance of wildlife, and a spectacular assortment of alpine ecosystems, all from the comfort of your own vehicle. Next time you want to get away from it all, travel this iconic road to nowhere near Denver and make your great escape!
Since the early 1930s, motorists have been experiencing the splendor of the Rockies from U.S. 34, otherwise known as Trail Ridge Road, which stretches 48 miles from Estes Park to Grand Lake and reaches its highest elevation at 12,183 feet.
The road generally opens on Memorial Day weekend in May (or earlier depending on the snowpack) and closes for the the winter season sometime during October or November.
Eager photographers and adventurers await opening day at RMNP as if it were Christmas morning, and they are richly rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas and pristine snow-covered peaks.
During the summer months, the alpine tundra boasts over 200 species of vibrant plants and colorful wildflowers...
...as well as a wide variety of local wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, marmots, pikas, and ptarmigans.
If you're truly fortunate (and are a dedicated and determined early bird), you may just be privy to a stunning combination of spectacular scenery, a breathtaking sunrise, and impressive indigenous critters.
You may see a storm roll in over the Continental Divide...
...hopefully followed by one of those mind-blowing double rainbows for which Colorado is notorious.
You should most definitely cruise the Trail Ridge Road during our fleeting and fantastic frenzy of fall foliage.
Just be prepared to bump into other leaf peepers, especially if it's Free Admission Day. (The remaining Fee Free Days in 2016 are August 25-28, September 24, and November 11.)
This scenic highway is often heavily trafficked, as made evident but this shot of a scenic overlook from August 28, 1957.
But as always, if you hit the road at daybreak or linger until the golden hour of the evening, you're much more likely to avoid crowds...
...and catch glorious glimpses of Colorado wonders and wildlife.
Don't waste another minute! Grab your camera, hop in the car, and travel the Trail Ridge Road today!