NewsCovering Colorado


Rocky Mountain National Park’s Alpine Visitor Center buried by snow drifts

Posted at 11:48 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 13:48:56-04
Alpine Visitor Center
Photo of the Alpine Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park (National Park Service)

ESTES PARK – Rocky Mountain National Park said snow plows reached the Alpine Visitor Center Wednesday to find the building buried in deep snow drifts.

The store, which sits at 11,796 feet in elevation, has drifts that reach the top of the building. It’s located on Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous road in America. Multiple teams of plows work on the road, and teams on the west side of the park meet crews on the east side of the park at the visitor center, where they normally find drifts that are 18 to 22 feet high. It’s unclear how high the drifts are this year.

The road can sometimes open on Memorial Day weekend, but the park said that opening date is in doubt this year due to more snow in the forecast for the high elevations next week.

The latest opening for the road happened on June 26, 1943. The earliest it has ever opened was on May 7, 2002.