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Bear Lake Road reopens in Rocky Mountain National Park after 1-month closure due to wildfires

Bear Lake Road reopens in Rocky Mountain National Park after 1-month closure due to wildfires
Posted at 2:31 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 16:31:51-05

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — After almost a month-long closure, Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park reopened Thursday.

The road closed on Oct. 22, along with the entire park, due to the East Troublesome Fire. The blaze moved into the west side of the park on Oct. 21 during a giant run and a spot fire jumped to the east side of the Continental Divide. The fire's speedy growth — more than 100,000 acres in 24 hours — resulted in rapid evacuations. Snowfall a few days later helped slow the growth.

All trails and areas east of the road are back open, however most places west of the road remain closed, including the following:

  • Moraine Park Road at the junction of Bear Lake Road
  • Moraine Park Campground
  • Fern Lake Trail
  • Cub Lake Trail
  • Mill Creek Basin
  • Hollowell Park
  • Bierstadt Trail
  • Upper Beaver Meadows Road
  • North Boundary Trail
  • North Fork Trail
  • Mummy Pass
  • Stormy Pass
  • Commanche Peak
  • Mirror Lake Trails

The trails around Bear Lake have reopened, including the Flattop Trail, which is open to the summit of Flattop Mountain. However, it is closed beyond this point.

Map of closures in RMNP_Nov 19 2020
The above areas are closed in RMNP as of Nov. 19, 2020.

Much of the west side of the park remains closed past the Grand Lake entrance, and near the North Inlet Trail and the Sun Valley Trail. Crews are conducting ongoing safety assessments in this area.

Park staff is continuing to assess the closed areas for fire activity and downed trees. High winds in the area are common this time of year and trees weakened by the fires may fall easily.

In total, about 30,000 acres — or 9% — of the park was impacted by the East Troublesome Fire or the Cameron Peak Fire, which was burning northeast of East Troublesome. The Cameron Peak Fire is the largest wildfire on record in Colorado. East Troublesome was the second-largest.

READ MORE: All Denver7 coverage on the 2020 wildfire season

The entire national park closed Oct. 22 and then partially reopened Nov. 6.

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the park's nonprofit partner, is accepting donations to help restoration efforts from the fires. Click here for more information.

For more details about the park and its current closures, click here or call 970-586-1206.