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Colorado: Trail Ridge Road open for the season

Park staff dig out Alpine Visitor Center, 11,796 feet on May 23, 2013.

Park staff dig out Alpine Visitor Center, 11,796 feet on May 23, 2013. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.

High-elevation visitor center and store to open next week

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A series of late-season storms didn’t prevent national park crews from opening Trail Ridge Road right on time this year, although Rocky Mountain National Park rangers say there could be nighttime closures because heavy melting on the road during the day and freezing temperatures at night.

The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store are expected to open sometime next week, according to a release from the park. Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend. Last year the road opened early on May 14 after record warmth in March. Continue reading

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Colorado: Rocky Mountain NP eyes multi-use trails

Park service taking comment to help shape plan

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Multi-use trails could help ease congestion in Rocky Mountain National Park.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Rocky Mountain National Park planners are taking comment on a plan for a multi-use trail system that would extend approximately 15.5 miles from the Fall River Entrance to Sprague Lake, with potential connections to three visitor centers, three campgrounds, and numerous hiker shuttle stops.

The trail update is based on a 2009 feasibility study that looked at the developed eastern portion of the park. The current study will examine the possible options for the multi-use trail alignments and analyze potential environmental impacts.

The new park trail system could connect with trails being developed in the Estes Valley, helping to reduce traffic congestion, and to evaluate multimodal options (including connections to the shuttle system) along the developed corridor of roads on the east side of the park. If constructed, the trail would be located outside designated wilderness. Continue reading

Wildfire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park

Several roads and trails closed

The 300-acre Fern Lake Fire is burning west of Estes Park, Colorado.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — National Park Service officials say a a 300 acre fire burning about two miles west of the Fern Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park has spurred the closure of several roads and trails, including Bear Lake Road, Moraine Park Campground, all trails west of Bear Lake Road and south of Trail Ridge Road, and Upper Beaver Meadows Road.

According to the Larimer County emergency services website, the fire is burning about .25 to .5 miles west of  “The Pool,” about 1.5 miles east of Fern Lake  Smoke is easily from the town of Estes Park. Movement  is toward the east and north due to gusty winds. This is well away from any structures but there is some concern for the area in the vicinity of the Moraine Park Campground should the fire move east. The cause is under investigation.

Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Fire personnel and equipment are standing by and Larimer County Emergency Services unit also responded to the fire Tuesday afternoon.

A single engine air tanker has been ordered to the scene, and Larimer County officials said it’s not known what other air attack resources have been ordered.

For more information, call the Rocky Mountain National Park information line at 970-586-1206

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