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October Visit

California
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164 posts
74 reviews
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October Visit
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Is October too late in the year for a visit to Rocky Mountain NP?

We usually go on camping road trips to visit national parks (and plan for those months in advance), but might be in the Denver area in October. I haven't even checked yet how much longer timed entry permits are required, or if there is any availability - just getting started on research. Thanks!

6 replies to this topic
Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: October Visit
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Could be good early October. The longer you wait the more likely rain & snow.

Edited: 30 August 2021, 09:06
Fort Collins...
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for Rocky Mountain National Park
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2. Re: October Visit
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Reservations are required through October 11th. The first snow of the year is typically around the second week of October and it sticks around for the rest of the winter at the higher elevations so hiking trails can be icy. It will be well below freezing at night. If you’re wanting to camp, some campgrounds close by October but I’m not sure about the ones in RMNP. Even though fall foliage is done by then, it still seems to be an extremely popular time to visit, especially on weekends, but it does slow down a bit after Columbus Day weekend. Elk rut is going on.

Edited: 30 August 2021, 09:30
California
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3. Re: October Visit
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Thanks so much for your input! On this trip we probably wouldn't be camping.

When does the Trail Ridge Road historically close for the season? How late in the season in the Bear Lake Corridor accessible?

Thanks again!

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: October Visit
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The Bear Lake Road Corridor is accessible year round weather permitting. Even in late September and especially in early October, temporary closures of Trail Ridge Road as a through road between Estes Park and Grand Lake begin happening. These temporary closures can be overnight into mid-day, all day or multiple days. It all depends on the weather at the upper elevations of Trail Ridge Road. In most years, Trail Ridge Road is temporarily closed several times for several days before park rangers declare the road officially closed for the season. When Trail Ridge Road is temporarily closed, it is usually open about 12 miles from the east side entrances to Rainbow Curve weather permitting. Once closed for the season, Trail Ridge Road is open about 8 miles to Many Parks Curve. The last day the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road is scheduled to be open is October 11, weather permitting. In the last 12 years, the last date Trail Ridge Road has been entirely open for the season has been as early as October 4, 5, and 9 and as late as November 13 (very rare).

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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5. Re: October Visit
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To demonstrate how unpredictable Trail Ridge Road can be, the road was temporarily closed August 20 this year due to snow. The 24 hour Trail Ridge Road status line is 970-586-1222.

The dirt Old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitor Center is scheduled to remain open through October 3, weather permitting.

California
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6. Re: October Visit
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That's very helpful, thanks!

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