Accessing Estes Park proves easy, no matter the season. Estes Park is close to neighboring Front Range communities and Denver. From cities east of the Rockies-Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and Denver, there are no mountain passes to cross, and the state and U.S. highways serving the area are well-maintained. Boasting long views of 8,500- to 14,000-foot-high snowcapped peaks, canyon rivers, foraging wildlife and rolling meadows, the drives also are as beautiful as they are convenient.
Equally picturesque, Trail Ridge Road (U.S. Highway 34) provides entry to Estes Park (elevation 7,522) from the west, notably from Granby and Grand Lake. The road usually opens Memorial Day weekend; snow forces its closure by early to mid-October. For mileages and approximate travel times from Colorado cities and other U.S locations, see the chart below.
*Note distances & times may vary due to road construction, weather, etc.
On Feb. 17, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Flatiron Constructors will begin work on US 36 near the Lion Gulch trailhead between Lyons and Estes Park.
Drivers can expect delays with intermittent single lane closures until March 9 when there will be a 30-day closure of US 36 to allow crews to permanently repair the road from the 2013 floods.
The closure will start at 12:01 a.m. on March 9 until the week of April 7, with crews working around the clock. Detours will need to be used. School buses and emergency responders will be able to get through. The project teams have been talking to these groups for months to plan for this closure.
Instead, if traveling through Lyons, you can take Highway 7 to Estes, which goes past some lovely trailheads (Wild Basin, Longs Peak, and Lily Lake) making some worthy stops on your way into Estes. You can also still utilize Highway 34.
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