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“Up and up and up and up.....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River Road
US 34, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80517
970-586-1206
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Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Driving
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Owner description: This dramatic and scenic roadway built in 1913 followed an old Indian pathway that climbed over 3,000 feet.
Scarborough
Level Contributor
99 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Up and up and up and up.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

Whoa. Don't like heights? Don't look outside the car then! This road is only drivable one way and starts off on the flat but you soon find yourself ascending the side of the valley, climbing up and up on narrow dirt roads whilst navigating tight switchbacks (and I mean tight, several large 4x4's couldn't make it round them in one swing). The views over the edge are amazing and there's even a few places to pull off and hike a short trail or just take in the view. Be warned that this is not a road you can drive fast and while a 4x4 is not really necessary it sure does help with the ride. If you're doing 15mph on here you're going fast. The road eventually reaches the Alpine Meadow Visitor centre at the summit where a plethora of souvenirs gifts and overpriced food await you, as do simply stunning views of the alpine valley you just drove up the side of. We were in a steady snake of traffic on the way up and it was nice to get out, stretch our legs and then continue on to the paved Trail Ridge Road.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old Fall River Road - Rocky Mountain NP”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is the original road over the Continental Divide thru Rocky Mountain NP, and is accessible in summer via car ONE-WAY (east>west from Endovalley to the Alpine Visitors Center), but until July (normally) is open only for hikers & bikers. Access the road thru the US34 entrance to Rocky Mountain NP and park in the picnic area at Endovalley. Then hike up the road as far as you can without post-holing (every step up to your thighs in snow!) This year on Memorial Day weekend, it was to the 6 mile mark, still well short of the continental divide. Yet this is spectacular scenery, and not to be missed if you're a serious hiker. You'll be walking on dirt & gravel at first beyond the Chasm Falls Trail [closed now (May 2013) for re-construction,] then on patchy snow, and finally, in deep snow. If you're careful, you won't even need snowshoes and can get by with ordinary footwear! But come prepared for changing conditions with extra clothing layers in your backpack, sunglasses, a hat and emergency equipment. Any trek on the Old Fall River Road in late May or early June will normally end in a section of road where you are post-holing every step without snowshoes. Be sure to dress and pack accordingly, with multiple layers, and plenty of water (4oz/mile/person MINIMUM!) & food. Elevation is well above 10,000' so allow more time to hike and be prepared. There's a picture every few steps, so bring a big memory card for your camera as well. You'll enjoy this hike. I ALWAYS do!

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amarillo, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A challenging drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is one-way heading west, unpaved although it seems pretty well-maintained. But do not even think about doing this unless your vehicle is in good shape (no trailers or humongus RVs) and your driver is very steady and experienced. Steep cliffs and dropoffs.

Visited June 2012
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Gorgeous and scary!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The sweetest park ranger in RMNP pitched this as a peaceful scenic drive for the early morning. She was right about everything except the peaceful part. I spent a great deal of time staring at my feet as my boyfriend navigated distressing switchbacks at approximately 3mph. However, it was one of the very best things I have ever done. The scenery I did see was incredible and we saw pikas and elk everywhere near the top of the mountain. Absolutely amazing experience.

Visited September 2012
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Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great place to test your new 4x4 off road vehicle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

One way so no opposing traffic. Wildlife encounter opportunities are high, especially deer and elk. Dusty but invigorating. Not difficult but not a good place for a radiator to go out!

Visited July 2012
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