Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road
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  • Anthony
    New York City, New York868 contributions
    Rocky Mountain High
    This drive is one of the highlights of visiting RMNP and should be part of any visit. We drove up from Estes Park and stopped along the various overlooks. Give yourself plenty of time as you will be making stops, may hit unpredictable mountain weather, and may make unplanned stops for wildlife. The Alpine Visitor Center at the peak of the highway makes for a good rest stop. On our drive, it did get very foggy as we neared the Alpine Visitor Center, but otherwise didn’t find the drive to be any more challenging than other mountain roads.
    Visited September 2022
    Written December 18, 2022
  • Aashish K
    Columbus, Ohio87 contributions
    A Road High Above the Skies
    The road was definitely one of the best ways to see the park. We started early from the back and made our way towards the hiking trails, taking in all the different biomes and views the park has to offer. We laughed when the signs said expect ice and snow and realized very quickly these very same conditions made the roads dangerous in some instances. It was a little scary at times but the views were incredible. Definitely go prepared with winter clothes and boots for the varying conditions. Also, highly recommend having an AWD of 4x4 vehicle.
    Visited September 2022
    Written December 30, 2022
  • Sheldon King
    Wynyard, Canada1,177 contributions
    Crazy high road
    This is a amazing road that is also very scary. No guardrails at all with 100s or 1000s of feet drops in some places. What this means are the views are wide open and spectacular. I am a very experienced driver but I still felt nervous in some parts. Would not recommend for nervous or new drivers. Stunning road.
    Visited July 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written January 19, 2023
  • Jack
    Old Bethpage, New York770 contributions
    Amazing Road!
    Went in July 2019. Gorgeous views! Very high up! Scary at times, but so worth it! I felt like I was in Switzerland! You can’t help but truly admire the view! Highly recommend! One of the best ways to see the park!
    Visited July 2022
    Written March 17, 2023
  • Grover R
    Pensacola, Florida18,030 contributions
    The Spine of RMNP and a MUST DO
    There are several amazing drives within the NPS system, but this may be the best Alpine experience. We drove the entire route, entering the park at Grand Lake and driving to our stay in Estes Park. You start with a great drive around the western lakes of the park before climbing up the Colorado River valley. Then your Alpine adventure begins as you climb over the Continental Divide. Your first great experience is a stop at Far View Curve to see the Colorado Valley and the Never Summer Mountains. Then you climb more to the Alpine Ridege VC and a great hike to 12,000 feet. From here the drive is the best along the ridge with several opportunities to experience the mountain top tundra. We visited both the Tundra Communities and Forest Canyon overlooks where we saw Elk and pikas. You then begin to descend to the east side with great stops at both Rainbow Curve and Many Parks Overlooks for great views of the mountains. We had an amazing day at RMNP and all of it was visits along this road.
    Visited September 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 18, 2023
  • Susan M
    Pennington, New Jersey68 contributions
    Exciting Views, Worth the Drive
    Trail Ridge Road is great fun to drive on. We went the day it opened for the season. There was still snow everywhere! Amazing views at every crazy hairpin turn. Lots of spaces to pull off and enjoy the view. Bring a sweater if you plan to get out of the car. It was 70 degrees in Estes Park and 45 degrees at the Alpine Visitor Center!! We went all the way to the Continental Divide, where water on either side drains to the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Great photo spot.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 30, 2023
  • ashley
    Hermitage, Arkansas4 contributions
    Nature trail!
    This is an amazing trail. When cloudy or stormy however visibility is almost nonexistent! Also we thought reservations were a must. The only time slot was 4pm so we waited. We later found out by park staff we could have came before 9am and not needed a reservation. Also we were able to get into the park earlier than our time just could not go into bear lake until our time slot!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 13, 2023
  • Aaron Ross
    140 contributions
    Amazing.
    My wife and I entered the road from the west side and went as far as the visitor's center, which is about half of the road. We did a few hikes early on, and then drove up to the top. It is a bit of a scary drive, with narrow roads, sharp switchbacks, no guardrails, and the temptation to look at the stunning views - but take it slow and there are plenty of places to stop and admire nature. An absolute must-do.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 17, 2023
  • Gretz
    8 contributions
    Thrilling, nervy at times, a must do.
    Let me start with the how you feel at the end of the drive first: nerves shot but also a big sense of accomplishment, and joy. I drove up pikes peak 10 years prior, which I recall being nervy at times, but also prior to 3 kids. On our (myself, wife, and 6,8,10 yr old) trip from Estes Park to the Alpine VC, there were views that I would consider absolute must sees. Which leads me to my point, if you consider yourself a good, tenured driver and can trust that this is simply keeping two hands on a wheel and going the speed limit, probably 5 mph below at the hairpin, no guardrail areas, which of there are only a few, then you will be just fine. Also, it is fun to describe the experience to family and friends. Just do it and have a cocktail later.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Bob
    Chardon, Ohio1,620 contributions
    Once of best scenic drives anywhere
    We did the trail ridge road in the early afternoon once the timed entry period ended. There was still plenty of time to enjoy the views and stop a few places. We went back the next day and explored places we missed the day before. Watch the time at the high altitude - affects some people. No cell service so your map will not work either. It is a must do at the park
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Mike H
Phoenix, AZ2,077 contributions
Jul 2020
Got to see this but there is a catch. The park requires reservations to drive this road. There is a limited amount of permits but if you plan ahead you can get the reservation. We took it all the way through since we were heading onto Montrose and we had all day to get there. Beautiful scenery and great photo opps. Wish we had stayed in Estes Park to give us a little more time here. We will have to come back here and spend a couple of days.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NF2013_13
Orlando, FL864 contributions
Jul 2020
We entered the park from the Grand Lake Entrance on a mission to drive Old Fall River Road (which was closed when we got there). We drove as far as the Fall River Visitor Center. Of course, the road is scenic! There's many places to stop along the way to do a hike, see wildlife and gasp at the beautiful overlooks. There are more moose on the Grand Lake park side if that's what you are looking for. We saw loads of moose and elk each time we went into the park. This ride gives you a great overview of the entire park. Along with the park map, you can then determine which sites you want to explore further. As you drive through the Alpine Visitor Center area of the park, you'll definitely notice a chance in temperatures. We were there in July and it was windy and quite chilly due to the higher elevations. Beautiful to see.
Written August 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabrielle W
Mobile, AL393 contributions
Jun 2021
This is an absolutely breathtaking road (maybe in more ways than one if you struggle with the elevation like I did). It is amazing to see the change in scenery as you go along. We did the whole road from Grand Lake to Estes, and then one evening went halfway up from Estes to the Alpine Visitor Center. Highly recommend driving the whole thing at least once, and it does take the good half of a day if you do the stops. Definite evidence of the fire when starting out in Grand Lake but it got scenic very quickly. I have never struggled with mountain road drives, have done Newfound Gap, Icefields Parkway, and the Blue Ridge Parkway and been totally fine but there are many parts of this road that gave me extreme anxiety, specifically around the tundra. Absolutely worth seeing but do keep in mind if you are scared of heights or just scary roads. Whoever is driving needs to be very careful and mindful. I can't express how beautiful it was though, and I loved seeing the tundra because I had never seen anything like that before. We saw a herd of elk around the top which was surprising! It got pretty cold and extremely windy so bring a jacket. You can stop at the visitor center, which is the biggest and best in the park, and they even have a little cafe.
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wrinny89
Albacete, Spain34 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
The park is beautiful! There are so many trails to walk and enjoy nature. We didnt see any moose, which is what a lot of people look for, but we did see a small herd of elk and a baby. There are daily reservations you have to purchase prior to going or you will have to wait till 5 pm and purchase a day pass. They have other pass options but if you are only going this one time for awhile just the day will be plenty. There are a lot of people up there at any point and time and they will: pull off the road, pull somewhat off the road, or park in the middle of the road; so they can take a picture of whatever animal they came across. The drive is up one side of the mountain and down the other, so it will be hard on your car and breaks. Make sure to drive in lower gears so you don't hurt either. Take a camera and binoculars! You might find something far off that no one else can see!
Written August 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

msa23_2000
Chino Hills, CA1,440 contributions
Jul 2020
This was great. Lots of well marked stops and small hikes. It goes above 12,000 feet and the weather is unpredictable. But the views are worth it take your time. We took about 2.5-3 hours to go from Estes Park to Grand Lake.
Written July 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN3,188 contributions
Sep 2020
Driving Trail Ridge Road is a thrilling and spectacular experience. 48 miles separate Estes Park from Grand Lake. It takes 90-120 minutes to drive factoring in making stops at the numerous overlooks. I think the best overlooks are Rainbow Curve, Forest Canyon, and Gore Range. You should also stop at the Alpine Visitor Center and walk the trail. Even better is the Tundra Communities Trail near Rock Cut. Look for the marmots providing entertainment on the south side of the road across from the parking spaces. The Milner Pass area was quite beautiful at sunset and I saw many elk in the area at this time of day. The western portion of the Road is good for moose spotting especially near the Green Mountain Trailhead. The best part of the drive is between Medicine Bow Curve and Rainbow Curve in the alpine tundra zone.
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

princessebird
Fort Worth, TX221 contributions
Jul 2020
Very nice road with great views. We are from sea level, but the switchbacks were not terribly intimidating. If you are above the tree line and in the tundra around in the hour or so before dusk, there's a good chance you'll see elk. Also, we purchased an app (GyPSy) that was fantastic for the road. You download it ahead of time and it uses your GPS to give you information about various parts of the park. I highly recommend this to accompany you as you drive. Even the 8 year old liked it!
Written August 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ScubaDave16
Highland, IN969 contributions
Aug 2020
This park is pretty much on every park visitors' bucket list so it is VERY popular. The NPS came up with a great idea to require reservations to keep the crowds down. I wish they would do this for all the National parks.

We made a reservation on line for entry and got right in at our time slot. The roads weren't too crowded and we were able to find parking at all the overlooks and visitor centers.

The visitor centers were closed for the most part due to Covid, but each had rangers outside with maps (and masks) to tell us about the area and where we should hike and what to see. As always the rangers are so helpful and a great resource. Imagine having to tell 500 people a day where to park and hike and still be pleasant.

Anyway the park drive was great except for the wildfire smoke that made the views somewhat hazy. A new fire broke out the day we were there as well.

Another sad note is that a large percentage of the trees were dying of pine bark beetles.

still the views are tremendous. Stop and get out of the car and hike, but be careful if you are from a lowland area. The altitude is over 10,000 feet and you will be short of breath if you overdo it!

the road itself is very safe and paved the whole way.
Written September 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GMack73
Long Beach, CA16 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Ignore the reviews that say it is a scary drive and enjoy the views. Just drove the road from Estes Park to Grand Lake and contrary to all the reviews saying it is the scariest drive, the drive itself is not scary at least not during the daytime. At no point was I any more scared to drive this than any other mountain road. It is like most mountain roads in that if you were to drive off the edge it would not be a good time. However, if you are paying attention and driving at or near the speed limit it is very safe. I read that the road grade never exceeds five percent so it is an overall easy drive to handle.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chachamatina
Berkley146 contributions
Sep 2021
Beautiful scenic drive. The road is paved and safe. There are plenty of pull-offs if you have someone behind you who would like to go faster than you are comfortable. Incredible views and observation areas. Make plenty of stops along the way to check out the views and acclimate to the altitude. We saw lots of little critters like pikas and marmots. It was super cute.
Remember, you need to reserve a time to enter the park and TRR is within the park. You can go in before 9 and after 6 without a reservation but in between you need a reservation. Plus you pay the fee for the park which is $25 for the day or $35 for the week. You can easily get the pass online but get them in advance. You cannot get them at the park entrance.
We drove from Estes Park to Grand Lake and it was stunning. I would do it again.
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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