June 2nd, 10:02pm
After a week long build-up to the season opening of Trail Ridge Road on Memorial Day Weekend, we finally got to explore a whole other part of Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in the United States, allowing park visitors to drive all the way up to its highest point at 12,183 feet, and connecting the Estes Park and Grand Lake communities on opposite sides of the mountains.
At the time, the construction of Trail Ridge Road was an engineering feat given its high elevation, distance, rapidly changing (and often dangerous) weather conditions, and the fragile terrain of the alpine tundra. The road follows the path of the Ute Indians trails, who had long ago figured out the easiest paths to cross these mountains. Along the road, in addition to breathtaking views of the snow-capped Rockies, you can visit the Alpine Visitor Center – the National Park Service’s highest facility at 11,796 feet above sea level – and the Continental Divide at Milner Pass - the single point at which water that falls east will feed the Atlantic Ocean, and water that falls to the West will go on to the Pacific Ocean.