Photos: Rocky Mountain National Park slowly reopening after flood
"The bridge that the water used to go under is now clogged with rocks and debris, which has caused the water to change directions and find a new path downhill:" This description of the photo above can be found on the Facebook page of Rocky Mountain National Park, one of many Colorado attractions closed by the recent devastating floods. But yesterday's reopening of Highway 7, which once again allowed folks to visit Estes Park, also gave the park a chance to put out the welcome mat. But not everything's accessible yet, nor will it be for a while. Look below to see photos of the flood's impact on the area, complete with RMNP captions, followed by a news release revealing what's open and what's not.
"The Big Thompson River that flows through the Moraine Park meadow is bank full, as it continues to rain on September 15th 2013. It is mimicing the look it usually has during spring run-off."
"Up Valley at the Cub Lake TH you can see how wide the river really is. The water has damaged many trails and bridges through the Park."
"The swelling Big Thompson River seen from the first bridge on the Cub Lake trail." Continue for more photos of flooding at Rocky Mountain National Park and information about its incremental reopening.
"The Fall River is also full as it makes its way through Horseshoe Park."
"The Roaring River, that makes it way through the Alluvial Fan, has again changed flow through upper Horseshoe Park. The Endovalley Road has now been taken out by the changing direction of the water, and the sediment has stacked up creating a large wall of silt, sand and rocks."
"Water truly is a powerful force, and the Alluvial Fan area is a testament to this fact. It not only saw the Lawn Lake Flood of 1982, but now the great flood of 2013." Continue for more photos of flooding at Rocky Mountain National Park and information about its incremental reopening.
"The road has been damaged just before the second (western) parking lot for the Alluvial Fan. This is the road to access the Old Fall River Road."
"We are going to need some new signage within this area as it is now been affected by the 82' flood and the 13' flood. It came back once, and it will do it again!"
"As the Fall River continues to build force as it moves down valley towards town with all the extra water." Continue for more photos of flooding at Rocky Mountain National Park and information about its incremental reopening.
"The road into Aspenglen campground has been compromised by the flood waters, and it is unsafe to even walk on this bridge over the Fall River."
"There are several landslides occuring throughout the park, including this one near the Fall River Entrance."
"Big Thompson River raging with all the water under the bridge down the Bear Lake Road."
Rocky Mountain National Park news release:
Rocky Mountain National Park will begin to incrementally reopen. As conditions improve, additional road, trails and facilities will open. The following is a summary of the current situation:
Trail Ridge Road is open to both east and west bound visitor traffic. Since Highway 7 to Highway 72 to Hwy 119 is now open to all traffic, commercial traffic is once again prohibited on Trail Ridge Road. The town of Estes Park is once again open and welcoming visitors.
Entrance stations at Grand Lake, Fall River, and Beaver Meadows will all be open. No entrance fees will be charged at this time. Kawuneeche, Alpine, and Beaver Meadows Visitor Centers will be open. Fall River Visitor Center is closed for the winter.
On the west side of the park, the majority of trails are open for day use only. Please check trailhead signs for more information. Longer trails that cross the Continental Divide are open only to the Divide as trail travel to the east side is still closed. All trails on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park remain closed. As weather conditions improve, trails will be assessed for damage and slope stability. Of special note: Longs Peak, Wild Basin, Lily Lake, Lumpy Ridge, McGraw Ranch/Cow Creek, and their associated trails are CLOSED. Please help us focus on our recovery efforts by honoring these trail closures. And, remember -- large landslides have occurred because of the rain saturated soils.
All of Bear Lake Road is closed.
Upper Beaver Meadows Road remains closed.
The Fall River Road is open. Old Fall River Road is closed.
The Intermountain Incident Management Team and the staff of Rocky Mountain National Park would like to thank you for your support and patience as we continue to assess park conditions.
For Rocky Mountain National Park information, call the park's Information Office at 970-586-1206.
More from our News archive: "Video: Estes Park open to visitors again, Highway 7 restrictions lifted."
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