5:00am

Fri July 4, 2014
Environment

As RMNP Summer Visitation Peaks, Flood Damage Remains Visible

Visitors who flock to Rocky Mountain National Park over the July 4 weekend will still see damage to popular trails, roads and bridges from September's flooding.

The park saw damage to the Fall River area, Alluvial Fan area, Lumpy Ridge area, Twin Sisters area, Northfork, Wild Basin area and Bear Lake area. A full list of closed trailheads can be found here. RMNP has also compiled a map of flood damages to bridges and trails.

Right now, spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said the main priority for the park is replacing damaged bridges — not repairing hiking trails. 

“We’re going to be really assessing when and if we do repair damaged trails,” she said. “We’re keeping areas open. An area for instance like Twin Sisters received major damage because we had a landslide on the west side of twin sisters.”

A picture of Twin Sisters Trail taken right after September's flooding.
Credit Rocky Mountain National Park / National Park Service

The damage took out four switchbacks from a nearby trail. Patterson said the next steps for trail work include discussing which trails will get repaired.

“We’re leaving all of these areas open to the public to enjoy and also to learn. We’ve had a lot of visitors who have come to the park that want to go to the flood impacted areas — just the whole fascination of the force of water and where the water chose to go,” she said.

The sign at the West Alluvial Fan parking lot in RMNP.
Credit Rocky Mountain National Park

Some of the most significant damage is the northeast part of the park in the North Fork area. Damage to Old Fall River Road is also extensive and the road remains closed to car and bike traffic.

Repairs on Old Fall River Road are expected later this summer. Ultimately, Patterson said first-time visitors since September’s flooding need to realize that the park has changed.

“[People] need to go into the backcountry realizing that things might look a little different than the last time they were in particular areas of Rocky,” she said.