Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park closed Thursday for the winter due to drifting snow, wind and freezing temperatures that make plowing and driving hazardous.
The road, which links Estes Park on the east side of the park to Grand Lake on the west side, climbs to 12,183 feet and is the highest continuous paved road in the country.
The Park Service will try to keep the road open to Many Parks Curve on the east side and to the Colorado River trailhead on the west, according to park Superintendent Vaughn Baker.
In each of the past 10 years, the road has closed for the winter between mid-October and early November, depending on the weather. It usually opens in late May but this year remained closed until June 6 due to deep snows.
Old Fall River Road closed Oct. 14. The one-way, unpaved route begins at the Endovalley picnic area, west of Estes Park, and ends at Fall River Pass at the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road at 11,798 feet.