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Snow this week.

Harrisburg, South...
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Snow this week.

My husband and are are arriving in Ft. Collins on Wed for 3 days. On Thurs we plan to drive to Estes Park and spend the day there and in RMNP, driving back to Ft. Collins late afternoon.

We have also booked a jeep tour. Now I see that the forecast is for 8-10 inches of snow on Thursday, with a high of 22 degrees.

We live in South Dakota, and are used to cold and snow, and to driving in snow, however, we have never driven in the mountains when it is snowing.

For those of you in the area, would you recommend that we change our plans? We are on a tight road trip schedule, and Thursday is really the only day we'd be able to make it to RMNP.

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Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
South Dakota
South Dakota
United States
North Carolina
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1. Re: Snow this week.

Im hoping for some responses too since we are arriving tomorrow and Thursday is the only day we can go to RMNP. I don't mind the snow and cold but wanted to at least do 1 hike to a lake.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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2. Re: Snow this week.

The weather varies depending on whether you are talking about Estes Park weather or RMNP weather. Because of various factors including elevation, the weather in RMNP depends on where you are. I find that NOAA/National Weather Service is a more reliable source.

Estes Park weather

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

RMNP Bear Lake area weather

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

RMNP Moraine Park area weather

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

It was warm and sunny this morning in RMNP and Estes Park. I just left there. Road conditions should not be a real problem on Thursday. The roadbeds are warm and the only area(s) where there might be accumulations on the roads themselves would be the switchbacks on the way to Bear Lake (very end of that road) or along Trail Ridge Road beyond Many Parks Curve. Trail Ridge Road is currently open as far as Rainbow Curve but the park will move that back to Many Parks Curve if road conditions dictate that they do so.

With the current weather forecast, the real issue in my opinion is that the mountain views will be obscured. With these fronts, the day will be quite gray with low hanging clouds, fog and moisture and you may not even know there are mountains in RMNP. Wet spring snow flocks the trees and coats everything so it is quite pretty but your views will be more intimate views as opposed to the expansive views for which RMNP is known. You will be able to see lakes, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. With waterproof shoes and waterproof clothing, you will easily be able to walk around both Lily Lake and Sprague Lake and to Horseshoe Falls at the Alluvial Fan. At Bear Lake and beyond to Dream or Emerald Lake, you will either need traction devices (Yaktrax or microspikes) or snowshoes. You can rent these from Estes Park Mountain Shop, Warming House, Kirk's Mountain Adventures or Hiking Hut.

As for the jeep tour, they can not drive on any road inside RMNP that you can not drive yourself. The reasons to take a jeep tour of RMNP are 1) for educational information from your guide about the wildlife, flora and fauna, 2) because you don't want to do the driving and/or 3) you have not researched your trip to RMNP and don't know what your options are.

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Bear Lake
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Estes Park Mountain Shop
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Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: Snow this week.

For your trip to and from Estes Park, you can check road conditions at www.cotrip.org at any time and even see the roads in many locations using the live webcams on the interactive road conditions map.

Rangers usually post road condition updates for RMNP on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/rockynps?lang=en

Edited: 17 May 2017, 07:41
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Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: Snow this week.

As the weather forecast has continued to evolve, it is not looking favorable for a trip to RMNP on Thursday. Initially, local meteorologists were not predicting significant accumulating snow below 9000 ft. on Thursday. On tonight's forecast, they have lowered that prediction to 7000 ft. Estes Park sits at 7,522 ft. NOAA has increased the snow totals from what they were predicting earlier today and there is a chance that the low pressure system could stall over the southeastern part of Colorado. If that happens, the predicted snow totals will be even higher. While I don't think you would have problems getting to Estes Park on Thursday, conditions in RMNP will limit what you can see and do there. As the temperature drops on Thursday, you might run into some icy sections along highway 36 on your way back to Fort Collins or back to Denver.

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Estes Park
Estes Park
Colorado
Colorado
Colorado
United States
Denver
Denver
Colorado
Colorado
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5. Re: Snow this week.

Agree with fv1989.

Here's the Winter Storm Warning information estesparkweather.net/weather_forecast.php…

6. Re: Snow this week.

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