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Gazette Premium Content Trail Ridge Road opens after last-minute clean up

Associated Press Updated: May 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK — Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is open for the summer.

The road opened Friday after some last minute cleanup of ice that formed overnight. Melting snow is expected to continue freezing once the sun sets so the road could be closed at night through at least Monday.

Trail Ridge is the nation's highest continuously paved road and usually opens in time for Memorial Day weekend after weeks of snow clearing work.

This year, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson says snowplow operators reported drifts from 18 to 22 feet.

Independence Pass opened Thursday after workers cleared snow that reached up to between 8 and 12 feet deep. On Highway 82, the road connects Aspen to Leadville.

The road to the top of Mount Evans is scheduled to open Friday to Summit Lake, which is at 12,830 feet, according to The Denver Post. The Colorado Department of Transportation hopes to have the rest of the road to the 14,265-foot summit open in the next week.

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