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Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

Springfield, il
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53 posts
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Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

I'm wondering how long the drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake is thru the RMNP....I've heard anywhere from 50 minutes to two hours. Also, is it a dangerous drive at night for someone who has never driven it? Thanks much!!!

Fort Collins...
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648 posts
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1. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

What you've heard is correct. It can be as quick as 50 minutes or as long as up to 2 hours. It all depends on weather and traffic. If you get stuck behind a really slow motorhome going 10 mph, it's going to take a while. Or if it starts raining or hailing, it's going to take a while. People also stop in the middle of the road to take pictures and that holds things up as well sometimes. But, if you manage to go during a time where there isn't too much traffic (like a weekday), then the drive is pretty quick!

If you are planning on driving it at night when there is absolutely no light, then it could be somewhat dangerous if you're not used to driving on tight mountain roads in the dark. The speed limit is very slow through most of the curvy sections, so you'll most likely be going slow enough that it won't really be too much of a problem. Just take you time and you won't have a problem. Hope this helps! =)

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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2. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

If you have never driven on Trail Ridge Road at night, I would not recommend it. I drove from Grand Lake to Estes Park on July 3rd, in the morning. It was raining hard and just before the visitor's center at the top visibility was very limited for about 5 miles. I have driven the road many times and had never experienced these weather conditons...unless the road was about to be closed.

Since you can't predict the weather, I would think twice before driving it at night.

~SRQgirl (30 years.. RMNP visitor)

Breckenridge...
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3. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

We made that drive in the afternoon about 2 weeks ago. There is quite of bit of road resurfacing work going on, especially on the second part of the drive through RMNP. Check with the info stations and allow extra time.

Kansas
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4. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

I agree night driving over the top can be tough, especially to us not used to mountain driving. Even if its not raining, the road gets damp from the evening dew. But it is a beautiful view. Are wanting to see the park on the way to somewhere else? Or are you going to Grand lake? If trying to get to Grand Lake, it may be easier to go around and thru Denver on I-70 and then go thru Winter park to Grand Lake.

Estes Park
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5. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

The one thing that no one seems to have mentioned is that this is one of the most beautiful drives anywhere in the world. Do it during daylight hours and take your time. It is the highest continuous auto road in the US and the views are breathtaking. It is a trip not to be missed.

A daylight drive is not dangerous, you'll do fine.

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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6. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

Bronc,

You are so right...the most important point. Every turn is a different view..not to be missed.

~SRQgirl

7. Re: Drive from Estes Park to Grand Lake

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