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Driving to RMNP from the East

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Driving to RMNP from the East

Postby MarkDidier » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:03 am

Headin' to RMNP in a few weeks and was curious which driving approach is easier right now due to road construction. Normally I come in from the north on 34 via Loveland, but was considering coming in from the south via 36. I talked to someone today that said there is a lot of construction on 36 that added a significant amount of time to his drive. I would be coming through this area very early AM (3-4 AM I hope).
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Re: Driving to RMNP from the East

Postby Bill Reed » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:26 pm

Hey Mark-Drove in on 34 on Weds and other than the usual slow driving tourists, it's all good. Didn't see any construction to speak of. You probably won't see too many tourists at 3 or 4 AM though. Haven't driven in on 36 since the flooding. CDOT is advising taking an alternate route.
Good travels!
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Re: Driving to RMNP from the East

Postby MarkDidier » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:47 pm

Bill - thanks for the info. I was thinking about maybe hitting the Indian Peaks area on our first day as opposed to Spectacle Lakes - so coming in 36 would make sense. I'll let you know what I finally decide - but if it is Indian Peaks I will more than likely head for Pawnee Pass.
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Re: Driving to RMNP from the East

Postby mtnjim » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:06 pm

I drove 36 from Estes to Lyons Wednesday afternoon. The road is fully paved now. There were 2 short one lane closures, less than 15 minutes waiting total. Under current conditions, you would have no delays at that time of day.

But work isn't near complete and "Phase 2" hasn't begun. According to an article in the Lyons paper, 36 will be closed for 8 days in "either July, August or September"...
So 36 is a minor nuisance at the moment but you'll need to check on conditions closer to your departure date since it will be closed again.

If you're going to the Brainard Lake area, going up the South Saint Vrain Canyon Hwy 7 out of Lyons will be a better route. Also the bridge on the Ypsilon trail hasn't been rebuilt yet so crossing the creek might be a nuisance. I have no idea what the NPS's schedule for that is. Easy enough to cross on a log above the bridge location currently.

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Re: Driving to RMNP from the East

Postby jaeger » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:16 pm

CDOT's website has an up-to-date construction schedule for the coming week, which is worth checking as your date approaches:

http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/floodrelatedprojects/us-36-lyons-to-estes
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