The Rocky Mountain National Park road crew was hard at work 2 weeks ago, and have been for the past month, in order to open Trail Ridge Road in time for Memorial Day.

The annual efforts to clean the mountain highway begin in April, where road crews start on the west side of Estes Park and the east side of Grand Lake, gradually working to meet in the middle at the Alpine Visitor Center. Certain snow drifts were reported at over 20 feet tall, but it should all be melted by mid-July.

(Photo Credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

Elevations reach 12,183 feet, making Trail Ridge Road the highest continuous paved highway in the United States. Eleven miles of the road are above tree line, and offer mountains views to the visitors that travel it from around the world.

Plow operators use machinery to cut through the snow packs and repeat the process daily, as fresh snow continues to fall and wind blows drifts back over previously cleared sections from the day before...

We have the storming coming in pretty regularly it seems on the weekends and filling those drifts back in, sometimes overnight,” said Chuck Stalker, the park’s roads and auto shop supervisor.

Our snow plow operators are amazing folks,” said Rocky Mountain National Park Public Affairs Officer Kyle Patterson. “They know they are going to be plowing the same section over and over again. They know what it takes to open the road. They know what it means to the public to be able to access this road.

For people who live in Grand Lake, Trail Ridge Road is essential; it is their only access to Estes Park.

(Credit: CDOT)

Here are the conditions you can expect from opening day on Saturday, May 28th, 2016. If you're planning on making the drive, bring plenty of snacks, beverages and car-games ready - heavy traffic due to many other people making the trek could be a factor worth considering...