We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

From Cheyenne to Denver

Which Denver hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Lisarow, Australia
Level Contributor
27 posts
35 reviews
Save Topic
From Cheyenne to Denver

My husband and I will be driving from Cheyenne to Denver in May this year. We should be leaving Cheyenne either 14 or 15 May and would like to travel along the I25/US87 until Loveland where we will head West along US34 to Estes Park. We fly out of Denver around lunchtime 20 May.

Firstly I've noticed during my research that "this road may be seasonally closed". I was wondering if this is too early in May for the road to be open and alternatively if it might or might not be open at this time how do we check. Also we have hired a 4 wheel drive but as we are more used to going to the beach than the snow we have only driven in snow on a couple of occasions.

Secondly we are from Australia close to Sydney where our altitude is about 70ft above sea level. We will have travelled through Salt Lake City; Jackson Hole; Yellowstone; Billings; and South Dakota prior to departing from Cheyenne so we will have had a couple of weeks exposure to higher altitude than we are normally used to. I notice that US34 (is this Trail Ridge Road?) is higher than the 8000 ft which supposedly is safe for many without any symptoms of altitude sickness. I've found some organised tours that seem to follow this route too so my question is are we asking for trouble to try this route. Would it be safer to make our way south towards Denver and approach Estes Park from the South?

I don't wish to seem completely paranoid but as the tallest mountain in Australia is only 7310ft altitude sickness is not something I've ever worried about before. I have read as much as I can to be prepared and won't be hiking at all in high altitudes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Golden, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,225 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: From Cheyenne to Denver

Trail Ridge Road is scheduled to open for thru traffic about May 25, according to this park web site nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/road_status.htm but you still can drive up to the point where the road is closed and it is still beautiful. I saw on the local tv news tonight that the plowing is currently in progress.

Given your route, you should be acclimated to higher elevations by the time you get to Estes Park. Yellowstone Park itself is about 8000 feet. The route you have chosen should be fine.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
17,515 posts
403 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: From Cheyenne to Denver

As noted, you shouldn't have any problems at all. Your entire trip is at elevation and short of getting out of the car at the top of Trail Ridge Road and running, you won't notice it by that time.

Definitely a low snow year but still your dates are a bit early to be overly optimistic about it being open. I think last year it was June 3, but it was also a big snow year. Here's a fun photo from last year:

http://www.rmnp.com/

In any case, as noted, you can still get up quite a ways and it's worth the trip up. In the rare event that it did open all the way through, you can go over and loop back to Denver via Berthoud Pass on US40 to I-70.

Have fun.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
9,849 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: From Cheyenne to Denver

Trail Ridge Road has been open to Rainbow Curve (one brief closure) since April 8. Rainbow Curve is 12 miles from the east entrance to RMNP at an elevation of 10,829 ft. Highway 34 is not Trail Ridge Road until you get into RMNP. There is no snow on the road.

From the I-25/Highway 34 intersection, hwy 34 goes through the city of Loveland until it reaches the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon. The drive through the canyon to Estes Park is very beautiful and dramatic. Big horn sheep are frequently spotted in the canyon. About 4 miles from the start of the canyon, there is a very nice city park on the right. Look for the bright yellow pedestrian crossing signs. For great views and photo ops of Big Thompson River, make a stop at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park.

I agree with the others about your not needing to be overly stressed about altitude sickness. In a year, 3.3 million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park. I would guess that 99% never experience any major symptoms of altitude sickness. Some preexisting health problems are aggravated by altitude. Follow the basic rules--stay hydrated by drinking extra water (almost no yellow in the toilet), avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine, avoid very heavy meals, consider taking a baby aspirin (81mg) daily provided this does not interfere with any prescriptions you may be taking (consult your doctor if in doubt).

Lisarow, Australia
Level Contributor
27 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: From Cheyenne to Denver

Thank you everyone for your help and advice. I'm feeling much happier about the altitude now. Also thanks for the national parks website; the fabulous photo and the hints on our trip in from Loveland.

Edited: 22 April 2012, 12:30
5. Re: From Cheyenne to Denver

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2013, 23:16