Aspen in shade near Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park [Photo: Daniel Mayer (Mav)]

 

This is the time of year that thousands of people typically to head Rocky Mountain National Park, to check out the changing colors and watch herds of elk congregate in grassy meadows.  

But it’s not a typical year.  Record floods have damaged park roads and trails, and nearly crippled the town of Estes Park, the most popular gateway to the national park.  Trail Ridge Road, usually a scenic tourist attraction, is now a critical supply route.  Spokeswoman Kyle Patterson says that for now, Colorado’s most-visited national park is closed.