Rocky Mountain National Park Rescues Driver Stuck 500 Feet Down Steep Slope

by Megan Molseed

One section of the Rocky Mountain National Park was closed recently as officials work to extract a vehicle that was stuck in a very dangerous situation.

The shutdown occurred when Rocky Mountain National Park staff and the area tow truck staff were called to help a vehicle on a section of Trail Ridge Road. The crews and officials were called to the area after a vehicle drove 500 feet off the designated Trail Ridge Road area. The vehicle sat on a dangerous 500-foot slope waiting for rescue, the National Parks Service reports.

Park Officials Are Called To The Aid Of A Vehicle That Had Gone Off-Road In Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park

On Thursday, September 1, Rocky Mountain National Park officials received a call from a visitor at about 8:50 p.m. This caller reported seeing a vehicle “off-road” along the Trail Ridge Road section of the Colorado park.

As officials responded to the call, national park officials discovered a small SUV. The SUV had just one occupant when it drove off the road, just east of the Gore Range Overlook. As the SUV went off the road, it traveled about 500 feet before coming to rest on a steep slope. Park officials closed down the park along Trail Ridge Road for two hours while rescues were underway. Also responding to the call to assist park officials was the Estes Valley Fire Protection District.

The Vehicle’s Occupant Was Able To Walk Up The Steep Slope With The Assistance Of Rescuers

As rescuers came to the aid of the stranded SUV, they discovered the vehicle’s single occupant, a 54-year-old Florida man. The man was able to walk up from the SUV with the help of the responding rescuers. The occupant was then transported out of the Rocky Mountain National Park by the Estes Park Health ambulance.

Officials Temporarily Close The Park To Extract The SUV From The Area

On the morning of Friday, September 2, officials closed the Trail Ridge Road area of the part again for around four hours. This closing came as the park staff and a local towing company worked tirelessly to extract the SUV from the steep slope. As well as all debris created during the event.

“In addition to the park’s Search and Rescue team and law enforcement staff, we would like to thank partner agencies who provided key support on this incident,” reads a statement from National Park Officials in connection with the incident and rescue efforts.

“Including the Estes Valley Fire Protection District,” the statement says. “And Estes Park Health.”

The incident remains under investigation. However, no further information is available at the time of this writing.