Niwot Ridge Top is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.741m (12,273ft) above the sea level, located in Boulder County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.
The road to the summit, located in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is gravel, rocky, tippy and bumpy at times. Great trail for experienced wheelers. The road-trail rises steadily up the south-side of the ridge. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Along the way there are several weather and research stations. 4x4 vehicle required. Stay away if you're scared of heights. Expect a trail pretty steep. Wet conditions may make for tough driving along the muddy road. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card! The view from the top of Niwot Ridge has to be one of the best views of the Indian Peaks that you can get with great views across the open tundra and valley below.
With such a high summit altitude the road can be impassable anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. This road is usually closed from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Expect cooler temperatures, strong sun, and wind in this completely exposed environment.
This road is actually closed for recreational use, as it traverses past research equipment monitoring air quality, and the US Forest Service has restricted access on it for the past 20 years.
Pic&video: Alexander Dean