Road trip guide: Niwot Ridge

Niwot Ridge is an alpine tundra at an elevation of 3.741m (12,273ft) above the sea level, located in the heart of the Indian Peaks, in Boulder County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest roads of Colorado.

Niwot Ridge Top

Set high on the Front Range of the southern Rocky Mountains, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. The road-trail rises steadily up the south-side of the ridge. Along the way there are several weather and research stations. 4x4 vehicle required. 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. Located north-west of Denver in north-central Colorado, 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. 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