Reopening of Big Thompson Canyon heralds the start of the summer season in Colorado
Flood-ravaged canyon between Estes Park, Loveland to open to public Thursday
LARIMER COUNTY — The start of summer comes to Big Thompson Canyon this week in the form of 380,000 cubic yards of blasted rock cleared out over the winter and the road to Estes Park — and the outdoor playground that surrounds it — open once again to the public.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, U.S. 34 west of Loveland will open for business for the first time since October, when it was closed to all traffic save for canyon residents so that crews could make major repairs to a road severely damaged by historic floods 3½ years ago.
The opening of the canyon leading to Rocky Mountain National Park just a day before Memorial Day weekend signifies an unofficial start to summer of sorts in Colorado, as residents and visitors put away skis and snowboards and pull out hiking boots, bicycles and fishing rods to take in what the state’s high country has to offer.
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