The Town of Estes Park’s fleet is poised to manage the snow and icy conditions brought by mountain winter weather. While many communities do not plow residential streets, the Town of Estes Park plows all of its approximately 225 residential streets within Town limits after emergency routes are clear. That means plowing approximately 59 miles of streets, 12.5 miles of sidewalks, 12 miles of trails, and 15 parking lots.
When sufficient snowfall or icy conditions exist, a snow removal team—comprised of employees from Public Works and other Town departments—is called into action. There are nine roadway routes and parking lots assigned to nine plow drivers; five routes for sidewalks and trails; and back-up drivers trained to plow when needed.
The fleet includes three skid steers; a utility vehicle; and a Toolcat each equipped with plows, a large front-end loader, and a pickup truck plow. Eight additional plow trucks (blue or white) are equipped with sand spreaders that place a diluted mixture of sand (85%) and Ice Slicer (15%) where needed for traction on hills and intersections. While this mixture does not achieve an aggressive “bare pavement” result, it is more cost-effective and kinder to the environment than placing 100% Ice Slicer on our streets. Follow-up sweeping of the surplus sand is performed in the spring.
Please see below for important information about snow removal in the Estes Park area.
Questions About Snow Plowing
Questions about snow plowing on weekdays (M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.): Contact the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department at 970-577-3587 or by email at email@example.com. Also during weekday hours, a member of the snow crew may occasionally be reached at 970-577-3777.
Questions about snow plowing after-hours (weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends): Contact Police Dispatch at 970-586-4000.
Prioritizing During or After a Snow Event
Access to hospitals and schools are the snow removal team’s first priority. Emergency routes include MacGregor Avenue, Big Horn Drive, Riverside Drive, Peak View Drive, Scott Avenue, and any other streets that must remain accessible for police or fire emergencies. When conditions warrant it necessary, emergency routes are cleared outside of roadway plowing hours.
US 34 (includes Elkhorn Avenue), US 36 (includes Moraine Avenue) and CO 7 are plowed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT; orange trucks). County roads and US 66 are plowed by the Larimer County Road and Bridge Department (yellow trucks).
- Help Us Help You: Resident & Property Owner Responsibilities
Snow removal involves the shared responsibilities of the Town's snow removal team, residents, and property owners:
Emergency routes. Access to hospitals and schools are the snow removal team’s first priority. Emergency routes include MacGregor Avenue, Big Horn Drive, Riverside Drive, Peak View Drive, Scott Avenue, and any other streets that must remain accessible for police or fire emergencies. When conditions warrant it necessary, emergency routes are cleared outside of roadway plowing hours.
Roadway plowing hours. While the timing of a snow event determines the service hours, roadway plowing typically begins between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Drivers strive to make a complete pass along each route in five hours, although this takes longer during dangerously slick conditions. Plows generally stop running by 3:30 p.m. This stop time allows drivers to go home and rest before returning to their routes.
Trail plowing hours. Town maintained trails and sidewalks are typically plowed between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Parking is prohibited on Town streets. This excludes spaces designated by signs or painted markings. Most neighborhood streets are too narrow to accommodate parking and two traffic lanes. Therefore, enforcement is elevated when plows begin clearing snow, and vehicles parked along narrow streets outside of marked parking spaces may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Private driveways and sidewalks. Plows must push snow to the roadway edge, which often causes a ridge of snow to be deposited in private driveways or on sidewalks. Because the Town’s snow removal team cannot remain productive when stopping to clear every private driveway and sidewalk, this task must remain the responsibility of property owners. The Town understands that this can be frustrating; know that your teamwork in clearing the snow piles from your walks and driveways is greatly appreciated. Residents who are unable to clear their own driveways are encouraged to contact local private contractors who provide this service.
Residential and business sidewalks. Property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses within 24 hours after the snowfall stops. By law, snow removed from any sidewalk or driveway may not be deposited into the roadway. Doing so can create dangerous conditions for motorists and negates the clearing work done by plow drivers.
Visibility for plow drivers. Snowplows are less maneuverable than other vehicles, and visibility is often limited for the plow driver. Motorists are reminded to be alert during winter weather conditions, use their vehicle headlights, and give the plows plenty of room to maneuver their way through the streets and safely apply the salt/sand.
- Accessibility to Mail Receptacles
According to Chapter 6 of the Postal Operations Manual:
Section 623.21: "The customer is responsible for keeping the approach to the mailbox clear to facilitate delivery (see 632.14). If the carrier continually experiences a problem in serving curbline boxes and where the customer is able to control access or on-street parking in front of his or her mailbox but does not take prompt corrective action after being properly notified, the postmaster may, with the approval of the district manager, withdraw delivery service."
Section 632.14: "The customer is responsible for keeping the approach to his or her mailbox clear to facilitate delivery. Where the approach to the mail receptacle located at the curb is temporarily blocked by a parked vehicle during normal delivery hours for the area, or snow or ice hampers the approach to the mailbox, the carrier normally dismounts to make delivery. If the carrier continually experiences a problem in serving curbline boxes and where the customer is able to control on-street parking in front of his or her mailbox but does not take prompt corrective action after being properly notified, the postmaster may, with the approval of the district manager, withdraw delivery service."