The Highest Paved State Highway Over CO’s Continental Divide Is Now Open
The highest paved state highway over Colorado's Continental Divide is now open for the summer.
As per a recent announcement from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Independence Pass - along with several other high mountain passes - are either officially open or are set to open for summer, and just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.
About Independence Pass
Located between Lake County and Pitkin County, the peak of Independence Pass is located 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and 19 miles east of Aspen, CO.
According to CDOT, this two-lane, 12,095-foot pass closes each year during the winter season for the safety of both those traveling as well as CDOT maintenance crews.
Independence Pass typically closes on or near Nov. 7 and almost always re-opens on the Thursday before Memorial Day each May.
What other Colorado mountain passes are now open for the summer?
As per CDOT, the following are current projected openings - and continued closures - for some of Colorado's other major seasonal roadways:
- CO 5 Mount Evans Road remains closed and will not open for Memorial Day weekend due to recent snow and wind conditions.
- Cottonwood Pass (Road 306) in Chaffee County west of Buena Vista is projected to open Friday, May 27.
- Guanella Pass (CR 381; CR 62) is projected to open on Friday, May 27.
- Kebler Pass (GCR 12) is open as of Wednesday, May 25.
- I-70 Glenwood Canyon recreation path remains closed from No Name (Exit 119) to the Dotsero trailhead (Exit 133).
- US 34 Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is closed with no estimated open date. For more information, visit the Rocky Mountain National Park official website.
CDOT is reminding those planning to take a drive this summer along Colorado's highest paved state highway that trucks and campers longer than 35 feet can’t go over Independence Pass, as the road is too narrow in many places and vehicles/trucks of that size won’t fit through the pass.
For more information regarding road conditions, openings and closures, visit cotrip.org.
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