Several Colorado mountain passes opening in time for Memorial Day weekend

Rocky Mountain National Park from the Alpine Visitor Center around 1 p.m. Tuesday. / Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park from the Alpine Visitor Center around 1 p.m. Tuesday. / Rocky Mountain National Park

ASPEN, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation is aiming to open several seasonal mountain passes in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Crews have been working for about a month to prepare Independence Pass, which connects Twin Lakes and Aspen. Every spring, they clear avalanche slide paths, clear snow, ice, and other debris from the road, repair signs and guardrails, patch potholes, trim trees and brush, stripe the highway, and perform other necessary maintenance work while the highway is closed. Independence Pass is scheduled to open for the season at noon Thursday.

Mount Evans Road, which starts near Idaho Springs and takes drivers to the summit of 14,265-foot Mount Evans, and Guanella Pass, which is between Grant and Georgetown, are both scheduled to open Friday.

It’s unknown whether Trail Ridge Road, which runs through Rocky Mountain National Park, will open in time for the weekend. Travelers are encouraged to call 970-586-1222 for updates.

Kebler Pass, which is just west of Crested Butte, will not reopen for Memorial Day weekend. Officials are working toward an early June opening.

Cottonwood Pass, which connects Buena Vista and Crested Butte, is expected to remain closed for the entire summer. Crews are performing roadway improvements, including paving the west side of the pass.

Motorists are encouraged to check conditions before traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms can make them treacherous. Get the latest updates by calling 511 or visiting cotrip.org.

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