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CDOT opens Independence Pass for the 2024 season


Crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation have reopened Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 for the season. Workers unlocked seasonal closure gates May 31 at noon. Both sides of the pass were reopened to motorists. In order to reopen the road for the 2024 season, crews conducted avalanche mitigation, cleared heavy snow from the winter and late spring storms, repaired a sinkhole sized five feet by seven feet, replaced a culvert, fixed potholes and guardrail, and repainted (striped) the roadway.

Like previous years, CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to perform avalanche mitigation before reopening.

Video file
Avalanche mitigation work. Courtesy CDOT.

CDOT reminds motorists that commercial and recreational vehicles 35 feet or longer are prohibited. The restriction is due to tight curves, steep inclines and narrow lanes on some sections of the pass, and applies to vehicles and trailers with a combined length of more than 35 feet. Motorists should plan for the restriction to be in place on CO 82 between Mile Point 47.2 (west side, near Aspen) and MP 84.2 (east side, near Twin Lakes/Leadville and about one mile west of the junction with US Highway 24).

Dates for reopening in previous years are:

  • June 1, 2020
  • May 27, 2021
  • May 26, 2022
  • May 25, 2023

Cracked or loose rock is common along CO 82 on Independence Pass and can develop due to regular and frequent freeze/thaw cycles in mountainous locations with year-round winter weather. Motorists and cyclists should check weather conditions prior to traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms can prompt closures or slow traffic. Real-time road conditions are available at