According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, a natural slide on Independence Pass has destroyed a stretch of guardrail estimated at 300 feet long. This was discovered by crews working to have the pass open by noon on May 23rd.

Along with the damage to the guardrail, the crews are encountering a high-level of debris that is complicating their clean-up efforts. Avalanches throughout the winter have brought down many trees and rocks in the area. This debris poses problems related to the operation of road clearing equipment.

Tracy Trulove, of CDOT, says that this may delay the opening of the road for the first time in at least five years. It’s still up-in-the-air.

According to her, “if Mother Nature works with us,” the scheduled opening could be possible. Sunny skies and warm weather could soften the snow and make it easier to move.

For the most up-to-date information, check out the statewide travel alerts on

Shoutout to the crew that’s working hard to get the mountain pass open. Stay safe out there.

Independence Pass reaches a maximum altitude of 12,095 feet, connecting Aspen and Twin Lakes. It’s closed during the winter months of the year.

Leave a Reply

What We Believe

We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More