Grizzly Creek Fire Chelsea Self Post Independent AP

Photo Credit: Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP

According to a 1:44 PM announcement from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, Independence Pass has been closed indefinitely. The estimated timeframe for the closure is currently unknown.

While not included in the breaking news announcement, this is likely due to complications related to the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs. The fire has shut down a large stretch of I-70, resulting in much of the traffic, including many large trucks, using Independence Pass to travel this portion of the state instead. Two lanes, Independence Pass has several sections that are extremely narrow and flanked by drop-offs. According to the Aspen Daily News, a request was made to keep the pass closed following a temporary shutdown due to a stuck semi-truck this morning.

The nearby Grizzly Creek Fire has continued to grow, jumping I-70 in a spread to both sides of Glenwood Canyon. It is now at over 3,000 acres in size.

Independence Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass in Colorado that connects Twin Lakes to Aspen, Colorado. It is often used as an alternative to I-70 travel to the Aspen and Glenwood Springs area. With the closure in place, an hour-long drive between Aspen and Twin Lakes becomes 3 hours and 36 minutes through Leadville and Meredith.

This is a developing story.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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(1) comment


Took me over 8 hours to drive to Moab because of all the closures 😠

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