Independence Pass. Photo Credit: blewulis (iStock).

Independence Pass. Photo Credit: blewulis (iStock).

UPDATE: A Facebook post made round 5 PM by the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office stated that Independence Pass is no longer showing as open on, Google Maps, and Apple Maps as a means of preventing I-70 traffic from using the route as a detour. According to authorities, the highway is open to local traffic.

According to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, Independence Pass has been closed by the Colorado Department of Transportation for mudslide clean-up. The sheriff's office used the alert to again remind people attempting to pass through Glenwood Canyon that the alternate route to be used travels highways. They asked the public specifically not to use Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass, and McClure Pass.

The Independence Pass closure is in place from mile markers 47 to 72, with the road typically connecting Aspen to the Twin Lakes area.

Colorado State Patrol chimed into the conversation to remind their Twitter followers that they should stick to official detours when traveling in Colorado.

"Avoid the temptation of taking mountain passes, county roads, or anything other than designated roadways designed for normal volumes of traffic. Your life is worth a lot more than saving sometime," reads a statement from their organization.

Not only are backroads more dangerous due to their remote nature and rough terrain, they can also become clogged easily, resulting in long term issues should anything stop traffic flow. These roads can also get more complicated quickly, not always made for all vehicles to travel. 

With I-70 through Glenwood Canyon closed for the foreseeable future, many travelers are on the hunt for shortcuts that may help them skip a four-hour detour that is recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation. That being said, as many Coloradans already know, just because a mountain road can be found on a map, doesn't mean it's passable by all vehicles. It's also worth noting that many of these mountain roads can't handle much traffic well.

Travelers are advised to avoid taking detours aside from the one recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation. This detour utilizes Colorado 13, Colorado 40, and Colorado 9, traveling through Meeker, Steamboat Springs, and Kremmling.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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