Spring snowstorms delay opening of Mount Evans Highway this Memorial Day weekend

May 23, 2019

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY — Due to additional snowfall at Mount Evans, some as recently as this week, Mount Evans Highway (State Highway 5) will not be open for the Memorial Day weekend. Maintenance crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will continue to conduct plowing operations on the roadway, with a goal of partially opening the highway to Summit Lake by Wednesday, May 29th. The crews will work to open the remainder of the highway following that. All of this is weather permitting.   

Mount Evans Highway typically is opened to the summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet) for the summer on the Friday before Memorial Day. However, due to the multiple late spring snowfalls, maintenance crews will need to continue clearing the highway of snow and ice to ensure safe road conditions for drivers visiting Mount Evans.

CDOT crews have worked throughout the month of May clearing snow along the highway from the gates at Echo Lake Lodge to the summit of Mount Evans, which is the highest paved road in North America. The plowing process involves five different pieces of machinery to safely and efficiently clear the roadway of all snow and ice including a bull dozer, snow cat and snow blower. A behind the scenes video of this process is available at this link: https://youtu.be/g0nntLD-OIY.

Information regarding the opening and closing of seasonal roads can be found at all times at cotrip.org You can sign up for customized travel alerts via text and email on CDOT’s website. For more information about Mount Evans, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mountevans. You can also call the Clear Creek Ranger’s District at 303-567-4382 or stop by the Idaho Springs Visitor’s Center at 2060 Miner Street, east of downtown Idaho Springs.


The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

    Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

    Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

    Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

    Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

    Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

    Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

    Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

    Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

    Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

    Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

    Be patient!


To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.