Independence Pass Open for the Season

Travel Advisory

June 3, 2020 - Northwestern Colorado - Commercial and recreational vehicles 35 feet or longer still prohibited


LAKE & PITKIN COUNTIES – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 is open for the season. Approximately 65 vehicles were lined up at the Pitkin County gate on Monday, June 1, when Colorado Department of Transportation crews opened the gates on CO 82. Motorists, cyclists and other travelers will benefit from a smooth new driving surface. CDOT crews paved two sections of the roadway west of the Pass, where CO 82 narrows to a single lane. The work was completed in late May, after the roadway was cleared of snow.

Like previous years, CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to perform avalanche mitigation in recent weeks, clearing slide paths that can impact the roadway. During paving and avalanche mitigation work, crews followed social distancing and face covering guidelines whenever possible, in compliance with health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite.Due to tight curves, steep inclines and narrow lanes on some sections of the pass, commercial and recreational vehicles 35 feet or longer are prohibited. This includes vehicles and trailers  with a combined length of more than 35 feet. These pass restrictions lie between Mile Point 47.2 (Aspen side) and MP 84.2 (Leadville/Twin Lakes side, about one mile west of the junction with US 24).

Motorists and cyclists are reminded to always check conditions prior to traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms can prompt closures or slow traffic.

Indpendence Pass Paving side view

Independence Pass Paving

2020 Avalanche Mitigation on Independence Pass


Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:


Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, construction continues on CDOT projects with social distancing and other health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO and practice social distancing, wear face masks, stay at home when possible, and avoid nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.


In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative 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 inter-regional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s multimodal mobility options.