CDOT opens Independence Pass for the 2022 season

News Release

May 26, 2022 - Northwestern Colorado - Vehicles that are 35 feet or longer still prohibited

Lake and Pitkin Counties – Crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation have reopened Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 for the season. Workers unlocked seasonal closure gates on Thursday afternoon at 12 p.m., reopening CO 82 on each side of the pass to vehicles. Approximately fifty vehicles were waiting on the west side of the pass at reopening time.

In order to reopen the road for the 2022 season, crews fixed potholes, cleared rockfall and repainted (striped) the roadway. Cracked or loose rock is common along CO 82 on Independence Pass and can develop due to regular and frequent freeze/thaw cycles in mountainous locations with year-round winter weather.

Like previous years, CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to perform avalanche mitigation before reopening. Avalanche mitigation work was light due to rapidly melting snow in April and May. View the photos of avalanche mitigation conducted on May 16 and 17.

CDOT reminds motorists that commercial and recreational vehicles 35 feet or longer are prohibited. The restriction is due to tight curves, steep inclines and narrow lanes on some sections of the pass, and applies to vehicles and trailers with a combined length of more than 35 feet. Motorists should plan for the restriction to be in place on CO 82 between Mile Point 47.2 (west side, near Aspen) and MP 84.2 (east side, near Twin Lakes/Leadville and about one mile west of the junction with US Highway 24).

Motorists and cyclists should check weather conditions prior to traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms can prompt closures or slow traffic. Real-time road conditions are available at

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