Multiple closures scheduled for southwest mountain passes tomorrow

Travel Advisory

February 14. 2023 - Southwestern Colorado - US 160 Wolf Creek Pass, US 550 Mountain Corridor, US 50 Monarch Pass and CO 145 Lizard Head Pass set to close Wednesday, Feb. 15

Southwest & South-Central Colorado ― The National Weather Service Grand Junction forecast predicts several inches of snow through Friday for southwest Colorado’s mountain corridors. To decrease the chances of avalanche danger along high mountain passes, the Colorado Department of Transportation will conduct winter maintenance operations on several highways.

Expected Snowfall - Official National Weather Service Forecast in Grand Junction

US 160 Wolf Creek Pass east of Pagosa Springs

US 160 Wolf Creek Pass will close tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. so that crews can perform winter maintenance operations. Westbound traffic will be stopped just west of the ski area at the pass summit (MP 167) and eastbound traffic will be stopped near Treasure Falls (MP 157). Do not attempt to bypass the closed gates. Maintenance operations will last for much of the morning, the exact time of reopening the highway is not known.

US 550 Mountain Corridor between Durango and Ouray

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, winter maintenance operations are planned for Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass and Red Mountain Pass. Crews will make an effort to allow traffic through intermittently however, closures along the US 550 mountain corridor will last the majority of the day.

US 50 Monarch Pass between Gunnison and Poncha Springs

US 50 Monarch Pass has two potential winter operations scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 pm on Wednesday. Both closures could last up to 3 hours depending on weather conditions. Westbound traffic will be stopped near the town of Monarch (MP 205) and eastbound traffic will be stopped west of Monarch Ski Resort (MP 200).

CO 145 Lizard Head Pass between Rico and Ophir

CO 145 will be closed at several locations between the towns of Rico and Ophir (MP 48 - MP 65) for much of Wednesday. Crews will attempt to allow traffic through periodically as the winter maintenance operations allow. There are no estimated delay times as they are dependent on weather conditions.

With significant snow accumulations and high winds forecasted for the area, travelers should be aware that additional maintenance work and safety closures may be implemented on many southwest Colorado highways for the remainder of the week. Visit for the latest information on road closures and conditions.

Know Before You Go

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:

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

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!

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