CDOT announces important travel information for southwest Colorado

Travel Advisory

January 2, 2023 - Southwestern Colorado - Winter travel alert

With the prolonged storm system expected to remain in the area, travelers should be aware that additional maintenance work and safety closures may be implemented on many southwest Colorado highways over the next few days. Visit for the latest information on road closures and conditions.

US 550 north of Durango

  • The US 550 mountain corridor between Purgatory and Ouray has been closed to ensure safety for motorists. The safety closure was implemented overnight due to adverse weather and high avalanche danger on Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain passes. It is not known when the corridor will reopen. Northbound travelers will encounter a closed gate just north of Purgatory, near Cascade Creek (MP 52). Southbound travelers will encounter a closed gate just south of Ouray (MP 91). Do not attempt to bypass the closed gates.

US 160 Wolf Creek Pass east of Pagosa Springs

  • US 160 Wolf Creek Pass is closed overnight due to adverse weather and high avalanche danger. Westbound traffic will be stopped just west of the South Fork (MP 184) and eastbound traffic will be stopped near Treasure Falls (MP 157). Do not attempt to bypass the closed gates. There is no estimated time of reopening the highway.

CO 145 Lizard Head Pass south of Telluride

  • CDOT will perform winter maintenance operations on CO 145 Lizard Head Pass this morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. Northbound travelers will be stopped just north of Rico (MP 49). Southbound travelers will encounter either of two closures, one three miles north of Rico (MP 50) or one near Ophir and Trout Lake (MP 61). Work is expected to take place for much of the morning. The exact time of reopening is unknown.

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!

Download the COtrip App!

The new FREE COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!