US 160 Wolf Creek Pass & US 550 mountain corridor scheduled to close

Winter Travel Alert

February 6, 2024 - Southwestern Colorado - Winter storm system brings potential for additional highway closures

Southwest Colorado - The Colorado Department of Transportation will implement a safety closure at 10 p.m. this evening for US Highway 550 north of Purgatory ski area to Ouray, due to adverse weather conditions and high avalanche danger. The corridor is expected to remain closed through the evening and crews will begin snow clearing operations Wednesday morning. The exact time of reopening is not known.

Additionally, CDOT will perform critical winter maintenance operations on US Highway 160 Wolf Creek Pass beginning at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7. Motorists should plan for the closure to remain in place for much of the morning. Crews will work swiftly and safely to complete winter maintenance operations however, the exact time of reopening is not known.

Expected snow accumulations and strong winds are forecasted to increase avalanche danger on multiple southwest mountain passes this week. Travelers can expect additional safety and maintenance closures throughout the duration of this storm and are urged to check for the most current highway updates.

US 550 Mountain Corridor, safety closure begins at 10 p.m. February 6

Motorists traveling Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain Passes between Durango and Ouray will encounter closed gates due to hazardous travel conditions. Do not attempt to bypass the closed gates.

  • South Closure Point: Cascade Creek (Mile Point 53), between Purgatory Ski Resort and Silverton
  • North Closure Point: Ouray (Mile Point 92), between Ouray and Ironton

US 160 Wolf Creek Pass, closure begins at 5:30 a.m. February 7

Motorists traveling between Pagosa Springs and South Fork will encounter full stops for most of the morning. Motorists are urged to allow for extra travel time or seek alternate routes.

  • West Closure Point: Treasure Falls (Mile Point 157), 13 miles east of Pagosa Springs
  • East Closure Point: Wolf Creek Pass Ski Area (Mile Point 167), 19 miles west of South Fork
Road Closed Graphic
US 160 Wolf Creek Pass & US 550 mountain corridor are scheduled to close due to adverse weather conditions

Winter Travel Tips for Motorists

  • Avoid or limit driving during the brunt of the storm. Many areas of the state will experience pavement impacts and blowing snow due to strong winds.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • If you plan to travel, know before you go by checking out the latest weather conditions and visiting for road conditions (see info sources below).
  • Make sure your vehicle is winter ready with the appropriate tires for the weather and have a snow emergency kit.
  • Once you are out on the road, take it slow, no sudden stops and leave plenty of following distance.
  • Give plows space! Stay back three to four car lengths from snow plows.

Safety Closures

A safety closure is a precaution taken during inclement weather to reduce the probability of traffic incidents, increased congestion or other safety-related factors. During a safety closure, traffic may be stopped on the interstate, turned around or directed to an exit. Safety closures help decrease delay times, and, above all, keep travelers safe.

Chain and Traction Laws

When weather conditions warrant, CDOT will activate the Traction Law. If weather conditions deteriorate, CDOT will activate Chain Laws for passenger and commercial vehicles. Motorists will be alerted to an active Traction or Chain Law by highway signage, and traffic/roadway condition alerts. For more information on the Traction Law and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit For more information on the Commercial Vehicle Chain Law requirements, visit To learn more and view helpful tips for winter driving, visit and COtrip Planner app

Motorists are urged to visit and download the COtrip Planner app ahead of traveling. Motorists are now able to sign up for travel alerts through to see if there are any highway closures or impacts along their favorite routes. The COtrip Planner app also offers a “Trip Planner” feature that allows motorists to map out their routes and receive updates about road closures or incidents along the way. Motorists can turn on the “Hands-Free, Eyes Free” feature to receive these alerts via voice notifications and avoid routes with impacts.

CDOT is also pleased to offer motorists the opportunity to track CDOT snow plows on the app and website, and can even follow some of our “celebrity” plows that were named by elementary school students last year. Using the snow plow tracker allows motorists to see where our plows have been and even see what the road conditions look like by viewing the cameras in the area of the plows. CDOT plows have thousands of miles of roadway to maintain, so motorists are asked to please be patient and are reminded to never pass a plow on the right or while in echelon formation. It is always safer to stay behind a plow.

Know Before You Go

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