CDOT opens Independence Pass for the 2024 season

Travel Advisory

May 31, 2024 - 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 Friday, May 31, at noon. Both sides of the pass were reopened to motorists. In order to reopen the road for the 2024 season, crews conducted avalanche mitigation, cleared heavy snow from the winter and late spring storms, repaired a sinkhole sized five feet by seven feet, replaced a culvert, fixed potholes and guardrail, and repainted (striped) the roadway. Like previous years, CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to perform avalanche mitigation before reopening. Photos of video of the avalanche mitigation conducted on May 14 can be viewed in a media kit. More information about avalanche mitigation can be viewed in CDOT’s video titled CDOT Colorado Avalanche Operations.

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).

Dates for reopening in previous years are:

  • June 1, 2020
  • May 27, 2021
  • May 26, 2022
  • May 25, 2023

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. 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

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:

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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!