Vail Pass Rest Area Reconstruction

About the Project:

The purpose of the Vail Pass Rest Area replacement is to improve the existing rest area facilities to increase restroom user capacity, update the existing drinking water treatment system in accordance with health department criteria, increase parking capacity for all users and, improve traffic circulation, accessibility, safety, and connectivity at the site. Improvements will also address winter maintenance operational issues and increase capacity for maintenance equipment storage and snow storage on site. The project is needed too:

  • Update the restroom facilities to meet current and future capacity needs
  • Replace the existing drinking water system with a new reliable system to meet the current and future volume of use
  • Increase parking capacity for users
  • Address the current ingress and egress traffic pattern to improve user safety, circulation, and accessibility to the rest area, other connecting roads, and trails for all users
  • Improve winter maintenance operations by adding snow and equipment storage

Project Facts

  • Cost: $11.5 Million
  • Contractor:  Pending
  • Timeline: May - November 2022
  • Location: I-70 Vail Pass Rest Area

Work Schedule

  • To be determined

Traffic Impacts

  • The Vail Pass Rest Area will temporarily close starting May 2. The closure will allow CDOT and contractor crews to demolish and reconstruct the rest area building, as well as improve access roads and parking facilities. The new facility is designed to meet the high demand for services at the top of Vail Pass. Motorists should anticipate the rest area will remain closed through October 2023. Drivers will still be able to use exit 190 (Vail Pass), but there will not be restroom facilities available. CDOT encourages motorists to use other rest areas nearby, including the Gateway Visitor Center in Georgetown and the Edwards Rest Area in Edwards. Motorists should anticipate rest area closures in Glenwood Canyon if there is rain in the forecast.
  • Backcountry recreation access from the rest area is popular on Vail Pass. During the rest area closure, there will continue to be recreation access to adjacent National Forest lands, including Shrine Pass Road, Black Lakes Road, Wilder Gulch Trail and the paved Vail Pass Recreation Path. There will be limited parking. Click here for more information about backcountry recreation in this area.
  • The Vail Pass Recreation Path will remain open this summer. Users should anticipate defined recreational path access through the rest area site, as well as a detour on the path from Mile Points 185.5 to 187, located on the west side of the pass. The detour is necessary as crews make safety improvements to the recreation path included in the West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project. More information about the recreation path detour and road project can be found here. Construction impacts to the trail will be minimized whenever possible.