INDEPENDENCE PASS, Colo. — Colorado Department of Transportation crews were able to open the state’s two highest paved mountain pass roads Friday.
State Highway 82 over Independence Pass opened to traffic nearly two weeks earlier than normal.
Low snow pack and warm temperatures in central Colorado allowed crews to clear the snow from the high mountain pass.
It sits at 12,095 feet above sea level. The road allows drivers to get from Aspen to Leadville along the Lake and Pitkin county lines.
Crews try to open Independence Pass a few days before Memorial Day each year.
It’s the second highest paved mountain pass in Colorado. Only Cottonwood Pass in south-central Colorado at 12,126 feet is higher.
Crews were also able to get enough snow cleared from Cottonwood Pass to open it up to traffic Friday morning.
CDOT warned there could be temporary closures on both roads as weather conditions change.