DENVER (KDVR) — The iconic Independence Pass and Mount Evans scenic byways are open for business.
The two-lane, 12,095-foot pass is one of the highest-paved mountain passes in the country. It closes in early November and reopens around Memorial Day every year. It’s situated between Aspen and Twin Lakes and has some restrictions for use.
Colorado Department of Transportation crews conducted avalanche mitigation with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, cleared snow, fixed potholes and guardrails, and repainted the roadway.
Mount Evans Highway, the highest paved road in North America at 14,264 feet, was cleared throughout the month of May. Crews plowed and cleared snow and ice along the 15-mile highway from the gates at Echo Lake Lodge to the summit of Mount Evans.
The scenic byway requires a reservation through Recreation.gov., though, so make sure you make one before heading up.
Reservations are required if planning to park and visit one of the three developed sites -Mount Goliath Natural Area, Summit Lake Park, and Mount Evans Summit – between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
As anyone who has spent a change of seasons in Colorado knows, weather can change quite quickly. So CDOT says to know before you go and offers these tools to help:
- Road conditions and travel information: COtrip.org
- Download the COtrip Planner app: bit.ly/COtripapp
- Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COnewsalerts
- See scheduled construction lane closures: bit.ly/laneclosures
- Connect with @ColoradoDOT on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
CDOT maintains more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,400 bridges and 35 mountain passes.