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ASPEN, Colo. — Officials say the road to a mountain scenic area near Aspen will likely open later than usually after a winter of heavy snow and avalanches.

The Aspen Times reported Thursday that Pitkin County public works officials expect that the road to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area will not be open by the May 15 target date.

Aspen-Sopris Ranger District recreation manager Shelly Grail says the snowy conditions could discourage early visitors to the area, but most people don’t visit until the late summer and fall.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates about 320,000 people visit the Maroon Lake area each year.