Popular Memorial Day mountain destinations not opening because of snow

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DENVER — Last year, most of the snow across Colorado had already melted by Memorial Day. It couldn’t be more different this year.

Popular destinations that usually open by Memorial Day weekend won’t this year and activity should be planned by elevation, with 10,000 being a good dividing line.

Above 10,000 feet, deep snowpack remains in place. And that’s not changing this weekend.

Plan on winter conditions, avoid steep terrain unless you’re experienced with avalanche assessment.

In many cases, summer trailheads are inaccessible and buried under snow, adding many miles to standard routes.

There also could be avalanche debris blocking trails.

Below 10,000 feet, melting snow this weekend will turn trails into a muddy mess. Check ahead for trail closures because of the mud.

That includes many popular lower-elevation trails and state parks in Jefferson, Boulder, Larimer and Douglas counties.

Anyone deciding to venture above 10,000 feet should be prepared and carry a lot of gear, including snowshoes, skis, Yak Trax, waterproof footwear, gaiters, warm jacket and pants, waterproof gloves, winter hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, map, compass, GPS, trekking poles, food and water.

Also, have an alternate Plan B.

Many campgrounds are experiencing delayed openings because of deep snow.

Popular high mountain passes also won’t open this weekend as snow removal continues.

  • Independence Pass: Delayed
  • Mount Evans Road: TBD
  • Maroon Bells/Maroon Creek Road: TBD
  • Trail Ridge Road: Delayed
  • Guanella Pass: TBD 

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