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OURAY COUNTY, Colo. — Red Mountain Pass along U.S. 550 is closed while crews work to remove an “unprecedented” amount of snow and debris from avalanches, the Colorado Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Clearing snow on U.S. 550 following an avalanche. Credit: CDOT

CDOT said that several avalanches created piles of snow up to 30 feet deep in some areas of the highway. There is also “an extensive amount” of debris, limbs and trees that need to be cleared from the road.

About 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, CDOT said via Facebook that Red Mountain Pass would be closed “until further notice.” The agency did not provide an estimate for when the highway will reopen.

Trees on U.S. 550 following an avalanche. Credit: CDOT

Equipment has been brought in from other areas to help clear the snow and debris.

A CDOT spokesperson said the avalanches Tuesday were both natural and CDOT-triggered.

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