Do your Memorial Day Weekend plans include driving up, and perhaps over, a mountain? Well, you may have to change them.
A snowy winter and recent spring storms have been blessing for the state, erasing years worth of drought conditions. But it also has kept closed quintessentially high country roads that are usually open by Memorial Day.
Here’s a rundown:
Trail Ridge Road
Where is it? The connection between Estes Park and Grand Lake, through Rocky Mountain National Park, is the highest continuous road in the United States. In a state chock full of 14ers, it’s nice to have a road with maximum elevation of 12,183 feet.
Is it open? Nope. Snow plows are trying to clear it, but a park press release said it just keeps snowing. There’s no estimated opening date yet — though if you’re feeling up for it, you can bike or hike portions of the road.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Where is it? Echo Lake Park to the Mount Evans Summit, about 60 miles west of Denver.
Is it open? Not all of it. Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisa Schwantes said the road will open this weekend to Summit Lake Park, which is about 1,500 feet below the peak.
Where is it? This is the shortcut to Aspen from the Front Range, through Leadville and over the Continental Divide at 12,095 feet.
Is it open? Nah. Forget about it. Schwantes said plows are dealing with 5- to 12-foot high snow drifts and the constant threat of avalanches. “We’ve had an extraordinary year for snowpack,” she said. There’s no time frame yet to open the pass.
Courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation
Where is it? This road that connects Crested Butte to Buena Vista has been closed since 2017 — crews have repaved it and laid fiber-optic lines.
Is it open? Um, no. Wet, heavy snow is slowing construction work. Best case scenario, Gunnison County officials say, is a July 1 opening to one-way traffic.
Where is it? This dirt road connects Crested Butte to Paonia and the North Fork Valley. It’s well-known for its stands of Aspen trees.
Is it open? Nope. Schwantes confirmed snow will keep that road closed too. Local officials can’t yet estimate when it’ll be open either, the Crested Butte News reports.
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