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The highest paved Colorado state highway over the Continental Divide reopens

Some Colorado mountain passes are reopening while others remain closed ahead of the holiday weekend.

LAKE COUNTY, Colorado — Independence Pass and several other high mountain passes are opening for the season in time for the Memorial Day weekend. 

Independence Pass open

The Colorado Department of Transportation said Highway 82 over Independence Pass is open as of noon Thursday. 

Independence Pass travels through 32 miles of mountainous terrain with the summit reaching an elevation of 12,095 feet. CDOT said less snow on the pass made clearing the road easier this year than in the past.

The pass is a crucial part of summer travel in the Colorado mountains. CDOT said the pass has gotten busier as a detour with more closures on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. CDOT is reminding the public that trucks and campers longer than 35 feet can’t go over Independence Pass — it’s too narrow in many places and they won’t fit.

Located between Lake County and Pitkin County, the summit of Independence Pass is located 18 miles west of Twin Lakes and 19 miles east of Aspen.

Trail Ridge Road open

The west side of Trail Ridge Road (Highway 34) in Rocky Mountain National Park opened Friday after crews plowed snowdrifts of 2 to 5 feet from Rock Cut to the Alpine Visitor Center.

Park officials said snowplow operators had "some beautiful wet spring snow" to contend with in the last week on the road, which reaches a high point of 12,183 feet.

The Alpine Visitor Center is tentatively scheduled to open Saturday, May 28.

A timed entry permit reservations system is in effect for Trail Ridge Road starting Friday, May 27. Visitors can call the recorded Trail Ridge Road status line at (970) 586-1222 for the latest information. 

Plows are clearing drifts up to 5 feet deep on the west side of Trail Ridge Road. Their progress will determine if the...

Posted by 9NEWS (KUSA) on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Mount Evans Road closed

Mount Evans Road (CO 5) will not open for Memorial Day weekend due to recent snow and wind conditions, CDOT said. It's unclear when the highway will open for the season. 

Mount Evans Road is the highest paved road in the U.S., taking visitors to the summit of the 14,130-foot mountain in Clear Creek County. Timed reservations are required for visitors who plan to park and visit one of the developed visitor locations in the Mount Evans Recreation Area.

RELATED: 40 things to do in Colorado this Memorial Day weekend

Cottonwood Pass opening

Cottonwood Pass (Road 306) in Chaffee and Gunnison counties west of Buena Vista is set to open Friday, CDOT said. 

Both sides of the Continental Divide are visible from the 12,126-foot summit of the pass.

Guanella Pass opening

Guanella Pass (CR 381; CR 62) is set to open Friday, CDOT said.

Guanella Pass, in Clear Creek County, tops out at 11,669 feet, providing spectacular views of fourteeners Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt. 

Kebler Pass open

Kebler Pass (GCR 12), west of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, opened Wednesday, according to CDOT. 

RELATED: Colorado ski resort auctioning one-of-a-kind gondola cabin

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