Monarch Pass Closed

Monarch Pass and Ski Area Close Amid Severe Winter Storm in Colorado

SALIDA, COLORADO – As the severe winter storm continues to batter Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced the temporary closure of Monarch Pass. The closure, prompted by safety concerns amidst the ongoing storm, affects the stretch between County Road 888 and County Road 228 (Garfield), from Mile Point 190 to Mile Point 205.

Monarch Pass is located in the southern Sawatch Range, between Salida and Gunnison, Colorado. This closure is part of a series of emergency responses to the powerful winter storm that has been impacting the state since January 12, 2024. The storm has brought heavy snowfall, intense winds, and significant disruptions across Colorado, particularly affecting the mountainous regions.

In response to the closure of Monarch Pass, Monarch Mountain, a popular ski area located just below the pass, announced that it would close on Saturday, January 13, 2024. This decision aligns with the efforts to ensure the safety of skiers and staff during the hazardous weather conditions.

As of now, there is no confirmed date or time for the reopening of Monarch Pass or Monarch Mountain. Travelers and ski enthusiasts are advised to stay updated on the situation by visiting the CDOT website, which will provide the latest information on the closure and potential reopening schedule.

Crews work to clear snow on Monarch Pass, Photos Courtesy of CDOT.

Winter Travel Safety Tips

Given the challenging conditions, CDOT and local authorities are urging residents and visitors to exercise caution. Here are some essential winter travel safety tips:

  1. Stay Updated: Regularly check weather forecasts and road conditions before and during your travels.
  2. Avoid Unnecessary Journeys: Limit travel to essential trips. If you must travel, inform someone of your route and expected arrival time.
  3. Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including blankets, water, food, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit.
  4. Vehicle Maintenance: Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, with adequate tire tread, a full tank of gas, and properly functioning lights and wipers.
  5. Drive Cautiously: Reduce speed and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Be prepared for sudden stops and poor visibility.
  6. Know Your Route: Familiarize yourself with your travel route and have a backup plan in case of road closures.
  7. Stay Charged: Keep your cell phone charged in case of an emergency.


The safety and well-being of travelers and residents are of paramount importance. CDOT is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as conditions evolve. Stay safe and make informed decisions during this esevere winter weather.

Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and delay travel plans than to risk being caught in dangerous conditions.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

Enjoy this Article? Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Join 4,000+ other subscribers and receive mountain news updates, route guides, gear reviews, and other articles in our twice-monthly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

Join 5K Subscribers!

Get the latest mountain news, hear about training opportunities and gear discounts, receive new resources, and learn to advocate for public lands as a Next Summit Newsletter subscriber.

Don't Miss the Latest Mountain News!

Receive an email update every other Sunday with news on the mountains of the west: rescues, wildlife, 14ers, and more.

Your privacy is important to us: We keep our subscribers’ data 100% secure.

14er Planner

Get my Free Colorado 14ers Planner!

Become a subscriber and download my spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks listed in the best order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.

14er Planner

Download my Colorado 14ers Planner for Your Next Summit!

Become a newsletter subscriber and get my free spreadsheet planner with all 58 peaks in the perfect order to climb them.

We keep your data secure; Unsubscribe anytime at the bottom of our emails.