UPDATE (1/15/24 @ 12:47 PM MT): Monarch Pass closed again at noon on Monday due to dangerous conditions due to the ongoing winter storm. Those at the ski area are being allowed to leave and head east on Highway 50 but no other traffic is being allowed on the pass. There is no estimated re-opening time available. The closure is between CR 888 (14 miles west of Garfield) and RC 240 (Maysville) from Mile Point 190 to Mile Point 210.
The following Colorado mountain passes are closed due to the ongoing storm:
- Monarch Pass (US 50)
- Berthoud Pass (US 40)
- Loveland Pass (US 6)
- Cameron Pass (CO 14)
- Red Mountain Pass (US 550)
- Vail Pass (I-70)
Visit https://maps.cotrip.org/ for the most updated information on closures and conditions.
UPDATE (1/15/24 @ 10:00 AM MT): Vail Pass on I-70 is closed in both directions for avalanche mitigation through Monday morning on January 15th. No estimated date or time for a re-opening is available. The closure will extend between mile markers 180 and 190 and alerts will be sent when the road reopens. Cameron Pass on Highway 14, west of Fort Collins, is also closed due to safety concerns with no known time for reopening.
UPDATE (1/14/24 @ 6:00PM MT): Berthoud Pass south of Winter Park is closed to traffic as of 5:34pm after a natural avalanche struck 10 vehicles on the highway. A reopening date or time is unavailable as of 10:40pm on Sunday. Travelers are advised to take alternate routes and expect long delays.
DENVER, COLORADO – Colorado is facing a severe winter storm, leading to the closure of several key mountain passes due to heavy snowfall, high winds, and perilous avalanche conditions. The state braces for continued adverse weather today and into tomorrow, as forecasted by the National Weather Service.
The storm, delivering a substantial 15-30 inches of snow across high mountain areas, has prompted a Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service and multiple Avalanche Warnings from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has reported that the I-70 corridor from Vail to Eisenhower could see up to 24 inches of snow, while areas around US-40 near Rabbit Ears Pass might experience up to 40 inches.
Critical mountain passes impacted by closures include Red Mountain Pass (US 550 between Ouray and Silverton) and Loveland Pass (US 6 between Keystone and Silver Plume). Red Mountain Pass was shut down early this morning around 1:30 am, following the closure of Loveland Pass yesterday as the storm began. No reopening timeline has been provided for these routes.
Adding to the weather challenges, motorists face blowing snow, limited visibility, and sub-freezing wind chills, making travel conditions in the mountains difficult. CDOT warns of likely delays in avalanche control operations due to the predicted wind and snow. Multiple Avalanche Warnings are also in effect across the state.
Monarch Pass and the adjacent Monarch Mountain Ski Area also succumbed to the storm yesterday but have since reopened as of this morning. However, with the ongoing storm, additional road closures are anticipated throughout today and tonight.
The National Weather Service advises travelers to consider postponing their journeys if possible, given the deteriorating travel conditions. For the most current information on road closures and travel advisories, CDOT encourages the public to visit their official website.
Stay tuned for more updates as we monitor this developing weather situation across Colorado’s high country.