Scenic summer routes: Independence Pass is open, Trail Ridge and Mount Evans not yet

Trail Ridge Road on May 23, 2017. (U.S. National Park Service)
Independence Pass views in 2015. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)
Independence Pass views in 2015. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

In the summertime, when our hemisphere is tilted more toward the sun, the temperatures are warmer and there is traditionally less snow. These conditions make it possible to operate roads high above the ocean.

This week, the Colorado Department of Transportation has consulted the stars and reopened Independence Pass, a strip of pavement that crosses the Sawatch Range at 12,000 feet on CO-82 east of Aspen.

It’s open today, May 25. Other scenic roads remained closed.

Trail Ridge Road:

“This time last week, Trail Ridge Road was clear and our crews had nearly completed digging out Alpine Visitor Center,” the staff of Rocky Mountain National Park wrote yesterday.

That monster spring storm changed all that. Freezing temperatures, high winds and precipitation all are slowing progress on plowing, and staff has no prediction as to when the road will open.

The status of Trail Ridge Road is updated on a recorded status line at 970-586-1222.

Trail Ridge Road on May 23. (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Trail Ridge Road on May 23. (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Trail Ridge Road on May 23, 2017. (U.S. National Park Service)
Trail Ridge Road on May 23, 2017. (U.S. National Park Service)
Mount Evans:

The Mount Evans auto road typically opens late in May, but there’s been no announcement yet about this year’s date. A staffer at the U.S. Forest Service visitor center said they’re expecting to open the gates in the first or second week of June.

Mount Evans. (Boilerinbtown/Wikimedia)
Mount Evans. (Boilerinbtown/Wikimedia)

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.