Red Mountain Pass, CO Reopened Friday | Crews Cleared 60-FEET of Snow from Avalanches

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Crews clearing US 550. Credit: CDOT

Red Mountain Pass along US 550 reopened on Friday more than two weeks after avalanches left an “unprecedented” amount of snow and debris on the road, the Colorado Department of Transportation said. Lisa Schwantes, the spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said the route between Silverton and Ouray was cleared after avalanches buried the road in up to 60 feet of snow.

people snow shed
CDOT employees providing some scale to the massive amount of snow in the Riverside snow shed. Photo Credit: CDOT

Red Mountain Pass closed March 3. Earlier last week, CDOT said it could take another two weeks to get the pass opened. But Schwantes said crews worked 24/7 to open it sooner. Several avalanches caused “an extensive amount” of debris, limbs, and trees that needed to be cleared from the road.

“They just hammered it out,” she told The Journal.

Chain laws are in effect for all vehicles traveling the pass. Schwantes said the top of the pass is icy and snow-packed, and lower elevations are wet and slushy.