4:00am

Mon May 6, 2013
Parks & Rec

Despite Snow Independence Pass May Open Soon

While Independence Pass may be open by Memorial Day, other mountain roads remain closed.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Independence Pass near Aspen may be open as early as Memorial Day weekend, according to transportation officials.

Right now 3 feet of snow covers the pass, which is 83 percent of average for this time of the year.

Avalanche experts are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to clear as many as 12 slide paths around the road. Though not all the paths are a threat every spring, clearing all of them is a safer alternative.

This wouldn't be the earliest opening of the pass. Last year's mild winter allowed crews to open the pass May 11.

While Independence Pass may be open in time for the summer driving season, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park remains closed, with no projected open day in sight. Rocky Mountain National Park has the highest paved roads in any National Park in the United States. Trail Ridge Road crests at 12,183 feet.