Timeline of Colorado Pass Openings
We sure love our Colorado road trips.
Traveling across our beautiful state we get to enjoy many things no other state can enjoy. And one of the things we enjoy is taking those road trips up and over some of the highest elevation roads anywhere. But we aren't always able to do that because, in Colorado, winter happens. Hard.
So every year, right around November 7, Independence Pass closes. The reasons for this are obvious. The sheer amount of snow that falls on Independence and other passes in the state makes driving them in the winter impossible, which is why they close.
But with spring closing in, our thoughts once again turn to get out of the house, hitting the highway and seeing the sights.
But before we go, we should probably make sure the passes are open and if not, at least know when they do.
Typically Independence Pass opens around Memorial Day, usually the Thursday before. Driving the pass in early spring allows for some incredible photo opportunities, but remember to take your time and always watch the road. Extra points if you knew the original name of Independence Pass was Hunter Pass.
Traveling from Buena Vista to Crested Butte was made easier again last year with the reopening of Cottonwood Pass. Road construction had closed the pass but, like Independence Pass will reopen for the spring and summer around Memorial Day.
Connecting Crested Butte with Paonia, Kebler Pass is one gorgeous road. Passing through Gunnison National Forest, and climbing to an elevation of 10,007 feet above sea level, it's a must-see in the fall when the aspens are changing colors, but in the spring and summer, it's beautiful. Quite a few places to camp, fish, and hike as well.
It looks like we still have a little time to wait before these passes are open for the season, so why not make sure everything is ready when they do? Get your fishing license, camping gear, and hiking shoes together, it won't be long now!