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Popular Memorial Day destinations in high country facing delayed openings due to late spring snow

Posted: 6:12 AM, May 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-24 15:15:20Z
Trail Ridge Road (May 2019)

While some of Colorado's most popular and scenic destinations for Memorial Day are ready to welcome the crowds this weekend for the first time this season, others will remain closed, thanks to late spring snowfall and winter-like conditions.

Wondering which ones you can check out this weekend and which ones you'll have to wait for? Here's a list of some of Colorado's favorite Memorial Day weekend destinations, and when you can expect visit:

  • Independence Pass: While the two-lane pass typically opens on the Friday before Memorial Day, it will remain closed until early June.
  • Trail Ridge Road: This 48-mile Rocky Mountain National Park road will stay closed for an undetermined time. It usually opens Memorial Day weekend. Pedestrians and bicyclists are welcome to travel on the road, but may be limited if park plow operators are working.
  • Mount Evans: The paved road up to the top of Mount Evans, which is the closest 14er to Denver, will not open Friday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Crews will continue to plow the roadway. CDOT plans to partially open the highway to Summit Lake by Wednesday.
  • Cottonwood Pass Road: About 11 feet of snow remains at the summit, so it will not open in time for Memorial Day weekend. Cornice across the east side of the ridge is particularly dangerous this year. The pass will not open on the west side until June 21 at the earliest.
  • Pikes Peak Shuttle: Service is scheduled to start Friday to take visitors to the top of Pikes Peak.
  • Chautauqua Park Shuttle: Service is scheduled to start Saturday and will run on weekends through the summer.
  • Maroon Bells Shuttle: The road to Maroon Bells opened Friday, but the bus service won't begin until June 15. There are few services available in the area, since the campgrounds and service station won't open until June 3. Parking is first-come, first-served. Some roads in the area may be closed due to snow or avalanche damage.