Aspen Reroute and Safety Information

Tamara Susa

To help keep you and your companions safe, please read the below safety information regarding air quality in Aspen and alternate routes from Aspen to Denver with the I-70 road closure. 


Traffic & Road Conditions

Real time road updates and conditions are available 24/7 at or on Twitter at @ColoradoDOT. For more information, please contact the CDOT Customer Service Hotline at 970-243-2368 or The hotline is available Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

I-70 in Glenwood Canyon | CDOT

In 2020 Grizzly Creek and Glenwood Canyon experienced a wildfire. As a result, the area is now susceptible to debris flow, mudslides or rockfall. Motorists traveling on I-70 should be prepared for reduced speeds or road closures in the Glenwood Canyon section of the highway (between exit 116 and 140). If there is rain in the forecast, motorists should anticipate a possible safety closure of I-70, rest areas and the Glenwood Canyon bike path in the canyon. These safety closures are to protect the traveling public from the potential for debris flow, mudslides or rockfall.

Construction impacts will be much lighter on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon compared to Summer 2020. To ensure safety, motorists should plan for occasional lane closures, obey reduced speeds and drive with caution. CDOT also urges travelers to stay focused on the road and avoid distracted driving. Please see here for information about the Glenwood Canyon rest areas and bike path.

Plan ahead

Motorists planning to travel on I-70, visit rest areas or ride the bike path in Glenwood Canyons should pay close attention to weather forecasts. If there is rain in the forecast, be prepared for safety closures. CDOT recommends that travelers have a backup plan in the event that closures are necessary (see below for detour information). Visit for the latest road conditions and route options. CDOT also recommends that travelers bring an emergency kit with water, snacks, a flashlight and a blanket, as mountain conditions often change suddenly.

Go this way! Official I-70 detour during safety closures

If a safety closure of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is anticipated to last longer than two hours, CDOT recommends a northern alternate route using Colorado Highway 9, US Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 13: 

Motorists should anticipate delays on the alternate route due to additional detour traffic.

  • EASTBOUND I-70: Motorists traveling eastbound from Utah or Grand Junction can reach the Denver Metro area by traveling the route above . Before detouring onto any alternate route, motorists should refer to for the latest road conditions. CDOT strongly discourages travelers from using highways south of I-70 for an alternate route, due to extensive construction closures. Motorists should not use Cottonwood Pass Road (in Eagle/Garfield counties), Hagerman Pass, or other county or forest service roads in Eagle and Garfield counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles (more below).
  • WESTBOUND I-70: Motorists coming from the Denver metro area or Interstate 25 can travel the route above in reverse. Go westbound on I-70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto CO 9. In Kremmling, travelers should turn onto westbound US Highway 40 towards Steamboat Springs. After reaching Craig, motorists can return south via CO 13 towards Rifle. Access to I-70 westbound is at Rifle.

Google Map the route

View ONLY on a desktop: | For some reason when you click the link on a mobile device, it may default to an incorrect route.

To set the directions on a mobile device, add in a second destination (Meeker), which should then correctly re-route you.  

Independence Pass (Hwy 82) | CDOT

Independence Pass (Hwy 82 between Aspen to Twin Lakes) is closed for winter! Check back for reopening dates typically around Memorial Day weekend.

NOTE: Oversized and overweight vehicles are strictly prohibited from using the Pass at any time due to narrow and winding roads and steep inclines. *Absolutely NO vehicles over 35 feet in length may use the pass at any time – there is a $1,500 fine! This includes both commercial vehicles and passenger/recreational vehicles hauling trailers that, together, exceed 35 feet. Vehicles of this length cannot negotiate certain turns and areas where the road narrows – you will get stuck.

Independence Pass typically closes on or near November 7 and almost always re-opens on the Thursday before Memorial Day in May. The opening date is can be dependent on snowpack levels; the closure date may change due to winter storms and snow at high elevation. Please check the “Alerts and Restrictions” section of for status updates.

Cottonwood Pass | Eagle County

Cottonwood Pass (Hwy 113/10A between El Jebel/Basalt and Gypsum) is OPEN for the season. The road will stay open through the fall, as conditions allow. Drivers are urged to use caution when driving this road and should only be driven by competent drivers who are experienced with driving in the mountains and do not have a fear of heights.  This route is not for everyone. 

Traffic and weather can have a significant impact on road conditions. Vehicles should not use Cottonwood Pass Road as an I-70 detour.

An announcement will be made when Cottonwood Pass closes in the fall. For more information, contact the Eagle County Road & Bridge Department: 970-328-3540 or at [email protected].

Other Local Passes | 4×4 only roads

These roads are for 4×4 high clearance vehicles ONLY. If this does not describe your vehicle, do NOT drive it. IMPORTANT: Do not use these roads unless you have the proper equipment. These roads are in areas that lack cell service, so you will not be able to call for assistance.

Hagerman Pass Road (#105 between Basalt and Turquoise Lake/Leadville) is a 4X4 ONLY road, accessible to high clearance vehicles. Most vehicles cannot travel down this road. 

Eagle-Thomasville Rd, Powerline – Crooked Creek and Brush Creek Rd (between Eagle and Meredith) is a 4X4 ONLY road, accessible to high clearance vehicles. Most vehicles cannot travel down this road. 

For more safety information click here

Follow us on social @AspenCo to stay updated with the latest information. 



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