Annual spring road clearing operations began on March 6 and concluded on April 30, 2020. Road crews have completed the initial snow removal on the 30-mile park highway and will continue with additional spring road maintenance including sweeping, cleaning culverts, installing signs, and clearing rockfall.
Road Clearing Process
Clearing the park highway is no quick or easy undertaking! Snow accumulates on the 30-mile park highway throughout the winter season (typically November through April). Snow depth can reach up to 30 feet at the highest elevations, with drifts occasionally reach as high as 40 feet. The highway may open in sections as conditions allow and as clearing operations continue. It will open to through traffic once it is safe for vehicles, not just only when it is cleared of snow. The road clearing process can take up to three months due to numerous factors including:
When Will the Highway Open to Through Traffic?
Snow removal from the park highway usually begins in April and continues for about two months before the road opens to through traffic. Predicting when the road will open is not possible, even in late spring, because weather in April and May can affect plowing progress significantly. See the chart below for opening and closing dates since 1980. The park highway encompasses 30 miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations, and steep grades. The park highway traverses avalanche prone slopes with up to 2,000 foot drops and can hold a snowpack up to 40 feet deep.
2020 Road Clearing Operator Log
Log updates are posted when reports are received from operators in the field. The latest update may not reflect the current status. The road crew works Monday through Thursday, 10 hours per day.
Spring Road Opening Dates - 1980 to Present
Last updated: November 23, 2020