About 8 p.m. Friday, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Wolf Creek Pass had reopened. Shortly thereafter, it announced Red Mountain Pass will remain closed overnight.
Red Mountain Pass, on U.S. Highway 550 between Silverton and Ouray, was closed because of an avalanche covering about 200 feet of road at mile marker 78.
“Storm conditions have intensified,” Mike McVaugh, CDOT Region 5 transportation director, said in a news release. “The San Juan Mountains are experiencing heavy snow falls and increasing winds. We are going to play it safe and close the road. Once we can clearly see what the conditions are tomorrow morning (Saturday), we will then make an assessment of opening the pass.”
A large concern was the possibility of additional snow capable of sliding down the avalanche path.
“Additional mitigation of this path may also be necessary,” CDOT said in the release.
The closures occurred about 7:20 p.m. Friday. Wolf Creek Pass, on U.S. Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, was closed in both directions for at least 40 minutes because a semitrailer jack-knifed on the pass.
CDOT advised drivers to check road conditions before setting out at cotrip.org.