US 550 Red Mt.-Molas-Coal Bank Passes: CLOSED Overnight

Jan. 14, 2017

CO 145 Lizard Head Pass: OPEN
US 550 Red Mt.-Molas-Coal Bank Passes: CLOSED Overnight
SW COLORADO – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has opened CO 145 Lizard Head Pass between Telluride and Rico. Crews were able to successfully conduct avalanche control operations this afternoon. The pass was closed since 7:00 a.m. and opened at approximately 4:15 p.m.

Tyler Carlson, CDOT maintenance patrol foreman said Lizard Head received well over a foot of snow overnight, “The heavy snow was a concern because several avalanche paths were coming down naturally. We could not have vehicles driving through the pass under these conditions. We’re confident we were able to trigger any additional slides. We then cleared the road and corridor of snow as quickly as possible.”

US Highway (US) 550 north of Durango will remain closed overnight also due to multiple slides on the highway and increased avalanche danger. The closure includes all three mountain passes – Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain. The 42-mile closure begins just north of Purgatory Ski Resort at Cascade Creek, mile point (MP) 53 and continues to the Town of Ouray, MP 95. Avalanche control operations will be attempted on US 550 first thing Sunday morning.

Motorists are reminded they may experience road closures, delays and chain law restrictions on several high mountain passes throughout southwest and south-central Colorado this holiday weekend due to the winter snowstorm moving through the region.

STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting