DENVER (CBS4) – Labor Day is the unofficial change of seasons, and it also means some iconic spots are closing in Colorado. As of Tuesday morning, a portion of Highway 5, or Mount Evans Road and Scenic Byway, will no longer be accessible to drivers.
The Colorado Department of Transportation does this annually the day after Labor Day; the top five-mile stretch of the highway will remain closed for the remainder of the season.
Still, plenty of families summited the mountain this year as part of the quintessential trek to the top. Some of our CBS4 family (John Clark, Ashton Altieri, Tim Wieland — attached) even shared photos, as they took in those breathtaking views.
Mount Evans sees about 200,000 visitors every year, with Labor Day being the busiest weekend of the year. And in 2019, the time that visitors had to get to the top of Mount Evans was a little more short-lived. Typically, the goal is to open up the highway by Memorial Day, but heavy snow and ice removal delayed that opening. CDOT crews worked until the first week of June to ensure the area was safe for drivers.
The U.S. Forest Service says up to 1,500 vehicles can drive that stretch of roadway every weekend, especially with recent warm weather.
While the seasonal closure is now in place, there is still some good news for aspiring adventurers: The lower 10-mile portion of the highway remains open if you plan on traveling and there’s still time to take in that fresh mountain air.
Several other seasonal road closures will happen in the coming months. Another popular road that will eventually close for the season is Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. While there is no specific date for closing, weather conditions usually cause it to be closed by late October. The latest closing was Dec. 2, 1933.
Meanwhile, Independence Pass between Aspen and Leadville on Highway 82 usually closes by early November.
CBS4 meteorologist Ashton Altieri — pictured above at the summit of Mount Evans — contributed to this story.