Red Mountain Pass reopened Thursday afternoon after Colorado Department of Transportation crews completed avalanche mitigation work.
CDOT closed the highway between mile markers 71 and 92, between the towns of Silverton and Ouray, on Thursday morning.
“This is going to be a rather lengthy closure,” CDOT spokeswoman Lisa Schwantes said Thursday morning.
Schwantes said more than a foot of snow was received in an area known as the Gorge, just south of Ouray near the Bear Creek Trail and the snowshed over the highway.
CDOT crews initially had to wait for the fog and clouds to lift to begin avalanche mitigation. Schwantes said several slide areas had to be addressed.
Drivers were urged to plan ahead for the delay or consider taking an alternate route, such as U.S. Highway 145 over Lizard Head Pass.
CDOT crews “thank the traveling public for their patience throughout the day,” Schwantes said.
Coal Bank and Molas passes remained opened throughout the day.
The Ophir Pass area remained closed Thursday for the recovery of three backcountry skiers.
All chain and traction laws were lifted for Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain passes as of 4 p.m. Thursday.