UTAH — No one could have anticipated Utah’s historic winter when the state’s 9 seasonal routes closed last fall.
Now, according to the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), reopening these roads presents new challenges this year that makes their opening dates uncertain.
“In a typical year, many of the seasonal routes reopen around Memorial Day weekend,” said a statement from UDOT. “This winter, however, Utah experienced more snowfall than it has since the 1950s, and we had our highest snow-water level ever recorded. With this in mind, it may take longer to open these routes.”
The organization shared a video of drone footage of the still snowy conditions in Guardsman Pass, the Alpine Loop and Mirror Lake Highway. In addition to significant snow levels, some of Utah’s seasonal routes are also covered in debris from the many avalanches this winter.
“The record-breaking winter didn’t just result in heavy snowfall and avalanches in the mountains,” said a statement from UDOT. “Our crews are now focused on addressing its aftereffects: major flooding in several areas of northern Utah, along with pavement damage and potholes. We are busier than ever, preventing flooding as well as keeping our roads in good shape to ensure the safety of those who travel on them.”
When do Utah’s mountain passes open?! Glad you asked.
Short answer: Not quite yet.
As conditions improve and the weather cooperates, we will reopen the seasonal routes when resources permit.
For current road closures, visit: https://t.co/grIhefcYL9 pic.twitter.com/9jPS2fCizD
— Utah DOT (@UtahDOT) May 26, 2023
As weather and road conditions continue to improve, these seasonal routes will reopen when resources permit.