Grizzly Creek Fire Update

The Grizzly is about five miles east of Glenwood Springs, estimated to be 32,464 acres in size with 91% containment.

Please Note: Most of our businesses and attractions are open and our air-quality is back to the blue sky days we love! I-70 remains open to two-way traffic with periodic delays. Taking the route over Independence Pass is a scenic way to visit us in the Roaring Fork Valley. Glenwood Springs is excited to welcome you! If you must reschedule your trip, please check out our Glenwood Gold offerings for visitors through the end of November 2020!

The fire has not grown in about two weeks, although some smokes are showing in both Grizzly and No Name drainages now that the weather is warmer and drier. This is not unexpected. Firefighters continue to monitor these areas and will take action if needed.

Repairing suppression lines and back-hauling equipment continue to be a primary focus.

There are closures in place on both BLM and White River National Forest lands. Please look under “closures” for more information. Maps and orders will be updated on this site when they change.

The Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10 in Glenwood Canyon adjacent to Interstate 70. It was human-caused.

Interstate 70 remains open to two-way traffic. Motorists should expect periodic delays for power line and utility repair and firefighting operations.
Glenwood Canyon bike path remains closed!

The Grizzly Creek Fire started on Monday  (8/10/2020) in the median between the eastbound lanes and the elevated westbound lanes at mile marker 120 near grizzly Creek Rest and Recreation Area. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire is burning in oak scrub, mixed conifer, and aspen. It’s growth is fueled by fuels, topography, and weather. Drought conditions have created critically dry fuels that are very receptive to fire. Interstate 70 is closed due to firefighting efforts occurring on and along the interstate, as well as rocks and other debris rolling onto the roadway.

Attraction’s Updates:

rafting glenwood springs colorado

Open

Closed

  • Glenwood Canyon Bike Path is closed.
    “The bike path in Glenwood Canyon remains closed following damage from the Grizzly Creek Fire. These closures allow CDOT, law enforcement and emergency services to quickly evacuate I-70 and Glenwood Canyon, and to protect travelers and recreationists from possible mudslides, debris flow, rockfall and other hazards.
    Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road by visiting COtrip.org. To hear current travel times, motorists can call the project hotline at 970-618-5379.” -CDOT
  • The Hanging Lake trail is closed. – Latest Update
    “While Hanging Lake itself was not burned in the Grizzly Creek Fire, the fire burned much of the area above the lake and trail. Some areas of the trail were also burned, as was a large portion of Glenwood Canyon. Public safety continues to be the priority, and there is a long-term risk of post-fire flooding and debris flow. The White River National Forest is working with a number of stakeholders including the Colorado Department of Transportation on short and long-term mitigation measures. The forest will reopen Hanging Lake trail only after risks to life and safety can be reasonably addressed.”- White River National Forest Service
    Latest information on Hanging Lake will be updated on the official Hanging Lake permit page:  https://visitglenwood.com/hanginglake/
  • Colorado River recreation activities in Glenwood Canyon are suspended.
  • BLM recreation sites and boat ramps on the southern portion of the Colorado River Road (RD 301) near Dotsero, Colorado. Specifically, Cottonwood Landing boat ramp, Lyons campground and boat ramp, and Dotsero boat ramp.
  • White River National Forest Closure: The closure area is the Forest boundary south of Glenwood Canyon north to the Flat Tops Wilderness boundary. The western boundary of the closure extends to about Adams Lake, and the eastern boundary is the eastern Forest boundary in the Sweetwater/Coffee Pot Road area. Forest road closures include Coffee Pot Road (FSR 600) and Transfer Trail (FSR 602).

I-70 Update

I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is back open with one lane traffic in each direction.
CDOT asks that motorists prepare for reduced speeds, no stopping in the canyon and closures due to mudslides and other events. CDOT also urges travelers to stay focused on the road and avoid distracted driving. The I-70 closure began Monday, Aug. 10, when the Grizzly Creek Fire started burning along the interstate. The closure was located between Glenwood Springs (Mile Point 116) and Gypsum (MP 140). Wildfires in other parts of Colorado continue to affect Colorado Highways 14 and 139.

The Colorado Department of Transportation opened 1-70 in Glenwood Canyon on Monday(8/24/2020) morning. Travelers will encounter a lower speed limit and should anticipate more safety closures after rains or other weather. Motorists should also plan for not being able to stop at rest areas in the canyon, due to rockfall and other hazards.

While on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, it is critical for motorists to pay attention to the roadway, and follow signage and traffic guidance through the canyon. A head-to-head detour is in place between Hanging Lake Tunnel (Mile Point MP 125) and near No Name Tunnel (MP 117.6). This detour is on the eastbound deck, and is similar to the construction detour in place this summer during the Glenwood Canyon Phase 7 project. CDOT asks motorists to plan for additional travel time due to lower speed limits in the detour and elsewhere in the canyon.

Travelers should prepare for intermittent closures on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon that are required for repairs after the Grizzly Creek Fire or if conditions in the canyon require a safety closure. Repairs include the replacement of power poles by aerial operations, which require closing the interstate. The roadway and structures along the eastbound deck have been reviewed and are safe to travel on.

Travelers are urged to pay close attention to weather forecasts. Although CDOT has carefully reviewed the hazards affecting I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, the roadway is a changing environment. Even minimal amounts of rain could trigger mudslides, debris flows or rock slides in the burn area. Showers and thunderstorms are forecast for Glenwood Canyon this week and could prompt a safety closure. Motorists are asked to watch the forecast closely through the weekend. CDOT has a plan in place for needed emergency closures due to rockfall, mudslides or other impacts from burn scars on the canyon walls. We have stationed personnel in the canyon to allow quick response to any events that could impact the roads. Those personnel have the equipment necessary to restrict traffic so that CDOT can safely clear the road and assess damage before reopening. CDOT is also working on plans to bolster long-term resiliency to sediment fall and avalanche.

Travelers will not be able to stop in Glenwood Canyon while traveling on I-70. Rest areas in the canyon will be closed and motorists will not be able to use exit ramps. I-70 is too narrow to allow stopped vehicles along the roadway and Colorado State Patrol troopers will assist in watching for motorists who attempt to stop. The Glenwood Canyon bike path is also closed at this time. Rafting, kayaking and other river recreation activities are not allowed on the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon at this time.

Road Closures & Route Recommendations

Visit www.cotrip.org for the latest detour information.

  • Independence Pass is closed to commercial vehicles and as always to vehicles over 35 feet in length.
  • Cottonwood Pass is closed in Garfield and Eagle counties.
  • Eagle- Thomasville Road, also known as Crooked Creek Pass and Forest Service Road 400 is closed until further notice.
  • Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail and Clinetop Mesa roads are closed, as is much of the BLM and Forest Service lands in those areas.
  • Highway 139 north of Loma (Fruita/Grand Junction) is CLOSED due to fire activity from the Pine Gulch Fire.

Detour Recommendations around I-70

– WESTBOUND: Denver metro area motorists can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or use CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50.

– EASTBOUND: Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver. Motorists headed to areas west of Denver can also use the westbound detour in reverse.

For residents and businesses north of I-70, the following alternate routes are best:

– WESTBOUND: Motorists can connect to US 40 via CO 9 or CO 131. To continue to Grand Junction, take CO 139 south to I-70. CDOT advises commercial traffic to use CO 9 instead of CO 131, for safety purposes. Please note that while CO 13 is open at this time, it is not a recommended detour due to construction. Oversize commercial vehicles are not allowed on CO 13 due to construction.

-EASTBOUND: Near Fruita, motorists can travel north on CO 139 to US 40, then south on CO 131 or CO 9, returning to I-70. CO 13 is not recommended due to construction.

Route Recommendation to visit us from the Denver Area

Independence Pass is a beautiful drive to Glenwood Springs when visiting from the East. This route will take you past the Collegiate Peaks over the Continental Divide with options to stop in the beautiful towns of Twin Lakes, Aspen or Buena Vista. Depending on where you start, you may skip I-70 completely and take 285 to Buena Vista, enter 24 to Twin Lakes and then follow 82 all the way to Glenwood Springs.

  • I70 West to Copper, 91 to Leadville, 24 to Twin Lakes and 82 to Glenwood Springs. See Route!
  • 285 to Buena Vista, 24 to Twin Lakes, 82 to Glenwood Springs

Independence Pass is only permitted to non-commercial vehicles. The road is closed to vehicles over 35 feet in length.

Updates and Resources

For the most up-to-date information on the Grizzly Creek Fire, please visit the following pages:
– Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlenwoodFire
– PostIndependent: https://www.postindependent.com/

Evacuations: Please go to Garfield County website at www.Garfield-county.com and Eagle County at www.ecemergency.org,
Fire Restrictions: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in place for all jurisdictions. https://colorado.gov/pacific/dfpc/fire-restriction-information