As the seasons change, so do the hazards of driving through the Rocky Mountains.
With spring in full swing, it is important to keep in mind that the chances of rock and mudslides happening are much higher than other times of the year. As snow melts and the temperatures continue to change drastically, rocks start to move, break apart, and come tumbling down to the ground. While crews are working hard to keep the roads safe and clear, it is important to be aware of the dangers as you are passing through these areas.
Three areas that are prone to rock slides include Glenwood Canyon, the stretch of Highway 82 near Carbondale and Highway 133 South of Carbondale to McClure Pass. Although it is important to note that a slide can occur on any road that skirts a cliff or a steep hill. Driving with caution is crucial during this season as the mountains start thawing out. Slower speeds through the canyon are advised, as well as being extra cautious at night, and watchful of the slopes around you.
If you happen to encounter debris or large rocks on the road always remember to keep your car straight and avoid the natural instinct to swerve out of the way. When you swerve too hard, it can cause your vehicle to fishtail, which can be hard to regain control over and increases the likelihood of your vehicle rolling. If you do hit a rock, best practice is to pull over as far as you can on the side of the road, put your hazards on and call for help.
If you come across a large rock that has fallen, or debris covering the road, please immediately call the Garfield County or Pitkin County Communications Center so crews can get the rock moved as quickly as possible.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact your friends at the Carbondale Fire District. We hope you have a safe and wonderful spring season.