Dec 10, 2020 -- Posted by : goi70

We are inching closer toward deep Winter! Snow has been falling, resorts are opening more terrain, and weekenders have started accessing the backcountry. First things first: if you are inexperienced in Colorado’s backcountry please check out these immense backcountry safety resources! Secondly, with seasonal backcountry skiing and snowboarding comes parking confusion and challenges:

CDOT asks that drivers take care when parking! Poorly parked vehicles prevent maintenance workers from safely clearing roads of snow and ice, and present safety hazards for motorists or commercial traffic on nearby roadways. Check out CDOT's WATCH WHERE YOU PARK one-pager!

When searching for areas to park vehicles or trailers, please do so safely and lawfully. Anyone leaving a vehicle unattended on the side of the road runs the risk of breaking the law, being fined and having their vehicle towed away. Heed no parking signs, as certain parking areas need to be kept open with no vehicles or trailers so that plows and heavy equipment can be turned around safely by maintenance personnel.

Backcountry users should park only in clearly marked, designated parking areas. While some areas along the highway may appear to provide ample room to park, CDOT warns vehicle owners that they run the risk of being trapped with large snow piles pushed by plows. Vehicles left on the side of the road also make plowing operations difficult for road maintenance crews. 

Before heading into the high country, be aware of avalanche conditions. Visit for current snow condition forecasts. When parking, make sure to look for caution signs at avalanche areas that indicate no stopping or standing at the location. These areas are prone to snow slides. The slide areas are also often at locations where avalanche control operations may be planned. Never park vehicles or trailers on the side of the road at these potential avalanche sites.

Colorado Revised Statutes

§ 42-4-1202. Parking or abandonment of vehicles

(1) No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, either attended or unattended, outside of a business or a residential district, upon the paved or improved and main-traveled part of the highway...

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.


§ 42-4-1803. Abandonment of motor vehicles - public property

(2) Whenever any… (law enforcement) …. or agency employee finds a motor vehicle... attended or unattended, standing upon any portion of a highway right-of-way in such a manner as to constitute an obstruction to traffic or proper highway maintenance, such officer or agency employee is authorized to cause the motor vehicle, vehicle, cargo, or debris to be moved to eliminate any such obstruction...


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