Aspen detours, closures, transit changes in place for USA Pro Challenge

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

USA Pro Challenge Parking and Transit Information

Beginning today and into Thursday, a number of streets will close, RFTA will adjust many of its routes, and parking in town will be limited.


• Beginning at 6 a.m., Hopkins Avenue will close from Garmisch Street to Monarch Street. From noon onward, Main Street will close from Monarch to First Street. Aspen Street, from Bleeker Street to Hopkins, will also close at this time Tuesday.

• RFTA inbound and outbound buses will detour via Hopkins Avenue starting at noon. During the detour period, Main Street bus stops will not be served. RFTA bus users are encouraged to check their stop for signs indicating possible closure at this time.


• At 6 a.m., Main Street will close from Third Street to Hunter Street.

• Beginning at noon, Galena Street will close from Cooper Street to Main; as well as Cooper Avenue, from Galena to Park Street.

• At 1 p.m., Westbound Highway 82 over Independence Pass will close at Twin Lakes.

• Also beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting until 5:30 p.m., Independence Pass will be closed to vehicular traffic traveling east on Hwy 82 past Mountain Valley after 1 p.m.

• The Hopkins Avenue bus detour will continue throughout the day.

• Beginning at noon, the Hunter Creek bus will follow a revised route that will not serve all of its regular stops.

• The Mountain Valley bus route will also cease service Wednesday from approximately 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.


• Beginning at 9 a.m., the state patrol will close eastward bound traffic on Highway 82 heading up the pass at Mountain Valley.

• At 8:30 a.m., Westbound Highway 82 over Independence Pass will close at Twin Lakes.

• From 9 a.m. until about 11 a.m., the following streets will be closed, with the exception of Main Street, which will be closed until 2 p.m.:

Main Street from Original Avenue to Garmisch Street

Aspen Street from Main Street to Hyman Avenue

Hyman Avenue from Aspen Street to Mill Street

Mill Street from Hyman Avenue to Hopkins Avenue

Hopkins Ave from Mill Street to Galena Street

Galena Street from Main Street to Cooper Avenue

Cooper Avenue from Galena Street to Park Avenue

• RFTA’s Mountain Valley route will not run from approximately 9 – 11 a.m.

• The Hunter Creek bus will continue its modified route until about 2 p.m.

• RFTA inbound and outbound buses will detour via Garmisch Street on Thursday, which is also excepted to last until about 2 p.m.

It is recommended that all RFTA riders check their stops Tuesday through Thursday for signs of temporary closures. For more information on bus transit information, contact RFTA at 970-925-8484.

Though parking in town will be limited, the Brush Creek Intercept Lot will have free parking with free bus service to and from Aspen. The Rio Grande Parking Plaza in Aspen will be open for paid parking.

For updates on Aspen parking, traffic, road closures and race activity, follow Aspen Police on Twitter @aspenpolice or Pitkin County Sheriff on Twitter @PitkinSheriff. For Colorado roads and specific race route closure updates, visit

Sources: City of Aspen, Aspen Chamber Resort Association, USA Pro Challenge

The USA Pro Challenge, one of the country’s premier professional cycling races, is a seven-day road race that attracts top road cyclists from all over the world. The racers descend on Aspen — literally — Wednesday afternoon for Stage 3, which begins at Copper Mountain and races over Independence Pass into Aspen. The estimated finish is between 2:56 and 4:24 p.m., according to race organizers.

Due to a large number of road detours, parking restrictions and Roaring Fork Transportation Authority schedule changes, Aspen visitors and residents are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling in town today through Thursday.


Following a summit from Independence Pass, racers enter Aspen on a sharp right turn at Cooper Street and Galena Street, and head for a sharp left turn onto Main Street in front of City Hall, where the race turns into a sprint to the finish line between Aspen and Garmisch Streets, adjacent to the Stage 3 Finish Festival.

The festival is one of the biggest Pro Challenge events in town. Located at Paepcke Park, the festival kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and is expected to run until around 5:30 p.m. The festival welcomes visitors of all ages and offers something for everyone — live music and entertainment, a food court, local vendors, a beer garden, cycling gear, official race merchandise, information on health and wellness and more.

At 1 p.m., local TV station Aspen 82 will broadcast a live television show of the race and also host on-air interviews.

Spectators may view a live broadcasting and commentary of the race on the festival stage beginning at 2 p.m.

Artist David Gonzales, who painted the USA Pro Challenge’s official poster, will be outside the Aspen Art Gallery doing a live painting of the event. The artist expects to arrive on site early in the afternoon between 1 and 2 p.m. and will autograph Pro Challenge posters. (He also will be there today at the same time.)

From 2 to 3 p.m., artist Marcel Majid also will host a live painting event near the festival stage.

As the race wraps up sometime between 3 and 4:30 p.m., awards will be presented at the festival to the top racers of the day immediately following the race finish.

Outside the festival, the Aspen children’s fun ride will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Monarch and Main streets. Registration for the event will begin at noon. Children will be separated into 10-and-younger and 11-and-older categories. The fun ride will finish under the USA Pro Challenge finish truss.


Stage 4 of the Pro Challenge will begin in Aspen at 10:20 a.m., and is expected to finish at 3:45 p.m. in Breckenridge.

Beginning on Main Street between Galena and Hunter streets, the race will begin with two laps through town, where spectators can cheer racers on as they head off to Breckenridge. Following the second lap, the race continues with a 20-mile climb up Independence Pass, where viewers may also catch the action if they head up early enough.