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Black Canyon of the Gunnison East Portal Road

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We will definitely go to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Montrose, CO
in April 2014 and will drive the south rim road, but want to also do the East Portal Road from the top. We know the East Portal Road is closed in winter. Any idea when it opens for travel? What happens after you get to the bottom of the very steep road? Do you drive back up, or is there a way out at or near the bottom?

We are looking forward to a wonderful trip in Beautiful Colorado.

Many thanks

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