Travel Forecast & Tips


Fortunately, I-70 is congestion free the majority of the time and traffic is quite predictable, weather and accidents withstanding. Plan to avoid peak travel times, and enjoy a delay-free trip along I-70.  Our weekend travel forecast is updated every Thursday afternoon.

Weekend Travel Forecast
December 19-25

Light snow is expected all weekend, becoming heavier Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning.  And snow continues to be forecasted through Christmas.  The below travel forecast is based on expected traffic volume, but weather and accidents throw in unknown variables.  Call 511 or check the mobile app or before you travel!

Friday - Light traffic is possible from about 4:00-8:00 p.m. Last year traffic peaked at 7:00 pm with a 20 minute delay.

Saturday – Moderate traffic is possible westbound from 6:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m. with the peak around 7:30-8:00 a.m.  Eastbound delays are possible from Noon-8:00 p.m. and in past years have peaked at 10-20 minute delays.

Sunday -No westbound delays are expected. Eastbound traffic will likely build around 2:00 p.m., peak between 5:00-8:00 and drop off soon after 8:00 pm. The peak delay last year was 40 minutes at 6:00 p.m.

Dec 22-24- Expect some company traveling westbound these days between 5:00-8:00 p.m. Historically, delays have been about 20 minutes around 7:00 p.m. on these days.  Eastbound delays should not be significant due to volume, but snow is expected each of these days so be prepared for anything!   

Christmas Day-This is generally a great day to travel I-70.  No volume related delays are anticipated.

*The Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.

Tips for I-70 mountain travel

Winter Traffic Patterns

(October through April)

I-70 is congestion-free the majority of the time, and with just a bit of planning travelers can enjoy More Mountains. Less Traffic.   Below is the typical winter weekend traffic pattern.

Friday Westbound - Light to moderate traffic is likely from about 4:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday Westbound - Traffic can be expected from about 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the peak traffic occurring around 8:00 a.m.

Sunday Westbound - Sunday morning WB traffic is consistently lighter than Saturday morning, and sometimes non-existent.  To play it safe, avoid the 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. timeframe.

Saturday Eastbound - Traffic typically builds around 2:00 p.m., peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops dramatically after 7:00 p.m. Expect congestion.

Sunday Eastbound - I-70 starts to fill up earlier than it does on Saturday, as early as 1:00 p.m.  Traffic peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops off soon after 7:00 pm.  Expect heavy traffic.

This Travel Forecast is based on historical traffic data.  Please note that weather, road conditions and accidents are impossible to predict and can have significant impacts on I-70 travel.

Holiday Weekends – when a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon eastbound traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have minimal congestion, making it an ideal day to travel.

Other factors: Metering - Traffic metering goes into effect during very high volume times and can occur at multiple I-70 eastbound on-ramps and/or on the Eisenhower Johnson Tunnel eastbound approach.  Metering controls the flow of traffic eastbound towards the Eisenhower Tunnel so traffic does not back up in the tunnel, causing potential safety issues.

Before you travel, check one of CDOT’s real time information resources!