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

July 31-August 2, 2015

The first weekend in August historically sees high traffic volumes on I-70, but use the info below to avoid the jam!

Friday WB – Traffic will likely develop around 11:00 a.m. between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs, and last as late as 8:30 p.m.  Last year on this weekend, the peak occurred between 2:00-4:00 p.m. with just over a 30 minute delay. 

Saturday WB – There has been heavy Saturday westbound traffic the last few weekends between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs.  Expect congestion to develop around 10:00 a.m. and clear out around 5:30 p.m.  The worst of the traffic on this day last year occurred between 11:30 and 2:30 with 35 minute delays.

Saturday EB – No significant delays are predicted.

Sunday EB – Expect traffic between 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., with the heaviest traffic between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.  Delays are likely to be at their worst in the early afternoon with at least one hour extra travel time. 

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*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

Summer Traffic Patterns

(June through September)

I-70 sees lots of weekend travelers from the first week of June through Labor Day, and the information below can help you plan your trip around the traffic. September weekends see a similar pattern of congestion, but delays are not as significant.

Friday westbound
– There are occasionally moderate delays heading westbound on Friday evenings. Traffic may build between 2:00-3:00 p.m., peak around 4:00 p.m., and end between 6:00-7:00 p.m. These delays might mean an added 20 minutes to a trip from Golden to Vail.

Saturday and Sunday WB – traffic is well-distributed westbound on weekend mornings. The exception to this is the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend where moderate delays may occur from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.

Saturday EB- Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. It is usually spread out enough that, barring an accident, there is not much congestion. 

Sunday EB – According to historical data, eastbound traffic starts to build around 11:00 a.m. The peak of traffic is consistently at 4:00 pm all summer long. With folks trying to enjoy every bit of daylight in the mountains, the traffic typically doesn’t diminish until approximately 7:00-8:00 p.m.  To avoid the traffic consider staying in the mountains for dinner, or spend Sunday night and head back to the Front Range early Monday morning.

Holiday Weekends – when a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon EB traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have far less than normal congestion.

Safety Metering – Safety metering at the on ramps in Frisco, Silverthorne goes into effect during very high volume times.  This process controls the flow of traffic eastbound into the Eisenhower Tunnel, so traffic does not back up in the tunnel. 

Weather- In the summer, weather plays a larger factor in traveler behavior. If rain showers move in early in the day, expect drivers to head back to the Front Range early as well.

Before you travel, check one of CDOT’s Real Time Info resources to see the current status of I-70!