I-70 News


Summer is definitely in full swing, and this is the weekend we start to see higher volumes on Interstate 70.  Be aware of the typical summer traffic pattern, so you can plan around the congestion.  As always, we post a travel forecast specific to each weekend at GoI70.com/travel

Typical Summer Traffic Pattern

Friday WB
– 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. Delays during this timeframe might mean an added 20 minutes to a trip from Golden to Frisco.

Saturday and Sunday WB –On Saturday morning, you might experience congestion from 10:00-2:00 p.m.  Get an earlier start to avoid traffic.  There are rarely westbound delays on Sundays. 

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

Sunday EB – According to historical data, eastbound traffic starts to build around 11:00 a.m. The peak of traffic is consistently between 3:00 and 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.  Check out the GoI70.com Peak Time Deals for discounts on dining, shopping, activities and Sunday night lodging deals!

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 lighter-than-normal congestion.

Safety Metering – Safety metering eastbound at the Eisenhower Tunnel goes into effect during high volume times.  This process controls the flow of traffic eastbound into the Eisenhower Tunnel, so traffic does not back up in the tunnel.  Expect eastbound delays when metering is in effect.

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.

Mountain Express Lane – This eastbound express lane provides a more reliable travel time to those willing to pay the toll.  Get the ExpressToll pass to pay the posted toll rate.  Those without a pass will be billed the posted rate plus a service charge.  More info at ExpressToll.com

Weekend traffic on I-70 is extremely predictable, so barring weather or an accident, travelers can avoid the I-70 jam with just a little bit of planning.  Safe Travels!

The Mount Evans Highway (CO 5) is officially open up to the summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet). The United States Forest Service oversees the Mount Evans Recreation Area, which more than 150,000 people visit each summer. Three developed sites are located along the corridor. Two are in the National Forest: Mount Goliath Natural Area and Nature Center and the Summit of Mount Evans Interpretive Site; while Summit Lake Park is owned by the City and County of Denver.  Visitors wishing to stop at all three sites may purchase both the $10 Forest Service pass and the $5 City of Denver pass at the Mount Evans Welcome Station, or they may choose to purchase just one or the other, depending on the destination. Fees are per vehicle. There is no fee for driving through the area unless you plan to visit one of these sites. Bicyclists are exempt from the fee. For more information, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mountevans; call the Clear Creek Ranger District's information line at 303-567-4382; or stop by the Idaho Springs Visitor's Center at 2060 Miner Street, east of Downtown Idaho Springs.

Weekend Travel Forecast:
The weather forecast is stellar - warm temperatures and 0% chance of precipitation Friday through Sunday!   If you plan around the times outlined below, you should have a delay-free trip to and from the mountains this weekend!

Friday WB – Light traffic is possible from Noon to 6:00 p.m. 

Saturday WB – Minor congestion is possible 9 a.m. to Noon.

Saturday EB – Traffic volume should not cause any delays.

Sunday EB – Expect congestion to begin around 2:00 p.m. and end soon after 6:30 p.m.  Last year the delays peaked between 3:00-6:00 p.m. with 30 minutes extra travel time from Vail to Golden.  Instead of battling traffic, take advantage of a discounted activity, meal or hotel room with one of our GoI70 Peak Time Deals.   

*The GoI70.com Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.

Both the weather and the travel forecast are looking great for this weekend!  Expect warm temps and sunshine on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday WB – There might be some slowing from 5:00-7:30 p.m., but delays should not be significant.  Expect afternoon thunderstorms throughout the I-70 corridor Friday afternoon/evening.

Saturday WB – No volume-related delays are anticipated. 

Saturday EB- Congestion due to volume should not be an issue.

Sunday EB – Last year there were no delays, but there could be slow-moving traffic in the 3:00-5:00 p.m. timeframe.

*The GoI70.com Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.