Travel Forecast & Tips
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
March 16-18, 2018
Spring Break is upon us and while I-70 sees lots of volume this time of year, traffic is more spread out between the week and weekend than usual. Traffic volume has not been significant on this weekend in the past three years but there are still some peak travel times it is best to avoid.
Weather will not be an issue Friday or Saturday, but snow is in the forecast for Sunday. Plan for snow and snowy roads on Sunday!
Friday WB – Expect some slowing but now significant delays between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m.
Saturday WB- Traffic delays are likely from 6:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. with peak delays occurring around 8:00 a.m.
Saturday EB- There could be some slowing during the 3:00-6:00 p.m. timeframe.
Sunday EB – Last year there were delays of 15 minute between 3:00-6:00 p.m., but winter weather could cause longer delays this year. Check CDOT’s CoTrip.org or dial 511 to learn road conditions before you travel.
*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.
Tips for I-70 mountain travel
- Avoid the Peak Travel Times. If heading eastbound on Saturday or Sunday, plan to leave the mountains after 7:00 p.m. Check the weekend and holiday Travel Forecast.
- Check the road and traffic conditions before you travel.
- Check out the Peak Time Deals local businesses offer to help you avoid peak travel times.
- Spend a Sunday night in the mountains and head to work or school early Monday morning.
- Prepare for I-70 mountain driving conditions. Understand the Traction & Chain Laws.
- Create or join a carpool.
- Consider taking a bus, train, van or rideshare to the mountains and leave the driving to someone else.
Winter Traffic Patterns
(early Dec-mid April. Based on historical data.)
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 possible from about 3:30-8:00 p.m.
Saturday Westbound - If you want to avoid skier traffic, plan to leave the Front Range no later than 6:00 a.m. Traffic is consistently at its worst right around 8:00 a.m. resulting in up to one hour of additional travel time. Speeds return to normal soon after Noon.
Saturday Eastbound - Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. Many Saturdays see very little congestion but it varies by weekend. To play it safe, avoid the 2:00 - 6:00 p.m timeframe.
Sunday Westbound - Traffic due to volume is not typically an issue westbound on Sunday mornings. To play it safe, avoid the 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. timeframe.
Sunday Eastbound - I-70 traffic starts to build as early as 11:00 a.m. The peak of the traffic occurs between 3:00-6:00 and drops off soon after 7:00 pm. Expect heavy traffic. To avoid the jam, stay in the mountains for dinner, or spend Sunday night and head back to work or school Monday morning. GoI70.com Peak time Deals provide incentives to avoid peak travel times!
Weather, Road Conditions & Accidents are impossible to predict and can escalate the level and duration of delays dramatically. Before you travel, check one of the real time information resources!
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 slightly less congestion than usual.
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.