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
December 15-17, 2017
With a little new snow on the ground today and snow in the forecast, we expect an influx of weekend skiers along the I-70 corridor. Dry weather tomorrow and Saturday will turn to a chance of light snow Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Friday WB – There were no westbound delays on this date the past three years.
Saturday WB - There were 20 minute westbound delays on this day last year. Expect the slowing to occur between 6:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m., with the heaviest traffic around 8:00 a.m.
Sunday WB - No volume-related delays are expected.
Saturday EB- Expect up to 10-15 minute delays between 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Sunday EB – Volumes are not anticipated to be significant but if the forecasted snow materializes, anticipate slow traffic during the Noon-6:00 p.m. timeframe.
Check CoTrip.org or call 511 to learn the status of traffic before you jump on I-70.
*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.