Skip to content

Heavy traffic impacts on the I-70 mountain corridor expected this weekend for leaf peeping

Motorists should be prepared for delays particularly between the Denver metro area and Silverthorne
Several parked cars near US 285 Kenosha Pass and people crossing the highway to view the aspens turning gold. CDOT urges drivers to slow down and watch for people outside their vehicles and crossing roadways


Heavy traffic is expected on the I-70 mountain corridor this weekend due to a combination of leaf peeping and expected good weather. Traffic will likely pick up from the Denver metro area to the mountains going westbound on I-70 beginning Friday afternoon through early Saturday afternoon, with the heaviest impacts occurring when travelers return back to the metro area on eastbound I-70 on Sunday. US-6 over Loveland Pass is also expected to be heavily traveled.

This time last year, nearly 3,000 vehicles an hour were traveling on eastbound I-70 through the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel by 11 a.m. on Sunday. Traffic continued to be heavy through the day.  When traffic is this heavy, CDOT must meter traffic that enters the tunnel to keep it free-flowing for safety purposes. The heavy traffic can double the travel time from Silverthorne to Denver from an hour to two hours. CDOT asks motorists to plan ahead, be patient as they return home and expect heavy traffic through the weekend.

Traffic will be heavier than usual on mountain passes across the state as well. Here are some tips to be a smart leaf peeper:

  • Drivers are urged to look out for other vehicles that may be traveling at lower speeds. 
  • Watch for vehicles pulling off the roadways, and vehicles parked on the sides of the roads. 
  • Vehicles should always find safe, designated areas to park.
  • Motorists need to watch out for pedestrians! People will be out of their vehicles with their cameras.   
  • Pedestrians are encouraged to be extremely diligent and watch out for passing cars and trucks.
  • Plan ahead before you head out and check road conditions on

Additionally, CDOT cautions drivers that construction work zones are present throughout the state on area highways. Most construction and maintenance projects shut down over the weekends, however some contractors may need to take advantage of favorable weather and construction activity may be taking place on Saturdays. CDOT will continue to call out any construction activity that extends to these non-traditional work times. 

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip App!

The new FREE COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!

About CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide the best multi-modal transportation system that most effectively and safely moves people, goods and information. CDOT maintains more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,400 bridges and 35 mountain passes. Our team of employees works tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. CDOT leverages partnerships with a range of private and public organizations and operates Bustang, an interregional express bus service. Find more details at