Winter weather conditions and numerous travelers on the roads can sometimes clog up traffic on I-70 back and forth between Denver and the Mountains, especially on weekends and Holidays during ski season. With a little planning and traffic watching, it can be easy to avoid the traffic jam and spend more time on the slopes, instead of the highway.
Winterize Your Vehicle
Your vehicle makes a huge difference in your travel experience to the mountains. Be sure you have a vehicle with good tires, 4-wheel or all-wheel drive, working windshield wipers and finally a full tank of wiper fluid. Even if the going is slow, a well-equipped vehicle will allow you to move with the flow of traffic without having to worry about sliding off the road or not being able to see the car in front of you. You might even think about placing a sandbag or bag of kitty litter in the trunk to add more weight- it’s also nice to have on hand in case you get stuck anywhere to use for traction!
Leave Early… Very Early
Although 5 am may seem early, it’s a sure way to beat the interstate traffic crowds, both going to and from the mountains. The early bird gets the worm… or in this case the fresh powder and open roads!
Leave Later in the Day… Have Dinner, Hit the Hot Tubs, etc.
Enjoy another day on the slopes and finish up your last day with an early dinner, happy hour, or one last trip to the hot tubs. Typically the traffic clears up later in the afternoon or early evening, but you just have to time it right. Have fun hanging out and be sure to keep an eye on CDOT’s website for traffic updates and to view live cameras or you can even sign up for traffic text alerts!
Stay an Extra Night
SummitCove.com can offer amazing last minute deals for adding an extra night if your property is available. This way you can squeeze in an extra day of skiing, hot-tubbing and relaxing before you hit the road. Leave early Monday morning for a nice quiet drive, sans traffic. If the weather is bad, wait it out an extra day to see if things will clear up.
Take an Alternate Route
If you really need to get back to Denver quickly, think about taking an alternate route. Head West on I-70, getting off on the Copper exit, go through Leadville and Buena Vista, and down 285 back to Denver.