How to prepare for traveling on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon (Spring 2021)
How to prepare for traveling on I -70 in Glenwood Canyon (Spring 2021)
I-70 in Glenwood Canyon
Motorists traveling on Interstate 70 should prepare for reduced speeds, slick roads and limited visibility in Glenwood Canyon, as well as other spring weather conditions that are common
along the I -70 mountain corridor. I f there is rain in the forecast, motorists should anticipate a possible safety closure of I -70, rest areas and the Glenwood Canyon bike path in the canyon.
These safety closures are to protect the traveling public from the potential for debris flow, mudslides or rockfall. Construction impacts will be much lighter on I -70 in Glenwood Canyon
compared to Summer 2020. To ensure safety, motorists should plan for occasional lane closures, obey reduced speeds and drive with caution. CDOT also urges travelers to stay
focused on the road and avoid distracted driving. Please see below for information about the Glenwood Canyon rest areas and bike path.
How to plan ahead
Motorists planning to travel on I -70, visit rest areas or ride the bike path in Glenwood Canyon should pay close attention to weather forecasts. If there is rain in the forecast, be prepared
for a safety closure of I -70, rest areas and bike path. CDOT recommends that travelers have a back up plan in the event that closures are necessary. Please refer to www.cotrip.org for the
latest road conditions and route options. More information is below for planning an alternate route. CDOT also recommends that travelers bring an emergency kit with water, snacks, a
flashlight and a blanket, as mountain conditions often change suddenly.
I-70 safety closures in Glenwood Canyon
In order to maintain safety on I -70 in Glenwood Canyon, CDOT has a plan in place for protecting the traveling public in the event of a debris flow, mudslides or rockfall in the
canyon. If there is a Flash Flood Watch for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will have personnel and equipment on standby in preparation for a closure. If there is a Flash Flood
Advisory, CDOT crews will begin restricting traffic traveling into the canyon. If there is a Flash Flood Warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will close I -70 in Glenwood Canyon from
Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to Exit 133 (Dotsero). All traffic in the canyon will immediately be evacuated from I -70, rest areas and the bike path. CDOT, Colorado State Patrol and local
agencies will assist with evacuating the canyon as quickly as possible.
What happens during a Glenwood Canyon safety closure
During a canyon closure CDOT will monitor I -70 for debris flow, mudslides and rockfall. Personnel and equipment will be ready to clear the road of debris and assess damage before
reopening. Motorists should plan for through traffic to be turned around during a safety closure and directed back to I -70. This is to prevent overcrowding in nearby Eagle and
Garfield county communities. If a safety closure of I -70 is anticipated to last longer than two hours, CDOT recommends that motorists travel to their destination using an alternate route.
CDOT will reopen I -70 in Glenwood Canyon once it is safe for the traveling public.
Alternate routes during I -70 safety closures
If a safety closure of I -70 in Glenwood Canyon is anticipated to last longer than two hours, CDOT recommends a northern alternate route using Colorado Highway 9, US Highway 40 and
Colorado Highway 13. This alternate route is not the same as the 2020 detour. Motorists should anticipate delays on the alternate route due to additional detour traffic.
● WESTBOUND I -70: Motorists coming from the Denver metro area or Interstate 25 can travel westbound on I -70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto CO 9. In Kremmling,
travelers should turn onto westbound US Highway 40 towards Steamboat Springs. After reaching Craig, motorists can return south via CO 13 towards Rifle. Access to I -70
westbound is at Rifle.
● EASTBOUND I -70: Motorists traveling eastbound from Utah or Grand Junction can reach the Denver Metro area by traveling the route above in reverse. Before detouring onto any alternate route, motorists should refer to www.cotrip.org for the latest road conditions. CDOT strongly discourages travelers from using highways south of I -70
for an alternate route, due to extensive construction closures. CDOT also asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass Road (in Eagle/Garfield counties), Hagerman Pass, or other county
or forest service roads i n Eagle and Garfield counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles.
Rest areas and bike path closures
If there is rain in the forecast, motorists and recreationalists should anticipate possible overnight safety closures for the rest areas and bike path. CDOT hopes to reopen the Grizzly
Creek Rest Area (Exit 121) and Shoshone Power Plant (Exit 123) on April 1, conditions permitting. Travelers should anticipate limited facilities at the Grizzly Creek Rest Area due to
intermittent electrical power. The Hanging Lake Rest Area (Exit 125) and bike path will reopen May 1. The City of Glenwood Springs and U.S. Forest Service will reopen the Hanging
Lake Trail on May 1 to permitted hikers. More information is available at visitglenwood.com/HangingLake. Motorists without hiking permits will be able to access the
Hanging Lake Rest Area starting May 1 to use the facilities, but will not be able to hike without a permit.
Real time road updates and conditions are available 24-7 at www.cotrip.org. For more
information, please contact the CDOT Customer Service Hotline at 970-243-2368 or
https://www.codot.gov/topcontent/contact-cdot. The hotline is available Monday – Friday,
7:30am – 4:30pm. I n the event of an emergency, please call 911.