DENVER (KDVR) — If you are looking to catch the annular solar eclipse in the southwest corner of Colorado on Saturday, you should be prepared to wait in traffic.
That’s according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Three highways were called out for being potential traffic hotspots:
- U.S. Highway 160
- U.S. Highway 491
- Colorado Highway 184
Cortez, Dolores, Dove Creek and Mesa Verde National Park will be especially popular destinations, as they are in the path of maximum eclipse visibility, according to CDOT.
CDOT said most traffic will likely happen Thursday and Friday as people travel in preparation for the eclipse, as well as Saturday afternoon when the eclipse is completed.
The partial eclipse starts at around 9:11 a.m. MST and will end around 12:04 p.m. In southwest Colorado, maximum annularity — which is the greatest coverage of the sun by the moon — will happen around 10:33 a.m.
While only the southwestern corner of the state will experience totality, much of Colorado will experience at least some level of the eclipse, which CDOT said could impact traffic statewide.
Drivers should pay attention to vehicles slowing down or pulling over due to the eclipse, according to CDOT.
Some safety tips
If you are traveling to the southwest corner of Colorado to experience the eclipse, CDOT gave a few safety tips to keep in mind.
- Have a plan and know a safe area to watch the eclipse ahead of time
- Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks as it is unknown how long you may have to wait in traffic
- Do not park on a highway shoulder or in a ditch area, as your vehicle exhaust could start a forest fire
Additionally, road conditions can be checked ahead of time using COtrip.org.