When I-70 is closed through Glenwood Canyon, here are the alternate routes

Local News

GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo. (KDVR) — After multiple mudslides this summer in Glenwood Canyon and more rain on the way, drivers are concerned about the possibility of closures on Interstate 70.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said anytime there is a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, which is in Glenwood Canyon, I-70 will be closed from Glenwood Springs to Dotsero because of the risk for mudslides. Eastbound traffic will usually be stopped in Rifle, although depending on where the warning is, this could change.

CDOT said only local traffic on I-70 will be allowed east of Exit 109. All traffic in the canyon will immediately be evacuated from I-70.

CDOT, Colorado State Patrol and local agencies will assist with evacuating the canyon as quickly as possible. The safety closure will continue until CDOT determines it is safe to reopen I-70.

What alternate routes can I take to avoid Glenwood Canyon?

  • 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. CO 13 north to US 40 east to CO 9 south.

“We strongly discourage travelers from using highways south of I-70 for an alternate route, due to extensive construction closures. We also asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass Road (in Eagle/Garfield counties), Hagerman Pass, Eagle/Thomasville Road or other county or forest service roads in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles. Many of these four-wheel drive roads also do not have cell phone coverage,” CDOT said.

If you are planning to travel through Glenwood Canyon, you can plan ahead by keeping an eye on the forecast and checking road conditions.

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