Interstate 70 in Colorado

By | October 14, 2022

Interstate 70 in Colorado

Get started Mack
End Burlington
Length 450 mi
Length 724 km
Utah → Salt Lake City

  • 2 Rabbit Valley
  • 11 Mack
  • 15 Loma
  • 19 Fruita
  • 26 Grand Junction
  • 28 Redlands Parkway
  • 31 Grand Junction Reg. Airport
  • 37 Clifton
  • 42 Palisade
  • 44 Palisade
  • 46 cameo
  • 47 Colorado River State Park
  • 49 Grand Mesha
  • 62 The Beque
  • 75 Parachute
  • 81 Rulison
  • 87 Rifle
  • 90 Rifle
  • 94 Garfield County Airport
  • 97 Silt
  • 105 New Castle
  • 109 Canyon Creek
  • 111 South Canyon Creek Road
  • 114 West Glenwood
  • 116 Glenwood Springs
  • 121 Hanging Lake
  • 123 Shoshone
  • 125 Hanging Lake
  • 129 Blair Ranch Road
  • 133 Dotsero
  • 140 Gypsum
  • 147 Eagle
  • 157 Wolcott
  • 163 Edwards
  • 167 Avon
  • 168 Avon
  • 169 Vail
  • 171 Min turn
  • 173 West Vail
  • 176 Vail Ski Area
  • 180 East Vail
  • 190 Vail Pass
  • Vail Pass
  • 195 Copper Mountain
  • 198 Officers Gulch
  • 201 Frisco
  • 203 Breckenridge
  • 205 Silverthorne
  • Eisenhower Tunnel
  • 216 Loveland Pass
  • 218 no name
  • 221 Bakerville
  • 226 Silver Plume
  • 228 George Town
  • 232 Empire
  • 233 Lawson
  • 234 Downieville
  • 235 Dumont
  • 238 Fall River Road
  • 239 Idaho Springs
  • 240 Mount Evans
  • 241 Idaho Springs
  • 243 Hidden Valley
  • 244 Golden
  • 247 Floyd Hill
  • 251 El Rancho
  • 252 Evergreen Parkway
  • 253 Chief Hosa
  • 254 Genesee Park
  • 256 Lookout Mountain
  • 260 → Denver Beltway
  • 261 → Downtown Denver
  • 262 Colfax Avenue
  • 263 Colorado Mills Parkway
  • 264 Youngfield Street
  • 265 Golden
  • 266 Ward Road
  • 267 Kipling Street
  • 269 ​​→ Omaha
  • 270 Harlan Street
  • 271 Sheridan Boulevard
  • 272 Federal Boulevard
  • 273 Pecos Street
  • 274 → Colorado Springs / Cheyenne
  • 275 Brighton Blvd
  • 276 Colorado Boulevard
  • 277 Dahlia Street
  • 278 Quebec Street
  • 279 → Boulder
  • 280 Havana Street
  • 281 Peoria Street
  • 282 → Denver Bypass
  • 283 Chambers Road
  • 284 Pena Boulevard
  • 285 Airport Boulevard
  • 286 Tower Road
  • 288 Colfax Avenue
  • 289 → Denver Beltway
  • 292 Air Park Road
  • 295 Watkins
  • 299 Manila Road
  • 304 Bennett
  • 305 Kiowa
  • 306 Kiowa
  • 310 Strasbourg
  • 316 Byers
  • 322 Peoria
  • 328 Deer Trail
  • 336 Lowland
  • 340 Agate
  • 348 Cedar Point
  • 352 Kiowa
  • 354 no name
  • 359 Colorado Springs
  • 361 Limon
  • 363 Kit Karson
  • 371 Genoa
  • 376 Bovina
  • 383 Aruba
  • 395 Flagler
  • 405 Seibert
  • 412 Vona
  • 419 Stratton
  • 429 Bethune
  • 437 Burlington
  • 438 Burlington

Kansas → Kansas City

Interstate 70 or I -70 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Colorado. The highway is Colorado’s major east-west route and runs throughout the state. The highway runs right through the Rocky Mountains and is the highest highway in the United States at 3,401 meters high. The only major city on the route is Denver, but there are a few ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains along or near I-70. In western Colorado, the city of Grand Junction is of interest. I-70 is 724 kilometers long in Colorado.

  • WATCHTUTORIALS.ORG: Features why Colorado has the nickname as Centennial State and its economy, history and geography.

Travel directions

I-70 through the Glenwood Canyon.

I-70 just west of Denver.

I-70 through DeBeque Canyon in western Colorado.

Rocky Mountains

In uninhabited territory between Cisco and Loma, Interstate 70 crosses the border into Colorado in Utah. I-70 then heads east through an agricultural valley to the town of Grand Junction. This section of I-70 passes through a relatively densely populated area. Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. On the west side of Grand Junction, US 50 exits to Delta and Montrose. I-70 then forms the north bypass of Grand Junction. The valley is flat, but nearby are barren mountains.

After Grand Junction, a nearly 400-kilometer stretch through the Rocky Mountains begins. First, I-70 runs from Grand Junction through De Beque Canyon, a narrow and winding canyon. I-70 follows the Colorado River here and is quite winding. I-70 travels northeast in this area for approximately 30 miles before turning east again. The Colorado River valley then has a number of small towns, such as Rifle and Glenwood Springs. The valley is widest around Rifle, after New Castle the valley narrows a lot. I-70 gradually ascends from 1,400 to 1,700 meters above sea level between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

  • Provides state overview of Colorado and its alternative name as The Centennial State

Glenwood Springs is a small town and gateway to the true Rocky Mountains. Immediately after the city follows one of the most spectacular highway routes in the United States, the famous route through the Glenwood Canyon. I-70 leads through the narrow canyon with high cliffs towering far above the highway. I-70 has flyovers here because the valley is sometimes too narrow for two lanes of the highway next to each other. There are also a number of short tunnels. The route through the Glenwood Canyon is about 25 kilometers long, all the way to Dotsero.

The Colorado River valley is then wider again and remains somewhat desert-like, but with fairly high mountains all around. In this region are small towns such as Gypsum, Eagle and Wolcott. On this stretch, US 6 runs parallel to I-70 instead of being double-numbered. Near Eagle, I-70 rises over the 2,000-meter mark. After Eagle, the landscape becomes greener and less barren. The mountains around here are also getting higher, with more and more peaks above 3,000 meters and later above 3,500 meters.

At the village of Minturn, the US 24 branches off to Leadville. I-70 then leads past the well-known winter sports resort of Vail, with the highway rising considerably to the 3,250-meter-high Vail Pass, the second highest point of the Interstate Highway system. However, Vail Pass is not very spectacular, the mountains around are about 500 meters higher. After this, however, the mountains get a bit higher, with more and more peaks above 4,000 meters where there is snow until summer.

I-70 then descends to an altitude of about 2,700 meters and leads past the Dillon Reservoir, a reservoir. This is a somewhat wider valley with a higher population density around the towns of Frisco and Silverthorne. Also in Silverthorne, US 6 takes an alternate route over Loveland Pass, while I-70 crosses the continental divide via the Eisenhower Tunnel. From Silverthorne, a steep section follows where I-70 rises from 2,700 to 3,400 meters. The highest point on I-70 is in the Eisenhower Tunnel at 3,401 meters above sea level, the highest point on the US highway system.

After the Eisenhower Tunnel there is a long descent to Denver. Almost the entire 70 kilometers from the Eisenhower Tunnel to Denver is a descent, with the exception of the passage over the 2,402-meter high Floyd Hill, the third and final pass of I-70 in the Rocky Mountains. US 40 joins Empire at Empire. East of Idaho Springs, I-70 has 3 lanes in each direction at first, sporadically, later continuously. At 1,900 meters you reach the High Plains in which the city of Denver is located.


The first suburb of Denver is Golden, which follows an interchange with State Route 470. Immediately after, US 6 branches off for an alternate route to downtown Denver. I-70 then has 2×3, later 2×4 lanes through the large suburbs of Wheat Ridge and Arvada. After this, Interstate 76 branches off towards Omaha. I-70 then has 2×3 lanes through the older residential areas of northern Denver. This is followed by ‘Mousetrap’, the interchange with Interstate 25. I-70 then enters a 2×3 lane overpass several miles north of Downtown Denver.

The passage through northern Denver is primarily industrial in character, with extensive industrial estates. In the east of the city, Interstate 270 connects from Boulder, then it interchanges with Interstate 225, which forms Denver’s eastern bypass. Shortly after, Peña Boulevard turns off as a highway to the Denver Airport. The building density then decreases rapidly and eventually the junction with the E-470 follows, which forms the major ring road around Denver. After this, the agglomeration is left.

High Plains

Then I-70 continues for another 250 kilometers across the High Plains to the border with Kansas. This stretch descends almost imperceptibly from 1,700 to 1,200 meters above sea level. This region is sparsely populated, with extensive ranches but few larger towns. The US 36 splits off at Byers. I-70 then veers southeast for a bit to pass through the small town of Limon, which is a hub of eastern Colorado. The important US 287 exits here as a through route to Texas. The US 24 from Colorado Springs also reconnects here.

I-70 then heads straight east across the barren, monotonous prairies. There are only a few small hamlets on the route. At Burlington there is a connection to US 385. Kanorado then follows the border with the state of Kansas, Interstate 70 in Kansas then continues towards Kansas City.

Interstate 70 in Colorado