The Road to Snow: Interstate 70

Posted On: 01/14/2022

Here in the Colorado Rockies, we depend on Colorado Department of Transportation, known as CDOT, to keep our highways not only in good condition, but passable through the mountains. When you depart from Denver International Airport, you are at 5,430 feet above sea level. When you travel to Summit County resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain, you’ll steadily climb out of arid, high plains through high alpine terrain, cross over the Continental Divide, and descend back below treeline to 9,000 feet above sea level. (Stay hydrated,folks! The high altitude, combined with a cold, dry climate all can lead to dehydration and headaches). With the different climate zones, which are impacted differently by wind, rain, and snow, impacts to our roads are substantial. Over the years, Epic Mountain Express has seen road closures due to mudslides, avalanche, ice, glare, rockslides, and wildfire.The team at CDOT has its hands full, all year round, with mitigating changing road conditions, plus safety, projects, studies and strategic planning.

In addition to challenges created by Mother Nature, there are also human-caused challenges. Besides accidents and traffic volumes, there are simply those who are unprepared for winter driving in the High Country (what we locals call it!)

Here are some useful tips and resources from CDOT and other mountain driving professionals:

GO I-70 Website: This website provides a great weekly Travel Forecast along with a weather forecast. Also on the site are meal deals and Sunday night stay-over deals, along with real time traffic links.

Traction and Chain Laws: Colorado has Traction & Chain Laws that are in effect from September 1 – May 31. A minimum tire tread depth of 3/16” along with certain types of tires or vehicle. You can find details here

Plows are on the road, sometimes in a tandem formation.This staggering allows multiple plows to clear the entire road in one pass. It is illegal and dangerous for motorists to pass plows while they are staggered. Read more

Of course, you can forget about all of the above, and let our winter-ready vehicles and trained drivers handle the drive to and from your mountain vacation! Reserve a seat today and arrive relaxed and ready!