CDOT to open US 34 Canyon to all traffic for Thanksgiving holiday

November 21, 2016 - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - LARIMER COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation will temporarily open U.S. 34 to all drivers traveling between Estes Park and Loveland over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The three-mile section of highway on the east end of the canyon that has been closed since mid-October will open at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to all motorists with or without residential permits. This stretch from Mile Points 77 to 80 will close again on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m.

While the roadway is open, a traffic signal and flaggers will help guide drivers through a single-lane section of highway near MP 77. Drivers should be prepared to stop for up to 10 minutes.

This opening is part of CDOT’s promise to reduce the inconvenience to canyon residents and nearby communities as much as possible. Drivers should remember to drive slowly and be prepared to stop at the single lane section.

Until just before the Memorial Day weekend 2017, the canyon will be closed to through-traffic, however open to all drivers east of mile marker 80 and west of mile marker 77. To reach properties in the canyon, and travel between Estes Park and Loveland, drivers should use the detour on US 36 and SH 66.

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon’s roads and bridges were heavily damaged during the 2013 floods with many homes damaged and over 100 air lifted evacuations.  The canyon and its residents also suffered from flooding in 1976. As a result of these two events CDOT has been studying the hydraulic flow of the river in the canyon and its impact on the road and bridges along its path while looking for safety improvements and resiliency solutions to prevent/protect against future flood events.  

For additional information about this project, call the project information line at (970) 667-1005, email the team at [email protected], or visit the website and sign up for updates at For information on travel conditions, visit, sign up for GovDelivery or call 511. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and CDOT’s Facebook page at