Changing of the leaves expected to bring additional mountain traffic

News Release

September 28, 2023 - Central/Eastern Colorado - Drivers are urged to plan accordingly, especially over the weekends

Denver – The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to plan on additional traffic in the high country, especially over the next few weekends, as people head out to see the fall colors.

Mountain roads see increased traffic when the aspens begin turning to red and gold, so drivers and those taking photos outside of their vehicles and walking along roadways need to watch out for each other.

Be a Smart Leaf Peeper - Tips for driving along roads and highways this fall:

  • Beware of other vehicles that may be traveling at lower speeds
  • Watch for vehicles pulling off the roadways, and vehicles parked on the roadside
  • Find safe, designated areas to park
  • Drivers be aware of pedestrians! People will be out of their vehicles, often taking photos
  • Pedestrians should be extremely diligent and watch out for passing vehicles

Leaf peeping season also is a good time to explore one of Colorado’s 26 Scenic and Historic Byways. Leaf peepers are encouraged to visit to see where all of the Scenic and Historic Byways are and learn fun facts, estimated drive times, key attractions, route length and more! Plan your route ahead of time by clicking on the Scenic Byways layer on the Layers menu on both and the COtrip Planner App.

Construction zones are possible on state roadways

CDOT also is reminding drivers that highway work zones are possible, even on weekends. Although most projects shut down for the weekend, some may take advantage of favorable fall weather to continue construction activities before winter weather stops work until the spring.

Leaf Peeping along US 550
These leaf peepers have found a safe place along US 550 and are a good distance from the highway to take photos of the changing fall leaves on Coal Bank Pass

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip App!

The new free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!