Summer traffic season set to start

Travel Advisory

May 23, 2024 - Colorado

Denver — The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to anticipate additional traffic in many areas of the state as summer travel season gets underway with Memorial Day weekend.

Heavy traffic is anticipated along the Front Range and mountain highways, especially on westbound Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday, and eastbound I-70 from Eagle County to the Denver area on Memorial Day. Other mountain roadways, including US 24, 34, 36, 50 and 160, should also expect increased traffic.

Please Note: US 50 remains closed to through traffic between Gunnison and Montrose. More information is available at:

To help improve traffic flow, CDOT is suspending all construction and maintenance projects from noon Friday until Tuesday, May 28. The only exception is for emergency operations.

Another option for travelers this weekend is to travel one of Colorado’s 26 Scenic and Historic Byways. More information is available at:

CDOT’s Bustang transit system provides an alternative for those who would rather not drive. Bustang serves I-70 between Denver and Grand Junction and I-25 between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Outrider is an option for travel through many rural areas of the state. And Pegasus shuttle vans serve the I-70 west corridor between Denver and Avon. Please visit:

Although it is not the busiest of the summer travel weekends, Memorial Day experiences significant amounts of traffic. In 2023, a total of 157,224 vehicles traveled through Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels. The most heavily traveled days were going westbound on Friday and eastbound on Memorial Day.

The breakdown of travel numbers is below:

  • Friday, May 26 - 25,884 vehicles traveled westbound and 17,092 vehicles traveled eastbound for a total of 42,976
  • Saturday, May 27 - 21,301 vehicles traveled westbound and 15,006 traveled eastbound for a total of 36,307
  • Sunday, May 28 - 16,412 vehicles traveled westbound and 20,951 traveled eastbound for a total of 37,363
  • Monday, May 29 - 14,336 vehicles traveled westbound and 26,242 traveled eastbound for a total of 40,478.

Seasonal roads and scheduled openings:

  • Colorado 5 – Mount Blue Sky: To be determined – Estimate – early June
  • Colorado 82 – Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen: Saturday, June 1 (Tentative – weather permitting)
  • Trail Ridge Road (US 34) between Estes Park and Grand Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park). Current road status: 970-586-1222.
  • Guanella Pass between Georgetown and Grand: 303-679-2422, ext. 2
  • Kebler & Cottonwood passes – check

Please visit, the mobile-friendly go-to resource for information about traffic, highway conditions, construction and Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways. For specific information about the I-70 Corridor west of Denver, please check

Two snow plows clearing snow on CO 5 going up the summit of Mount Blue Sky
Image taken in the last week of CDOT plows clearing snow on CO 5 that travels up to the summit of Mount Blue Sky. CDOT crews continue to plow snow due to ongoing storms as winter is slow to lose its grip on this high mountain road. Crews hope to clear CO 5 leading to the 14,130-foot summit shortly after the Memorial Day weekend.

Be Safe – Be Prepared - For Late Spring Driving Conditions

  • Watch for potholes. Winter’s freeze/thaw cycle weather can damage roadways, including the creation of potholes. Spring rain also can make them difficult to see. And they can damage your vehicle, requiring expensive repairs.
  • Keep a safe following distance in case the driver in front of you reacts unpredictably. Avoid swerving if you can to avoid a pothole.
  • Slow down for spring showers. Roads become slick when it first begins to rain because rainwater mixes with road contaminants, like as oil and grease. Increase your following distance to allow for proper braking.
  • Watch for pedestrians and bikes. Warmer temperatures mean more people are outside walking or bicycling.
  • Slow down and pay extra attention at crosswalks and along roadways.
  • Share the road with motorcycles. Motorcycles may quickly come in and out of your blind spots due to their speed and size. Always take a second look with more motorcycles out on the road.
  • Animals are on the move. Animal activity increases during the spring, either due to mating season or because they are waking up from winter hibernation. Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.
  • Maintain proper tire air pressure. Tires lose air due to the cold winter temperatures and now can be underinflated. Warmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated. Inspect your tires. Adequate tire tread is important for safe driving in wet weather because the tread moves water away from the tire. Less tread means reduced traction.

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:

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!