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A friend is going to be traveling this week from Kansas to Utah, presumably via I-70 through Colorado. As a Colorado native, I am aware that certain sections of I-70 (eg, Glenwood Canyon) are frequently subjected to road closures due to rock slides, mudslides, and other inclement weather.

Are there any routes my friend can take in Colorado to bypass these road closures?

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  • Where in KS to where in Utah? Kansas City to Salt Lake City is mostly I-80. For start/stop in more southerly portions of the states one could cut down to I-40 in various ways, and then back up in various ways to, say, Moab going through Shiprock NM.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 20:52
  • @JonCuster: Wichita, KS to Salt Lake City.
    – moonman239
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 23:10
  • Google maps suggests I-70 to Denver, I-25 to Fort Collins, US-278 to Laramie, then I-80 to Salt Lake City. That avoids the sections of I-70 you are concerned about. Forcing the route to go through Grand Junction on I-70 adds half an hour to the nominal time (slow going from Green River up and over Soldier Summit on a 2-lane road).
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 23:16
  • @JonCuster That sounds like an answer
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 1:13

2 Answers 2

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There is no easy answer: you just have to monitor the conditions live. If a major highway is closed a lot of the alternatives are often affected too.

At the moment I 80 currently has more than 20 road closure between Cheyenne and Rawlins due to winter weather including 10-ish from Laramie to Rawlins. I70 has only three total.

There is no easy way avoid the mountains: you need to play it by ear or go way down south for a major detour.

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I drove from Doc Holliday's place in Colorado Springs (Nov 2021) to Breckenridge and Vail, then to a few abandoned mining towns. Planning on crashing in Aspen, my GPS showed it was 3+ hours because the pass was closed as you mentioned, through March, maybe April. I wound up staying in Leadville—a pleasant surprise. In the end I discovered the only option was to return the way I came. Fortunately, the I-70 doesn't close, or at least the chances are slim. I've driven that route several dozen times over the last five years Oct - Mar.

Closures are definitely between Leadville and Aspen on the 24 and or 82 and north of Aspen on the 82. As snow was dumping throughout the Rockies, I made it to Utah with no problems. Hope this helps.

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