From the moment you fly into Denver International Airport if you are headed up to the mountains, you probably hop right on I-70. You’ll cruise through the Denver area and catch glimpses of the Mile High City before you make your way up in elevation and head into the Rocky Mountains. Twisting and turning through the beautiful vistas, time seems to go by quickly as you head to your mountain destination. Here’s what you’ll see if you’re making your way across the state of Colorado on I-70.
One of the first things you may notice as you roll into the foothills is The Buffalo Overlook at Genesee Mountain Park. While you can pull off onto exit 254 and check out bison and elk, you might be able to spot them as you drive west.
Getting further up 70, you will pass the historic mining towns of Idaho Springs, Georgetown and Silver Plume. If you have time, these are awesome spots to venture around. The downtown stretches are filled with great local restaurants and tiny souvenir shops riddle the streets. You and your group will get a true taste of Colorado history if you choose to explore the many mining towns.
A cool feature on I-70 through Colorado is there are multiple tunnels throughout the state. The largest of these tunnels is the Eisenhower Tunnel. It is the longest interstate tunnel in the United States and tops out at 11,158 feet in elevation. The Eisenhower Tunnel is just over a mile and a half long and as you head west out of the tunnel you’ll make your way down into Summit County with incredible views of Lake Dillon and the mountain ranges that make up the Continental Divide.
It’s no secret that Colorado is known for its ski resorts, and you can see the expansive front sides of three popular ski resorts, Loveland Ski Area, Copper Mountain and Vail, from I-70. The sight of the ski resorts is particularly intriguing during the winter months while watching skiers whiz down the slopes. However, the chair lifts disappearing over the crests of steep mountains are eye-catching year long.
As you’re passing by the Georgetown area, if you look down next to the interstate, you’ll see Clear Creek. Further west on I-70 in the Glenwood Canyon area, the Shoshone River runs by the highway, both are commercially rafted areas and fun to take a look at if you are planning a rafting trip on one of these areas.
As you approach Frisco heading west on I-70, there is a turn-off where you can check out the gorgeous Lake Dillon Reservoir from an overlook. This reservoir is the water source for Denver and a sight to be seen whether from the pull off or continuing on the highway. Hint: make your way up Swan Mountain to Sapphire Point for the best views in Summit County.
Heading west, once you hit Denver you’re in the mountains, so of course there will be notable mountain ranges. Some mountain ranges of interest include the Continental Divide, Tenmile Range through Summit County, and the Gore Range as you pass into Eagle County. While these particular ranges are frequently talked about, just looking out the window at any point from Denver to the western slope and mountains are everywhere.
The last piece of the highway that was constructed is the tight-winding Glenwood Canyon. This part of the road is at a lower elevation surrounded by red colored rock faces and the Shoshone river rushing by.
Spend your summer in Colorado this year and you’ll get to gawk at all the incredible things the beautiful state has to offer. If you feel like skipping the traffic and really taking all the views in, call Peak 1 Express and hop on one of our shuttles.