What You’ll See on Your Drive on Colorado’s I-70

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If you are headed up to the mountains, you probably hop right on I-70, as soon as you leave Denver International Airport.  You’ll cruise through the Denver area, catching glimpses of the Mile High City before making your way up in elevation and into the Rocky Mountains.  Twisting and turning through the beautiful vistas, time seems to go by quickly as you head to your mountain destination. We’ve gathered a few notable sights, attractions, and pit-stops as you make your way across I-70 and the state of Colorado.

Bison

Bison

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.

Located in Jefferson County Colorado, this area offers a nice pit stop for hiking, biking, or a scenic picnic. The 5-mile Chavez and Beaverbrook loop winds through forest and past waterfalls, while the 13.4-mile Beaverbrook trail leads to Golden’s Windy Saddle Park and offers views of Clear Creek along I-70.

trees in the fall at a picnic area

Mining Towns

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.  You and your group will get a true taste of Colorado history if you choose to explore the many mining towns.

Some of our favorite activities in the Idaho Springs and Georgetown area include:

Georgetown Railroad in the fall

Tunnels

Another unique aspect of Colorado’s I-70 are its multiple tunnels throughout the state. The largest of these tunnels is the Eisenhower Tunnel: the longest interstate tunnel in the United States. It is also the highest point along I-70, reaching an elevation of 11,158 feet.

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.

Sprinter van shuttle in colorado

Ski Resorts

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. Whether a resort is your final Colorado destination or not, watching skiers whiz down the slopes and the chair lifts crest over the mountains is an exhilarating experience.

Breckenridge ski resort view from above

Peak 1 Express provides reliable airport transportation to Summit County and Vail Valley’s resorts, including Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Vail, Keystone, and Beaver Creek. Read more about creating a Colorado winter vacation checklist and winter activities other than skiing to make the most of your time in the mountains.

Raftable Rivers

As you’re passing by the Georgetown area, if you look down next to the interstate, you’ll see Clear Creek, the river that runs along I-70. Clear Creek runs 66 miles from Loveland Pass and eventually into the South Platte River and hosts opportunities for rafting on class III through V rapids.

These rafting trips range from family friendly rafting options to more thrilling whitewater opportunities, and offer views of historic Idaho Springs, including the Argo Mine and Tunnel. On its section through Golden, Colorado, Clear Creek is also very popular for river tubing.

group rafting on clear creek

The Blue River in Breckenridge is another picturesque river that runs along I-70. It runs for 65 miles from Summit County until it merges with the Colorado River near Kremmling. The Blue River near Silverthorne also hosts whitewater rafting, from milder sections to class IV rapids. Conditions must be perfect to raft this river, however, and it is rare that the Blue River is raftable for longer than a few weeks a summer.

Dillon Reservoir

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, as well as check out even more scenic drives from Breckenridge.

Woman paddling on Dillon reservoir

Lake Dillon activities include:

  • Rent a boat
  • Stand up Paddleboard or Kayak
  • Bike around the lake
  • Enjoy outside seating one of the marina’s restaurants or bars

Mountain Ranges

Once west of Denver on I-70,  you’ll be greeted with views of Colorado’s iconic mountain ranges including the Continental Divide and Tenmile Range through Summit County, and the Gore Range as you pass into Eagle County. At any point from Denver to the western slope, the drive rewards with stunning mountain vistas. Not only will a Peak 1 Express airport shuttle make the drive into Colorado’s mountains quick and easy, but you’ll be able to sit back and absorb the views without worrying about navigating Colorado roads or traffic on I-70.

Colorado mountains view from road

Glenwood Canyon

Travelers on Interstate 70 wind through Glenwood Canyon, passing through the Hanging Lake Tunnel, a testament to modern engineering that preserves the canyon’s natural beauty. Glenwood Canyon stands as a geological masterpiece, a rugged stretch along the Colorado River that blends natural wonders and engineering marvels.

Hanging lake Colorado

The canyon, carved by the forces of the river over millions of years, spans approximately 16 miles and is characterized by sheer cliffs, hanging gardens, and dramatic rock formations. Within the canyon, visitors will find the historic Hanging Lake and its stunning waterfalls – accessible only by a short hiking trail.

Ready to hop on I-70 and explore Colorado’s best sights and stops just off of the highway?  To skip the traffic and really take in all the views in, ride with Peak 1 Express. Our airport shuttles between DIA and Summit County or Vail Valley allow you to make the most of your trip to Colorado’s most scenic and wild mountain areas.

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Peak 1 Express provides the most convenient and affordable airport transportation service in the mountains. Specializing in late nights and early mornings, we proudly offer the most shuttle time and trip options of any mountain shuttle provider. We’ll get you to the mountains as soon as your flight lands, so you can spend more time skiing, less time waiting around for transportation. 


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