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 > I-70 Colorado in April

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mbopp

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Posted: 02/01/20 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SO we're planning a trip to Moab, UT the end of April coming from the east. I'm hearing that it's not unusual to get snow at that time of year and I-70 may be closed then. Any comments?


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Posted: 02/01/20 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We lived in Colorado for 30 years. It can happen anytime, but April will have a pretty high probability. The weather services do provide advanced warning to be able to plan your trip. The worst areas are at the Eisenhower Johnson tunnels and Vail Pass.

Interesting side note, they have been closing eastbound quite often due to sun glare.

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Posted: 02/01/20 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We got buried in snow on May 9 last year up by Leadville, so just watch the weather and if I-70 is bad just stay around Denver area 1 or 2 days. Bear Creek State park by Morrison is a nice campground.

Mbiviano

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Posted: 02/01/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah I wouldn’t change your plans. There are other ways around I70 to Moab if snow comes.


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Posted: 02/01/20 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn’t cancel my trip. Be flexible! Carry chains or cables, a shovel etc.


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Posted: 02/01/20 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

April is one of Colorado's snowiest months. But it is also warming up, so pretty unusual to have snow last a long time (even in the mountains).

I wouldn't change plans based on weather worries crossing I70. Worst case, wait a day, and then head across.


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RAS43

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Posted: 02/01/20 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Also be aware that Colorado has a Traction Law for vehicles traveling through our mountains from October thru May. Basically, if the roads are snow covered and the law is in effect you will need snow tires with adequate tread or chains. If not you cannot proceed or if you get stuck and delay traffic the fines are large.

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Posted: 02/01/20 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All of the above. March/April are the big snow months in Colorado, but last year there was goodly snow in May as well, in some places 500-800% above normal. Trail Ridge Rd did not open for Memorial Day weekend on time. The good thing about I-70 is that, it being a major east/west route across country, CDOT does a good job keeping it as open as they can. As mentioned previously, the 2 challenges in a storm are the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels and Vail Pass. Once you get down to Vail, it less daunting, although Glenwood Canyon can be tricky if it's snowing. S-L-O-W is the word of the day for traveling in the mountains in the snow.

There are limited alternatives that don't involve I-70. In the north, there's CO 14 from Fort Collins through Poudre Canyon to Walden and on to picking up US 40 outside of Steamboat Springs. Getting down from US 40 to Moab could be tricky though. In the south, there's US 50 that goes through the Arkansas Valley, up and over Monarch Pass and then down through Gunnison and on to Montrose and Grand Junction. There's also US 160 that goes over Wolf Creek Pass and drops down to Pagosa Springs and on to Durango and Cortez, and on to Moab.

* This post was edited 02/01/20 02:00pm by Thom02099 *


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obgraham

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Posted: 02/01/20 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mbiviano wrote:

Yeah I wouldn’t change your plans. There are other ways around I70 to Moab if snow comes.
Ha Hah -- the alternates are snowy too!
Just wait it out if the weather is bad.

4runnerguy

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Posted: 02/01/20 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The closer to the end of April you get, the less chance that snow will be an issue. Can it happen, sure, but we've had to use 4x4 to get out of a campsite with 6"+ of snow on July 4th up on the Flat Tops, so no month is totally without risk.

Yes there are alternatives. Just because we get a dump here in CO doesn't mean that I-80 through Wyoming won't be good. Just depends on the storm track. Fifty miles north or south can mean the difference between 8" and a dusting. Been happening a lot this winter.


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