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Interstate 25, the most direct route from Denver to Fort Collins, is the north-south artery that connects the cities in the urban corridor along the Front Range. From Denver, U.S. 36 runs through Boulder, Lyons, and Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park. The direct route from Denver to Grand County is I-70 west to U.S. 40 (Empire exit) and to U.S. 34. If you're driving directly to Fort Collins or Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park from DIA, take the E-470 tollway to Interstate 25. U.S. 36 between Boulder and Estes Park is heavily traveled, but Highways 119, 72, and 7 have much less traffic.
Gasoline and service are available in all larger towns and cities in the region. Bicyclists are common except on arteries; state law gives them the same rights and holds them to the same obligations as any other vehicle. Expect extensive road construction along the northern Front Range; arterial routes, state highways, and city streets are being rebuilt to accommodate increasing traffic in the urban corridor. Although the state plows roads regularly, a winter snowstorm can slow traffic and create wet, slushy, or icy conditions. A cell phone is recommended, since some mountain roads have long, uninhabited stretches, although you can't always count on getting service in sparsely populated—or very mountainous—areas.
Car Travel Contacts
AAA Colorado (303/753–8800. www.colorado.aaa.com.)
Colorado Department of Transportation CDOT Road Information (303/639–1111. www.coloradodot.info.)
Colorado State Patrol (303/239–4501; *277 from cell phone.)
Rocky Mountain National Park Road Information (970/586–1333.)
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