As you travel across Colorado on Interstate 70, you’ll find several scenic rest stops, which don’t have facilities, but do provide a nice view of the mountains, and perhaps a lake. But in my opinion, there’s only one place along the highway where a stop is mandatory: Glenwood Canyon.
-The tunnel is just under 1.7 miles long
-The east portal is 11,158 feet above sea level, making it the highest vehicular tunnel in the world
-52 full time employees keep it operating year-round.
-The average snowfall in the area is 26 feet!
CDOT’s website has much more trivia.
I really should have taken more pictures of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon. It’s one of the most remarkable stretches of scenic highway in the world–not only because of the landscape surrounding it, but also because of what it took to build it. This section of I-70 was one of the last segments of the country’s interstate system to be completed, and one of the most expensive. In some places, the westbound lanes are almost directly above the eastbound lanes, and both are perched on the side of the canyon, on a viaduct that’s suspended above the river.
In the photo above, you can see where the highway enters the Hanging Lake Tunnels.
The highway may be remarkable, but the destinations you can reach on foot are incredible. The path you see above runs the length of the canyon, and allows for a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Colorado River. The paved trail also allows access to the Hanging Lake Trailhead, about 1/4 mile from the rest area at exit 125.
Here’s a look back at the canyon, and the Colorado River, from just a short distance up the Hanging Lake Trail.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005.