Why Does It Take So Long to Get From Denver To Grand Junction? [PHOTOS]
To be precise, the drive from Denver to Grand Junction comes in at about seven and a half hours. On a happy note, though, it only takes about four hours to get from Grand Junction to Denver. Why the difference, you ask? Good question. In any case, be prepared!
My fantastic voyage began Friday morning, August 29th, as I left Grand Junction, heading to Denver for the Keith Urban concert. In a word, the trip was painless. From here to there in four hours flat. Granted, we made the trip without a single tinkle-stop. There was traffic, and the occasional construction, but no biggie. On the other hand....
The return trip from Denver to Grand Junction was an entirely different story. From Denver to Eisenhower tunnel - three hours. From Eisenhower to Vail - about another hour. From Vail to Grand Junction - pretty much the normal time. Denver to Grand Junction total travel time = seven and a half hours. Granted, we had a few winkie stops on the way home, but sitting in gridlock will do that to you.
Why is there a difference? Hard to say. I can say this - we lost a considerable amount of the traffic at Idaho Springs, and even more leading into Vail. Once you get past Vail, it's smooth sailing.
Our recommendation: Leave early, regardless of which direction you are heading. A 7am start will insure less traffic versus an 11am start. If you are of the variety that believes you can gain time by getting off I-70 and jumping on the frontage roads, guess again. It won't work. We saw hundreds of people trying this, only to experience a traffic jam and cranky motorists unwilling to let them rejoin the interstate at the on-ramp.