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Location: North Mountains > North Front Range
> Northeast Plains
W End: Jct US 40 at Muddy Pass east of Steamboat Springs
E End: Jct US 6 in Sterling
Counties: Jackson, Larimer, Weld, Logan
Places: Walden, Gould, Cameron Pass, Cache la Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins, Ault, Briggsdale, Raymer, Sterling
Expressway: East of Fort Collins from the intersection of Mulberry St. and Riverside Ave. east to I-25.
Broken Route: SH 14 is multiplexed with US 287 for 13mi from Ted's Place southeast to downtown Fort Collins. However, rather than being signed as US 287/SH 14, it actually says US 287/To SH 14.
Mountain Passes: East of Walden: Cameron Pass
(10,276ft; <4% grade)
Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):
SH 14 starts on the eastern slope of the Gore Range at US 40 at Muddy Pass. From there, SH 14 heads northeast across the rolling North Park valley to Walden generally via Grizzly Creek. South of Walden, 14 intersects SH 125, and has an overlap with it for 1.4mi north to the intersection of Main and 6th, and then heads east on 6th to Washington, south on Washington, then southeast out of town. SH 14 follows Michigan River, goes through the settlement of Gould, then climbs east up Cameron Pass. From the summit of Cameron Pass, SH 14 picks up the Cache la Poudre River and follows that east all the way to US 287 at Ted's Place. The Poudre Canyon features various topographies over its length, including wide meadows and narrow canyons. Several towns are in the canyon, including Rustic and Poudre Park. The entire length of the canyon has Forest Service campsites, trails and picnic areas.
At Ted's Place, SH 14 goes south on US 287 toward Fort Collins. The multiplex with 287 is marked, but it's marked as "TO 14" along the way, so SH 14 is still a broken route. In Fort Collins, SH 14 heads southeast off of US 287 at the intersection of Jefferson St. and College Ave. This goes right through the downtown area along Jefferson, much to the consternation of many people in town. SH 14 is used heavily for the cut-through traffic trying to get from I-25 to US 287 north, which is a popular shortcut for trucks heading from Denver to Laramie. This has led the city to propose a "northeast bypass", which would somehow get traffic from I-25 over to US 287 north of town. The state was willing to build it in the 1980s, but Fort Collins objected because of environmental concerns. Now, the city has to do it on its own, which means there is not a whole lot of money to do it. Voters have approved money to study it, but not to do it. People have suggested alignments along Vine Drive, Mountain Vista Drive, Douglas Road, or way up at Owl Canyon.
Heading southeast on Jefferson St., that becomes Riverside Ave. at the intersection with Mountain Ave./Lincoln Ave. (yes, that means it's a four-way intersection that has four different streets going off in the four directions). Riverside is four lanes wide with a 35mph limit, and parallels the Poudre River and railroad tracks. Traffic wanting to continue east on SH 14 has to turn left at Mulberry St. The intersection of Mulberry and Riverside is a four-way signalized intersection, except Riverside is diagonal NW-SE while Mulberry is E-W. Railway tracks parallel Riverside on its northeast side.
From the intersection of Mulberry and Riverside, SH 14 heads east on Mulberry, down a hill and across the Poudre River, then is a divided expressway for the 3.25 miles out to I-25 Exit 269. It's not a high-speed expressway, because the limit never actually gets up higher than 50mph.
SH 14 has a partial cloverleaf interchange with I-25 at Exit 269, and from there becomes a normal two-lane road again on its east side. There is a 50mph speed limit for a while past some housing subdivisions, then the limit becomes 65mph. SH 14 goes due east toward Ault, with only a quick drop of the speed limit to 50mph for the intersection with SH 257. In Ault, it heads east through town as 1st St., and there is a signal light with US 85.
Ault, SH 14 heads east out onto the Plains, and diagonals north for a
few miles before heading east again. The Pawnee National Grassland is
off the north side of the highway in many places. As SH 14 heads east
toward Sterling, the terrain continues to be rolling prairie and the
towns of Briggsdale, Raymer and Stoneham are encountered. Buckingham is
on some maps but there is no town there. I should mention as of May
2007 there's only one gas station between Ault and Sterling, and that's
in Briggsdale. Don't take chances with gas if you'll be driving SH 14
Let's have an aside about the town of Raymer. Whether it is
"Raymer" or "New Raymer" is a source of confusion. The US Postal
Service lists its post office there as New Raymer, but most maps call
it Raymer. Signs on I-76 at SH 52 in Fort Morgan say New Raymer, but
internal CDOT data calls it Raymer. The USGS database says Raymer is
the town name but lists New Raymer as the "common name used". According
to the Greeley Tribune, the confusion is all due to the post
office adding "new" to the front of the town name because "Raymer" was
too close to "Ramah". Raymer was named for a railroad executive. For
the purposes of this website I am considering Raymer to be the correct
name because that is the official name of the municipality.
When finally getting to Sterling, SH 14 comes east into town and uses Main St. Several miles of SH 14 on the west side of town serve as Sterling's main commercial strip. SH 14 then ends at US 6, but US 6 is on two-one way streets, so SH 14 ends either at 4th St. (southwestbound US 6) or 3rd St. (northeastbound US 6) depending on which direction you're going.
SH 14 is an original 1920s cross-state highway. It started as it does now east of Steamboat Springs, and headed east along its current route through the Poudre Canyon, through Fort Collins, but originally came east out of Fort Collins on what is now Lincoln Ave. It continued through Ault, but the original route didn't have the diagonal section east of Ault. Instead, it "stairstepped" to the northeast using current county roads through Purcell. From Sterling, SH 14 continued east on current US 6 to Nebraska. When the US highways came, US 38 took over 14's route from Nebraska to Sterling, and then that was taken over by US 6.
By 1936, SH 14 was paved from Fort Collins to Ault and Sterling to Paoli. By 1938 paving was completed from Paoli to Nebraska. By 1946 the diagonal section east of Ault was put in, taking SH 14 out of Purcell. By 1947 the only sections of SH 14 not paved were from US 40 to US 287 and from Briggsdale to Sterling. According to Ben Kiene, the alignment east of Fort Collins was moved from Lincoln Avenue to its current location in 1950.
By 1954 a middle section of SH 14 was turned back, creating a gap between Walden and a point south of Red Feather Lakes. Additional paving was done from Buckingham to Stoneham. By 1960 the only section not paved was from US 40 half way to Walden, and that was paved by 1963. By 1964, SH 14 was extended from the east end of the gap west to the Chambers Lake turnoff, and was gravel. By 1966 it was extended from the west end of the gap east to Gould. By 1968 the expressway east of Fort Collins was complete, and the section concurrent with US 6 east of Sterling was eliminated in the purge of 1968.
By 1970 SH 14 was extended again from Gould east to the
summit of Cameron Pass along gravel, and was paved by 1972.
The gap between the summit of Cameron Pass and the Chambers
Lake turnoff was closed and paved and SH 14 finally made
continuous again by 1979. Laporte Bypass completed circa
Page created 7 January 2008
Last updated 19 December 2009