Colorado Highways: Routes 267 to 299

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Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Loop south of US 50 (current SH 115) between Caņon City and Florence, via Chandler and Williamsburg


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Link from SH 67 north of Cripple Creek south to Victor, then spurred east from Victor


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur west from US 24 southeast of Woodland Park


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Loop off US 24's southwest side through Green Mountain Falls


Location: Northeast Metro Denver
Length*: 7.09mi
NW End: Jct I-25/US 36 Exit 217 west of Commerce City
SE End: Jct I-70 Exit 279 in Denver

Counties: Adams, Denver
Places: Commerce City, Denver

NHS: Entire length

Freeway: Entire length (exit list).

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: Jct I-25 Exit 217 interchange (begin I-270 in Adams County)
  • 1.10: I-76 Exit 6 interchange
  • Mileposts reset due to I-270 formerly ending at I-76
  • 0.00: I-76 Exit 6 interchange
  • 2.35: US 6/US 85/SH 2/Vasquez Boulevard interchange
  • 4.26: Enter Denver County
  • 4.91: I-70 Exit 279 interchange, Denver
  • 5.99: Direct connect to I-70 eastbound (end I-270)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 56,900 at I-25
  • 91,600 northwest of US 6-85, Commerce City
  • 78,700 at I-70, Denver

I-270 is kind of a quirky route. I'm not sure what role the designers thought it would fill. One guess I can make is that it shortens the trip from I-25 and the North Front Range to the northeast side of the metro (Stapleton Airport), but if it had connected to I-25 and I-70 about four miles further north and east, respectively, it would have been a lot more useful. However, that alignment would have been impossible, because the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was in the way. E-470 will now be basically filling the role a better-located I-270 should have.

Anyways, I-270 begins at I-25 Exit 217, with the freeway continuing westward as US 36, the Boulder Turnpike. At the I-25 interchange one cannot go from WB I-270 to SB I-25 or from NB I-25 to EB I-270; to do that I-76 has to be utilized. I-270 then goes southeast to I-76 which is also a partial interchange. Then it crosses Clear Creek and starts to go through refinery row in Commerce City.

York Street there is another partial interchange, with a WB offramp and EB onramp. At Vasquez Blvd., that is a cloverleaf. The loop ramps have 20mph advisory speeds and are very tight. Vasquez Blvd. is referred to on signs as US 85/SH 2, even though it is actually US 6-85/SH 2. I-270 then ends at a partial interchange with I-70 in the northeast part of Denver. One can only go from WB 70 to WB 270 and EB 270 to EB 70. If one wants to do something else, Quebec Street must be utilized. The interchange at I-70 and I-270 incorporates a couple of braid ramps with the I-70/Central Park Blvd interchange.

Photo Gallery:

  • I-270 East, I-25 North. Eastbound right at the point over I-25 where US 36 becomes I-270 and the ramp to northbound I-25 peels off to the right. On the left side is a "Begin Future 270 East" sign still partially covered. (August 2003)
  • End I-270/Begin US 36. An attempt to take a picture of the END 270 sign on WB 270 at 55mph. This is at I-25, and a BEGIN WEST 36 sign can be seen at left. The problem with that sign is that the banners are not the right size for the oversized US 36 shield. (February 2001)
  • East of I-25. Eastbound I-270 east of I-25 on brand new concrete the same day it opened to traffic. Mop up work is still going on in the right lane. Lots of unused concrete is off to the left side for when the ramp from southbund I-25 will tie in to I-270 creating more lanes. (August 2003)
  • Temporary Signs. Blurry picture of temporary signs showing the left ramp to I-76 and US 36 westbound, and the straight ahead ramp to I-25 northbound. These signs were for a temporary condition during construction of the westbound direct connection. (October 1999)
  • Vasquez Overhead Signs. Eastbound I-270 at the overhead signs for the Vasquez Boulevard cloverleaf. Note US 85 and SH 2 are shown, but US 6 is missing. Photo courtesy David Herrera. (July 2003)
  • I-70/I-270. Here's the signing for I-270 as seen at the exit on WB I-70. In the background the overpass is what takes EB 270 to EB 70. (February 2001)

I-270 started being built in the late 1960s. The section from I-70 to Vasquez opened by 1968, and it opened up to I-76 by 1970. As originally built, I-270 started at a trumpet interchange on I-76 just east of I-25. Two lanes from eastbound I-76 blended off and become I-270, while from I-270 the two lanes merged onto westbound I-76, but those immediately became the exit lanes for northbound I-25 and westbound US 36.

Westbound US 36 connection history: In September 1999, the connection from WB I-270 to NB I-25 opened. If you wanted US 36, you still had to take the former route that mainline I-270 took west onto I-76. Then in mid-February 2000, the full westbound connection finally opened. Also opening was an exit from WB I-270 to Broadway. At the same time, several other things happened: A new exit from I-76 westbound to I-270 westbound opened, and the preexisting exit from westbound I-76 to NB I-25 and WB US 36 closed. Also the ramp from WB US 36 to Broadway closed, replaced by a new exit from NB I-25 to 70th Avenue.

As for the eastbound connection, the full connection from US 36 to EB I-270 opened August 16, 2003. No other ramp openings or closings happened with that, though.

The final ramp opening to complete the overall I-25/76/270/US 36 reconstruction occurred on August 4, 2008. That morning the flyover from EB I-270 to EB 76 opened. The flyover allowed traffic on SB I-25 and US 36 to get to EB I-76 without having to use the awful two-lane 20mph loop ramp at I-76. The flyover completed another of CDOT's 28 high priority projects.

In October 2011 the I-70 and Central Park Blvd interchange opened, a completely new crossroad. The opening forced reconstruction of the ramps from I-270 to I-70, incorporating braid ramps for Central Park. The reconstruction effectively moved I-270's end point a half mile east along I-70.

Related Site: I-270 (CO) @ Interstate Guide


Location: Western Mountains
Alignment: Spur from US 6-24 to DeBeque


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Link from US 50 at Cotopaxi southeast to SH 69


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Loop from SH 76 (current SH 78) through Beulah


Location: Southern Mountains
Alignment: Link from SH 96 south of Wetmore southwest to SH 76 at Keating


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur from SH 267 south to Coal Creek


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur southwest from SH 67 halfway between Florence and Wetmore


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur south from SH 69 southeast of Westcliffe, and also from 96 at Silver Cliff northeast to SH 143


Location: Grand Lake (North Mountains)
Length*: 0.96mi
W End: Jct US 34 west of Grand Lake
E End: Grand Ave./Garfield St. in Grand Lake

SH 278 became a state highway in 1939. Paved by 1947. Went from US 34 on the west side of Grand Lake east to the central part of town. Dale Sanderson notes that in addition to serving Grand Lake, it served the west portal of the Alva Adams Tunnel, the major transfer point for water from the West Slope to Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District reservoirs in the east. Turned back in 1986.


Location: Central City/Idaho Springs (Central Mountains)

SH 279 became a state highway in 1939, going from Squaw Pass north to Idaho Springs, north via Virginia Canyon to Central City, then northwest to Apex, taking over part of SH 119 in Virginia Canyon. By 1954 almost all of SH 279 had been turned back, except for a section from Black Hawk southwest through Central City for 3mi. By 1958 all that was left was from Black Hawk into downtown Central City.

Up through the next several decades, the exact routing of SH 279 was from Black Hawk *1.09mi west into Central City, using Gregory Street. When it got to Central City, SH 279 split onto two one-way streets with westbound on Lawrence, eastbound on Gregory, and a rock-filled ravine in between. Westbound went to Main St., where it turned left (south), and went for two blocks to Spring St. Spring St. then was eastbound 279, and went north for one block to Gregory, then right (east) back out of town. There were also two Spur SH 279 routes, which went in between the two directions of SH 279: One on Spring Street, the other on D Street.

SH 279 was turned back sometime in the late 1999. It does not appear in CDOT's 2000 traffic database.


Location: Northern Mountains
Alignment: Spur from US 34 south of Rocky Mountain National Park east to KaRose


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Was a spur that went both north and south from US 6 at Georgetown. The north branch went north to a point ~1mi north of Empire, while the south branch went to Waldorf.


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur northwest from US 285 halfway between SH 126 and Bailey


Location: Northern Mountains
Alignment: Spur southeast from US 40 at Tabernash


Location: South Western Slope
Alignment: Spur northeast from US 550 at Durango; and also from SH 172 north of Ignacio north to Bayfield, then spurred northeast.


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur from US 40 west of Idaho Springs northwest to Alice


Location: San Luis Valley > Central Mountains > Metro Denver
Length*: 263.87mi
S End: New Mexico border south of Antonito (link to Steve Riner's site)
N End: Jct I-25 Exit 201 at Hampden Ave. in Denver
Nationally: S End: US 90 at Sanderson, Texas (835mi)

Counties: Conejos, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Saguache, Chaffee, Park, Jefferson, Denver, Arapahoe
Places: Antonito, Romeo, La Jara, Alamosa, Monte Vista, Saguache, Poncha Pass, Poncha Springs, Johnson Village, Trout Creek Pass, Fairplay, Red Hill Pass, Jefferson, Kenosha Pass, Bailey, Conifer, Aspen Park, Turkey Creek Canyon, Morrison, Lakewood, Denver, Sheridan, Englewood, Cherry Hills Village

See the separate page for US 285 in Colorado for the remainder of the information.


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur southeast for ~15mi from US 40 at Parshall. Also spurred west from US 40 at Berthoud Pass.


Location: Eastern Mountains
Alignment: Spur from SH 119 north of Black Hawk northwest to Perigo


Location: Arkansas Valley > Eastern Plains > Metro Denver > Northern Front Range
Length*: 316.05mi signed; 385.22mi implied
S End: Oklahoma border south of Campo concurrent with US 385 (link to Eric Stuve's site)
N End: Wyoming border northwest of Virginia Dale (link to Andy Field' site)
Nationally: S End: Port Arthur, Texas; N End: US 89 in Choteau, Montana (1791mi)

Counties: Baca, Prowers, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Arapahoe, Adams, Denver, Jefferson, Broomfield, Boulder, Larimer
Campo, Springfield, Lamar, Wiley, Eads, Kit Carson, Wild Horse, Hugo, Limon, Aurora, Denver, Westminster, Federal Heights, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Berthoud, Loveland, Fort Collins, Livermore

See the separate page for US 287 in Colorado for the remainder of the information.


Location: Northern Mountains
Alignment: Spur northeast from US 40 at Granby


Location: Northern Mountains
Alignment: Spur north from US 40 at Troublesome to near Pearmount


Location: Northern Mountains
Alignment: Spur west from US 40 at Fraser


Location: Central Mountains
Length*: 9.14mi
S End: Jct US 50 in southeast Salida
NW End: Jct US 285 north of Poncha Springs

Counties: Chaffee
Places: Salida

Scenic & Historic Byways: Collegiate Peaks

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 4200 at US 50, Salida
  • 4600 at C Street
  • 3500 north of CR 156
  • 3200 at US 285

From US 50, SH 291 heads north on Oak St., then turns northwest on 1st St., going through downtown Salida. SH 291 parallels the Arkansas River, heading northwest through farm pasture and hooking up with US 285 between Poncha Springs and Buena Vista. SH 291 is a major route, connecting Chaffee County's two main population centers.

Photo Gallery:

  • North End SH 291. Northbound on the slip ramp from SH 291 to US 285 features this end sign. Mileage sign on US 285 to the next towns visible. Photo by Dale Sanderson. (September 2013)

What is now SH 291 was originally the only highway route between Poncha Springs and Buena Vista, via Salida, and was numbered SH 15. The alignment became part of US 650 in 1928, and then was renumbered as part of US 285 in 1935.

SH 291 first appeared in 1939, and went from Poncha Springs north to Buena Vista, bypassing Salida. In 1942, US 285 and SH 291 were reversed, giving US 285 the more direct route between Poncha Springs and Buena Vista.

Related Site: Historic US 650 Endpoints by Dale Sanderson (includes SH 291 sign photos)


Location: Central Mountains
Alignment: Link between SH 291 and US 285, north of Poncha Springs and Salida


Location: Central Mountains
1939 Alignment: Spur from US 6-24 at Dowds Junction east up Gore Creek. Vail didn't exist yet.
1940-1953 Alignment: Link from US 24 at Red Cliff east to US 6 at Vail Pass via Shrine Pass.


Location: Central Mountains
Alignment: Spur from US 6 east of Keystone southeast to Montezuma


Location: Central Mountains
Alignment: Spur northeast from US 6 at Dillon


Location: Central Mountains
Alignment: Spur from SH 9 north of Breckenridge east to Tiger


Location: North Mountains
Alignment: Spur southwest from SH 9 at Green Mountain reservoir


Location: Central Mountains
Alignment: Spur east from SH 9 at Breckenridge


Location: Southern Mountains
Alignment: Spur southwest from SH 143 halfway between Florissant and Cripple Creek


Last updated 9 March 2014