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US 34 to open through the Big Thompson Canyon for the holiday season

Posted: 2:35 PM, Dec 16, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-16 21:35:18Z

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. – If you’re looking to drive to Estes Park this holiday season, we’ve got some good news: US 34 will be open through the Big Thompson Canyon between Loveland and Drake, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

This stretch of US 34 will be open starting at 4 p.m. on Dec. 22 until 8:30 a.m. Jan. 2, 2018.

US 34 west of Drake will remain closed for a two-mile stretch, so drivers are encouraged to use Larimer County Road 43 to travel between Loveland and Estes Park. 

If you want to avoid delays of any kind, CDOT officials recommend you use US 36 into Estes Park to make sure you arrive to your destination on time.

Construction work is still ongoing on US 34 and many areas continue to have only one passable lane, so pilot cars will continue to navigate drivers through the canyon during the holiday season.

These lane restrictions could mean up to one-hour delays in the area, especially during New Year’s Eve, so make sure to plan accordingly and prepare to leave early.

Following the holiday season, the highway will close again until just before Memorial Day 2018. To travel between Estes Park and Loveland drivers should use the detour on US 36 and CO 66. The only access on US 34 will be for canyon residents and emergency services through a permit process, CDOT officials said in a press release.

US 34 through the canyon suffered road and bridge damage following the 2013 floods.