From Grand Junction we decided to travel east and visit the Rocky Mountain National Park. This would require driving 283 miles to Grand Lake, CO. We haven’t driven over a 100 miles in a day in weeks much less having to drive on an interstate highway. We haven’t been on an interstate highway since I-10 down in Texas. As it turned out this section of I-70 is one of the most scenic interstates I’ve ever been on. The section through Glenwood Canyon was really quite amazing. We learned that the canyon is widely considered to be one of the most scenic natural features on the Interstate Highway System.
“Glenwood Canyon is a rugged scenic 16 mile canyon on the Colorado River. Its canyon walls climb as high as 1,300 ft above the Colorado River. The canyon currently furnishes the routes of Interstate 70 and the California Zephyr between Denver and Grand Junction.”
When they built the highway through the canyon they attempted to have a minimum impact on the natural terrain both during construction and with the finished product. the canyon ended up with a freeway snaking through its length using bridges, tunnels and retaining walls to create a highway that did not hurt, and even contributed to, the canyon’s appearance. There is one section where the two east bound lanes and the two west bound lanes are not even on the same level and as the west bound lanes go through a tunnel the east bound lanes go around the mountain and they meet up again on the other side.
It turned out to be a very interesting drive.