U.S. Route 40 in Colorado

U.S. Route 40 (US 40) is a part of the U.S. Highway System that travels from Silver Summit, Utah, to Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the U.S. state of Colorado, US 40 is a major east–west route. It crosses the Rocky Mountains, passing over the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass before descending to the front range. It then traverses through the Denver Metro Area, then exits by following Interstate 70 (I-70) and US 287. It is concurrent with US 287 for about 145 miles to Kit Carson. US 40 exits into Kansas east of Arapahoe in Cheyenne. At a length of almost 500 miles, US 40 is the longest numbered route in the state.

U.S. Highway 40 marker
U.S. Highway 40
US 40 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length496.442 mi[1] (798.946 km)
Major junctions
West end US 40 at the Utah state line
Major intersections
East end US-40 east of Arapahoe at the Kansas state line
CountiesMoffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Clear Creek, Jefferson, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Elbert, Lincoln, Cheyenne
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System
SH 39 SH 41

Route descriptionEdit

US 40 in Byers Canyon between Parshall and Hot Sulphur Springs. The Union Pacific railroad line is visible on the left. The Colorado River is at the bottom of the canyon and is not visible.

Entering Colorado to the south of Dinosaur National Monument, US 40 runs east through the small town of Dinosaur along Brontosaurus Boulevard. The route continues a generally easterly course though Moffat and Routt counties, passing through several small communities along the way. It generally follows the course of the Yampa River. US 40 becomes Lincoln Avenue as it runs through historic downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado, 1942. Photo by Andreas Feininger.

Taking a circuitous route through Rabbit Ears Pass, Muddy Pass and Berthoud Pass (crossing the Continental Divide each time) it descends the escarpment along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. Just to the east of Empire, it merges with I-70 for the first time. US 40 and I-70 will run concurrently numerous times across the U.S. The route leaves I-70 at exit 244, to the east of Idaho Springs and rejoins it again at between exits 252 and 254 in El Rancho. It parallels I-70, mostly as a frontage road, until the intersection with former State Highway 26 (SH 26) to the south of Golden[2][3]

US 40 westbound concurrent with I-70 BL and US 287 on Colfax Avenue in Denver

Beginning in Golden, US 40 becomes Colfax Avenue, the main east–west thoroughfare through the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area. Along with US 40, the entire route along Colfax Avenue is cosigned as Business Loop 70. The route travels northeast through Golden, then turns due east to travel through Lakewood, Denver, and Aurora. Among the sights to be seen along US 40 is Lake Steam Bath, once the location of a thriving health industry centered on tuberculosis sanatoriums. Also along Colfax Avenue in Denver is the Denver branch of the United States Mint, which produces 50 million coins per day. US 40 rejoins I-70 at exit 288, just to the east of Aurora.[3][4][5]

At exit 359 in Limon, US 40 leaves I-70 along Main Street, which it shares with Business Loop 70, US 24, US 287, and SH 71. US 40/US 287 continues to the southeast to the town of Kit Carson. From there, it leaves US 287 and continues east through the towns of Cheyenne Wells and Arapahoe before entering the state of Kansas.[3][4]

Major intersectionsEdit

Moffat0.0000.000  US 40 west – Vernal, Salt Lake CityContinuation into Utah
Dinosaur2.9134.688  SH 64 east (Stegosaurus Freeway) – RangelyWestern terminus of SH 64
Blue Mountain11.01817.732  CR 134 – RangelyFormer SH 387
Maybell59.78196.208  SH 318 west – SunbeamEastern terminus of SH 318
Craig89.322143.750   SH 13 south / CR 7 – MeekerWest end of SH 13 overlap; former SH 355 north
90.531145.696  SH 394 south (Ranney Street)Northern terminus of SH 394; former SH 13 south
90.838146.190  SH 13 north (Yampa Avenue) – Baggs, RawlinsEast end of SH 13 overlap
RouttSteamboat Springs130.773210.459  CR 129 (Elk River Road) – Clark, Hahns Peak, Steamboat Lake State Park, Pearl Lake State ParkFormer SH 129
134.414216.318Mt. Werner RoadInterchange
136.515219.700  SH 131 south – Oak Creek, Wolcott, Stagecoach Reservoir State ParkNorthern terminus of SH 131
No major junctions
 154.070247.952Rabbit Ears Pass summit (Continental Divide)
Jackson157.327253.193  SH 14 east – WaldenWestern terminus of SH 14
 157.512253.491Muddy Pass summit (Continental Divide)
Grand178.257286.877  SH 134 west – Toponas, Stagecoach Reservoir State ParkEastern terminus of SH 134
Kremmling184.529296.971  SH 9 south (6th Street) – DillonNorthern terminus of SH 9
209.165336.618  SH 125 north – WaldenSouthern terminus of SH 125
Granby211.081339.702  US 34 east – Grand Lake, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Arapaho National ForestWestern terminus of US 34
 242.972391.026Berthoud Pass summit (Continental Divide)
Clear Creek257.684
  I-70 west (US 6 west) – GeorgetownWest end of I-70/US 6 overlap
See I-70
  I-70 east – DenverEast end of I-70 overlap; no access from US 40 west to I-70 east
US 6 east to SH 119 – Blackhawk, Central City, Golden
East end of US 6 overlap
To I-70 west / Beaver Brook Drive – Floyd Hill
To I-70 east
276.180444.469  I-70 west
  SH 74 east (Evergreen Parkway) – EvergreenWestern terminus of SH 74
  I-70 westWest end of I-70 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
252.244405.947Chief HosaI-70 exit 253
  I-70 eastEast end of I-70 overlap
280.570451.534Lookout Mountain Road - Buffalo Bill's Grave & Museum, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Boettcher MansionFormer SH 68
To I-70 / Grapevine Road
I-70 BL west / CR 93 to I-70
West end of I-70 Bus. overlap; former SH 26 (older SH 93 south)
285.716459.815Heritage RoadFormer SH 93 north
US 6 (6th Avenue) to SH 470 – Golden, Central City
287.903463.335  I-70
Lakewood291.444469.034  SH 391 (Kipling Street)
292.943471.446  SH 121 (Wadsworth Boulevard)
294.273473.586  SH 95 (Sheridan Boulevard)
City and County of Denver296.157476.618   US 287 north / SH 88 south (Federal Boulevard)West end of US 287 overlap; northern terminus of SH 88; interchange
296.792477.640  I-25 (US 6 / US 85 / US 87) / Auraria Parkway – Colorado Springs, Fort Collins
300.625483.809  SH 2 (Colorado Boulevard)
county line
I-225 to I-70
  I-70 (US 36 west) – DenverWest end of I-70 / US 36 overlap; east end of I-70 Bus. overlap; no access from US 40 east to I-70 west
See I-70 for exits
  I-70 eastWest end of I-70 Bus. overlap; east end of I-70 overlap
  US 24 west – Colorado SpringsWest end of US 24 overlap
377.668607.798  SH 71 southWest end of SH 71 overlap
378.795609.611  SH 71 north (1st Avenue) – BrushEast end of SH 71 overlap
379.193610.252  I-70
  I-70 (US 24 east)East end of I-70 Bus./US 24 overlap
397.833640.250  CR 109 – GenoaFormer SH 109 north
Hugo399.092642.276Third AvenueFormer SH 109 south
CheyenneAroya425.472684.731  SH 94 west – Colorado SpringsEastern terminus of SH 94
Kit Carson445.142716.387  SH 59 north – SeibertSouthern terminus of SH 59
446.051717.850  US 287 south – EadsEast end of US 287 overlap
Cheyenne Wells470.311756.892  US 385 north (5th Street) – BurlingtonWest end of US 385 overlap
470.885757.816  US 385 south – Sheridan LakeEast end of US 385 overlap
486.924783.628  US-40 east – Sharon SpringsContinuation into Kansas
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

State Highway 40Edit


State Highway 40

LocationByers - Agate
Length24.1 mi (38.8 km)

State Highway 40 (SH 40) represents the former two-lane alignment of US 40 in Arapahoe and Elbert Counties, prior to its moving to then new I-70, which occurred in 1968.

SH 40 begins in Arapahoe County the town of Byers at a junction with SH 36 (N Main Street/Old Highway 36), just across the railroad tracks from downtown. It heads southeast to leave Byers and travel along the flat plains of eastern Colorado for the next several miles. The highway passes through the tiny community of Peoria, where there is an interchange with I-70/US 40/US 287 (exit 322), before passing by the Richmil Ranch Open Space park.

SH 40 then enters the town of Deer Trail, passing along the western edge of town as 1st Avenue as it has an intersection with I-70 BS (Cedar Street). It continues southeastward across the plains to leave Deer Trail and cross in Elbert County. The highway passes through the tiny community of Lowland, where it has another interchange with I-70/US 40/US 287 (exit 336), before crossing a creek to enter the small town of Agate along 1st Avenue, with SH 40 coming to an end shortly thereafter at a junction with Main Street. Main Street (as unsigned I-70 BS) leads 0.3 miles (0.48 km) west to an interchange with I-70/US 40/US 287 (exit 340).

The entire length of SH 40 is a rural, two-lane, state highway, running parallel to both the eastbound lanes of modern I-70 to its north, as well as a railroad track to its south. SH 40 never goes beyond a half mile from the Interstate.[7]

SH 36 (Main Street/Old Highway 36) to I-70 (US 40/US 287) / US 36 – Strasburg
Western terminus; former US 40 follows SH 36 west
Peoria Road to I-70 (US 40/US 287)
I-70 exit 322
Deer Trail12.319.8  
I-70 BS (Cedar Street) to I-70 (US 40/US 287)
CR 178 to I-70 (US 40/US 287)
I-70 exit 336
Main Street to I-70 (US 40/US 287)
1st Avenue
Eastern terminus; former US 40 continues east along 1st Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Colorado Department of Transportation, Highway Data Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 2007
  2. ^ Brusca, Frank X. (2002). "US 40 Scrapbook: Colorado". U.S. Route 40: America's Golden Highway. route40.net. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  3. ^ a b c Salek, Matthew E. (2006). "US 40". Colorado Highways. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  4. ^ a b Mapsource. Garmin Ltd. 2003.
  5. ^ Royston, Reggie (2001). "Denver's Road of Riches: Colfax Avenue". National Geographic News. National Geographic Society. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
  6. ^ Colorado Department of Transportation, Highway Data Explorer Archived 2012-09-10 at the Wayback Machine, accessed November 2013
  7. ^ Google (December 10, 2021). "Map of Colorado State Highway 40" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 10, 2021.

External linksEdit

KML is from Wikidata

  U.S. Route 40
Previous state:
Colorado Next state: