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U.S. Highway 36 West - Colorado

U.S. 36 West
Colorado 224 is a short east-west route that connects Colorado 53 with U.S. 6-85 in Commerce City. Motorists may use Exit 56A to connect with Broadway southbound to 70th Avenue eastbound, which becomes Colorado 224 east of Colorado 53. Since the turnpike and former Colorado 382 are now mileposted in accordance with U.S. 36, we'll refer to each exit by its closest milepost number, even though exits are unnumbered. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36 is Exit 55, Pecos Street. Pecos Street is a north-south road that parallels U.S. 287 and Interstate 25 between Denver and Sherrelwood. During times of heavy traffic on Interstate 25, it can be a suitable alternative, especially since it connects to Interstate 76 and Interstate 70. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next three exits along westbound are Exit 55, Pecos Street; Exit 54, Junction U.S. 287/Federal Boulevard; and Exit 52, Junction Colorado 95/Sheridan Boulevard. Photo taken 08/27/04.
In the median of U.S. 36 between Interstate 25 and Colorado 95 are high occupancy, reversible lanes that are available for commuters during morning and evening rush hours. Photo taken 08/27/04.

Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 55, Pecos Street; the following exit is Exit 54, Junction U.S. 287/Federal Boulevard. Pecos Street parallels U.S. 287, and it leads north to Federal Heights and Thornton and south to Denver, meeting Interstate 25 just west of Coors Field (home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies). Photo taken 08/27/04.
A westbound U.S. 36 reassurance shield is posted after the Pecos Street interchange. Much of this freeway has been reconstructed substantially since it was originally built. Additional lanes, soundwalls, HOV lanes, and other amenities have been added to the freeway as part of recent reconstruction efforts. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next three exits along westbound are Exit 54, Junction U.S. 287/Federal Boulevard; Exit 52, Junction Colorado 95/Sheridan Boulevard; and Exit 50, Church Ranch Boulevard/104th Avenue. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 54, Junction U.S. 287 (Federal Boulevard). U.S. 287 is a major Front Range roadway, providing the primary arterial connecting the various Front Range communities from Denver north to Fort Collins. Parts of U.S. 287 are expressway, but most of it is a suburban highway, with four to six lanes in the most populated areas. Photo taken 08/27/04.
A collector-distributor lane carries traffic to and from U.S. 36 and U.S. 287. In this vicinity, U.S. 36 leaves unincorporated Adams County and enters the city of Westminster in Jefferson County. Incorporated in 1911, Westminster is well known for the Pillar of Fire, a building that was at one time known as Westminster University of Colorado before it was sold to a church. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36 is Exit 52, Junction Colorado 95, Sheridan Boulevard, two miles. In actuality, U.S. 36 is angled northwest, but turns a bit more westward after passing Westminster. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Another U.S. 36 west reassurance shield is posted after the Sheridan Boulevard interchange. U.S. 36 leaves Adams County and enters Jefferson County, yet remains in the city of Westminster. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The right lane becomes exit only for Sheridan Boulevard (Colorado 95 south). Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 52, Junction Colorado 95/Sheridan Boulevard. Colorado 95 leads north to Broomfield and south to Arvada, Lakewood, and Denver. Colorado 95 terminates at U.S. 285/Hampden Avenue prior to where Sheridan Boulevard would meet Bowles Reservoir. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36 is Exit 50, 104th Avenue and Church Ranch Boulevard. Use 104th Avenue east to Denver International Airport. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The collector-distributor lane from the Sheridan Boulevard interchange offers a connection to 92nd Avenue. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This reassurance shield is posted on westbound after the 92nd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard interchange. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Several bridges along U.S. 36 in Westminster have been reconstructed in a fashion similar to this overpass, which carries Westminster Boulevard over the freeway. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Continuing west, U.S. 36 approaches Exit 50, 104th Avenue and Church Ranch Boulevard in 0.75 mile. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 50, 104th Avenue and Church Ranch Boulevard. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36 is Exit 47, Junction U.S. 287, Colorado 121, and Colorado 128 to Broomfield and Arvada. Use this exit to southbound Colorado 121/Wadsworth Parkway south to Arvada, Lakewood, and unincorporated Jefferson County. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next three exits all serve the city/county of Broomfield, but U.S. 36 is still in Boulder County at this point. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Use Colorado 121 north/Colorado 128 east to U.S. 287/112th Street northbound and U.S. 287 south and Colorado 128 east. Photo taken 08/27/04.
To the west, follow Colorado 128/120th Avenue to Jefferson County Airport and ultimately Colorado 93 near Rocky Flats. Photo taken 08/27/04.
U.S. 36 enters the city and county of Broomfield. Incorporated in 1961 (nearly a decade after the Denver-Boulder Turnpike was built through the future city-county), Broomfield expanded rapidly, taking over portions of four counties: Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, and Weld. In 2001, Broomfield became Colorado's 64th county after a three-year transition period. Today, the city-county includes not just residential areas, but also the Interlocken industrial and business area as well as Flatiron Crossing. Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 47, Junction U.S. 287, Colorado 121, and Colorado 128. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next three exits along westbound U.S. 36/Denver-Boulder Turnpike are Exit 46B, East Flatiron Circle; Exit 46A, StorageTek Drive/Interlocken Loop/To Northwestern Parkway; and Exit 43, McCaslin Boulevard/Junction Colorado 170. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Prior to the offramp to East Flatiron Circle, this auxiliary sign advises of the connection to the Northwest Parkway via Exit 45, StorageTek Drive/Interlocken Loop northbound. The Northwestern Parkway (Matt Salek), which opened in November 2003, brought a connection from E-470 to Broomfield. This new toll road completes the Denver Beltway (following Colorado 470, E-470, and the Northwest Parkway) with the exception of the missing section between Golden and Broomfield, which is expected to be constructed as a toll road by the state's tolling authority (Colorado Tolling Enterprise) in 2010. Note that the Northwest Parkway is not the same as defunct W-470, which was never built. Visit the 470 Saga (Matt Salek) page for more information on the Denver Beltway Saga and the planned connection between Golden and Broomfield. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The right lane becomes exit only for East Flatiron Circle. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 44, West Flatiron Circle in city/county of Broomfield, just prior to entering the city of Louisville in Boulder. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit is Exit 46A, StorageTek Drive, Interlocken Loop, and To Northwest Parkway. Photo taken 08/27/04.
A second roadside sign advises of the connection to Northwest Parkway. Use Northwest Parkway east to Interstate 25, Interstate 76, Denver International Airport, and E-470 south to Castle Rock and Interstate 25 southbound. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36/Denver-Boulder Turnpike reaches Exit 46A, StorageTek Drive, Interlocken Loop, and To Northwest Parkway. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36 is Exit 43, McCaslin Boulevard. Use McCaslin Boulevard south to connect to Colorado 170/Marshall Road west to Superior and McCaslin Boulevard north into Louisville. U.S. 36 enters the City of Louisville. Home to approximately 19,000 residents, the city was incorporated in 1882. At an elevation of 5,530 feet, Louisville is about 7.82 square miles in size. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 43, McCaslin Boulevard. Use McCaslin Boulevard south to Colorado 170/Marshall Road and ultimately a junction with Colorado 128 west of Jefferson County Airport. Note how U.S. 36 has aspects of its original turnpike characteristics, with the narrow median and limited rights of way. Photo taken 08/27/04.
After passing through some remarkably rural areas, the city of Boulder comes into view as the freeway crests. This stellar view can be afforded on clear days when approaching from the southeast on westbound U.S. 36. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound U.S. 36/Denver-Boulder Turnpike is Exit 39, Junction Colorado 157/Foothills Parkway. Use Colorado 157 north to Colorado 119/Diagonal Highway northeast to Longmont and Interstate 25 as well as the University of Colorado stadium. Photo taken 08/27/04.
In addition, this offramp connects to Table Mesa Drive and South Boulder Road. Use Table Mesa Drive west to Colorado 93/South Broadway Street and the Table Mesa Shopping Center. "Table Mesa" is redundant, since "mesa" in Spanish translates into "table" in English. To the east, South Boulder Road travels into Louisville and Lafayette, where it meets U.S. 287. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36/Denver-Boulder Turnpike reaches Exit 39, Junction Colorado 157/Foothills Parkway to Table Mesa Drive and South Boulder Road. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The transition ramp to Colorado 157 immediately splits, with the left lane connecting to Foothills Parkway and the right lane connecting to Table Mesa Drive and South Boulder Road. Photo taken 08/27/04.
U.S. 36 enters the city of Boulder, at an elevation of 5,345 feet. Home to 94,673 people per the 2000 Census (and home to 102,659 people per the city of Boulder, which has disputed the findings of the 2000 Census), the city of Boulder is well-known as home to the University of Colorado. Incorporated in 1871, Boulder was linked to nearby Denver by rail in 1873. Gradually increasing in size throughout the 20th century, Boulder has 25.37 square miles as of 2005, and it continues to grow as more people move to the city. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next exit along westbound is Exit 38, Baseline Road. Baseline Road is an east-west street that leads west to the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado 93/Broadway Street, and Boulder Mountain Park (via Flagstaff Road). Colorado 93 is an important alternative route to the western suburbs of Denver, as it connects to U.S. 6 and Colorado 58 at its southern end in Golden. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This directional sign indicates that access to the main campus of the University of Colorado is best afforded via Baseline Road westbound, while access to the stadium and events center is best obtained via U.S. 36/28th Street northbound. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Westbound U.S. 36 reaches Exit 37, Baseline Road to Junction Colorado 93. Photo taken 08/27/04.
U.S. 36 transitions from the Denver-Boulder Turnpike into 28th Street, which skirts downtown Boulder to the east. The federal route travels due north before turning northeast slightly to join with Colorado 7 north to Lyons. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The University of Colorado is located just west of U.S. 36/28th Street; use Colorado Avenue westbound to enter the main campus. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This mileage sign provides the distances to Lyons and Estes Park, the final two significant destinations on westbound U.S. 36 before the route ends at U.S. 34 in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Now in Rocky Mountain National Park, U.S. 36 westbound reaches its end at the junction with U.S. 34. Continue straight ahead on U.S. 34/Trail Ridge Road to ascend the Rocky Mountains and connect to U.S. 40 near Granby. Turn right to return to Estes Park via U.S. 34 eastbound. Photos taken 08/27/04.

Page Updated July 5, 2005.