U.S. 34 connects north central Colorado, with Chicago, Illinois, following a path across the Great Plains and Upper Midwest. Within Colorado, U.S. 34 begins at U.S. 40 in Granby and immediately begins to ascend toward Rocky Mountain National Park, passing by Grand Lake before entering the park. Open only in summer, U.S. 34 follows Trail Ridge Road over the top of the Rocky Mountains, rising to elevations over 12,000 feet (the highest point is 12,183 feet, one of the highest elevations on the U.S. Highway System). The highway then descends from alpine heights, meeting U.S. 36 at Deer Ridge Junction. U.S. 34 then travels into Estes Park.
Estes Park is the primary gateway from the Front Range into the Rocky Mountain National Park; a business route on Fall River Road and Elkhorn Avenue serves Downtown, while mainline U.S. 34 bypasses most of the city by following Wonderview Avenue. Continuing east, U.S. 34 travels into Big Thompson Canyon. Signs along the route warn of flash flooding dangers; it is warranted, as the canyon is very narrow, thus leaving excess water very few places to go except up onto the road. The canyon can only accommodate the river and roadway. Once at the end of the canyon, U.S. 34 emerges in the city of Loveland, and it begins its long journey across the Great Plains toward Chicago.
Between Loveland and Greeley, U.S. 34 is a multi-lane, divided highway. U.S. 34 meets Interstate 25 & U.S. 87 at the eastern edge of Loveland, then splits into a business/bypass configuration 6.1 miles east of there to serve the city of Greeley (home of the University of Northern Colorado). After a 9.3 mile overlap with Interstate 76 and U.S. 6, U.S. 34 leaves the freeway at Exit 75 to combine with Business Loop I-76 east through Fort Morgan and Brush.
Once outside of Brush, U.S. 34 splits with Business Loop I-76, with U.S. 34 Spur accompanying the route north to Interstate 76 and U.S. 6. U.S. 34 gradually turns southeast, passing through the eastern Colorado communities of Akron, Yuma, and Wray before entering Nebraska.
U.S. 34 Colorado Highway Guides
- U.S. 34 East - Granby to Estes Park
- Business Loop I-76 & U.S. 34 West - Brush / Fort Morgan
- U.S. 34 West - Estes Park to Granby
Page Updated 05-04-2017.