Travel between Colorado Springs and Denver is a daily drive for some residents of southern Colorado as the Mile High City serves as the workplace for some. It’s also a pretty frequent drive for shopping, sporting events, shows and other activities.

The drive north can be difficult, especially during the winter because of the elevation increase when driving between the two cities. The Palmer Divide is the hill you drive over on Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Denver. It separates the Arkansas River valley in southern Colorado from the South Platte River valley in northeast Colorado. Rising to 7,700′ in Black Forest, the divide is a significant terrain feature for weather during both the winter and summer. It’s a really big hill when you compare Denver’s elevation of 5,280′ and downtown Colorado Springs which sits at about 6,000′. It provides enough lift that it enhances snow amounts during the winter and helps to develop thunderstorms in the summer.

The Palmer Divide, sometimes called Palmer Ridge, creates areas of rising and sinking air that play an important role in the weather along Colorado’s Front Range.

Interstate 70 is one of the main west/east routes of travel across the United States. Semi-trucks and passenger vehicles travel through the state on this road, regardless of the time of year. Locals also use it as the main route into Colorado’s high country to play in both the summer and the winter. Traveling over the Continental Divide can obviously cause challenges due to weather. Conditions can be very different from one side of the Eisenhower Tunnel to the other, particularly in the winter.

Always be prepared for the weather when traveling Interstate 70 across Colorado.