Traffic guide: How to get back home to Colorado after the 2017 solar eclipse

Posted at 11:23 AM, Aug 21, 2017

DENVER – Thousands of people flocked to Wyoming, northern Colorado, and Nebraska Monday to see the total solar eclipse, which also means that thousands of people will be making their way back into Colorado Monday afternoon.

Traffic Monday morning was a bit heavier than expected, as some last-minute travelers made their way north to see the full eclipse.

WATCH: Live coverage of 2017 total solar eclipse

PHOTOS: See photos of today's solar eclipse

Denver7 traffic reporter Jayson Luber says that people should expect double or triple the normal commuter traffic between Denver and Cheyenne this afternoon and through the rush hour as people head back to Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said Monday it estimated more than 34,000 vehicles had gone to Wyoming over the weekend. “They will all be headed back at the same time. Drive safe!” CDOT said in a tweet.

VIEW: Current Denver metro traffic

VIEW: Colorado highway traffic

Peak totality in the Denver area is expected at 11:47 a.m., and minutes earlier or later in Wyoming and Nebraska. The eclipse is expected to end at 1:14 p.m. in Denver.

Luber says traffic will depend on what time people decide to leave their eclipse-viewing site. Will they leave right after peak totality or stay for the full eclipse? Are people staying at their viewing site for another night?

Some of the lesser-traveled highways, including Highway 85 and Highway 287, could prove to be good alternatives should I-25 turn into a parking lot. But others are sure to choose those routes as well.

Traffic on I-76 wasn’t as bad Monday morning, and could also provide a pressure valve to route people around the metro area.

Stay posted to the Denver7 traffic page for the latest updates throughout Monday afternoon.

MORE: See all of Denver7’s eclipse coverage here