Forecast: 640,000 Coloradans traveling for Labor Day

Heavy traffic on a Colorado highway. Image courtesy of
Triple A Auto insurance logo

Record-breaking travel trends continue, despite higher gas prices.

Skyler McKinley, AAA

DENVER (Aug. 29, 2018) – Sick of breaking records yet, Colorado? We didn’t think so: AAA Colorado projects that more than 640,000 Coloradans will travel 50 or more miles away from home over the long weekend, the most Labor Day travel since 2005.

“The summer driving season is going out with a bang, despite the highest Labor Day gas prices since 2014,” said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. “Coloradans just aren’t worried about what they pay at the pump, given our high consumer confidence and low unemployment rate. At the end of the day, folks have decided they have some extra money to spend, and they’ve decided to spend it on an unforgettable Labor Day road trip.”

Gas Prices

Motorists should anticipate a small upward tick in gas prices this Labor Day, adding to what has already been the most expensive year for gas since 2014. In Colorado, drivers can expect to pay, on average, between $2.80 and $2.95 per gallon throughout the Labor Day holiday period. Vail sports Colorado’s priciest gas at $3.24 a gallon, while motorists passing through Boulder-Longmont will pay a statewide low of $2.71 for a gallon of unleaded. In Denver, regular unleaded is running $2.77 per gallon, a full six cents lower than the national average.

At the national level, a gallon of gas will cost motorists 50 cents more than it did at this time last year.

 In-State Travel Advisories

 Motorists should avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times. The best times to leave will be in the early mornings because the roads should be less crowded, and drivers will have more time to get to their destination safely. Traveling on the holiday itself will likely result in less congestion and fewer crowds.

Road-trippers should expect slight delays near Denver due to the Central 70 Project on the 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road. Ditto for pre-construction work related to the I-25 South Gap Project, from Castle Rock to Monument.

Roadside Assistance

AAA Colorado anticipates it will rescue more than 7,000 motorists over the course of the Labor Day holiday. Per our forecast, 20 percent of those calls will be battery related, 15 percent will be for locksmith services, and 18 percent will be tire-, fuel-, or winch-related. All told, 49 percent will involve a tow. Most motorists can avoid an interruption to their travel plans by having their car inspected at a trusted mechanic (, planning gas stops along the way (, and checking their tires after every stop.


About AAA Colorado

More than 675,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state’s greatest advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services – as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate