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Most Dangerous Roads in Colorado to Ride a Motorcycle

Posted on: May 20th, 2021

Among its other milestones, 2020 was the deadliest year for motorcyclists in Colorado, with 137 killed in motorcycle accidents.

Since May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, Pushchak Law would like to highlight some of the dangerous roads in Colorado so motorcyclists can treat them with the caution and respect they deserve.

Million-Dollar Highway

"Million-Dollar Highway" in southwest Colorado - one of the most dangerous roads for motorcyclesColorado’s “Million-Dollar Highway” frequently makes lists of the most dangerous roads for motorcyclists in the world, so it makes sense that it would be one of the most dangerous in Colorado. Highway 550 from Silverton to Durango has several explanations for its lucrative moniker, but you can decide for yourself whether it’s the scenery or the danger that earns the designation.

The highway features two dangerous passes:

It’s also a narrow road with no guardrails and often barely enough room for the two lanes marked on it. The high elevation means that it often has more severe weather than you might expect when you start out from either endpoint. In addition, car drivers can be so focused on the road itself that they might not notice motorcyclists also trying to navigate the narrow, dangerous highway.

Highway 50 over Monarch Pass

Monarch Pass (11,312 ft) has the most accidents of any pass in Colorado. It averages one crash per week, with many of these having deadly consequences for drivers and motorcyclists.

Monarch Pass is on Highway 50 between Gunnison and Salida. The winding road features a lot of traffic, and many drivers come to see going over the pass as routine. This leads them to not drive as cautiously as they should. In addition, scenic views can distract drivers, which means they might not see motorcycles.

US 160 over Wolf Creek Pass

motorcycle rider on a dangerous road in ColoradoWolf Creek Pass (10,856 ft) is often rated the most dangerous pass overall by experts. While it’s a more developed highway and has more room than some others, there’s the issue of traffic combined with switchbacks, snow, and steep grades. This road gets more snow than any other year-round pass in Colorado. When you put all these together, Wolf Creek Pass can be deadly for drivers and motorcyclists alike.


While mountain passes take the glory, the road itself is not the most dangerous thing for a motorcyclist. A rider who knows their skill, properly maintains their bike, and rides smart can handle any road they choose to tackle. But what they often can’t handle is the unpredictable nature of other drivers, and there are few places where you run into more unpredictable drivers than on C-470, which is why Jefferson County, which houses the western half of the highway, consistently leads the state in motorcyclist fatalities.

C-470 links I-25 and I-70, offering an attractive cutoff for mountain residents heading to the Tech Center. Constant construction, high volume, and high speed limits can lead to deadly conditions. Drivers get frustrated with the traffic and behave unpredictably and aggressively, often not taking the time to look twice for motorcycles.


The second deadliest county in Colorado for motorcyclists is Arapahoe County, home to I-225 – another shortcut between I-25 and I-70. Just as crowded and arguably more frustrating to drive, this short stretch of highway can be bumper-to-bumper at any time of day. Even when the volume is low, the odds of accidents remain high and can lead to traffic jams that have drivers jockeying dangerously for position. A quick glance might convince a driver that the space occupied by a motorcyclist is a gap in traffic that they want to try for – with deadly consequences.

We Help People Affected by Motorcycle Accidents

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, Pushchak Law is ready to help. We know that many motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive, careless, and aggressive drivers, and we work hard to hold these drivers accountable for the harm they inflict.

With our Informed Decisions™ approach, we make sure that you always remain at the center of a personal injury lawsuit. We care about you. We take the time to listen to you so we know your specific needs and can help you make the right decisions. You’ll never feel neglected, because we make ourselves personally available to you. And we do our utmost to ensure a fair outcome to your case.

To learn what we can do for you after a motorcycle accident upended your life, please contact us today for a free consultation. Pushchak Law serves clients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.


Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO

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