Colorado State Highway 72

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State Highway 72

Map of north central Colorado with SH 72 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length51.01 mi[1] (82.09 km)
Major junctions
South end I-70 in Wheat Ridge
Major intersections
North end SH 7 east of Allenspark
CountryUnited States
CountiesJefferson, Boulder, Gilpin
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System
SH 71 SH 74

State Highway 72 (SH 72) is a 51-mile-long (82 km) state highway passing through the foothills and the eastern edge of the Front Range. Its southern terminus is at Interstate 70 (I-70) in Wheat Ridge, and its northern terminus is at SH 7 east of Allenspark.

Route description

View of Continental Divide from State Highway 72 west of Wondervu
SH 72 looking west as it enters Coal Creek Canyon, just to the west of the intersection with SH 93
Westward view of Sawtooth Mountain from SH 72, just south of its northern terminus in Lyons

The route is a mainly rural, scenic, mountainous highway; not having many junctions. It begins at I-70 (Exit 266) in Wheat Ridge as Ward Road. It continues north through the western parts of Arvada where it becomes Coal Creek Canyon Rd. The highway continues west-north-west through Coal Creek Canyon and aptly named Wondervu, across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at Pinecliffe, eventually joining the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway northbound. For three miles along the Byway it coincides with SH 119. The two routes diverge at Nederland. From Nederland, SH 72 continues north along the Byway past Ward to its terminus with SH 7 east of Allenspark.


The route was established in the 1920s, when it began at 46th Avenue in Denver and headed northwest to Nederland. The section of the present-day SH 72 north of Nederland was designated as SH 160. By 1936, the southeastern terminus had been moved to SH 58, itself since relocated. The section from SH 93 east was paved by 1946, and the route was paved entirely by 1958. In 1968, SH 160 was deleted and SH 72 took the route from Nederland to Raymond.[2]

Major intersections

JeffersonWheat Ridge0.000.00 I-70 – DenverSouthern terminus; I-70 exit 266; interchange
Arvada10.6517.14 SH 93 – Golden, Eldorado Springs, Boulder
BoulderNo major intersections
GilpinNo major intersections
SH 119 south – Rollinsville, Black Hawk, Central City
South end of SH 119 overlap
SH 119 north – Boulder
North end of SH 119 overlap
54.0687.00 SH 7 – Estes Park, LyonsNorthern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ "Segment list for SH 71". Retrieved 2007-05-12.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Salek, Matthew E. "Colorado Routes 60-79". Retrieved 2010-05-29.

External links

  • Official website Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT): Colorado Scenic Byways - Peak To Peak Highway