I-70 reopens at Vail Pass; cow cleared from roadway

John LaConte
Vail Daily
A cow trots down the eastbound lane of I-70 Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, during an afternoon closure of the highway. The animal was captured shortly thereafter.
Casey Aberth/Courtesy photo

Snowy conditions on Vail Pass closed Interstate 70 eastbound at least twice on Tuesday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

The morning closure began at approximately 7:15 a.m. and lasted roughly 3 hours before reopening for 2 hours and closing again in the afternoon. During the afternoon closure, a single head of cattle which appeared to be a cow with a tag in its ear was spotted running down the closed lanes of the Interstate.

Vail local Casey Aberth was headed westbound when she saw the animal trotting toward her vehicle. She was between the East Vail exit (mile marker 180) and the Main Vail exit (mile marker 176) when she saw a black creature running toward her.

“I thought it might be a bear, but then I realized it was either a cow or a bull — some kind of black livestock — and I got scared that I’d get a little further and see a livestock truck tipped over or something, but that wasn’t the case,” she said. “You could see it had a tag in its ear.”

The animal was captured shortly thereafter.

The snowy conditions caused delays in other areas of the state, as well. Numerous flights were delayed out of Denver International Airport in the morning, and on Vail Mountain, Orient Express (No. 21) and Teacup Express (No. 36) were late to begin operation for the day, opening at about 10:30 a.m.

This story is from

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.