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Car Sanitation Tips – Beat COVID

Posted on: May 4th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

COVID Car Cleaning Tips

We’re living in a whole new world these days, and as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact our communities all across the nation, it’s important to do as much as we can to keep ourselves and our environments safe and clean. Even though many of us are driving less and staying home more these days, our vehicles are still an essential part of our lives, and therefore should also be an important part of our COVID prevention plans. If you’re not sure how to keep your vehicle as safe as possible, our collision repair experts have a few tips to consider. In fact, when we return a car from auto body repair, we thoroughly sanitize it following many of these same protocols and more.

Sanitize Your Interior

Sanitizing the interior of your vehicle might seem like a daunting task, but it’s an excellent place to start. If you’re unsure of which cleaning agents to use, based on the interior fabric of your vehicle, do a little research. For most of the cars, isopropyl alcohol is a safe disinfectant to use. If you have a leather interior, warm soap and water should do the trick, and for all surfaces on your vehicle we recommend using a microfiber cloth. It does a phenomenal job at trapping dust, dirt, and other microbial agents without the fear of scratching anything in your vehicle. We also suggest wearing gloves the first time you perform this interior sanitizing.

Don’t Overdo it With Water

If you have a cloth interior, your cleaning protocols will look a little different. On top of sanitizing your interior with the proper cleaning agents, you want to make sure you don’t use too much water. With a cloth interior, you run the risk of the water seeping through to the cushion beneath. This can not only promote mold growth, but in the event of a super-soak, can also potentially damage some of the electrical components within the seat as well.

Prioritize Cleaning

When you’re sanitizing your vehicle’s interior, we recommend starting with and focusing the bulk of your attention on those high touch areas such as the steering wheel, the gear shifter, the knobs and dials, the air conditioning vents, door handles, etc. Wherever people most come into contact with your vehicle, these should be priority number one. Then, work your way through the rest of the fixtures and components of your vehicle’s interior until you’ve cleaned it all.

Know Your Risk

How often you repeat the interior sanitizing process will depend on a few factors for you, individually. First, how many people are in your vehicle? Ideally, the answer is no one you aren’t already quarantining with, but for families with shared cars, it may very well be more than just yourself. If you aren’t sick, and you don’t believe you’ve had anyone sick in your vehicle, this doesn’t exactly need to become a weekly priority or anything. However, the more you’re out there, running essential errands or driving back and forth to your essential job, the more people you’re coming into contact with, and the more likely it is that you may come into contact with the virus as well. Understanding you and your family’s risk factors will help you determine how frequently you feel comfortable performing this preventative measure.

Follow Personal Protocols

Once you’ve sanitized the interior of your vehicle, the best way to keep it clean is to follow all the personal protocols suggested by your local and state governments. Wash your hands before driving anywhere, and rewash them when you return home. Wear your mask in public and only leave your home for essential errands and appointments. We know things feel a little strange right now, and you might be going a little stir crazy, but the health of our communities outweighs the inconvenience. Wherever possible, we urge everyone to continue doing their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In the meantime, keep your vehicle clean and stay safe!

Things to Check After Auto Body Repair

Posted on: April 10th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

auto body repair checkHaving auto body repair work done on your vehicle is often such a relief that by the time you get your vehicle back, you’re ready to ride off into the sunset without a second thought. However, even with the most trusted auto body shop teams, it’s important that you take a little time for a post-repair inspection. Not sure where to start? Here are a few key areas to look over and double-check before getting too far down the road.  

The Area of Repair  

Whatever part of your vehicle needed tending to, it’s time to look that area over. Check for dimpling, make sure alignment is correct and the paint color matches. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal. Any auto repair team worth their salt will encourage you to do just that. Looking over the repair area is the first step to ensuring all is well after the repairs have been finished.  

All Electronic Components and Features  

The next step is one that people often forget, only to find out three days (or weeks) later when someone sits in their back seat for the first time that the window won’t roll down or the door won’t unlock like it’s supposed to. Checking all electronic components like windshield wipers, radio, automatic locks and windows, blinkers, etc. Is a critical step that you’ll thank us for later. Often it’s just a matter of connecting a wire that accidentally got left unconnected or flipping a switch that was overlooked in the final check before you were given a call.  

Alignment  

Depending on the work done, your alignment should be checked. Most auto repair shops will ensure that the alignment of your vehicle is adjusted if necessary even if the repairs they’re doing don’t directly affect that. For this step and the following two, we recommend asking your repair team if you can do a quick drive around the block before signing off. Making sure it drives like it should and feels normal is an important piece of the post-repair check puzzle.  

Sounds  

While you’re giving it a test drive, keep the music off (once you’ve checked to make sure all the music inputs and outputs work and the speakers sound like they ought to.) This is important to make sure your vehicle isn’t making any strange or new noises. If you notice anything that you didn’t hear before you brought it in, make sure you bring it up to your repair team so they can check it out.  

Brakes  

Brakes are an essential part of driving safely. Testing your brakes in a few different scenarios is a must-do when you’re checking your vehicle after a repair. Test them normally, and test having to pump them hard. No, we don’t recommend getting yourself in situations where that is required as it’s a very quick way to wear your brake pads out, but should a situation arise where you need to brake hard, you want the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle can do that. And if anything got messed up in the repair, it’s better to know now, in a situation you’re controlling, than last-minute when you can’t.  

Looking over the work done is not an insult to your auto body repair team, it’s a necessary part of the repair process. Conducting a post-repair inspection is expected and encouraged. After all, it’s your vehicle, and you deserve to feel fully confident in the work done. We know the world is a little intense right now, but we’re proud to be essential workers still open and operating for your auto body repair needs in this time. Need an estimate? Wondering how our processes have changed in light of social distancing regulations? Give us a call today or schedule an estimate online.  

Does My Car Qualify for Paintless Dent Repair?

Posted on: March 18th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

paintless dent repair

Dents, dings, and small issues are a common thing all car owners deal with. It’s the nature of being a driver in today’s world. Thankfully, technology has advanced over the years so that not all dents and dings require expensive, overhaul-focused autobody repair in order to get your vehicle back in tip-top shape and on the road again. With paintless dent repair, you have the opportunity to save money and time, but knowing whether or not you qualify can be a little confusing at times. Not sure whether or not your vehicle’s dents and dings could benefit from paintless dent repair? Here are some things to consider.

Model Year

While paintless dent repair may be possible on older model cars, the process itself works best on vehicles model year 1990 or newer. The construction of vehicles and the panels that make them up has changed in that time to make it easier for auto body repair workers to utilize the tools and access the panels of the vehicle the way they need to in order to effectively enact this repair process.

Damage Location

Where your vehicle is dented will have an impact on whether or not paintless dent repair will be effective. Because the shell of your vehicle is made up of panels, some locations on those panels are far easier to fix via this process than others. For example, if the damage is located close to the edge of the panel, it will be more difficult to repair in this fashion because of the internal way experts access the dings in order to avoid needing to paint over the repair.

Panel Status

In addition, the condition of the panel where the damage is located will play a factor as well. It’s easiest to perform paintless dent repair on an original panel that has never previously been replaced. That being said, it is possible to do the repair this way on non-original panels as well, though your repair partner may have different questions or requirements for you depending on the panel’s status.

Paint Condition

Okay, so this one might be a little obvious but it’s worth talking about all the same. If your dings and dents come with damage to your paint, paintless dent repair is likely not your best choice. Though the process could still potentially be implemented, any savings you might have would likely be gone with the additional cost of painting over the damaged paint areas. Because paint is more than just an aesthetic choice on your vehicle, any good repair person worth their salt is going to heavily recommend that you cover any areas where the paint has been chipped or damaged. Your vehicle’s paint protects your car from all manner of elemental wear and tear, so it’s important to keep your vehicle’s paint in-tact.

If you’re dealing with dents from something like hail damage or an unexpected bump into something, and there’s no paint damage around the dents, you may be the perfect candidate for paintless dent repair. Be sure to ask your auto body repair shop about your options! Still not feeling sure about your particular situation? Give us a call today.

How Often Should I Wash My Car?

Posted on: February 26th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

how often to wash carOur auto body repair experts get this question all the time, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule to answer it. There are a number of things to consider, including environmental factors and personal driving habits. If you’re not sure what to consider when setting a carwash schedule, factor in the things we discuss in this article.

Paint Protection

Car washing is often about aesthetics, but it’s also about keeping your car in the best condition possible for as long as possible. While chips, wear and tear, or dulling of your vehicle’s paint might not seem like more than a cosmetic thing, that’s not always true. All of those things can contribute to the weakening of your vehicle’s exterior and may indicate larger problems on the horizon – like rust. The car paint does more than just make it look pretty – it helps protect and maintain, too.

Salt Buildup

This time of year, when the weather gets snowy and the roads get salty, buildup is one of the main concerns that brings this question about time and time again. Yes, the salt buildup can cause premature rusting on your vehicle. This means that yes, you should wash it more frequently in the winter when the weather gets bad, but it’s not an immediate or critical danger. It takes a lot of salt sitting on your vehicle for a long time to cause irrevocable damage. If you have a regular car washing routine in place, that should be sufficient enough to keep up with the salt buildup around the Front Range. Adding in an extra wash or two when the snow melts between storms isn’t the worst idea.

Facing the Elements

Snow and the salt that keeps us safe in winter weather aren’t the only things that can cause premature wear and tear to your vehicle. All year round, your vehicle faces the elements when you drive. Bright, hot sun, rain, mud, dirt, dust, rocks. It all impacts your vehicle. Understanding the impact that these elements have on your vehicle’s exterior can help you set the proper car washing cadence for your vehicle and situation. For example, if you work at home and only go out on the weekends, you’re less likely to need a car wash as often as someone who commutes an hour both ways daily and ventures out into the mountains on their off-days.

Like we said at the beginning, there isn’t a hard and fast must-follow rule when it comes to washing your car. However, we encourage owners to treat it like any other part of regular vehicle maintenance. Set a schedule and stick to it. Add “emergency” washes when you need to and conserve when you don’t. If you want a rule of thumb to follow, every two weeks would be ideal with daily usage. Keeping your vehicle clean and free of dust, debris, salt, and more extend its life and its peak performance years. As long as you’re regularly washing it, you should be good.

What is Accident Alert?

Posted on: February 10th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

What is Accident Alert?

Maybe you’re used to seeing it on your TV screens or on the LED signs over the highways, or maybe you just saw it for the first time the other day and now you’re wondering – what does a city-wide accident alert really mean? As collision repair experts, we see this alert a lot, and we do field our fair share of questions on this. Truthfully, it depends. There are a few things that could cause it, but here are the basics of what you should know and when you might want to keep an eye out for the notification.

What You Need to Know About Accident Alert

When an Accident Alert is in effect, the volume of calls regarding crashes and automobile accidents is often so high that police cannot respond to all of them. The reasons for this volume may be a result of a number of different things, but when an Accident Alert is declared, there must be the following things in place to warrant police presence at the scene of a crash:

  • Damaged vehicles are causing the street to be closed
  • Fatality or injuries requiring immediate medical attention are present
  • Impaired driving (drug or alcohol-related) played a part in the accident
  • Any drivers fail to remain on scene
  • Any drivers do not have a valid license
  • Damage to public property
  • Involvement of on-duty City personnel

Because of the volume of accidents expected when an Accident Alert is issued, only the most pressing and critical ones can be addressed with the limited police resources available. So, now we know what the police will respond to during an Accident Alert. But what causes an accident alert?

Severe Weather

Severe weather is the number one reason for this alert to be issued. This time of year, when the snowfall hits record amounts and the winter weather is often in short, severe bursts, Accident Alerts are the most common. Winter weather creates hazardous road conditions more quickly than most other types of weather. However, it’s not uncommon to see this alert in the spring, summer, or fall when flash flooding becomes an issue.

Community Emergency

Outside of severe weather, other community emergencies may spawn an Accident Alert as well. This may include city-wide traffic light outages, broken water mains, avalanches in the mountain roads, or other similar issues. If the community is facing an emergency (especially if the mayor declares a city-wide emergency), expect an Accident Alert to be in place as well.

Be Cautious

When an Accident Alert is in effect, it’s important to exercise greater caution than normal while driving. Not only because police resources are limited, but because the likelihood of an influx of accidents means a greater likelihood that you may encounter an accident or two in your driving. Encountering accidents can increase the likelihood of getting involved in one yourself if you’re not careful to avoid curiosity slow-downs or don’t give yourself enough time to get out of the path of the accident. For that reason, exercising extreme caution on the roads during an Accident Alert is incredibly important.

If you find yourself caught up in the influx during an Accident Alert, give us a call. We’ll help get you back on the road as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of auto body repair.

What to Do When Stuck in Winter Weather

Posted on: January 14th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

stuck in winter drivingIf there’s one thing Coloradans know best, it’s how quickly the weather can change from manageable to impassable. Especially in the winter, roads can go from dry and clear to shut down in a matter of hours. While it’s always best to avoid travel if that kind of storm is a possibility, we all know that sometimes it’s impossible to predict when a winter storm will hit. Even more, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid the need to travel. But what should you do if you get stuck in the middle of a storm in your vehicle? Here are a few things to accomplish as soon as possible.

Alert Authorities

If you have service and any battery on your cell phone (if you have a charger in your vehicle, we highly recommend keeping a high charge all winter long), call and alert the authorities. Chances are in the kind of weather that gets you stuck, you’re probably not the only one. This may mean that they can’t reach you for a while, but letting them know where you are and that you’re stuck is a huge, important first step to getting unstuck before things get dire.

Bust out the Emergency Kit

We’ve written about creating emergency kits before, so be sure to read that if you’re looking for advice on what to include in your kit. At this point, the kit should be prepped and in your vehicle, ready for a worst-case scenario like this. If you packed a shovel in your kit, you may be able to spend some time trying to dig yourself out, to see if you can gain any traction and get yourself out of the situation. If you are going to try to dig yourself out, ensure you’re in a safe position to do so. Otherwise, it’s time to dig into those blankets, sweatshirts, and other layers you packed.

Conserve Energy

Conserving energy is key if you’re unsure of how long you’ll be stuck. We’re talking energy of all sorts. Energy in your phone, your own personal energy, the energy in your vehicle. All of it. Use it sparingly and wisely. If you can, utilize the sun to warm your vehicle so you can keep the engine running only at a bare minimum (to avoid freezing in the fuel line or engine) until the sun sets and you’re dealing with colder nighttime temperatures.

Stay Put

We know it’s tempting to leave your vehicle and try to seek help or shelter, but there’s no way of knowing how treacherous the conditions are or how far exactly you are from reaching anything or anyone who might be of assistance. It may feel a little scarier, but we recommend staying put. Stay with your car, stay in your car as much as you can. This will make it easier for authorities to find you, and it will ensure you don’t wind up more lost or more stuck than you already are.

On the bright side, weather in Colorado tends to clear out as quickly as it comes in, making it often a shorter span of time between getting stranded and getting rescued than might be the case in other areas. That being said, it’s important to take being stranded in a winter storm seriously, and do your best to stay in control of what you can. Conserve your energy, ration out your food, stay warm, and keep your vehicle in working order, and hopefully you’ll be out of the uncomfortable position in no time.

Best Times to Get More for Your Trade

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

trade in carAs you look toward 2020, it’s the time of year when people are painting themselves a picture of what the new year will hold for them, who they’ll be at the end of it. If your picture for next year includes you in a new car, you’re probably already doing some research about trading your old one in. You’ll find a plethora of information about what needs to be in order before you trade in your vehicle, but what about when you should plan to trade it in? Are there certain times of the year where you can make more for your trade-in than others? Do you need to act fast or should wait a little while? Here are some things to consider before you rush your vehicle to the nearest dealership to trade it in.

After You’ve Done Your Research

The best time to trade your vehicle in, really, is when it’s not dire. When you don’t need to. This gives you the time you need to do some research, to figure out what you’re looking for and what you’ll need to get there. It also allows you to understand what you can expect to get for your vehicle, and if there are any ways for you to increase the value of your vehicle before you turn it in.

Not Right Now

We’re about to hit the heart of winter, and unfortunately, that means you’re not likely to get top dollar for your trade-in this time of year. Spring and summer are better choices for many reasons. At the end of the year, in the throes of the holiday season, people are stressed, budgets are tight, and Black Friday purchases take out a large chunk of the discretionary income that might have gone to vehicle purchases in the first place. In the spring and summer, the market is higher, people are enjoying driving more, and are often in a better place financially to consider a purchase like this.

Before the Next Model Year

There’s a lot of value in selling your vehicle before it’s another model year old. A 2018 vehicle sells a lot better before the 2019 models are out. That stands true for vehicles further removed from their “new” status, too. Potential buyers take the model year into consideration for a number of reasons. They may be looking for a newer technological feature, they may be looking for something more easily serviced, or they may only want a vehicle with a certain number of years under its belt. If you’re looking to sell your vehicle in the next year, make sure you’re aware of when your manufacturer puts out their new model years and try to trade it in before that happens.

When Market Value Is High

This one is tricky and variable, but there are a number of market value calculators out there that can help you get a better idea of where your vehicle stands. Market value is regularly fluctuating and shifting, so it’s a good idea to check it frequently as you do your research and start your decision-making process.

Trading in your vehicle for a new ride is always an exciting prospect, but you should get the best value possible when you do. Use this information to help make your trade in day a pleasant surprise instead of receiving a disappointing offer.

Ice Driving Tips

Posted on: December 16th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

ice drivingIf you’ve ever lived a Colorado winter before, you know as well as we do that winter weather rarely means just snow around here. There is almost always an element of ice involved as well – whether it’s under the snow or replaces it entirely, icy driving is an inevitability in the Front Range this time of year. So how do you stay safe when the roads are anything but? Here are some things you need to know before you hit those ice-covered roads.

Don’t Do It

Our first tip is perhaps the most important. If at all possible, avoid driving on icy roads entirely. If you have the ability to work remotely, reschedule events or take a day off, we recommend that route. It’s the safest route. When staying off the roads until the city has had a chance to salt them or until the inclement weather has passed entirely is not an option, there are other things you should do to prepare.

Be Aware

Checking the weather and road conditions in your area should be a daily practice in the winter. It can help you understand whether or not your morning commute is going to be significantly more treacherous or not. Checking the weather the night before as well as the morning of can help you plan accordingly. Because you should never be in a rush when there is ice on the road, we recommend allowing yourself plenty of extra time if the weather looks wintry.

No One Is “Slide-Proof”

We hate to be the bearer of bad news to those who bought souped up SUVs with the hopes of being able to tackle anything Mother Nature threw at them without a care in the world, but SUVs, 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive don’t actually make it easier to drive on icy roads. Everyone is equally susceptible to sliding in these conditions because ice doesn’t just make traction difficult, it makes it impossible. Knowing that you’re not immune to the conditions of the road is an important step to being as safe on them as possible. Slow down. Way down. It’s not uncommon for speeds of under 45 mph to be necessary even on highways when the roads are particularly icy.

Avoid Brakes

Along with slowing way down, avoid using your brakes. Hitting the brakes often increases the likelihood of sliding or losing control under icy road conditions because brakes seek traction. When there is none to be found, you can easily find yourself spinning, sliding, or your ABS system attempting to correct (which it can’t.) Of course, coming to a stop on the road will be necessary at times, but doing so as slowly as possible, applying minimal pressure to your brakes to successfully stop is your best bet at staying safe under these road conditions.

Understand the Risks

Icy road conditions make pileups more likely. Sometimes, your crash or your driving is not what’s posing the highest risk to you – it’s other drivers that may approach your crash or your vehicle too quickly and end up out of control trying to fix it. Driving on icy roads is one of the riskiest things a driver can do in a city or highly trafficked area. Knowing what you’re up against is extremely important if you absolutely must travel under these conditions. If, despite your best efforts you still find yourself in an accident, the team at Accurate Auto Body can help get you back on the road with our expert auto body repair services.

Favorite Car Toys of 2019

Posted on: December 10th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

car toysWhether you’re looking for something to get yourself or your favorite car fanatic for the holidays, knowing what’s “in” in the car toy world and what’s “out” can be difficult. Surprising a gearhead with something they haven’t seen before or didn’t know they needed can be even more difficult. That’s why we put together a list of some of our favorite (and most useful) car gadgets of 2019 to help you wow them (or pick a little something up for yourself – we won’t judge.)

Portable Humidifier

As your Denver auto body shop, we know it is dry here in the mile-high city, so having a little added humidity never hurts – especially in the winter. Luckily all you need is a USB plug-in these days to have a mini humidifier (and/or oil diffuser!) with you everywhere you go. Offer yourself a little moment of relaxation with some lavender essential oil and a warm air mist while you’re stuck in that rush hour traffic on I-25 or I-70. Or gift one to your favorite commuter. We could all use a little more serenity on our daily drive, right?

USB Mini Fridge

Yeah, you read that right. A mini-fridge big enough to hold six cans but light enough to be ported from the car to your favorite picnic destination, all powered easily by a USB charger. Don’t have a USB port in your vehicle? If you’re looking at the Cooluli Electric Mini-Fridge, you’ve got options. It can easily be powered by the cigarette lighter or your vehicle’s main, too. Oh, and did we mention it keeps things warm as well as cool? Those holiday potluck dishes will arrive at exactly the right temperature, no re-warm needed. If you snag this one BEFORE the holidays, we wouldn’t blame you.

Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

Gone are the days of having to use the old school tire pressure gauge and hoping you’re reading it right but never really being quite sure. With a digital tire pressure gauge, you can take the guesswork out of it. Never wonder if those tires that look just a little bit low need more air or not. During the winter in the Front Range when the temperature changes from mild to cold in the snap of a finger, it’s important to be able to check your tires quickly and accurately. Those quick changes in weather can impact the pressure in your tires – and when there’s snow on the roads, you especially don’t want to be caught driving on under-filled tires.

Back Seat Organizer

Okay, this one is on the practical side of things, but if you know a new mom or a family that has a nearly impossible time keeping their vehicle organized, or someone who’s driving their car for Lyft or Uber and wants to offer their riders a more luxurious experience, you can’t beat a back seat organizer. It’s the perfect place to hold all the kids’ toys or beverages, tissues, charging cables, and mints or candy. Whatever you need it for, there are a number of options with different pockets of different sizes that can help anyone organize their vehicle, no matter how messy it might have been before.

Alexa-Enabled Car Charger

Those voice-activated assistants are pretty much everywhere these days, so why should your car be any different? An Alexa-Enabled car charger plugs into the cigarette lighter in your vehicle and charges your devices while also offering the power of Alexa in your vehicle. Want to add something to your shopping list? Order a pizza to arrive by the time you get home? Play a game or find a fun, random fact? Check the weather your final destination? This car charger has you covered and then some. We wouldn’t recommend gifting this one to your friend who’s afraid robots are taking over the world, though.

Whatever you or your favorite car fanatic is looking for, there’s a gadget to make it happen. This list is really just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a good starting point. What are you gifting your autophiles this year?

How to Get Your Ski on Without Traversing I-70

Posted on: December 6th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

skiing while avoiding I-70We’re well into ski season now, but as the weather continues its wintery trend and more people hit the slopes, many of us are reminded of just how terrible getting to and from the resorts can be. While a lot of major ski resorts require a highly congested trip along the dreaded I-70, not all of them do. In fact, you can still do some great skiing without ever having to hop on the I-70 at all. Not sure where to start your quest for a non-I-70 slope? As your Denver auto body shop, here are some of our favorites.

Copper Mountain

Just a couple hours outside of Denver on the US 285, this is a highly trafficked mountain that has a naturally created skills-based gradient across the mountain. Skiiers and snowboarders looking for easier slopes will want to stick to the west side of the mountain while those ready for a challenge can move east and face harder runs. And in case you’re getting ready to give us the side-eye – yes, you can get to Copper Mountain via I-70. But you don’t have to.

Eldora

Take the US 36 up through Nederland and you’ll find yourself at Eldora, ready to hit the slopes in less than 2 hours if you’re driving from Denver. Sure, it’s a smaller mountain, but it’s got plenty of family-friendly runs and you can’t beat not having to take I-70 and showing up in around an hour and a half. We’ll take shorter runs and a smaller mountain for those exceptional trade-offs.

Monarch

It might take 3 hours on US-285, but Monarch is a gem that doesn’t ask you to sit in hours and hours of stopped traffic to arrive. The drive is fairly easy, and despite getting over 300 inches of snow annually, Monarch is extremely accessible. If you’re looking for something that’s doable in a day that still packs one hell of a skiing punch, it’s hard to beat this one.

Crested Butte

Another gem off US-285, Crested Butte is a perfectly preserved mining town just over 4 hours outside of Denver. Pack your weekend bag and enjoy your nearly stress-free drive to this stunning location. Spend the early morning moseying around the quaint downtown and hop on the free bus to the mountain when you’re ready to clip in and get some good runs in. There are plenty of places to stay in the town from Airbnbs to resorts and hotels – you have the ability to make your Crested Butte experience exactly what you want it to be.

Telluride

And finally, what Colorado must-see list would be complete without this world-renowned gem. Telluride is definitely not a one-day journey from Denver, but if you have a long weekend to burn, avoid I-70 and enjoy some of the most breathtaking views Colorado has to offer with a 6 hour drive on US-285 to 5oW to Telluride. The ski options out there are amazing and the views are second to none. Add in the overall vibe of the town and the friendly downtown area and you’ve got the perfect picturesque getaway.

There’s nothing worse than starting your morning with an excited rush to hit the slopes only to be met with traffic that takes out half your planned day before you even arrive. There’s no getting around how popular I-70 is when it comes to certain mountain towns and ski resorts. And if your heart is set on one of those, you may have to deal with it. However, if you’re willing to try something new, give one of these a shot and you might be surprised to find a new favorite slope that doesn’t leave you with a major traffic headache.