When Denver Traffic Will Be Worst During Thanksgiving Week
Photo by Joe Weeg

When Denver Traffic Will Be Worst During Thanksgiving Week

So you're planning to get out of Denver during Thanksgiving week, or you just want to leave the house and go shopping for a while, because Aunt Velma is doing her terrible impression of Melania Trump again. When should you hit the road? And when will traffic be so horrible that spending more time with Aunt Velma would actually seem preferable by comparison?

In an attempt to provide the answers to these questions, the folks at Google Maps and Google News Lab have created Mapping Thanksgiving, a website that allows users to check travel stats and more in major metro areas across the country, including the Mile High City.

The recommended times for Denverites to head out for a holiday road trip will require an alarm clock and the will to rise mighty early.

According to the site's data, the best hour to depart before Thanksgiving, on Thursday, November 22, is (gulp) 3 a.m. on Wednesday, November 21; the worst hour is 3 p.m. on that same day.

If you prefer to split after Thanksgiving, you'll get more sleep, but only a little. The best hour to go is 4 a.m. on Black Friday, November 23; the worst is 3 p.m. that afternoon.
The site also provides Denver traffic graphics for each day, which show the rise and fall of roadway-clogging volume.

Here's the graphic for Wednesday, November 21....

...Thanksgiving, November 22....

...Black Friday, November 23....

...Saturday, November 24....

...and Sunday, November 25:

In addition, Mapping Thanksgiving offers up the most popular Google Maps search terms for multiple cities during Thanksgiving weeks past, and the ones for Denver suggest that an unusual number of people in these parts want to get wet despite (or perhaps because of) the impending winter. But there are also lotsa folks who apparently would prefer to shoot something.

Here are the top five Denver terms for the three main days of Thanksgiving week, as well as an overall average:


1. swimming pool
2. railroad company
3. condominium complex
4. supermarket
5. shooting range


1. swimming pool
2, railroad company
3. state park
4. visitor center
5. golf club


1. swimming pool
2. airport
3. shooting range
4. tourist attraction
5. railroad company


1. swimming pool
2. railroad company
3. shooting range
4. supermarket
5. tourist attraction

And for all these things, we give thanks.

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