419.99 Mile Marker – Stratton, Colorado - Atlas Obscura
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Stratton, Colorado

419.99 Mile Marker

When zealous marijuana enthusiasts kept stealing the "Mile 420" highway marker, the State of Colorado got creative. 

It’s an otherwise unremarkable stretch of Interstate 70, just west of the Kansas border. There are the familiar large green mile-marker signs on the side of the highway; familiar, that is, with one exception.

Since the recreational use of marijuana was made legal in Colorado in 2012, the “Mile 420” post became a hot commodity. So hot, it kept disappearing — and the Colorado Department of Transportation got tired of replacing it.

The solution came with some out-of-the-DOT-box thinking: They shifted the spot by a hundredth of a mile, and turned Mile 420 into Mile 419.99.

There has been less sign thievery since the switch, but it hasn’t been a complete success. The Mile 419.99 sign has gone missing a few times too, but despite the occasional sticky green fingers the spot has become a destination. For some it’s just to see if the sign is for real, for others to maybe grab a few selfies. Still, perhaps surprisingly, the new signs have lasted longer than the old—the State of Colorado’s rare signage creativity seems to be paying off.

Update November 2017: The sign has been gone for a while.

Update May 2018: Sign is still gone, the road signs skip from 421 to 419.

Update August 2018: Sign still gone.

Know Before You Go

Stratton is about 145 miles east of Denver out I-70. The mile marker is on the westbound side, about half a mile east of Exit 419. As of August 2017, the mile marker was missing. The markers skipped from 419 to 421.