Are you dreaming of fresh white powder and crisp mountain air? You’re not alone. In 2018-2019, 13.8 million people visited Colorado’s ski resorts to get their downhill fix.
As glitzy and glamorous as winter in Colorado can be, it is still a remote mountain destination – and it’s huge at that. You need a reliable form of transportation to get to and from the slopes.
Ski bunnies have several flight options when they visit the Rocky Mountain resorts. You can start by catching a flight to Denver (a major transport hub for the whole state) or head straight to the resort area by flying directly into Aspen. But you still need to get from the runway to the lifts.
There are five excellent options to get from the state’s transport hubs to the slopes. Keep reading to find what they are and what one will make your trip a dream come true.
1. Rent a Car
The simplest, cheapest, and most flexible option is to rent a car and drive to the ski resort. However, for this option to be as easy as it sounds, your rental needs to meet a few conditions.
First, you’ll need a car that fits all your passengers and your skis, which is already a challenge during a peak season because everyone is headed to the slopes. SUVs are in high demand, and a flight delay could mean you lose yours.
Second, you need a car that can handle Colorado’s mountainous conditions because the weather at altitude is changeable – to be generous. However, as The Denver Post reported, rental car companies can’t – or won’t – guarantee that they’ll provide you with a car suitable for winter driving in the Rockies. That means getting all-wheel drive and snow tires is a gamble, particularly during the busy winter season.
It’s important to note that you cannot drive without snow tires on Colorado roads during winter conditions. Doing so is not only dangerous, but it’s also against Colorado state law. You’ll get ticketed if caught, and that’s assuming you don’t need rescuing on the way.
Then, there’s the issue of driving in winter weather. It’s safe to say that driving on snow in the mountains isn’t for the faint-hearted in general. If you visit the Rockies from a warmer climate, you might not have had the chance to develop your winter driving skills. The whole endeavor could be more stressful than it’s worth.
So, unless you visit us from another mountain destination and can guarantee a suitable car, you may find renting a car and self-driving is more of a hassle than it’s worth. After all, your trip to Colorado ski resorts is supposed to be a vacation!
2. Hire a Car and Driver
The next option is to hire a private car and driver.
This is an excellent option for out-of-state visitors who want to maximize their time on the slopes. Not only will you receive a guaranteed car that fits your party and your luggage (skis included), but you don’t have to worry about driving it after a long day on the slopes.
Your car and driver are also available when you need them. There’s no need to wait on shuttle schedules or taxi availability – and you can all travel together in the same vehicle.
Plus, you can use your car and driver for all your other trips, including to Colorado’s famous breweries and distilleries.
Door-to-door, private drivers have you covered for the length of your trip to Colorado, and they’re a suitable option for both families and corporate events.
3. Take Taxis and Rideshare Services
Taxis are another option for visitors to Colorado. These are great for short trips to the mountains over a weekend, mainly if you arrive at Aspen’s airport. However, you will be limited both in the number of seats available and in your ability to carry bags.
Business customers must also collect receipts from each journey and hold on to them for expense reports, which adds an extra bit of paperwork to what should otherwise be an enjoy a week or weekend.
There are also rideshare services like Uber available, but you have the same issues with the vehicle model as well as demand.
4. Use the Shuttles from Denver and Boulder
Colorado values its ski traffic, so it tries to make getting to the slopes as simple as possible.
There are a significant amount of shuttles that run daily from Denver. These are perfect for day-trippers who want to base themselves in Denver or who have shuttles to the slopes available from their high country resort.
Ski shuttles leave from both downtown Denver (Union Station) and Denver International Airport. You can also choose from both private and state-funded buses. A few of your options include:
- The Bustang
- RTD ski-n-ride
- Colorado Mountain Express
- Powderhound Transportation
- Summit Express
- Fresh Tracks Transportation
Prices, schedules, and destinations vary according to service.
5. Take the Train
You also have the option of taking the Winter Park Express ski train, which runs at regular intervals between Denver’s Union Station and the Winter Park Resort. It works well for those on business trips to Denver who want to ski-in and ski-out.
The train is an Amtrak Superliner, and it’s more comfortable than the bus. It’s a two hour trip to Winter Park and then a 100-foot walk to the closest ski lift to the Winter Park platform.
So if you’re in town for a conference and only have a day to hit the slopes, then the train may be the way to go.
Winter in Colorado Is Magical
If you hope to spend part of your winter in Colorado, then you have plenty of transportation options. Whether you want a quick trip to the mountains, the freedom of driving a rental car, or the simplicity of a private driver, there’s an option for your vacation or business trip.
Are you traveling to Denver or Aspen for a corporate event and looking for transportation around town or to the slopes? Get in touch to learn how we can simplify your corporate travel.