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Getting to Colorado & Getting Around

Colorado is well connected with the rest of the U.S. and major international destinations. With a strong network of airports, highways, buses and trains, traveling to and around the state is a breeze.
Getting to and around Colorado
Getting to and around Colorado

Major Airports

Denver International Airport
As the nation’s sixth-busiest airport, DIA offers more than 185 nonstop domestic and international destinations. Access to mountain resorts and other destinations is easy, and the airport can be reached from downtown Denver via the new Train to the Plane — RTD’s A Line commuter rail.

Denver has nonstop service to 26 international destinations in 12 countries — Belize, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Switzerland and the UK.

Colorado Springs Airport
Serving Colorado’s second-largest city, COS makes the Pikes Peak area easily accessible. Rental car and other transportation options abound. Year-Round From: Denver, Atlanta, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix (AZA & PHX), Salt Lake City; Seasonal From: Minneapolis - St. Paul, San Antonio, Washington (IAD).

Grand Junction
 Regional Airport
GJT is the largest airport in western Colorado and the third largest airport in the state. Five major airlines offer non-stop service to six destinations. 
Year-Round From: Centennial (APA), Denver, Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas, Mesa (AZA), Phoenix (PHX), Salt Lake City; Seasonal From: Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles.

Other Colorado airports >>

Regional Buses & Light Rail

Several options exist for travel in and between Colorado’s cities.

RTD, Denver’s public transportation network is easy and inexpensive, and you can get pretty much anywhere in Denver by light rail or bus. The system of buses and light rail also serves cities and towns in the six counties that surround Denver, including Boulder, Longmont, Aurora, Littleton, Lakewood, Golden, Arvada and others. Additionally:

  • The RTD A Line is the new Train to the Plane, running between downtown Denver and DIA. For $9, riders have access to the entire RTD system. There's also the SkyRide Bus, which runs between DIA and Thornton, Brighton, Boulder, the Denver Tech Center and Aurora.
  • The Flatiron Flyer rapid-transit bus connects Denver and Boulder.
  • Bustang connects Denver, Colorado Springs, Loveland, Fort Collins, Idaho Springs, Frisco, Vail, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park (summer only) and more.
  • Bustang Outlander's four lines connect Lamar, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Cañon City, Salida, Durango, Grand Junction, Cortez, Montrose, Telluride, Gunnison, Buena Vista and Denver.
  • FREX is a regional bus route between Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Boulder.
  • The Prospector connects Idaho Springs and Georgetown, as well the Idaho Springs Bustang stop.
  • Summit Stage is a free bus between Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, Frisco and Breckenridge.
  • The Gunnison Valley RTA runs between Denver, Fairplay, Buena Vista, Salida, Pueblo and Gunnison.
  • The Roaring Fork Transit Authority runs between Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Snowmass, Rifle and more.
  • Greyhound buses run between Denver and Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Grand Junction.
  • Several private shuttles run between Colorado cities, ski towns and airports.

 

Travel by Train

In addition to 10 historic and scenic railroads, Colorado offers modern and convenient train-travel options. Amtrak’s California Zephyr line makes the trip from Chicago, to Emeryville, California. On its way, it makes a stop in Denver and passes through Fort Morgan, Fraser, Granby, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. The Southwest Chief goes from Chicago to Los Angeles, with Colorado stops in Lamar, La Junta and Trinidad.

In 2016, the wildly popular “ski train” returned to ferry skiers 
and boarders from Denver’s Union Station right to the base area of Winter Park Resort on winter weekends. The Winter Park Express zips winter lovers straight to the slopes in just two hours (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, January 10–March 29, 2020). 

Driving Distances

Colorado is the eighth-largest state in the U.S., measuring 380 miles east to west and 280 miles north to south. Luckily, with so much to see and do, the state is easy to navigate. Keep in mind when planning to travel from one region to another that there might be some mountains in between you need to go around — it's not always a straight shot from one point to another! Check out our drive-distance chart to get an idea of some common routes from corner to corner. 

If you want to get in touch with knowledgeable locals during your visit, all you need to do is head to one of the nine Colorado Welcome Centers. There’s one located in each corner of the state and at both ends of the major interstates that bisect the state — I-25 and I-70. Stop by for personable, face-to-face travel advice, and take your pick from scores of maps, brochures and regional guides. The coffee is always hot, and each center has Internet access and clean restrooms, as well as information on weather and road conditions.

Winter Driving

If you are planning to drive during the winter months, you should be aware of a new traction law that's in place to protect all drivers on portions of I-70 from September to May. All drivers must have winter-appropriate tires or traction equipment that are adequate for snowy and icy conditions. Failure to do so could result in a fine. This handy traction-law chart can help you find out if you're winter-ready. The Colorado Department of Transportation has additional information about the types of tires or equipment you will need to avoid a fine. 

Colorado is often a winter wonderland, but at times, snow and ice can make driving conditions tricky, especially if you’re not used to slick conditions. Some suggestions for safe winter driving:

  • Maintain a much slower speed, accelerate at a slower rate and remember that four-wheel drive does not mean four-wheel stop.
  • Don’t use cruise control when traveling in winter conditions.
  • Keep your gas tank more than half full and stow jumper cables, snow scrapers, windshield-wiper fluid and extra blankets in your car.

Visit codot.gov/travel/winter-driving and cotrip.org for more tips.

Other Colorado Airports

Alamosa-San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS)
Good for Visiting: Alamosa, Monte Vista, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, South Fork, Crestone, Salida, Wolf Creek and Pagosa Springs
Year-Round From: Denver

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
Good for Visiting: Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Leadville and Glenwood Springs
Year-Round From: Denver, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Salt Lake City
Seasonal From: Atlanta, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Minneapolis - St. Paul, Phoenix, San Francisco (SFO)

Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
Good for Visiting: Cortez, Dolores, Mesa Verde National Park and Mancos
Year-Round From: Denver, Phoenix (PHX)

Durango/La Plata County Airport (DRO)
Good for Visiting: Durango, Cortez, Mesa Verde National Park, Silverton and Pagosa Springs
Year-Round From: Denver, Dallas (DFW), Phoenix (PHX)
Seasonal From: Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles

Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE)
Good for Visiting: Vail, Beaver Creek and Glenwood Springs
Year-Round From: Denver, Dallas (DFW)
Seasonal From: Atlanta, Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK & LGA), Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix (PHX), Salt Lake City, San Francisco (SFO), Washington (IAD)

Gunnison-Crested Butte Airport (GUC)
Good for Visiting: Gunnison and Crested Butte
Year-Round From: Denver
Seasonal From:Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH)

Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
Good for Visiting: Montrose, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride and Delta
Year-Round From: Denver and Dallas (DFW)
Seasonal From: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Newark, New York (LGA), Phoenix (PHX), Salt Lake City, San Francisco

Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB)
Good for Visiting: Pueblo, La Junta and Walsenburg
Year-Round From: Denver

Telluride Regional Airport (TEX)
Good for Visiting: Telluride
Year-Round From: Denver

Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN)
Good for Visiting: Steamboat Springs and Craig
Year-Round From: Denver
Seasonal From: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD),
 Dallas (DFW), Fort Lauderdale, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Minneapolis - St. Paul, Newark, San Diego, San Francisco (SFO), Seattle, Washington (IAD)

Learn about Colorado's cities and regions >>