From the Runway to Resort: 5 Ways to Get You from DIA to the Mountains

Winter Park Resort. Photo Credit: Winter Park Resort.

When the wheels touch down at Denver International Airport, you can almost taste the fresh Colorado air. But there’s one thing separating you and the mountains: the drive! Most mountain towns offer fantastic public transportation in and around town and provide free rides to the resort, so ditch the rental car and hitch a ride with one of these airport transportation options to make your travels a breeze.

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1. Group Shuttle Service

This is one of our favorite options for solo-travel, or traveling with one or two other people. There are a variety of shuttle services to whisk you off to your favorite major ski resort, and they typically run from DIA to your destination every two or three hours. Choose to get dropped off right at your front door, or save a few bucks and opt to be let off  at a local transfer station. We advise booking online in advance, but if you need a last minute ride, check with the transportation desk at the airport or give your desired shuttle service provider a ring to see if they have any seats left for you. Most shuttles allow two large bags and have racks specifically for your skis and boards, meaning you can hop on board, shut your eyes, and wake up at your destination with ease.

For more information, check out the following shuttle providers (rates start at $35):

  • Colorado Mountain Express
  • Summit Express
  • Peak 1 Express
  • Fresh Tracks Transportation
  • 2. Charter a Shuttle

    If you’re rolling into town with a big crew, consider chartering a private shuttle to pick you up from the airport. You can arrange the date, time, and destination, according to your specific travel plans. Choose from fleets ranging from five person SUVs to full size vans.

    For more information, check out the following shuttle providers (rates start at $379):

  • Summit Express private charters to Summit County, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, Steamboat.
  • Fresh Tracks Transportation
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    3. Public Transportation – Colorado Department of Transportation

    For those on a budget, public transportation is a great option. The Colorado Department of Transportation runs the Bustang from Denver to multiple destinations, including Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Glenwood Springs. If you’re headed west, hop off the bus in Idaho Springs, Frisco, Vail, or Beaver Creek for cheap. Take the University of Colorado A Line from DIA to Union Station for $9, then catch your desired bus, and off you go.

    For more information, visit codot.gov/travel (rates starting at $10).

    4. Uber or Lyft

    If you’ve got a late flight, your plans go awry, or you simply want a private ride, Uber or Lyft is always an option. Some drivers are equipped with ski racks to get you and your gear into to the mountains. Fares vary, but a ride from DIA to Summit County will typically cost you around $130. Split between a few friends, it may not be a bad option. Just be sure to tip your driver well for such a long ride. Note that rates vary.

    5. Winter Park Express Ski Train

    For a unique experience, try the historic Winter Park Express. This icon in Colorado ski culture was built in the 1940s and ran continuously until 2009. After renewed interest, the train will be up and running on the first Friday of the month, then every Saturday and Sunday starting January 5 – March 25, 2018. With your skis and luggage in tow, you can hop off the train right at the base of Winter Park Resort. Take the lightrail from DIA to Union Station, and buy your desired ticket, and enjoy this unique ride.

    For more information, visit winterparkresort.com (rates starting at $29 one-way).

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