It takes about two hours to fly to Denver from Los Angeles, Chicago, or Dallas. From New York and Boston the flight is about 3½ hours. If you're traveling during snow season, allow extra time for the drive to the airport. If you'll be checking skis, arrive even earlier.
The major air gateway to the Colorado Rockies is Denver International Airport (DEN), 15 mi northeast of downtown Denver and 45 mi from Boulder. Flights to smaller, resort-town airports generally connect through it. During inclement weather, flights can be delayed or canceled. Although there are a few eateries in the airport, there are not any hotels on-site. Most hotels are several miles away toward Denver.
Some of the major airlines and their subsidiaries serve communities around the state: Grand Junction (GJT), Durango (DRO), Steamboat Springs (HDN), Gunnison-Crested Butte (GUC), Telluride (TEX), Aspen (ASE), Vail (EGE). Some major airlines have scheduled service from points within the United States to Colorado Springs Airport (COS); the relatively mild weather in Colorado Springs means that its airport is sometimes still functional when bad weather farther north and west affects the state's other airports. During ski season some of the major resort towns have increased service, and direct flights are available.
You might want to consider the time saved—or not saved—by flying to your resort destination versus renting a car at Denver International Airport and driving the same distance. A car trip from Denver to Vail can take 90 minutes to two hours in smoothly flowing traffic. Aspen is about four hours by car from Denver. Steamboat Springs' airport is actually 22 mi away in Hayden, and Vail's airport is 34 mi away in Eagle, requiring some travel by car or shuttle. In winter, flights in and out of mountain towns are frequently diverted, delayed, or canceled in bad weather. Weigh the possible time saving gained by flying against the time spent driving and enjoying the scenery along the way to your destination.
Colorado Springs Airport (COS) (719/550-1900. www.springsgov.com/airportindex.aspx.)
Denver International Airport (DEN) (800/247-2336. www.flydenver.com.)
If you are driving, the best way from Denver International Airport to Denver, the ski resorts, or the mountains is along Peña Boulevard to Interstate 70 and then west. If you are traveling south from Denver, take Interstate 25. You can bypass some traffic by using the E–470 tollway, which intersects Peña a couple of miles west of the airport. It connects to Interstate 25 both south and north of Denver. When flying into Colorado Springs, take Interstate 25 north and south. Vail, Aspen, Telluride, and the surrounding towns are accessible on Highway 24 without going through Denver.
RTD has frequent bus service to Denver and Boulder; visit their booth in the main terminal for destinations, times, and tickets. There are taxis and various private airport shuttles to cities along the Front Range from the airport, and some offer door-to-door service. Many hotels and ski resorts have their own buses; check with your lodging or ski resort to see if they offer service. The Ground Transportation Information Center is on the fifth level of the main terminal, and can direct travelers to companies' service counters. All services depart from and arrive on level five of the main terminal building.
Transfers Between Airports
Transferring between Denver International and Colorado Springs airports is easily done with your originating airline if you are flying Allegiant Airlines, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest Airlines, United, or US Airways. If you choose, bus and shuttle services are available through Ramblin Express or Supershuttle.
Large airlines serve Denver International Airport (DEN) from many cities in the United States. A few international carriers serve Denver with nonstop flights from London, England; Frankfurt and Munich, Germany; as well as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Montreal, Canada. Frontier Airlines and United Airlines are Denver's largest carriers, with the most flights and the longest list of destinations. United Express and Great Lakes Airlines connect Denver with smaller cities and ski resorts within Colorado.
Aero Mexico (800/237-6639. www.aeromexico.com.)
Air Canada (888/247-2262. www.aircanada.com.)
Alaska Airlines (800/252-7522. www.alaskaair.com.)
Allegiant Airlines (702/505-8888. www.allegiantair.com.)
American Airlines (800/433-7300. www.aa.com.)
British Airways (800/247-9297. www.britishairways.com.)
Delta Airlines (800/221-1212. www.delta.com.)
Frontier (800/432-1359. www.frontierairlines.com.)
Great Lakes (800/554-5111. www.flygreatlakes.com.)
JetBlue (800/538-2583. www.jetblue.com.)
Lufthansa (800/645-3880. www.lufthansa.com.)
Southwest Airlines (800/435-9792. www.southwest.com.)
United Airlines (800/864-8331. www.united.com.)
USAirways (800/428-4322. www.usairways.com.)
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