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Denver International Airport (DEN), the gateway to the High Rockies, is 119 miles east of Vail. It's a 90-minute drive from Vail, but ski traffic can double the time (expect it to take much longer if a blizzard hits). The Vail Valley is served by Eagle County Airport (EGE), 34 miles west of Vail. Air Canada, American, Delta, and United have nonstop flights to Eagle County from several gateways (Air Canada and Delta only during ski season).
If possible, try snagging a direct flight straight into the Eagle County Airport from your hometown. But if your trip involves a connection through Denver or another hub, it is often faster to rent a car and make the scenic 90-minute drive through the mountains or catch one of the many shuttle services. Although winter mountain weather can be fickle and delay flights, the two high passes on I–70 between Denver–Loveland and Summit County–Vail are rarely closed, though traffic might slow to a creep.
Denver International Airport (DEN) (800/247–2336. www.flydenver.com.)
Eagle County Airport (EGE) (970/328–2680. www.eaglecounty.us/airport.)
Colorado Mountain Express (970/754–7433 or 800/525–6363. www.coloradomountainexpress.com.)