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Glenwood Springs to Denver advice (amtrak/drive) in early April

Glenwood Springs to Denver advice (amtrak/drive) in early April

Old Feb 16th, 2024, 09:05 AM
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Glenwood Springs to Denver advice (amtrak/drive) in early April

My family (10 year old, 7 year old and wife) is taking the Amtrak from SF Bay Area to Colorado (April 7 & 8) and then flying to see family in Chicago (departing April 10). We initially planned to go to Denver, stay there for 2 nights and then fly out. However, I'm considering stopping in Glenwood Springs, doing hot springs and maybe the adventure park for the kids. However, I'm not sure about the transport to Glenwood Springs to Denver. We could take the train but that would only give us 1 night in Glenwood Springs due to the long train ride to Denver that wouldn't get us there in time to fly. Also, the Amtrak can be unreliable with time. I considered driving on April 10 morning from Glenwood Springs but not sure about the traction control during that time. There are some OK prices on rental cars but they are standard cars and I'm not sure if that is allowed during that time of year. Any advice on how to plan would be appreciated, thanks!
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 10:32 AM
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Can you fly to Chicago from Aspen airport?
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 01:25 PM
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That's a good question and good point. Yes there do some to be some flights from Eagle and Aspen but flights and transport options to those airports seemed a little pricey on my first look. Is the only option a taxi? I may have to consider that more, though.

Part of the motivation of train/drive is to see the scenery of the mountains but maybe that's not worth the stress of traction control, etc. Also, any input on whether the train route is more scenic vs driving would be helpful if anyone has done both.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 08:25 PM
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I think I have the solution for you. Riding the Amtrak California Zephyr east through the Ruby Canyon is a beautiful experience. You leave SLC in the dark but you have good sunlight by the time you leave Green River Utah. There are no roads along the Colorado River in the section where you go from Utah into Colorado on the train. The state line is painted on the cliff on the north side of the train. You arrive mid morning in Grand Junction Colorado. You have a few minutes while they are refueling the engines to go into a little store attached to the station where you can get ice cream, peanuts and a few other things you can't get on the train. You arrive in Glenwood Springs a little after noon if they are on time. There is a great hiking/biking trail going east along the Colorado River into the Glenwood Canyon. There is also a gondola ride up to Glenwood Cavern. The world's largest hot spring fed swimming pool is near the two big old hotels.
Your problem is how late the Zephyr is leaving Glenwood Springs. The Colorado Department of Transportation operates a bus service called Bustang. with several trips per day that originate in Grand Junction with a stop at the west Park & Ride in Glenwood Springs. The bus you want is the #703 route that leaves GWS at 8:15AM and takes I-70 all the way to Denver Union Station arriving about 12:05PM which is about the time that the California Zephyr is arriving in GWS. The fare is $28 per adult and $14 for your kids under 12. There is a great light rail train from Denver Union Station out to the Denver Airport.
On your bus trip east from Glenwood Springs on I-70 you will see the beautiful Glenwood Canyon for a few miles. Riding the train or the bus through the canyon beats driving through it yourself.
I will be riding the CZ east from Winemucca NV starting April 2. I intend to ride all the way to Galesburg IL and rent a car from there to be in NW Ohio for the eclipse that is happening on Monday 4/8.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 03:20 AM
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You talk about "traction control" which I guess is the possibility of driving in snow. Any kind of weather is possible in Colorado but I don't think you should base your trip in April on snow probability.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 06:43 AM
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The snowiest time of year in Colorado is historically March, with the first few weeks of April coming in at a close second.

But, these days nothing is predictible.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 17th, 2024 at 06:45 AM.
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