This is a new bus line running between Colorado Springs and Denver. It is called "FREX" (Front Range Express). Since this is something new, I haven't had the chance to ride it yet. The cost for a one-way fare from Colorado Springs to Denver is $6.
Colorado has some very good roads and even driving in the Rocky Mountains is not difficult. Most of the roads are large, and there are not as many curves as I expected. Distances are generally what they look like on a map. We drove from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista in a shorter time than expected. Once you get up in the mountains, the road is pretty much straight and you can drive without any problems.
Traffic was only bad when we drove from one side of the Rocky Mountain NP to the other, but it was tolerable overall.
I would hate to drive in Colorado in the winter!! They have large poles at the side of the road for the snow plows to FIND the road, or so we were told
Aspen Airport besides Buttermilk Mountain is not a very big airport, but big enough for midium size planes. It's one of the difficult airports to land at, since the mountains are so close. But once you get there, life begins....
I'm happy to be one of those who had a chance to try flying a small plane. It was awesome. My cousin had his own plane at Aspen Airport and since I'm ready ro try all kind of things, he invited me one day to fly with him to Glenwood Springs. No way, I ever thought this experience would be one of my best over here.
There are busses from Denver and Boulder to the mountains but not every day to every mountain.
Its more fun to drive and explore.
I snowboarded at Copper Mtn this day so I went West past Frisco and Breckinridge and there she was.
Copper Mountain is awesome!
Durango - Silverton
This is a great day out - travel on the old steam train from Durango to Silverton. It takes about 3 hours but the scenery will keep you interested all the way. Silverton is an old mining town and this was the mai mode of transport to the mine well into the last centuary.
One tip though is to come pack by coach rather than by rail....well 3 hours on a steam train is enough propably even if you are into trainspotting which I certainly am not....besides if you get the coach back you get to see the scenery from a different perspective. The whole deal costs about $65 and is well worth it.
Silverton itself is not that inspiring but with a little imagination you can visualise what it must have been like in the tough mining days...you can even go panning for gold or do a mine tour if you are staying overnight there
Don't drive through the mountains in the winter unless you have four-wheel drive. It is very dangerous around the high passes like Monarch's Pass. Be careful of truckers in the snow... they have difficulty getting up the steep slopes. Also, I noticed that although the roads are very high and curvy, people still like to drive pretty fast. But I think it's better to be safe than sorry.
A great scenic ride if you are heading west through Colorado is to take State Route 24 from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista. If you are going to Breckenridge area turn north off 24 onto Route 9 in Hartzel, CO. If you need to go further west than Buena Vista take Route 50 west. All these routes are very scenic and not heavily traveled.
Warning: Traffic on Sunday afternoons and evenings can be heavy on eastbound Route 24, as everyone is coming back to Colorado Springs from their weekend getaway to the mountains.
In my opinion, if you want to experience Colorado-The REAL Colorado-Then my suggestion is to buy or rent an SUV. There are many areas where you can drive off road and see things very few have seen (I would suggest a 4-Wheel Drive for this by the way). In addition, you can stop whenever you want, go whenever you want, and sleep whenever (or wherever) you want.
Before I moved here, I actually did this for 3 years in a row. I have never regretted it; and I also had a total blast the whole time!! This is definately something that should be on your to do list!
Colorado is beautiful and the best way to appreciate is to rent a car and just drive around to your heart's fancy. Be mindful that it may take hours to get from 1 location to another, so make sure you plan your roadtrip properly and realistically before starting your journey.
Also, a tank full of petrol will help tremendously!
Of course, having a dog in the car helps to prevent any car-jacking and keeps you company on these long road trips :-)
We rented a RV. It was a good one and it brought us everywhere without even a flat tyre.
The roads are good and this is a marvellous way to see this big country.
In my travelogue I have some pictures of this motorhome.
Colorado like much of the American west is car country. You can get from city to city by mass transit but getting to the state's national parks is another matter. To truly see the state extensively, you will need your own vehicle. The roads are generally great and once away from the greater Denver area, relatively traffic free. Well, at least in September they were!
Typical driving distances: Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park-65 miles/1.5 hours. Denver to Boulder-30 miles/30 minutes. Denver to Fort Collins-65 miles/1 hour. Denver to Mesa Verde National Park-450 miles/9 hours.
We hitchhiked into and out of the national park. We came through Estes Park and stayed at Glacier Basin camground. Follow this link for a pdf map of the park.
I-70 is the major east-west route. It is unbelievably scenic for an interstate. It passes directly through mountains via the Eisenhower tunnel, winds through the narrow Glenwood Canyon and passes some incredible scenery. This photo was taken just west of Vail along the highway
It can snow at high elevations almost any time of year. Unless its mid summer, its a good idea to have the right equipment for winter driving. Ice and snow are common as early as late October or early November, especially in the high country.
Several Colorado highways, Hwy 550 in particular, cross over the numerous mountain ranges in the area. Driving on these mountain passes is tricky as the roads are narrow and steep, but the scenery is incredible.
If you're driving in the winter, check weather conditions and road closures, as the mountain passes are shut down after heavy snowfall. Snow chains are also a good idea during the winter months. But if, weather permitting, your Colorado trip takes you over one of these mountain passes, make sure to stop at the scenic turnoffs and take in the incredible views.