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EpicSki › Groups › 2016 Epicski Gathering at Aspen -- February 3 through 9 › Discussions › Getting around Aspen/Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs

Getting around Aspen/Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

A reference thread for tips about getting around the Aspen area, including Snowmass Village and as far out as Glenwood Springs.  Info will be gathered from the general Gathering thread in Getting Together.

 

In general, the free buses for Aspen/Snowmass/Highlands/Buttermilk are very convenient.  The town of Aspen and Snowmass Village have separate bus systems.   There are regional buses as well that go as far as Glenwood Springs.

 

[6/29/15] The 4 mountain connector page at http://www.rfta.com/fourmountain.html just says "will resume at Thanksgiving".  Fortunately I [Gathermeister] saved a copy of last year's schedule, and it will probably be the same:

 

 

 

 

The Snowmass Shuttle

 

post #2 of 28

Seniors (65+) ride free. Even on RFTA busses to/from Basalt, Carbondale, or Glenwood Springs.

 

Note: Buses stop on south side of Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Most hotels are across the

          river on the north side (not on bus route)

post #3 of 28

Interested in skiing Aspen Highlands.  When I was there before it was a high fee to park at the mountain.  Can anyone share where there is free parking on the route?  Guessing it will be along the snowmass bus and then I would need to take a transfer.

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

Interested in skiing Aspen Highlands.  When I was there before it was a high fee to park at the mountain.  Can anyone share where there is free parking on the route?  Guessing it will be along the snowmass bus and then I would need to take a transfer.

You can park at the lot at intersection of 82 and Brush Creek for free and take bus to Highlands.

Where will you be staying?

*direct bus routes from Snowmass are not non stop. You do not have to transfer but there are a fair number of stops.
post #5 of 28
The transfer from Snowmass to Highlands was not a big deal. It added about 10 minutes to the trip.

I really liked the buses. I got ready to ski, boots and all (with Cat Tracks for walking and sole protection) in my room, then got on the bus. You are dropped off closer than the parking lots. I just tightened my boots and got on the lift.
post #6 of 28
I did not try it, but one bus wrangler (they have people at the loading zone advising the confused) told me the non-publicized option to change at Buttermilk works pretty well too. I think there may be parking there too.

There is close in parking at Highlands for $$$ I think. I did not have a car so I didn't look at it or price it.
post #7 of 28

Staying-not sure yet.

 

Thanks for the advice on parking at 82 and Bush Creek.  So it looks like you go up to the 8th street stop and make your transfer there to the Highland bus.

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

Staying-not sure yet.

Thanks for the advice on parking at 82 and Bush Creek.  So it looks like you go up to the 8th street stop and make your transfer there to the Highland bus.

Yes. The bus drivers are very friendly and helpful.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

I did not try it, but one bus wrangler (they have people at the loading zone advising the confused) told me the non-publicized option to change at Buttermilk works pretty well too. I think there may be parking there too.

There is close in parking at Highlands for $$$ I think. I did not have a car so I didn't look at it or price it.


My understanding is that there are at least 4 in the car, parking is free in the small Highlands parking garage.  It's right under the main base building.  Even has an escalator.  The charge was $11 weekday and $22 weekend in 2014-15.

 

Last March, Bill and I parked at Buttermilk.  Easy to park very close to the well-marked bus stop for the large van style bus that runs to Highlands.  Buses ran every 15 min until mid-morning, 30 min mid-day, and every 15 min again starting at 2:30. Since it was midweek, we didn’t have trouble getting on the next bus.  About 20 seats and no one is allowed to stand.  If full, someone is allowed to sit in the passenger seat next to the driver.  On a busy weekend, parking at the Intercept Lot might be a better idea.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

For Snowmass, the garage right below the gondola base is pricey at $25 but certainly convenient.  Walk up stairs or take elevator.  We found a small locker room near Guest Services where you set up the MCP passes (RFID).  People leave boot bags on top of the lockers. Most of the people who parked in the garage booted up at their car before heading to the elevator.

 

The other parking options at Snowmass include a pay lot at Two Creeks and a free Town Park Lot that locals call the “Rodeo lot.”  Somewhere there is a C lot that is free for carpools with at least 4 people.  I think Two Creeks is also free with 4+.  The free buses run on a schedule pretty regularly, every 15 min or less during peak hours.

 

There is a lodge at Two Creeks, which is the base for a lift that is where you come out after skiing Long Shot.  Long Shot is a blue trail that requires a short hike.  The hike also gives access to glades.  The walk from the Two Creeks parking lot is pretty short . . . no stairs.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Pics of the parking at Buttermilk for the Highlands shuttle, which is considered a van not a bus.

 

 

The Highlands shuttle is in the center of the pic.  Pretty short walk.

post #12 of 28

Just want to make sure I am reading you correctly marznc.  There is free parking at the buttermilk base area and a van departs about every 15 minutes for a direct shuttle to Highlands?

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

Just want to make sure I am reading you correctly marznc.  There is free parking at the buttermilk base area and a van departs about every 15 minutes for a direct shuttle to Highlands?

 

I believe there is shuttle from Buttermilk to Highlands. I don't like driving to Buttermilk in the morning because depending on times, there is a lot of traffic. If you get on the bus at the Intercept lot, the bus goes in the bus only lanes and you avoid the traffic.

post #14 of 28

Thank you  for that  knowledge.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

Just want to make sure I am reading you correctly marznc.  There is free parking at the buttermilk base area and a van departs about every 15 minutes for a direct shuttle to Highlands?


Yep.  But as @skier31 said, traffic is a consideration depending on the day.  Buttermilk is 3.5 miles closer to Aspen than the Brush Creek Intercept Lot on RT82 at the turnoff to RT10.  RT82 is a 4-lane highway between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.  Brush Creek Road is RT10 and is the road to Snowmass.

 

I was there in late March so before 8am there was no traffic issue driving from Carbondale.  Also, few people starting at Buttermilk so getting on the next van was easy.  For me, I'm always on the look out for  the shortest possible walk from the car to the bus or lodge.  Mostly for the afternoon after a full day of skiing to deal with the reality of pushing 60 and short so carrying skis and boots is not my favorite way to work out, even with a Transpack.

 

Intercept Lot to Buttermilk - link for Google Map

post #16 of 28

The new RFTA (Roaring Fork Transit Authority) schedules are out.

Only a couple om minor on the Four Mountain Connector.  Here's the new version:

post #17 of 28

The Snowmass Village Shuttle Schedules are up too:

 

There are seven routes, The different routes run 2, 3, 4, or 5 times an hour during the day, and 2 or 3 times an hour during the evening.  

 

The full schedule is located at:

 

http://snowmasstransit.com/133/Routes-Schedules

 

For example

 

post #18 of 28

Feeling Green?  There is mass-transit from Denver that connects to the RFTA.

It's the Bustang!  (odd name - bus + mustang?)

 

Here is the West route, leaves Denver at 5:15 pm, arrives in Glenwood at 9:30 pm.

(Stops in Frisco and Vail, too,  for you Summit County skers,)

 

http://www.ridebustang.com/west-line

 

 

A single ride the whole way costs $28.

There is WiFi on the bus, and 110V outlets and USB charging stations.

 

It connects to Grayhound at the Denver end for an old-school Paul Simon "I’ve come to look for America” vibe.

More realistically, the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Skyride service connetcts to the DEN airport for about $10.

 

http://www.rtd-denver.com/skyride.shtml

post #19 of 28

And of course the RFTA runs routes around the city of Aspen as well.

 

The Aspen schedule is here:

http://www.rfta.com/aspen.html

 

 

"All points in Aspen can be reached using the RFTA bus system.

Within the City of Aspen and many routes running between Aspen and Snowmass Village are free."

 

There are seven Aspen proper routes.  For example (Rubey Park is near the Gondola), 

 

Here's a screen grab of the pdf:

 

 

post #20 of 28

When you ride the shuttle, you have two choices on where to gear up -- in your room or at the base.

I like to get completely ready in my room, put Cat Tracks on my boots to protect the soles and just have to do a few adjustments when I arrive.

 

For those who like to travel in street shoes, there are lockers and cubby-holes for bags at the bases.  But because there are no traditional "base lodges" their location is not always obvious.

I've seen them in the ticket offices at the Snowmass Mall and Highlands Base.  We've discussed this is another thread, and been told there are some at the Snowmass base and under the Ajax gondola as well.

 

Boot sole protection is a really good idea, since there can be a few hundred feet to walk on pavement.   The Aspen town drop off at Rubey Park is probably the furthest, one full block from the gondola.  (You go right by Ink Coffee, highly recommended, by the way.)

post #21 of 28
Parking information is here:
https://www.aspensnowmass.com/our-mountains/snowmass/getting-here-and-parking

This is cut and pasted from that link:
PARKING
Free Parking
Town Park Station (formerly Rodeo Lot): Shuttles depart starting at 6:40am every 20 minutes, 6:30 to 7:10am and 5:20 to 6:20pm. 10-minute service 7:10am to 5:20pm

HOV (four or more) park free in lots C & Two Creeks.

PAID PARKING
Lots C, E, and Two Creeks are $12 on weekdays and $24 on weekends & holidays. Snowmass transferable parking passes are $379 for the public and $329 for premier passholders, for Lots C, E and Two Creeks (also valid at Aspen Highlands). Permit is required from 8:00 am until noon daily. Lot C is only open on weekends and holidays. Spaces are limited, permits do not guarantee a spot.

BASE VILLAGE PARKING GARAGE
Operated by Snowmass Hospitality, not affiliated with Aspen Skiing Company.
First hour is free
$5.00 Each additional hour
$30.00 Daily maximum
Evening parking is free if you enter the garage after 5:00 pm
Free during summer months

SNOWMASS VILLAGE MALL PARKING
Parking in the lots adjacent to the Snowmass Village Mall area is by permit only. Guests can purchase weekly permits from their lodging company. Residents and employees must have permits. Parking is strictly enforced from the first day of the ski season to the last day of the season. Permits are not required in the summer and off-season.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 

Buses leave from Aspen and Snowmass and provide service to Snowmass, Highlands, the Aspen Silver Queen Gondola and Buttermilk. These are high frequency routes and are ALWAYS FREE. The Bus Only Lanes make the entrance and exit to Aspen faster with No Parking and No Hassles.

All services are 7 days per week except where noted.

 
FOUR MOUNTAIN CONNECTOR IS CURRENTLY IN SERVICE from December 12, 2015 through April 11, 2016
 
 
 
 
SNOWMASS
Aspen to Snowmass Mall (Times from Rubey Park)

6:15am, 6:45am; 7:15am – 8:15pm at least every 7 to 15 minutes. Always at :00, :15, :30, :45. From 8:15pm – 2:15am, 30 Minute service at :15 and :45.

Snowmass Mall to Aspen
6:15am, 6:45am; 7:15am – 8:15pm at least every 7 to 15 minutes. Always at :00, :15, :30, :45. From 8:15pm – 2:15am, 30 Minute service at :15 and :45.

Base Village to Aspen
6:17am, 6:47am; 7:17am – 8:17pm at least every 7 to 15 minutes. Always at :02, :17, :32, :47. From 8:17pm – 2:17am, 30 Minute service at :17 and :47.

Snowmass to Buttermilk via any Aspen-bound Free Skier Shuttle upon request.

Snowmass to Highlands direct at 9:00am & 10:00am daily  and via transfer at the roundabout throughout day. Additionally Monday and Tuesday at 3:00pm and 4:00pm

HIGHLANDS

Aspen to Highlands – Highlands & Castle/Maroon Bus

(Times from Rubey Park)

 

6:20am – 2:00am daily
Between 6:45am – 4:30pm continuous departures from Rubey Park.
After 4:30pm departures at :00, :20, and :40 until 2:00am

Highlands to Rubey Park – Highlands & Castle/Maroon Bus
(Times from Highlands)
6:20am – 1:40am daily
Between 7:00am – 4:45pm continuous departures from Highlands.
After 4:45pm departures at :00, :20, and :40 until 1:40am.

Highlands to Snowmass
Direct service is at 3:30pm & 4:30pm daily, and via transfer throughout the day. Additionally, on Mondays and Tuesdays departures from Highlands to Snowmass at 9:00am and 10:00am from 12/12/15 to 4/10/16.

 

post #23 of 28
Thanks to @TimGedney for noticing that this version doesn't actually tell you how long the trips take, and for finding the link to the detailed version:
http://www.rfta.com/routes/snowmass-village/
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 

To get to Snowmass Highlands, I'd still recommend parking at the Intercept Lot, at the light at the bottom of Brush Creek Road (the access road to Snowmass). All the buses from there are free to ride. Get on the bus from Snowmass to Aspen, or any bus headed to Aspen except the "BRT" bus. There are lots of them--you won't wait long. Get off at the "Roundabout" stop (aka Maroon Creek Rd.), at the bottom of Maroon Creek Rd., which is the access road to Highlands. There's a bus stop there, and any bus that stops will take you to Highlands. So will the little white Highlands-Buttermilk shuttle van. And a few private vehicles will stop there as well, looking to fill their cars with four people so they can park for free at Highlands. You'll help them if you accept a ride, so don't be shy.

 

The BRT bus to Aspen from the Intercept Lot will not let you off at the Roundabout stop. If you're on that one, go past the Roundabout to the 8th St. stop. Cross the road and wait for the Highlands bus out of Aspen, about every 15 minutes.

 

Of course, if you have 4 or more people in your vehicle, parking is free at Aspen Highlands. You can try to find an extra passenger or three at the Roundabout. Or just drive up to Highlands and pay to park. It's pretty convenient. But around 8:00-9:00 you'll find yourself in the stop-and-go traffic fiasco that you'll entirely avoid if you take the bus from the Intercept Lot....

 

Have fun at Aspen Highlands!

 

Best regards,

Bob Barnes

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

Free parking for 4 or more in a car at the Aspen Highlands parking garage or Two Creeks at Snowmass.  The Two Creeks lots isn't that big but is a very short walk from the lodge and lift.

 

Two Creeks has a small lodge complete with a few day lockers, retail shop, rental shop, food service (basic), ski school desk, and lift ticket office.  For future reference, possible to get the MCP initiated at Two Creeks.  

post #26 of 28

Er, I meant...to get to Highlands....

 

:o

post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 

Er, I meant...to get to Highlands....

 

:o


FIFY in Post #24 :)

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Apparently the "RFTA Smart Rider"  -- the smartphone app from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority -- is much better than before.  Worth installing and using for a future Aspen ski trip.
EpicSki › Groups › 2016 Epicski Gathering at Aspen -- February 3 through 9 › Discussions › Getting around Aspen/Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs