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Travel advice to Aspen/Snowmass

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We are planning to go to Aspen/Snow mass (party of 4) from Toronto in Feb for 1 week and would appreciate any good advice in the transportation method:-

1. Would it be easier to travel by car/bus directly from Denver Int's airport, or fly to Eagle County??

2. Do we need to rent car?? (will stay at snowmass and only plan to ski in Snowmass and Aspen)

3. The free shuttle bus is convienent to travel or not??

post #2 of 8
I'm usually the strong advocate of the rental car, but Aspen/Snowmass is one of the few places even I would say you don't need it. One of my trips I had a car and it never left the condo garage the whole week.
post #3 of 8
The shuttle convenient in AM to/from resorts if you're staying in Aspen. I don't know whether convenient in the eve to/from town if you're coming from Snowmass. We don't get a car when we stay in town & fly into Aspen to maximize resort time, not drive time.
post #4 of 8
Most convenient is to fly into the little Aspen airport a couple miles outside town, usually via connecting flights through Denver. If you do that you probably won't need a car and can get around via convenient free buses and/or cabs. It's been a while since I've been there, but trying to visit one of the nearby ski areas by car was actually a hassle because they made you park far away and take a shuttle the last mile anyway. All four ski areas and the airport are within 10 miles of each other. If you fly into Eagle (about 2 hrs away) or Denver (about 4 hours away) you may save a lot on airfare, but will probably want to rent a car as shuttle cost from those airports for four riders may exceed car rental. The drive from Eagle is usually pretty easy, from Denver is also ok, but includes a couple of high passes that can be snowy.
BTW, Aspen/Snowmass is my favorite ski vacation spot of the 55 or so I've visited in the US.
post #5 of 8
It's best to fly into Aspen (ASE) on a direct from your gateway if possible. I've flown from Chicago, Minneapolis, Memphis, Phoenix, LA and they are all nice flights.
The direct from Chicago is only 10 minutes longer that the flight to Denver.

Next best would be to fly into Eagle/Vail (EGE) direct from your gateway. Then drive or shuttle the 1 1/2 to Aspen . Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas and NY all have directs. I would never connect thru Denver to Vail, there is just no good reason.

Connecting thru Denver to Aspen isn't too bad and it's usually cheaper. But I always have a one way rental car reserved just in case they cancel the Aspen leg. This seems to happen about 10% of the time and you don't want to take the bus that they provide.

If money is tight, you could just do a one way rental both ways and save quite a bit of money. The bus system in Aspen is very good and you don't really need a car.

The airline situation in Aspen is in a constant state of flux. United has the most flights. Northwest dropped out last year and Delta moved in. America West did a half assed job, I don't know if they will continue this year or not.

Frontier is suppose to announce service from Denver sometime soon. This should lower fare's if you decide to book thru Denver.
post #6 of 8
I see a flight leaving aspen at 1:10PM, could i realistically ski to 11:30am and catch a cab to airport? I'm here in Pa., but see a flight arriving in Aspen at 10:15am, just like my utah arrivals, so I assume I could even ski the Highlands that first afternoon? I have two utah trips and am trying to squeeze out one more to sights unseen.
post #7 of 8
Yes, you could easily ski till 11:30. If you have to check luggage, I would arrive at least 45 minutes before the flight. Sometimes I don't check anything, print my boarding pass at home and walk in twenty minutes before the flight.
post #8 of 8
Do as the others have suggested - pay a little more for flight into ASE and there's really no need for a vehicle. The airport is quaint. It's a great setup they have there for transportation, skiing etc although everything else is sky high pricing.

Have a great time - Snowmass and Highlands really rule for terrain and continuous vertical!
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