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Drive Denver to Aspen (5 nt stay)?

Drive Denver to Aspen (5 nt stay)?

Old Sep 12, 18, 12:37 pm
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Drive Denver to Aspen (5 nt stay)?

What is the best way to go from DEN to Aspen? Taking Mrs CnO for a ski trip in December. There are some shuttles available but we are staying in Snowmass so it would be helpful to have a car if going between mountains or the two villages (Snowmass/Aspen).

My couple of concerns are a) parking issues in peak holiday season and b) difficult drive in mountains. Any thoughts if these pose any real issues? I was in Park City, UT for skiing last year and saw plenty of folks struggle on drive between SLC and Park City (it was a bit snowy but not a nasty storm). If I was to rent a car, I was leaning towards silvercar.

Appreciate any comments and suggestions.
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Old Sep 12, 18, 4:24 pm
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I would fly it but that is just me. Plus, the approach to ASE is cool.
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Old Sep 12, 18, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
I would fly it but that is just me. Plus, the approach to ASE is cool.
Nonstop award flight to ASE around Xmas holidays.... not happening. Rather spend the miles and save money for slopes.
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Old Sep 12, 18, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Nonstop award flight to ASE around Xmas holidays.... not happening. Rather spend the miles and save money for slopes.
So you're not looking for the best way; you're looking for the cheapest way.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 6:45 am
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Flying to ASE is a great way to go, but the flights are so unpredictable that you have to be prepared to spend a couple of days trying to get in and/or out. My last flight into ASE resulted in five loops above ASE and then a return to DEN with a message from United that all flights were sold out for four days, and that we should figure out for ourselves how to get to Aspen. If an event like that will ruin your vacation, just plan to take a shuttle from DEN.

I recall the transport between Aspen and Snowmass being very good and free. That was several years ago, but between that and taxis you can probably do it without a car unless you want to explore outside the two villages.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 9:45 am
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Can you take a shuttle, then rent a car locally in Aspen? That would give you the flexibility you're looking for once you're there without the responsibility of driving over I-70 in winter yourself.

Depending on when you land, 70 can be quite a slog during winter.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
So you're not looking for the best way; you're looking for the cheapest way.
Well put sir. But we are FTers... miles/points is our preferred currency. Right? Also, as rjque said, ASE being a small airport might be more prone to cancellations and issues.

Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
Can you take a shuttle, then rent a car locally in Aspen? That would give you the flexibility you're looking for once you're there without the responsibility of driving over I-70 in winter yourself.

Depending on when you land, 70 can be quite a slog during winter.
This is my biggest concern. Last year, the 35mile drive between SLC and Park City took over 1.5hrs in a light snow storm. Trucks and cars pulling on side of the road to put chains, cars not having traction in middle of the highway... ofcourse lot attributes to vehicle and driving skills but not something I want to deal with on vacation.
I could skip on the A4 and rent an SUV if that's a better call. Shuttles between DEN and ASE are not frequent and fairly expensive. I would prefer to use them as last resort.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 8:02 pm
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Driving from Denver...you will have issues if there is snow. From glen wood springs the drive us flat going through a valley.

have you looked at grand junction to fly into? You won’t have the elevation climb and decent from Denver
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Old Sep 15, 18, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by djp98374 View Post
Driving from Denver...you will have issues if there is snow. From glen wood springs the drive us flat going through a valley.

have you looked at grand junction to fly into? You won’t have the elevation climb and decent from Denver
EGE would make more sense than GJT.
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Old Sep 16, 18, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
This is my biggest concern. Last year, the 35mile drive between SLC and Park City took over 1.5hrs in a light snow storm. Trucks and cars pulling on side of the road to put chains, cars not having traction in middle of the highway... ofcourse lot attributes to vehicle and driving skills but not something I want to deal with on vacation.
I could skip on the A4 and rent an SUV if that's a better call. Shuttles between DEN and ASE are not frequent and fairly expensive. I would prefer to use them as last resort.
An SUV is not going to make it any easier. AWD doesn't give you better traction on icy roads—that all comes down to the tires and whether or not you have chains.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
An SUV is not going to make it any easier. AWD doesn't give you better traction on icy roads—that all comes down to the tires and whether or not you have chains.
Is there a different (recommended car rental) for those going on ski trips out of DEN? Flying into another airport is not an option.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Is there a different (recommended car rental) for those going on ski trips out of DEN? Flying into another airport is not an option.
Whichever rental agency offers snow tires. And if you can rent chains, that too.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 4:35 pm
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Driving Pena Blvd into DIA in December, most of the rental car companies are on the north side, and there are typically hundreds of SUVs parked there. Four wheel drive/AWD won't help a lot on icy highways, as txflyer77 mentioned, but there may be other situations where they might have some advantage. Just remember that not all SUVs offered by the rental car companies are 4WD/AWD. If the description of the vehicle class your reserving does not say 4WD or AWD, it may be luck of the draw as to what they have when you arrive (well, that may be the case despite what you reserve). And check the chains to make sure they gave you the right size.

To your initial question, most of the time, taking I-70 out of Denver will be your best option. If winter weather is impacting I-70, then 285 may be just as bad (including black ice), if not worse. If there is a non-weather situation situation other than normal traffic that is causing a major stoppage on I-70 (think something like a landslide, which is more likely further west on I-70), then I would look at 285. Google Maps seems to have fairly accurate traffic data as long as you have service, and the state also has a traffic app (search CDOT).
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Old Sep 21, 18, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by TRRed View Post
Driving Pena Blvd into DIA in December, most of the rental car companies are on the north side, and there are typically hundreds of SUVs parked there. Four wheel drive/AWD won't help a lot on icy highways, as txflyer77 mentioned, but there may be other situations where they might have some advantage. Just remember that not all SUVs offered by the rental car companies are 4WD/AWD. If the description of the vehicle class your reserving does not say 4WD or AWD, it may be luck of the draw as to what they have when you arrive (well, that may be the case despite what you reserve). And check the chains to make sure they gave you the right size.

To your initial question, most of the time, taking I-70 out of Denver will be your best option. If winter weather is impacting I-70, then 285 may be just as bad (including black ice), if not worse. If there is a non-weather situation situation other than normal traffic that is causing a major stoppage on I-70 (think something like a landslide, which is more likely further west on I-70), then I would look at 285. Google Maps seems to have fairly accurate traffic data as long as you have service, and the state also has a traffic app (search CDOT).
Thanks for the information above.

Either I am making an unnecessarily big deal on renting car out of DIA OR it is absolutely treacherous drive from Denver to ski areas. Landslides and black ice on major interstates???!!! Is that a normal occurrence in Colorado?

I wouldn't start driving a major snow storm but I am getting very conflicted views. If car rental companies are not giving snow chains or snow tire equipped cars (which is most likely), how/why are people renting cars in winter? What are the thousands of skiers doing for getting to the slopes?

I thought Colorado being alpine sport state would have better structure in place for tourists. But it sounds like I should be planning ski trips elsewhere from now on.
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Old Sep 22, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Thanks for the information above.

Either I am making an unnecessarily big deal on renting car out of DIA OR it is absolutely treacherous drive from Denver to ski areas. Landslides and black ice on major interstates???!!! Is that a normal occurrence in Colorado?

I wouldn't start driving a major snow storm but I am getting very conflicted views. If car rental companies are not giving snow chains or snow tire equipped cars (which is most likely), how/why are people renting cars in winter? What are the thousands of skiers doing for getting to the slopes?

I thought Colorado being alpine sport state would have better structure in place for tourists. But it sounds like I should be planning ski trips elsewhere from now on.
Mission accomplished!
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