While visiting famous Rocky Mountain resorts Aspen and Vail in Colorado, many vacationers feel they must rent a car to enjoy all the activities of these resorts in summer, fall or snow season. Not so!
For one week, the least expensive price for a car rental from Avis in Aspen when checked recently online with the AARP seniors’ discount was $550.95, including taxes but not including GPS device or additional insurance. For a car at Denver International Airport, the price was almost $636.
In contrast, travelers who recently flew to Denver paid $87 for the comfortable Colorado Mountain Express shuttle bus that goes directly to a hotel (or any other lodging) in Vail. That makes the round trip cost for one person $174. For Aspen, the charge is $99 each way from the Denver airport
How to Avoid I-70 Traffic
It also means newly arrived visitors do not have the hassle of driving Interstate 70 into the mountains on the two-hour trip to Vail, a drive that can be quite fatiguing for those who have started at sea level and are not yet acclimated to Denver’s mile-high oxygen-thin altitude. The road also can get congested on weekends.
Once in either Aspen or Vail, vacationers discover that both towns have rather remarkable, extensive public transit facilities. In both towns buses take everyone all around the area free.
Free Buses Around Aspen
Moreover, in Aspen the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus system takes travelers not just around Aspen itself but all the way to Glenwood Springs, 30 miles away, and there is a stop right at the Aspen Airport for those who do not have much luggage. The charge for these longer bus routes is free for seniors. They can even put their bikes on the racks mounted on the front of Roaring Ford Valley-wide buses for a $2 fee.
Special free buses leave from the middle of Aspen to the Aspen Music Festival tent and Harris Hall just before and just after every performance. Another bus takes vacationers up to see the gorgeous views of the Maroon Bells – perhaps the most famous mountain vista in the Colorado – several times daily for a $4 senior fare. (Adults pay $6, children 5-16: $4.)
Free Buses Around Vail
In Vail, a fleet of handy buses carries visitors from one end of the village to the other at no charge. Still other free Vail Valley buses are available for those who wish to get to popular places such as the Booth Creek Falls trailhead and the golf course. For as little as $1 (although fares are scheduled to increase soon) you can take ECO (Eagle County Regional Transportation Authority) buses to other towns such as Leadville and Avon.