Heading to the mountains this winter and need to know how to get from Denver to Vail?
This guide has you covered!
Vail is one of my most favorite places to go and ski in the States.
It has one of the largest mountains in the USA, which makes for some undoubtedly adventurous skiing.
- Distance from Denver to Vail
- How to Get From Denver to Vail
- Where to Stay in Vail
Match that with an impressive resort filled with amazing restaurants and plenty to keep everyone entertained, and you have a winner.
I’ve been to Aspen and enjoyed my time there but in terms of a more down to earth atmosphere, Vail wins hands down every time.
I’ve visited Colorado multiple times and tried many different ways to get from Denver to Vail.
So I wanted to share with you the various ways you can get to this winter wonderland.
Distance from Denver to Vail
If you’re traveling from the city of Denver to Vail, the distance is around 97 miles by road.
However, if you’re coming from Denver Airport, the distance goes up to 120 miles.
Both distances are easily accessible and driveable.
How to Get From Denver to Vail
Flying into Denver International Airport is the most popular first stop for most people.
My number one choice is always to drive from Denver.
But, depending on your situation, some of the other transportation options below would be better suited.
For convenience and flexibility, I always prefer to hire a car at Denver Airport and drive myself to Vail.
The drive isn’t that far and the roads are generally in great condition, except if a winter storm blows through.
Even then, they’re cleared up pretty quick.
Also, there’s plenty to see on the journey to Vail if you wanted to make a couple stops on the way.
From Denver Airport, Vail is 120 miles away and around 2 hours and 10 minutes depending on traffic.
Most major car rental companies are based at Denver Airport, including:
I personally like to use RentalCars.com to get the best deal rather than going directly to the rental companies.
Parking in Vail
There is a huge choice of places to park in Vail.
On average, it will cost you around $25 a day to park in one of the parking garages here.
Alternatively, the majority of the hotels offer parking but normally at a higher fee.
By Shuttle Service
For a more affordable and easier way to travel, you may want to choose one of the many airport shuttles to Vail.
You can also get a shuttle from Denver city as well.
If you’re traveling as a group, this option may be more preferable due to the convenience.
There are many shuttle companies that operate this route but after trying a few of them, there is only one that I would recommend:
Epic Mountain Express
This company offers transfers for all budgets and travelers.
They have a fleet of 250 vehicles so I would find them the most reliable in the area.
If you’re coming from Denver Airport, they have a counter in the Arrivals lounge for convenience.
Their shuttles run seven days a week and go nearly every hour.
The first bus departs at 8:30am and the last one at 11:00pm, so there will always be a bus to take you.
All of their buses have free wifi, kids tickets are half price and they offer two free bags.
And they offer door to door service.
They serve Vail, Beaver Creek and Avon.
FARES FROM: $64 per person
TRAVEL TIME: 3 – 3.5 hours each way
Another alternative route by bus is catching the Greyhound.
This is by far the cheapest option but departs from Denver city, not the airport.
But you can get tickets for as little as $17 each way.
FARES FROM: $17 per person
TRAVEL TIME: 2 – 2.5 hours each way
During January to March, Amtrak runs a train between Denver Union Station and the base of Winter Park Resort.
This train only runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
One train a day runs in each direction, which limits your options.
But if you’re just looking for a short weekend away (or even a day), this option is ideal.
FARES FROM: $29 per person
TRAVEL TIME: 2 hours each way
There is a local airport to Vail called Eagle County Regional.
United fly from Denver to Vail and operate two daily flights.
This is one of the more expensive routes to go and then it’s a 30 minute drive to the Vail ski resorts.
The only way this airport makes sense is if you are flying in from another domestic US airport.
FARES FROM: $416 per person
TRAVEL TIME: 1 hour each way
By Private Car
If you are looking for a more door to door service, a private charter would be the best option for you.
There are numerous luxury SUVs on offer with experienced chauffeurs who take all the hassle out of the drive.
A company I’ve used before and had a wonderful experience with was Mountain Star Transportation.
They will pick up and drop you anywhere you like, giving you incredible flexibility.
FARES FROM: $412 per car
TRAVEL TIME: 2 – 2.5 hours each way
Where To Stay In Vail
Best All-Round Lodge Hotel | Prices from $270 a night
Best Luxury Lodge Hotel | Prices from $2,900 a night
Best Value Lodge Hotel | Prices from $142 a night