FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE ALPINE: THE COLORADO TRAIL (SEGMENTS 6 – 11)

The title says it all, “From the Airport to the Alpine”, this series is all about getting to and from Colorado trailheads and towns via Denver International Airport without the need of renting a vehicle by using public transportation and other creative methods. With gas prices going up and trailheads overcrowded, these transportation choices look to ease your wallet and lesson your frustration of traveling to new areas. In the first few installments, we will focus on the infamous, 500 mile, Denver to Durango, Colorado Trail. This post will focus on segments 6 through 11. Always check with these services before heading out, schedules and prices can fluctuate and services may not always be available.

Stay tuned for future posts, after the Colorado Trail we will begin covering other great trails, trailheads, towns and amazing alpine experiences. Don’t forget to view the previous post for Segments 1 – 5 of the Colorado Trail.

Also noteworthy are the apps used by the transportation companies listed below, they can be very useful in planning, finding the times for the next ride and any updates about routes. We highly recommend downloading the apps before heading out on the trail and becoming familiar with them.

Segment 6: Traveling to/from DIA and Kenosha Pass

After your arrival at Denver International Airport find your way to the Main Terminal and Baggage Claim. To get to Segment 6 of the CT, head to the train platform outside of the south end of the main terminal, look for the large hanging American flag above the doors. Once outside, go down the escalators and the train platform will be right in front of you.

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang bus, use the Outrider Crested Butte Bus to either Pine Junction ($6.00) or Fairplay ($14.00). From here you will need a ride to the trailhead. A hitch is doable, Uber less likely while the CT Shuttler is probably your best bet. It would be a good idea to call a CT Shuttler beforehand and secure a ride to decide which stop would work best. The RTD and Bustang services accept bikes and gear, but no pets.

Before moving on to Frisco and Copper Mountain, it is noteworthy to mention that the Free Summit Stage bus system between Frisco and Copper Mountain makes for a great opportunity to slack-pack Segment 7. During our CT thru hike we stayed in a hotel in Frisco, left a bulk of our gear in our room and slack-packed Seg 7, using the free bus to get back to our hotel. This turned out to be a wonderful experience during our CT thru hike, one that we were glad we did. Another side note, future installments of From the Airport to the Alpine, will highlight the Frisco, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Silverthorne area for its many trails and ease of getting there and back.

Segment 7: Traveling to/from DIA and the Gold Hill TH

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang Bus, use the West Line route to Frisco ($12.00). You can also use the Pegasus service from Union Station to Frisco ($13.00), but has a limited schedule. Once at the Frisco transfer station, make your way to the “Free” Summit Stage bus to Breckenridge that will take you to the Gold Hill TH (Revette Dr Stop).

Segment 8: Traveling to/from DIA and Copper Mountain

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang Bus, use the West Line route to Frisco ($12.00). You can also use the Pegasus service from Union Station to Frisco ($13.00), but has a limited schedule. Once at the Frisco transfer station, make your way to the “Free” Summit Stage bus to Copper Mountain, we prefer to start in the Copper Mountain Resort, as the actual trailhead for the start of Seg 8 is along HWY 91, a busy road with no bus stops.

Segment 9: Traveling to/from DIA and the Tennessee Pass TH

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang Bus, use the West Line route to Frisco ($12.00). You can also use the Pegasus service from Union Station to Frisco ($13.00), but has a limited schedule. Once at the Frisco transfer station, make your way to the “Free” Summit Stage bus Lake County Link route to Leadville. From Leadville you will need a CT Shuttler or Uber to the trailhead (9 miles).

Segment 10: Traveling to/from DIA and the Timberline Lake TH

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang Bus, use the West Line route to Frisco ($12.00). You can also use the Pegasus service from Union Station to Frisco ($13.00), but has a limited schedule. Once at the Frisco transfer station, make your way to the “Free” Summit Stage bus Lake County Link route to Leadville. From Leadville you will need a CT Shuttler or Uber to the trailhead (8 miles).

Segment 11: Traveling to/from DIA and the Mount Massive TH

Take the Regional Transportation District (public transportation) A-Line Train to downtown Denver at Union Station ($10.50). Once at Union Station head downstairs to the Bustang Bus, use the West Line route to Frisco ($12.00). You can also use the Pegasus service from Union Station to Frisco ($13.00), but has a limited schedule. Once at the Frisco transfer station, make your way to the “Free” Summit Stage bus Lake County Link route to Leadville. From Leadville you will need a CT Shuttler or Uber to the trailhead (12 miles).

The above information on traveling to and from the Colorado Trail is not meant to be a comprehensive list, to date these are routes that we have found to be useful and inexpensive. We constantly are looking for other alternatives and will update this list as needed. Please feel free to reach out to us if you know of anything not on this list or to share your experiences with us traveling to and from the CT.

Peace,

MAD

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