What’s the best driving route from Denver to Aspen?

So come summer my pals and I are planning on flocking to Aspen like the salmon of Capistrano—what’s the best driving route from Denver to Aspen?

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Answer provided by
Jason Tushinski
Answered on Jun 06, 2022
To get to a little place called Aspen, Colorado (where the beer flows like wine), you’ll want to ride I-70 W and then CO-82 W from Denver for 3 and a half hours, on a journey that will cover 198 miles**.
Here are some highlights for your mountain journey:
  • Set out from Denver on I-70 W, but before leaving the city, stop in Morrison and pay a visit to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, famous for its hiking and biking trails—not to mention its attracting tons of top musical acts since it opened way back in 1906 (and no, John Denver was not the first act to play there)
  • From Red Rocks, head west and make a stop at Indian Hot Springs, a simplistic resort with log cabins and a mineral water pool, and a spa to rest your weary bones (in case you fell off the jetway again the day before)
  • Make a pitstop in Vail and gawk at the world-famous Vail Ski Resort, which is a winter and summer playground, featuring golf, hiking, and cultural festivals
  • Take CO-91 S at Copper Mountain and make some time for a train ride in Leadville, with its trains offering scenic views of the Arkansas River Valley and Colorado’s stunning mountain scenery
  • Take US-24 E after Leadville and then head west along CO-82 (at Twin Lakes) and ride into Aspen after a winding, mountainous road trip—hope it didn’t get too nippy through the Pass
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