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Sustainable Vail: Alternative Options for Driving to Vail

No matter what time of year, travelers make their way to the mountains to recreate. But keeping the mountains, snow, rivers and environment we all love means doing our part to protect our state and mountains from the impacts of climate change.

Transportation related emissions make up 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Whether traveling to Vail for the day from the Front Range or flying into Denver International Airport for a weeklong visit, there are several ways that visitors can quickly and conveniently navigate I-70 while mitigating their impact on the environment.

We all play a role in lessening our impact on I-70 congestion. Below are some tips that visitors can keep in mind when planning their visit to Vail, and locals also can adapt these tips to remember there are easy ways to get around the valley that allow for skipping highway traffic and the parking structure.

Free transportation in Vail

Travelers don’t need a car when visiting Vail. The town of Vail offers one of the largest free year-round bus service in the country. Visitors can travel throughout Vail (East Vail to West Vail) on the town’s convenient transportation service. And, if visitors want to travel down-valley, Eagle County offers an extensive transportation system from Vail to the rest of the valley via ECO Transit. The convenient service is available for a small fee, depending on the bus line, and leaves regularly from the Vail Transportation Center in Vail Village. The town bus system also runs from West Lionshead through the entire village to Golden Peak, for easy and free transportation in Vail/Lionshead Village. See Vail accessibility information.


Ride sharing

There is no easier time to carpool to the mountains. From ride sharing apps to elevated bus services, many options are available to get to Vail in style.

In big cities, apps such as Moovit and Wave Carpool are well known; however, in Colorado, new options recently emerged as Treadshare and Caravan are launching to allow travelers to share the ride from the Front Range to your favorite mountain resort. The new carpooling apps allow travelers to upload their upcoming trips into the system or find other travelers who would pay a fee to join them for the ride to and from — or within — the mountains.

Bustang, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s statewide bus service, picks up at several locations in the Front Range and services mountain towns up and down the I-70 corridor, including Vail. For seasonal route maps and schedules visit CDOT’s Bustang information page. 

On weekends and holidays, additional transit service will be provided through CDOT’s Pegasus program. Pegasus combined with Bustang’s West Line provides hourly service between Avon and Denver Union Station with intermediate stops in Vail, Frisco and the Federal Center in Lakewood. Bustang riders can relax and enjoy free Wi-Fi, take a nap or just soak in the view on their two-hour drive to Vail.

Travelers coming from DIA have several ride share options, including Uber Ski, Epic Mountain Express, Peak 1 Express, Blue Sky Limo and Colorado Airport Express. A simple Google search uncovers several options in an array of price ranges that will get travelers to Vail.

Drive electric

If opting to drive to Vail, consider driving an electric vehicle. Hertz recently announced its intent to purchase the largest EV rental fleet in North America. And, many car companies are making it easier and easier to choose electric with rebates and special offers. When driving an EV to Vail, the destination offers more than 30 public charging ports and more than 20 hotels offer options for plugging in. Vail offers an array of public charging ports ranging from Level 2 options to four DC fast charging stations in the Lionshead parking structure.

Collectively, visitors and locals can follow these easy tips when deciding the best way to get to the slopes this winter.

Electic vehicle charging stations