Rental Car Directions & Tips:
If renting a car, ask about using the toll road (E470) from the airport to I25 Northbound. It’s fastest and has less traffic, but also costs more. The rental car may company add a toll road charge to your bill.
From I25 northbound, you can either take Hwy 36 or Hwy 34 west to Estes Park. You will come to Hwy 36 first, but if you’re interested in a spectacular canyon drive, keep going until you get to Hwy 34 in Loveland.
Shuttle service is available from the airport to your lodging for a fee if you want to go car-less during your summer mountain vacation.
DIA Airport Shuttle to/from Estes.
Find more map directions and shuttle information here transportation from DIA.
Take Hwy 34 through Loveland.
Take Hwy 36 through Boulder and Lyons.
Take the BUS:
Bustang runs affordable weekend and holiday Monday service from Downtown Denver Union Station (with stops in Westminster, Broomfield, Boulder, and Lyons), during the summer (through Oct 1, 2023). There are two west-bound runs to Estes Park in the morning, and two east-bound runs returning in the afternoon. Get off in Estes Park at the Visitor Center, or continue on into Rocky Mountain National Park to the Bear Lake Park n Ride Transit Hub. The trip takes about 3 hours from Denver into the Park.
Going into the Park, you will need a valid Entrance Pass. However, Bustang passengers Timed Entry Permit is included in their Bustang ticket.. Park entrance passes can be purchased online at recreation.gov . One Bustang rider should select the 1-day Individual Pass. If there are 2 or more riders in a group, choose the 1-day Vehicle Pass. This will cover all members of your party. Riders who already have an annual or lifetime park entrance pass should bring it and a photo id to show to a park ranger.
Be sure to bring food and water for the day, as well as comfortable clothing and footwear for hiking. A jacket and rain gear, sun protection and a hat are recommended. There are no stores or food services available at the Park & Ride – you will be spending the day outside in nature!
Take the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway through Allenspark and Hwy 7. There are 2 routes, from Boulder and from the I70 corridor.
- From Boulder, take 119 (Boulder Canyon) up to Hwy 72 . Continue on to Hwy 7 and into Estes Park.
- From the I70 corridor, take I70 to exit 243 for the Central City Parkway, then follow Hwy 119 North to Hwy 72 North until it joins Hwy 7 below Allenspark. An alternate route is to take Hwy 6 out of Golden to Hwy 119.
Take US34 through the National Park. That’s the scenic Trail Ridge Road over the Continental Divide. It’s not open in the winter, and closes in mid to late October due to snow. It usually re-opens late May for the summer months. Call 970-586-1222 for a recorded message on current road status.
Off of I70, take CO6 east of Idaho Springs to the Peak to Peak National Scenic ByWay (119 to 72 to 7) that enters Estes from the south.