Traveling between Denver and Colorado Springs can be a bit of a trek, but luckily there’s more than one way to make this relatively short journey if you’re flexible. From driving yourself on a number of routes, to taking a bus or flying from airport to airport, let’s go over the best methods for how to get from city to city.
Many out-of-state visitors start their adventure at Denver International Airport, some opting to head straight to the state’s 2nd most populated city, Colorado Springs. With so many things to do in both Denver and Colorado Springs, it’s no wonder that so many tourists and locals alike travel through the I-25 gap to experience what these cities have to offer.
Whether you’re in town for a few days or you’re just looking for a different route for your commute, in addition to the most used I-25, there a are a few other ways to go the between cities, at cost, time and scenery. We’ve put together a thorough guide to help you pick the right transportation for how to get from Denver to Colorado Springs, or Colorado Springs to Denver.
Let’s dive deeper into the best ways totravel between Colorado Springs and Denver:
Fly from Denver Airport to Colorado Springs Airport
Although it may seem quicker than making the trip by car and is certainly faster once in the air, once you account for the time spent going to/from and waiting in the airports, it’s most certainly a longer experience. Perhaps during peak rush hour traffic though, or with terrible snow or road construction, you might save real time, and certainly less stress than driving. It’s especially an efficient option if you’ve just arrived at either airport and just need to connect to the other city.
Flying between Colorado Springs and Denver is a bit more costly than you would think for two cities being less than 100 miles apart. It’s around 70 miles to either fly or drive. The flight time is around 45 minutes, versus 1.5 hour by car. For airport to airport travel, estimate at least $150 per flight, more at the last minute. And with the security lines to bypass at Denver International Airport (D.I.A.), it may not take much less time than driving unless you’ve caught a connecting flight and therefore already through security.
To make things a bit easier for you, flying directly into the Colorado Springs Airport is your best bet. While you may end up paying more for your flight, there are a number of airports that offer direct flights to Colorado Springs for much cheaper than an extra $150 per trip. Plus the time saved is great for those who are only looking to visit the Pikes Peak Region.
For example, there are direct flights from Houston and Las Vegas to the Colorado Springs Airport, which can be found for around $200 depending upon the time of year. Check your favorite booking site to see if your city is one of the few. If not, there are a few other ways to get down to the Springs, even if you fly into D.I.A.
Rent Car/Drive I-25 from Denver to Colorado Springs
Perhaps the easiest option for traveling between Colorado Springs and Denver is to drive yourself. It’s simple enough to secure a rental car at D.I.A. for around $30 a day and take the fastest route to The Springs, Interstate-25. On a day without too much traffic, the trip can be made in about an hour and a half, but those who commute daily know that with traffic, it can be a two to three hour drive.
Be warned that if you’re driving yourself: Denver traffic can not only be heavy during rush hour, but winter storms can sometimes come out of nowhere, causing dangerous conditions on the road. Even if you’re visiting in the spring months of March, April, and May, be on the lookout for fast-moving storms that may pour down a combination of hail and snow. If traveling during these months, spend a little more on your rental to ensure you have an adequate vehicle, tires and 4WD.
Another consideration to take into account is the current construction and road expansion on I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock, which has made much of the gap between Colorado Springs and Denver very narrow and a bit bumpy to drive on. Be careful just north of Monument where the construction begins, as there are many twists and turns that make the road difficult to navigate at typical highway speeds.
Parallel Plains Route Hwy 83 – If you’d like to try a relatively parellel route to I-25 that’s along the Great Plains plus 30-60 minutes, you can take this back country route to around Monument or beyond, before meeting back up with I-25. Unfortunately, you’ll still need to put up with the brunt of traffic through Denver until the detour.
Take I-25 south from Denver to the edge of the main metropolitan area at at Lone Tree, exit 195. Go east to Parker on Lincoln Avenue. You can also exit one mile earlier on I-25 at 196, for E-470 east (pay small toll) to Parker Rd.
Meet up with a commercial street Parker Road/State Highway 83, turning right onto it, heading south past Franktown. You can join back west to I-25 at Monument, or a few other places. This way receives less traffic than I-25 and adds nearly an hour to the drive.
There’ll be some traffic lights on this country back route. It’s one for the sightseers and those looking for a different scenario than I-25 during rush traffic, weekends included now. If you’re Take a hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park if you got the time.
Parallel Plains Route Highway US-85/CO-105 – This route starts on I-25 very briefly in Denver. You’ll take I-25 just south of Downtown Denver to the exit for Santa Fe Dr/US-85 S. Follow it south all the way to Sedalia. If you’re feeling hungry, swing by Bud’s Cafe & Bar on Manhart Ave. They serve up locally famous hamburgers.
In Sedalia meet up with CO-67 S, which you’ll stay on for less than half a mile before turning left on CO-105 E. Follow that heading south to Palmer Lake, where you can explore its artsy little downtown area and front range views. From this town follow CO-105 the rest of the short way to Monument and I-25 S. Take south to Colorado Springs.
Alternative Mountain Back Route CO-67
Nearly all folks driving between Colorado Springs and Denver take I-25. It’s the most straight, direct route to either city. However, if you duck west into the mountains a bit from either city, you take CO-67 for most of the route. It adds about an hour onto your drive on average – going from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. It’s a much more scenic trip though with much less traffic.
The alpine drive on CO-67 passes by gorgeous forest and mountain landscapes. Part of the hillsides have scars from a previous forest fire. You can see the dramatic scenery of this unique section of Colorado’s front range. There are a few points for commerce on the way, but plenty more nature and a few outstanding overlooks.
Coming from the Mile High – You’ll drive southwest out of Denver on Highway 285 until you reach Pine Junction. From here you’ll take a left heading south on Pine Valley Road, which meets up with CO-67 at Deckers. This blink-your-eye-and-you’ll-miss-it fishing community is home to the South Platte River and excellent fly fishing.
You can also take Highway 85 south from CO-470 in Denver and join CO-67 earlier at Sedalia. This is a bit more of backwoods route, but boats incredibly stunning creekside rocks early on. It adds only 10 minutes or so to the Highway 285 directions. CO-67 continues south at Deckers, passing some historic structures and secluded residences on the way to Woodland Park at Highway 24. Here you’ll make another left heading east for about 30 minutes to Colorado Springs. Reverse the directions to go the other way.
Uber/Lyft from Denver to Colorado Springs
While pricey, it’s certainly possible to hire an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-share transportation service for your travels between Denver and The Springs. Budget at least $100 for the trip if you decide upon this route–even more if you’re looking for a nicer vehicle.
You’ll probably have to search for quite a while to find a driver who is willing to make the trip. We suggest a nice tip for your driver, as the roads can be a bit dicey depending upon the time of year and the aforementioned construction can be a nightmare to navigate during heavy traffic.
Taking an Uber or Lyft may not be the cheapest option, but if you’re used to traveling in the care of a local driver, it might be a good choice for you. If that sounds a little bit too precious for your budget, check out the bus shuttle services we’ve listed below.
Bus Shuttles from Denver to Colorado Springs
There are a few different types of bus shuttles that you can take when busing between Colorado Springs and Denver, depending upon your desired destination. Whether you’re just looking for the best shuttle between the cities or you need transportation from the airport, we’ve got you covered.
City to City Buses
The easiest and cheapest way to travel between Denver and Colorado Springs is to take the shuttle known as the Bustang. These distinct purple busses are comfortable, clean, and offer Wi-Fi and bathrooms, making them an excellent choice for everyone. If you’re looking to avoid driving the traffic on I-25 yourself and get some work done on the roughly two-hour ride, the Bustang is your best option. It departs multiple times daily from Denver’s Union Station.
Not only does this bus service offer $13 rides between the two cities, it also offers connections to other parts of Colorado as well, including as far south as Alamosa and as far west as Grand Junction. It’s also quite easy to connect from the Bustang to Denver and Colorado Springs’ public transportation, allowing you to get just about anywhere in the cities from your initial destination. In Denver that’s the RTD Bus and Light Rail, and Colorado Springs has the Mountain Metropolitan Transit.
If you’re looking to explore Colorado Springs’ downtown area, schedule your stop at the Downtown Terminal. From there, it’s easy to walk around and find interesting attractions, like the Pioneer Museum or just enjoying the Art on the Streets. The Bustang also stops at the Tejon/Nevada Park and Ride if you’re looking for a more convenient place to park your car or to meet friends and family than the Downtown Terminal.
Airport to City Buses
Are you trying to find a way to get to your destination straight from Denver International? There are a few different transportation companies that offer direct routes from D.I.A. to Colorado Springs.
One of the most popular and least expensive is Groome Transportation, which offers a $50 fare for shuttles between the Denver Airport and The Springs. With 16 roundtrip departures 7 days a week, Groome is a reliable option for travelers looking for a direct shuttle without having to shell out hundreds of dollars.
A less expensive but more time consuming option is to utilize public transportation via the A Line Train to get to Denver Union Station from the airport. From there, the aforementioned Bustang is only a $13 ticket to take the shuttle down to Colorado Springs. Add in $10.50 for the trip on the Denver Airport Train. Be aware that once you get down into The Springs, public transportation won’t be as wide-reaching, so finding your way around to out-of-the-way destinations might be more difficult than in Denver. But there’s always ride sharing apps, like Uber and Lyft to utilize locally for that.
Is There A Train from Denver to Colorado Springs?
Unfortunately, there is not currently a passenger train from Denver to Colorado Springs. Most of the trains that come through the The Springs are freight trains, so you won’t have any luck finding a passenger car to hop into. Although there has been some interest in adding a train line to Colorado Springs, including a proposed bullet train called the “Hyperloop” in 2017, it doesn’t seem like there will be any way to ride the rails to The Springs from Denver in the next decade or so.
If you’re looking for a scenic train ride in the Pikes Peak area, check out the Narrow Gauge Railroad in Cripple Creek or the Royal Gorge Railroad to get your fill. Or if you’re planning a trip in 2021, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway is set to reopen, which will take you to the top of a 14,000 foot mountain.. While none of these railroads is meant purely for transportation, they do offer incredible views of the Rockies and are a great way to explore the scenic beauty of the Pikes Peak region.
What To Do While in Colorado Springs
Although it can be longer than expected to travel between Denver and Colorado Springs, the trip is worth it once you set your eyes on Pikes Peak, snow-frosted in the distance. No matter which way you’ve decided to transport yourself between Colorado’s two largest cities, we hope you are safe in your travels.
To make your stay in The Springs even more enjoyable, check out the incredible hiking trails that dot the city or take a tour of the best steakhouses in the area. If you’re looking for an interesting place to stay while you’re in town, there’s a lot to choose from. Colorado Springs also offers a wide variety of unique hotel accommodations to suite every budget and style.
From Denver to Colorado Springs by Shuttle
The fare is $50 one-way between DEN and Colorado Springs, but you can sometimes find coupons and discounts online. There are also discounts for children, seniors, students, and members of the military.
The average trip price to get from Denver CO to Colorado Springs CO is $99.00 - $259.00. Please keep in mind when requesting a ride that trip prices can vary, depending on a number of factors.Is there a train that runs from Denver to Colorado Springs? ›
There are 5 daily trains from Denver to Colorado Springs. Traveling by train from Denver to Colorado Springs usually takes around 44 hours and 10 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 15 hours and 20 minutes.Can you get around Colorado Springs without a car? ›
Getting from A to B in Colorado Springs is a breeze when you travel by car. Without four wheels, it's trickier – particularly if you want to reach outlying sights like the Garden of the Gods or Pikes Peak – but public transport works well downtown, and many places are easy to reach by bike or on foot.Is there an airport shuttle from Denver to Colorado Springs? ›
Overview. Groome Transportation is the only direct regular scheduled shuttle service to and from Colorado Springs to the Denver International Airport. We operate everyday of the year as long as the highways are open.Is it cheaper to fly out of Denver or Colorado Springs? ›
“The fact that our fares are just $42 higher than Denver is great news. Much cheaper parking, the cost of gas and the reduced stress makes flying from the Springs much more desirable than flying from Denver. “ Many airlines have been touting extremely low prices.Whats cheaper Uber or lift? ›
Uber can be less expensive than Lyft for the average journey—research suggests that Uber is the cheaper company, with the average trip costing $20 compared with the $27 you would spend for an average Lyft trip. Also, Uber can be used around the world, whereas Lyft is only available in the U.S. and Canada.Is Uber cheaper than a regular cab? ›
Is Uber cheaper than a taxi? Uber is usually a little bit cheaper than taking a traditional taxi. In most cases, Uber fares can be up to 40% cheaper than traditional taxi fares. In some cases, though, Uber fares can be almost double what they are for taxis, when you factor in extra costs.Is Uber cheaper than a taxi in Denver? ›
Is Uber Cheaper than a Taxi in Denver? Generally, an Uber is the cheaper way to travel to and from the Denver airport. The further you have to travel, the more likely you are to save with an Uber.Does Amtrak travel to Colorado Springs? ›
Amtrak trains to Colorado Springs
Amtrak operates two passenger rail lines in Colorado: the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. There are several Amtrak trains daily which stop at the Colorado Springs station to unload/load passengers.
Colorado Springs, CO (COS) | Amtrak.Is Colorado Springs worth visiting? ›
Without a doubt, YES! The Colorado Springs area is a fantastic place to visit, whether on a family vacation, a romantic weekend getaway, or even a solo hiking adventure. So, if you're searching for fresh air and pure natural beauty, Colorado Springs is the perfect destination to get out of the house and back to nature!How many days do you need to see Colorado Springs? ›
Three days is a good amount of time to see Colorado Springs. In three days, you can visit local attractions like Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and the Olympic Training Center. You can also go on some local hikes, and spend some time on a day trip from Colorado Springs.Is it better to fly into Colorado Springs or Denver? ›
And with the security lines to bypass at Denver International Airport (D.I.A.), it may not take much less time than driving unless you've caught a connecting flight and therefore already through security. To make things a bit easier for you, flying directly into the Colorado Springs Airport is your best bet.How long should you spend in Colorado Springs? ›
With three days to spend in Colorado Springs, gateway to the Front Range mountains, you'll have enough time to see its iconic natural attractions, get a feel for local culture around town, and get out of town to see the Royal Gorge. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your three days in Colorado Springs.What airport do you fly into to go to Colorado Springs? ›
All flights to Colorado Springs land at Colorado Springs Airport. The airport code is COS,and it can also be referred to as Colorado Springs.How long is the flight from Denver to the Springs? ›
How long is the drive from Colorado Springs, CO to Denver, CO? The total driving time is 1 hour, 8 minutes. Your trip begins in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It ends in Denver, Colorado.What is the cheapest month to go to Colorado? ›
Cheapest Time to Visit Colorado
If you're sticking to a strict budget, you should go during the “shoulder seasons” between peak tourism seasons. The cheapest time to visit Colorado is usually late spring (April to May) and early fall (September to October).
This means that nearly any destination in the world can be reached from Colorado Springs with only one connection. The airlines flying out of this airport include Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, and United Express.
The distance between Colorado Springs and Denver Airport (DEN) is 71 miles. The road distance is 86.2 miles. How do I travel from Colorado Springs to Denver Airport (DEN) without a car?Do you tip Uber drivers? ›
You can tip your driver once your trip is complete. Tips are neither expected nor required. After a trip has ended, you have 30 days to add a tip in the app, on riders.uber.com, or from your emailed trip receipt.Do I need to tip Uber driver? ›
Tipping is optional. You are free to add a tip, and drivers are free to accept tips. How do I leave my driver a tip? The easiest way to tip your driver is through the app.Why is LYFT better than Uber? ›
While Lyft is slowly expanding, Uber has a higher coverage area than Lyft. Lyft is a great choice in times of high demand or when there is a driver nearby and you need a low cost ride fast. If you need a ride that looks good, Uber has a better selection of vehicles.Which is safer Uber or Lyft? ›
Yes, a Lyft ride is just as safe as Uber or other taxi services. As long as you pay attention to your surroundings and your journey, you should be fine. If you feel uncomfortable, you can stop the ride at any time or call emergency services through the app.Does Uber charge by mile or time? ›
The base rate is determined by the time and distance of a trip.Is LYFT cheaper than Uber 2022? ›
To sum up, when it comes to the base fares, Lyft is typically more expensive than Uber. Indeed, Lyft does have a tendency to charge higher per-mile and per-minute rates. So, if your ride is going to be longer or involve more time in traffic, then Uber may end up being the cheaper option.Why is Denver Uber so expensive? ›
Why is Uber so expensive in Denver? “Denver could be an expensive city for Uber rides because of factors like fees, demand and availability,” Beverly Clair, a spokesperson for NetCredit, wrote in an email. The study was conducted in April 2022. Fees likely got even higher in Denver — and across Colorado — in July.How much does Uber charge per mile in Colorado? ›
Uber's Colorado Springs fares will be the same as Denver's: $2.14 per ride, plus 19 cents a minute, $1.57 a mile and a $1 "safe rides" fee. The minimum fare is $5.70 with a $10 cancellation fee.Is Uber allowed at Denver Airport? ›
Ride Apps like Lyft and Uber offer pickup and drop-off transportation service for passengers at Denver International Airport.
Uber, Lyft or taxi: Who's fastest, who's cheapest?
Uber vs. Lyft vs. taxis: Comparing ride-hailing options in Denver
Uber vs. Taxi: Which Is Cheaper?
Is Uber Cheaper than a Taxi in Denver? Generally, an Uber is the cheaper way to travel to and from the Denver airport. The further you have to travel, the more likely you are to save with an Uber.How much does it cost to take a bus to Colorado Springs? ›
|Basic Fare/One Ride Adult - ages 19 - 59||$1.75|
|SPECIAL FARE *Youth - ages 6-18 (5 and younger ride free with paid adult) *Medicare/Disabled *Senior - ages 60+||$.85|
|Transfers are free and issued upon request with a paid fare. Transfers are only good for 2 hours and 3 rides on one-way trips.||FREE|
Transit to & from the Airport
Shared-ride service, also known as commuter shuttles, operate regularly from Denver International Airport. Individual operators may provide pre-arranged, on-demand, and/or charter services to locations within the Denver metro area and the state of Colorado.
Uber services Colorado Springs where you will be able to get around easily and affordably. Where the costs are $0.19 per minute for the trip and $0.90 per mile depending on where you need to go. There is also a $1 fee for each booking.Why is Denver Uber so expensive? ›
Why is Uber so expensive in Denver? “Denver could be an expensive city for Uber rides because of factors like fees, demand and availability,” Beverly Clair, a spokesperson for NetCredit, wrote in an email. The study was conducted in April 2022. Fees likely got even higher in Denver — and across Colorado — in July.Do you tip taxi drivers in Denver? ›
Denver Taxi Tips
Tipping your taxi driver isn't necessary. However, if you received a satisfying service, you can tip your driver 15% of the total fare and if you received an above-and-beyond service, you can tip up to 20%.
Uber can be less expensive than Lyft for the average journey—research suggests that Uber is the cheaper company, with the average trip costing $20 compared with the $27 you would spend for an average Lyft trip. Also, Uber can be used around the world, whereas Lyft is only available in the U.S. and Canada.Is it cheaper to fly or take a bus? ›
Bus fares tend to be a lot cheaper than plane tickets, especially if you're traveling long distances. In fact, sometimes it's cheaper to take a bus than it is to drive.Does Amtrak travel to Colorado Springs? ›
Amtrak trains to Colorado Springs
Amtrak operates two passenger rail lines in Colorado: the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. There are several Amtrak trains daily which stop at the Colorado Springs station to unload/load passengers.
Colorado Springs, CO (COS) | Amtrak.Is it easy to Uber from Denver Airport? ›
Exit the Terminal
You'll get directions about DEN pickup points directly in the app. Riders requesting UberX, UberXL, or Comfort can meet their driver on level 5 at island 5. Follow signs for “Ride App Pick-up.” Riders requesting Uber Black or SUV can meet their driver on level 5 at island 2.
Ride Apps like Lyft and Uber offer pickup and drop-off transportation service for passengers at Denver International Airport.Where does the Denver airport shuttle go? ›
Epic Mountain Express (formerly CME) is located in the Main Terminal of DIA. Ride with Epic Mountain Express, formerly Colorado Mountain Express, on our Denver Airport Shuttle that operates between Denver International Airport (DIA) and ski resort towns including Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and more.