The Ins & Outs Of Getting Around Aspen Snowmass

Transportation in Aspen Snowmass

Visitors and residents alike find no shortages of transportation options for getting around Aspen Snowmass. With buses and shuttles connecting every ski area, cars are not essential. The award-winning Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) provides transportation throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond on a year-round basis including free buses operating between the city of Aspen and the town of Snowmass Village. Each bus is equipped with external racks for skis and snowboards.
“We have the best rural bus system in the U.S.,” said Mitch Osur, City of Aspen Parking Director. “RFTA provides five million rides a year.”

Buses and shuttles run frequently, especially during peak times. If you prefer to drive your car to a ski area there are options that vary in cost depending on factors such as where you park, when you get there, and sometimes by how many occupants are in the vehicle. Here is the skinny on getting around:
RFTA bus

Get A Free Ride To Every Aspen Snowmass Mountain From The Brush Creek Intercept Lot

The Brush Creek park-and-ride just off Highway 82, also known as the Intercept Lot, is a skier’s best friend. Park and catch a free ride on the Aspen-bound bus to the Rubey Park Transit Station where you’ll be 1 ½ blocks from the Aspen Mountain gondola. Ask the driver to stop at Buttermilk along the way to catch some runs there or to hop on the shuttle to Aspen Highlands. Headed to Snowmass? The free bus to Snowmass comes by the Intercept Lot every 15 minutes up until 8 pm and will take you all the way to the Snowmass Village Mall. The popular Intercept Lot is slated for $4 million in improvements in 2020.

Know The New Parking Garage Routine At Aspen Highlands

Getting Around Aspen Highlands
This season daily parking in the Aspen Highlands parking garage costs $15 during weekdays and $25 on weekends and holidays (including February 16-18). Parking is free for arrivals after 12pm. Four or more occupants in a vehicle qualifies for free HOV parking, but you must arrive between 8:30–10:30am.
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Take The Free Shuttle From Buttermilk Parking Lot To Aspen Highlands

Getting Around Buttermilk
A van runs from the designated Aspen Highlands parking lot at Buttermilk to Highlands. This free shuttle runs every 15 minutes from 7am to 11:30am, then every 30 minutes to 2:30pm. The shuttle resumes the every-15-minute schedule at 2:30pm until 5:30pm.

The RFTA bus is another way to access Aspen Highlands. The Castle Maroon bus departs Aspen’s Rubey Park Transit Station every 20 minutes. RFTA offers direct service to Highlands from the Snowmass Village Mall at 9am and 10am and via transfer at the roundabout throughout the day.

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The Best Deal For All Day Parking In Aspen Is The Rio Grande Parking Plaza

Getting Around Aspen Mountain
You have parking options in Aspen. Parking at the Rio Grande Parking Plaza located just off Main Street on N. Mill Street is only $1.50 per hour or $10 per day max (and free on Sundays). For a real deal on parking in Aspen, purchase a 10-day punch pass for the plaza for $50. The Galena Street Shuttle stops in front of the garage every 5 to 7 minutes from 8am to 5pm and will drop you off in front of The Little Nell next adjacent the gondola plaza.

Park in residential areas for $8 and walk to the gondola. Daily permits are available at the airport parking kiosk, City Hall, Wheeler Opera House and City Markets. Short-term parking in pay-and-display metered spaces are enforced Monday-Saturday from 10am to 6pm and will cost you anywhere from $4 to $6 per hour depending on the time of day. Parking is free on Sundays.

Of course, you can also take a free ride on any Aspen-bound RFTA bus to the Rubey Park Transit Station from the Intercept Lot, Snowmass Village Mall, Aspen Highlands or Buttermilk. The walk to the Silver Queen Gondola is only 1 ½ blocks from Rubey Park.

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Snowmass: Transportation & Parking Options As Wide-Ranging As The Ski Area Itself

Pay to park or ride the bus or shuttle for free. There are many ways to get to and around Snowmass. The Village Shuttle is a free shuttle service that connects all multi-family residences and activity centers in Snowmass. RFTA buses run to and from Aspen and the Intercept Lot to the Snowmass Village Mall every 15 minutes during peak hours.

For free parking head to Town Park Station (formerly known as the Rodeo Lot) and hop on one of the shuttles departing every 10 minutes from 7:10am to 5:20pm. If you have four or more people in a vehicle you may park for free at the Two Creeks lot.
Paid parking is available at Two Creeks for $15 on weekdays and $25 on weekends & holidays. Two Creeks parking is free after 12pm. As for the Base Village Parking Garage, the first hour is free with $5 for each additional hour and a $30 daily maximum (enter after 5pm for free evening parking).

Make sure you have a parking permit from your lodging company if you park in the lots adjacent the Snowmass Village Mall area. Parking is strictly enforced during ski season.

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About The Author

Susan Linden, writer


Susan Linden has been wordsmithing as an advertising copywriter, feature writer, and storyteller since her college days. She left the whirlwind corporate world to live in the mountains and spends as much time as she can hiking, biking, and skiing in them. Working, playing, and raising a family in the Roaring Fork Valley for the last 29 years gives Susan a unique insider’s perspective to share.

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