How Long Does It Take To Get To Colorado? A Complete Travel Time Guide

With its towering Rocky Mountains, abundant wildlife, and stunning natural landscapes, Colorado is an incredible destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. But for those considering a trip to this western state, a key question arises: just how long does it take to get to Colorado? This comprehensive guide provides expected travel times whether you choose to fly, drive, or take a train or bus.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: it takes around 2-4 hours to fly to Colorado from major US airports, 1-3 days driving depending on your starting point, and 1-2 days by train or bus.

Traveling to Colorado by Plane

When planning a trip to Colorado, one of the first things to consider is how long it will take to get there. Traveling by plane is often the fastest and most convenient option for reaching the Centennial State.

With several airports serving different regions, you have a variety of flight options to choose from.

Direct Flights into Colorado

For travelers looking for a non-stop journey, there are several major airports in Colorado that offer direct flights from various cities across the United States. Denver International Airport (DEN) is the largest and busiest airport in the state, with direct flights available from major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Other airports with direct flights include Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE), which cater to specific regions within the state.

Connecting Flights to Colorado

If there are no direct flights available from your departure city, you may need to consider connecting flights to reach Colorado. Connecting flights usually involve a layover at a hub airport, such as Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) or Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), before reaching your final destination in Colorado.

While connecting flights may add some travel time to your journey, they can often be more cost-effective than direct flights, especially if you are flexible with your travel dates.

Tips for Flying to Colorado

When planning your trip to Colorado, it’s important to consider a few tips for flying to make your journey as smooth as possible. First, be sure to book your flights well in advance to secure the best fares and availability.

Additionally, consider packing layers to prepare for the changing weather conditions in Colorado, as temperatures can vary significantly depending on the season and elevation. Finally, don’t forget to check the latest travel restrictions and guidelines, as well as any specific requirements for entering Colorado, such as COVID-19 testing or vaccination proof.

For more information on flights to Colorado, you can visit the official websites of the airports mentioned above:

By considering your options and planning ahead, you can ensure a smooth and efficient journey to Colorado, allowing you to start enjoying all the incredible attractions and natural beauty the state has to offer.

Driving to Colorado

Popular Road Trip Routes

Colorado is a beautiful state with stunning landscapes that are best explored by road. If you’re planning a road trip to Colorado, there are several popular routes to consider. One of the most iconic routes is the Rocky Mountain Loop, which takes you through Rocky Mountain National Park, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife.

Another popular option is the San Juan Skyway, a 236-mile scenic byway that takes you through the rugged San Juan Mountains and offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring charming mountain towns.

Drive Times from Major Cities

Before hitting the road, it’s important to know how long it will take to get to Colorado from major cities. Here are some estimated drive times:

City Drive Time
Denver, CO 2 hours
Albuquerque, NM 5 hours
Kansas City, MO 8 hours
Phoenix, AZ 12 hours

Please note that these drive times are approximate and can vary depending on traffic and road conditions. It’s always a good idea to check for any road closures or delays before your trip.

Road Trip Preparation

Before embarking on your road trip to Colorado, it’s essential to be prepared. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:

  • Check your vehicle: Make sure your car is in good condition and has been serviced recently. Check the oil, tire pressure, and other essential fluids.
  • Pack essentials: Don’t forget to pack a roadside emergency kit, extra water, snacks, and a map or GPS device.
  • Plan your stops: Research and plan your stops along the way, including rest areas, gas stations, and attractions you want to visit.
  • Stay hydrated: Remember to stay hydrated during your road trip by drinking plenty of water.
  • Take breaks: Driving long distances can be tiring, so take regular breaks to stretch your legs and rest.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your road trip to Colorado and can enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Taking the Train to Colorado

Amtrak Routes to Colorado

If you’re considering taking the train to Colorado, you have a few options with Amtrak. The California Zephyr is the most popular route, which takes you from Chicago to San Francisco with a stop in Denver, Colorado.

This scenic route offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and is a favorite among train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Another option is the Southwest Chief, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

This route allows you to experience the beauty of the Southwest, including the stunning landscapes of Colorado.

For more information on Amtrak routes to Colorado, you can visit their official website here.

Fares and Schedules

Amtrak offers a range of fares and schedules for travelers heading to Colorado. The cost of your ticket will depend on various factors such as the route you choose, the class of service, and the time of year you plan to travel.

It’s recommended to book your ticket in advance to secure the best fares and availability.

You can check the fares and schedules on the Amtrak website or through their mobile app. They also offer discounts for seniors, students, and military personnel, so be sure to inquire about these options when booking your ticket.

What to Expect on the Train

When traveling by train to Colorado, you can expect a comfortable and relaxing journey. Amtrak trains are equipped with spacious seating, power outlets, and complimentary Wi-Fi, allowing you to stay connected throughout your trip.

There are also dining options available onboard, ranging from casual snacks to full-course meals.

During the journey, you’ll have the opportunity to mingle with fellow travelers, enjoy the scenic views from the observation car, or simply relax in your seat and enjoy the ride. The train provides a unique and leisurely travel experience that allows you to truly appreciate the beauty of the landscapes as you make your way to Colorado.

So, if you’re looking for a stress-free and scenic way to get to Colorado, consider taking the train. It’s a great option for those who want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey to this beautiful state.

Traveling to Colorado by Bus

National Bus Lines to Colorado

If you’re considering traveling to Colorado by bus, you’ll be glad to know that there are several national bus lines that serve the state. Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in the United States, operates routes to various cities in Colorado.

Megabus is another popular option, offering affordable fares and comfortable amenities. Additionally, there are regional bus companies such as Bustang, which provides service within the state of Colorado.




Finding the Best Fares

When it comes to finding the best fares for bus travel to Colorado, it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance. This allows you to take advantage of early bird discounts and promotional offers. Additionally, be sure to compare prices across different bus lines to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Websites like Busbud and Wanderu are great resources for comparing fares and finding the most affordable options.

Tips for Riding the Bus

Riding the bus to Colorado can be a convenient and cost-effective travel option. Here are some tips to make your bus journey more enjoyable:

  • Arrive at the bus station early to secure a good seat.
  • Pack snacks and drinks to keep yourself refreshed during the journey.
  • Dress comfortably and bring a neck pillow or blanket for added comfort.
  • Bring entertainment such as books, magazines, or a portable device to keep yourself occupied.
  • Make sure to bring any necessary medications or personal items.
  • Be respectful of your fellow passengers and follow any rules or guidelines set by the bus company.

Remember, traveling by bus can be a great way to reach Colorado, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery along the way. So sit back, relax, and get ready for an adventure in the beautiful state of Colorado!


Whether you opt to fly, drive, take the train or ride the bus, keeping travel times in mind as you plan your trip to Colorado will ensure you’re able to maximize your time enjoying the state’s natural beauty. Safe travels, and get ready to be awe-inspired by the magnificent Rockies!

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