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Route from Denver to Aspen?

Lexington, Tennessee
Level Contributor
32 posts
6 reviews
Route from Denver to Aspen?

My husband and I will be arriving in Denver the evening of 09/21and plan to stay in Golden Friday night and make our way to Aspen Saturday, 09/22. This is our first trip to CO. Which route would you recommend? I understand we should avoid tolls because we will be in a rental and we would just like to take our time and try to enjoy and take it all in as we go. Any lunch recommendations while traveling would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance!

8 replies to this topic
Denver, Colorado USA
Level Contributor
151 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

Take I-70 West to Copper Mountain. Take CO (state highway) 91 past Leadville. Take CO82 to Aspen. This takes you over Independence Pass and the most spectacular scenery.

Lexington, Tennessee
Level Contributor
32 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

Thank you Rocco1109!

Denver, Colorado USA
Level Contributor
151 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

You're welcome. Enjoy our great state! If you need ideas on where to go in Golden...I like Abejas for dinner. It's a bit pricey but so good. My wife and I also enjoy sitting in the bar at Indulge Wine Bar and eating appetizers for dinner. If you imbibe, I love the Golden Moon Speakeasy. They make all their own spirits.

Bob's Atomic Burgers are delish (especially after a hike or whatever). Pangea Coffee Roasters is my favorite coffee in Golden for a morning pick-me-up. I like the breakfast burritos at El Dorado Mexican Restaurant. It's not fancy by any means but the food it solid.

Edited: 12 September 2018, 21:27
Lexington, Tennessee
Level Contributor
32 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

Wow! That ALL sounds fantastic! Thanks again!

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
13,111 posts
140 reviews
5. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

Since you have plenty of time, I would drive through Clear Creek Canyon and include Loveland Pass and Vail Pass. Take highway 24 to Leadville and 82 over Independence Pass to Aspen. For me, highway 91 is not as scenic as highway 24 in part because of the Climax mining operations along highway 91. Here is the route I would take.

https://goo.gl/maps/sdJpjRdDMEP2

For lunch on the way, there are many good options in Frisco and Vail, but I like to time my trips to either stop at Kirby Cosmo's in Minturn or at Tennessee Pass Cafe in Leadville. Vail is a great place for a stroll.

Edited: 13 September 2018, 00:07
Franklin, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

The drive west of Denver on I70 through the mountains is the most spectacular drive I have ever done. The aspens are probably changing now which will make it even more beautiful. This has to be the prettiest stretch of interstate in the country IMO.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
13,111 posts
140 reviews
7. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

Mandy W, if you are still planning to also visit Colorado Springs (saw your earlier post), I would save the drive over Independence Pass for your trip from Aspen to Colorado Springs. In that case for your drive from Golden to Aspen, still drive through Clear Creek Canyon and over both Loveland Pass and Vail Pass but continue on I-70 to Glenwood Springs and then take 82 to Aspen.

https://goo.gl/maps/RJTnViPT56U2

Lexington, Tennessee
Level Contributor
32 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Route from Denver to Aspen?

@FV1989 We have decided to spend several days in the Aspen area just relaxing and doing close trips and whatever the days bring. Thank you for your recommendations!

@Greg B Thank you!

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