Take the Bus – Riding the Bus Throughout the Valley, Events and Shopping

Published by at under Local Interest

One of the best things about Aspen, Colorado, and the Roaring Fork Valley is the extensive bus system that is in place through the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA). Throughout the valley, riders have the opportunity to travel up-valley from Glenwood Springs through other towns like Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, and Snowmass Village, and end in Aspen. Or down-valley, going in the opposite direction.

The Rubey Park bus terminal in downtown Aspen.

The Rubey Park bus terminal in downtown Aspen.

By using connecting buses, riders can also visit Woody Creek as well as Maroon Bells during the summer months and all four ski mountains during the winter months. This week, our blog team takes a closer look at riding the bus throughout the valley, and all the events and shopping that are possible. Plus, we’ll give you a few hints on how to get around easy … or FREE!

Getting Started

  • The main Aspen bus terminal is Rubey Park, located in downtown Aspen on Durant Avenue. All main bus lines can be accessed at Rubey Park, as well as purchasing bus passes. Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Know your bus schedule and arrive early to your bus stop
  • Wave the white paddle attached to the bus stop to signal the bus driver to stop
  • If you are not sure that you are on the right bus, just ask the bus driver
  • Know your fare. The bus driver will charge you when you board the bus. Buses only accept exact change.
  • Remain seated while the bus is moving please remain seated. One to two blocks before your destination, pull the bell cord above the window to signal the driver to stop.

Points of Interest

  • Aspen: Experience all the great shopping, nightlife, restaurants and culture that Aspen has to offer! Many routes between Aspen and Snowmass Village are free, including Burlingame, Castle Maroon, Cemetery Lane and Hunter Creek. Feel free to explore – free of charge! Be sure to explore the Rio Grande Trail, Aspen Art Museum and the Silver Queen Gondola while in Aspen.
  • Maroon Bells: In the summer months, take the trek up to Maroon Bells and view it’s two breathtaking peaks in all their glory. Explore the wilderness and take a hike, or just relax and have a picnic amidst the Rocky Mountain and the White River National Forest. (Bus charges may apply.)
  • Snowmass Village: Take the opportunity to visit one of the area’s most quaint destinations – Snowmass Village. Snowmass Village offers a wide array of shopping and dining experiences that are much different than Aspen. Many guests enjoy Snowmass Village because of its size, uniqueness and accessibility.
  • Aspen Highlands: A local’s favorite for skiing, Aspen Highlands also offers some great shopping, dining and cultural experiences. During the winter, hike the Highlands Bowl for a most memorable experience!
  • Basalt and El Jebel: Want to get away? Down-valley destinations such as Basalt and El Jebel present even more options, many of which are more affordable than upvalley destinations. The “mid-valley” offers a plethora of unique dining options and some great shopping. (Bus charges may apply.)
  • Down-valley: Carbondale and Glenwood Springs are two of the more popular down-valley destinations, mainly because of their size, allure and number of options. Carbondale has a culture all its own, featuring everything from amazing Mexican food to fun dancing. Glenwood Springs is the gateway to the valley, as well as Interstate 70 and all destinations east and west. Glenwood Springs features the renowned hot springs pool, a gondola to the adventure park with hiking, exploring and thrill rides available, and the burial site of famous gunman and gambler Doc Holliday. (Bus charges may apply.)

Four Mountain Experience

During the ski season, the RFTA busses offer free access to all four area ski mountains free of charge from Rubey Park in downtown Aspen. Have Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass all at your fingertips! Buses coincide with ski season and typically run from Thanksgiving through late April

Bikes on Buses

RFTA has recently installed bike racks on buses, so cyclists can ride with their bikes between Aspen and Rifle (and all points in between). RFTA charges a $2 bike user fee in addition to the regular passenger fare.

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