Keystone sits approximately 76 miles outside Denver and is 102 miles from Denver International Airport (DIA). Most visitors will fly in through DIA which serves international and domestic flights from airlines including Delta, Southwest, Frontier and most notably, United Airlines which has a major hub here. If you’re short on time, Eagle County Airport near Vail is a slightly closer regional airport 75 miles away. Flights here are more expensive and the airport is more likely to be snowed in compared to DIA.
From DIA, the resort is a two hour drive along the infamous I-70. Road conditions also vary, especially during the height of the ski season. One can expect delays on the I-70 during the afternoon rush when traffic tends to be the most congested. Roads are well maintained, but weather will always have the upper hand, especially outside of Denver and in the high country. Read our comprehensive walk through of the I-70 to get the full picture.
Getting a shuttle to Keystone is ideal for those traveling alone or in a pair. Companies such as Peak 1 Express and Fresh Tracks Trans will take you from the airport to the resort and even to your accommodation for an extra $5. Fares run from about $55-60, and shuttles depart straight from the airport every hour. Peak 1 Express is a highly-commemorated brand known for its Wi-Fi equipped Mercedes vans, flexibility, and all-around competitive prices. Drivers run on a set schedule (from the early morning hours to about midnight), and make several stops and pick-ups along the way.
Some ski packages also include shuttle services, while hotels can also arrange a service for you.
If you prefer to drive yourself, Denver Airport boasts a wide array of rental car companies with deals to fit every budget. The route along the I-70 to Keystone is very simple, so you won’t need a GPS. Google Maps can decipher the route quickly for you so you don’t miss any time on the slopes. However, traffic does back up on the I-70, we recommend reading up on the highway before you go.
Snow chains can probably be avoided, but given the terrain and snow-based conditions, an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Ski racks are also available with most rental units at an extra cost. Otherwise, ski bags will often fit rather comfortably down the middles of most cars.
There are also rental car companies in the nearby towns of Frisco, Silverthorne and Breckenridge. One can expect to pay an average of $230 for a basic, week-long rental during the prime season.
Rentals are best for larger parties and generally more cost effective compared to shuttles. Though parking at Keystone can be an issue. However, if you’re planning on visiting neighboring ski resorts such as Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, less than an hour away, then hiring a car would be the easiest and quickest option.
While there are plenty of ski parking lots, some of them free, most are priced based on the convenience to the slopes. Availability can also be limited with the crowds coming to get a bit of the Keystone action. Usually, lots fill up between the hours of 8:30am and 10:00am.
For the River Run base area, the River Run lot and the Montezuma parking lot are free, while the Hunki Dori lot and Gold Bug lot are paid, ranging from $10 to $20 depending on the season. If you don’t want to walk too far from the slopes, the closest parking lots to the River Run Gondola are the Montezuma lot and Hunki Dori lot. Like we mentioned earlier, the resort is extremely family-friendly so much so that the River Run free lot has a premier parking section for families with small children or cars with four or more people. Families looking to save their energy can borrow one of the lot’s limited number of family wagons, which offer complimentary rides to small children and groups carrying heavy equipment. Free overflow parking is available at the Powerline lot east of the River Run village and is serviced by a free shuttle bus.
For the Mountain House base area, Pika is a free lot, while the Porcupine lot and Marmot lot are paid. The closest parking lots to the Peru Express Lift are Pika and Porcupine. At Porcupine, limited free parking is available for families with children 12 and under. The Tenderfoot lot (or North Shuttle lot) on the north side of Highway 6 provides free overflow parking and also has a free shuttle bus to transport skiers.
Keep in mind that both the Hunki Dori lot and Porcupine lot are drop-off zones for students of the Keystone Ski School, so things tend to get very crowded quickly.
Hire a Ride
If you want an all-star feel on your trip, private limousines and taxi services are also available. They’re warm, comfortable, and run more around your schedule. A ride to the resort through ridebooker.com will typically average around $250.
If you prefer a system that works more around your schedule, give Uber or a local taxi company a call to schedule rides to and from the resort.