From Denver to Colorado Springs: 5 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Carri Wilbanks
Updated Jul 13, 2022

It is easy to get between Denver and Colorado Springs, the state's second largest city, which sits in the shadow of Pikes Peak just a little over an hour's drive south via I-25. This interstate highway is Colorado's main north-south artery, running the length of the entire state. It passes through both cities, which also spread out east and west of I-25.

The actual distance between the two cities will depend on where you start and end your trip, as both Colorado Springs and Denver sprawl for a number of miles along I-25 - but the distance averages around 70 miles. The speed limit is 75 miles per hour for most parts of the trip, which means that unless you run into a lot of traffic or construction, it should take around 1.5 hours to get from the north end of Denver to the south side of Colorado Springs.

If you don't feel like driving yourself or don't have a vehicle, there are quite a few other ways to get between these two major Colorado cities. These include taking a shuttle service, public bus, hiring a limo, booking an Uber or Lyft, or flying between the two cities - although we don't recommend the latter unless you are already connecting through Denver, otherwise it would take much longer to fly than to use another mode of transport.

Ultimately, what you decide is the best way to get between Denver and Colorado Springs will depend on budget, where your journey is starting from, and whether you want to drive yourself or let someone else take care of the transport. Here are five ways to get between the two cities.

1. From Denver to Colorado Springs by Car

Road through Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs
Road through Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs

Getting from Denver to Colorado Springs by car is very straightforward. The exact route you take will depend on whether you are starting from Denver International Airport (DEN) or from the city center. If you are coming from the city center, you will just take I-25 south to Colorado Springs.

If you are leaving from the airport, you will have two options: You can either take Pena Blvd to the exit for E-470 S and continue on this road for 23 miles until it links up with I-25 south of the city center of Denver. The pro to taking E-470 is it can cut out some of the traffic you may encounter on I-25 if you are traveling during rush hour.

The con is that E-470 is a toll road, and unless you are traveling during rush hour, it is not much faster than simply staying on Pena Blvd until you see the turn off for I-70 westbound. Take I-70 west for four miles until you reach exit 282 to I-225 south towards Colorado Springs. Continue on I-225 south until exit 1A on the left side of the highway. From here, follow the signs to I-25 south and continue on to Colorado Springs.

There are a number of exits off I-25 in Colorado Springs that will take you to the downtown area. The most convenient is exit 142 for Bijou Street - keep left when you get off the highway and follow Bijou Street towards the downtown. The main downtown area runs along Tejon Street.

Traffic between Denver and Colorado Springs can be very bad, especially during rush hour for either city. There is also often roadwork between the two cities that can slow you down for 30 or 45 minutes, as I-25 will sometimes drop down to one lane in places.

Try driving between 1pm and 3pm in either direction, when you should miss the worst of the traffic. Leaving either city around 5am or after 7pm will also usually result in less traffic jams.

Winter driving conditions between Denver and Colorado Springs can also be a factor, with the most snow and ice between January and late March (March is actually Colorado's snowiest month). Monument Hill, which is the highest elevation portion of the drive, about 20 minutes north of Colorado Springs is where you'll likely experience the most dangerous conditions. Just drive slow, and plan for a little extra time.

It is often very windy on the drive between the two cities. High wind can happen at any time of year.

2. From Denver to Colorado Springs by Bus

Colorado Springs at dusk
Colorado Springs at dusk

It is very easy to get between Denver and Colorado Springs by bus. One of the cheapest options is to take the Bustang service run by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This costs just $12 one way.

In Denver, you will catch the CDOT South Line bus south from Union Station. It will drop you off at a bus stop at I-25 and Tejon Street in Colorado Springs. The trip takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Greyhound also offers bus service between Denver and Colorado Springs for about the same price as the city bus.

3. From Denver to Colorado Springs by Shuttle

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

If you are coming from DEN and don't need a car in Colorado Springs, then one of the most convenient options is to take the Colorado Springs shuttle service offered by Groome Transportation. The company runs around 20 daily shuttles between Denver and Colorado Springs.

These shuttles will also do drop-offs and pickups in Monument and Castle Rock, which are towns between Denver and Colorado Springs on I-25. The fare is $50 one-way between DEN and Colorado Springs, but you can sometimes find coupons and discounts online. There are also discounts for children, seniors, students, and members of the military.

4. From Denver to Colorado Springs by Limo

Hot air balloons launching over a lake in Colorado Springs
Hot air balloons launching over a lake in Colorado Springs

If you want to travel between Denver and Colorado Springs in style and not drive yourself, you can book a chauffeured limo service between the two cities. Quite a few different companies offer this service, including Faraday Fleet, which offers a Tesla limo service for those looking for a more environmentally friendly transport option.

5. From Denver to Colorado Springs by Air

View over Garden of the Gods Park with Pikes Peak in the distance
View over Garden of the Gods Park with Pikes Peak in the distance

Colorado Springs has its own airport - the airport code is COS. It does not handle international flights but it has domestic flights in and out to all points across the country - many connect through Denver or other regional airports, but there is also direct service from Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, and other cities on multiple airlines.

That said, if you are coming from Denver, unless you are connecting from somewhere else, it is never worth it to buy a ticket between Denver and Colorado Springs. This is because it will take you way longer to fly between the two cities than to drive the 70 or so miles. Denver's airport is about 35 minutes east of the city, and then you will have to factor in time spent in the airport before your flight, as well as the flight itself. It is much easier to simply arrive at DEN and then take one of the methods of transport listed above to get to Colorado Springs.

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