Located on the western slope of the central Colorado rocky mountains, Vail is easily accessible from both directions on the I-70 corridor. With this accessible location, approximately 100 miles west of Denver and just 36 miles from the regional airport in Eagle, Colorado, taking a weekend trip or a week-long vacation to the enjoy the slopes easy.
The main Vail exit off of I-70 is #176. Both Vail Village and Lionshead Village are accessible from here. Please see the tabs below for more information on getting around the town.
Parking in Vail
For those who enjoy the freedom of driving, a wealth of information can be found at two convenient Information Centers operated by the Town of Vail, located at the Vail and Lionshead parking structures. In addition to the public structures, there are privately owned parking garages for more exclusive parking, and a selection of free parking spaces serviced by the Town of Vail bus system in a variety of spots from East Vail to West Vail. Visit the Vail parking info page to learn more.
Eagle County Regional Airport is the airport of choice for guests visiting Vail. Located just 30 minutes from Vail, with non-stop flights to 14 cities nationwide, providing convenient one-stop connections to virtually everywhere. Denver International Airport is a scenic two hour drive and is serviced by all major domestic airlines with non-stop flights from over 26 international gateways.
Getting here is easy! Vail is located in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, just 100 miles west of Denver and just 30 miles east of Eagle. I-70 is a scenic and direct route into Vail from just about anywhere! For real-time road conditions and trip planning, visit http://goi70.com/
From Denver International Airport (DEN):
Vail is 2 h 20 min (120.9 mi) from Denver International Airport. Take Interstate 70 west to exit 176 At the traffic circle, take the 4th exit onto Vail Rd.
From Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE):
Vail is approximately 40 min (35.7 mi) from Eagle Airport. Take Interstate 70 east to exit 176. Keep left at the fork to continue toward Vail Rd. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Vail Rd.
From Colorado Springs Airport (COS):
Vail is 2 h 51 min (175.9 mi) from Colorado Springs Airport. Take the exit onto I-25 N toward Colo Springs, then exit 194 to merge onto CO-470 W toward Grand Jct. Take the exit toward I-70 Grand Junction. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Grand Junction/Interstate 70 W and merge onto I-70 W. Take exit 176 Toward Vail. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Vail Rd.
Getting around town is easy! View Town of Vail Maps to learn important village locations, town information, skier base areas and more.
Town of Vail Buses are FREE and run regularly between the eastern end of Vail Village and the western end of Lionshead on the in-town route. Scheduled buses to East Vail and West Vail run frequently as well. The town's NextBus system gives you immediate real-time bus arrival information from any stop on Vail's outlying bus routes. For information on Vail's Bus Service, call 970-479-2358.
ECO Transit operates a bus service between Vail, Beaver Creek(Avon) and throughout Eagle County. Please visit the ECO Transit website or call 970-328-3520
Turtle Bus: Vail to Beaver Creek Shuttle
The Turtle Bus (Vail/Beaver Creek) Ski Shuttle runs daily and offers transportation to guests needing to travel from Vail to Beaver Creek. See the transportation schedule or call 970-471-0547.
Taxi & Limo Service
Epic Mountain Express provides the easiest way from the airport to your favorite Colorado mountain resort areas. Ski areas and mountain towns served include Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Frisco, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, Copper Mountain, and surrounding ski resort areas.
Summer Traffic Patterns (May-September)
Friday WB: There are occasionally moderate delays heading westbound on Friday evenings. Traffic may build between 2:00-3:00 p.m., peak around 4:00 p.m., and end between 6:00-7:00 p.m. Delays during this timeframe might mean an added 20 minutes to a trip from Golden to Vail.
Saturday and Sunday WB: traffic is well-distributed westbound on weekend mornings. On Saturday morning, you might experience some minor slowing from 10:00-2:00 p.m. The exception to this is the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend where moderate delays may occur from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.
Saturday EB: Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. It is usually spread out enough that, barring an accident, congestion isn’t significant.
Sunday EB: According to historical data, eastbound traffic starts to build around 11:00 a.m. The peak of traffic is consistently between 3:00 and 4:00 pm all summer long. With folks trying to enjoy every bit of daylight in the mountains, the traffic typically doesn’t diminish until approximately 7:00-8:00 p.m. To avoid the traffic consider staying in the mountains for dinner, or spend Sunday night and head back to the Front Range early Monday morning. Check out the GoI70.com Peak Time Deals for discounts on dining, shopping, activities and Sunday night lodging deals!
When a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon EB traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have less than normal congestion.
Safety metering eastbound at the Eisenhower Tunnel goes into effect during high volume times. This process controls the flow of traffic eastbound into the Eisenhower Tunnel, so traffic does not back up in the tunnel. Expect eastbound delays when metering is in effect.
In the summer, weather plays a larger factor in traveler behavior. If rain showers move in early in the day, expect drivers to head back to the Front Range early as well.
The above information is also posted at GoI70.com’s Travel Forecast page. Before you travel, always check one of CDOT’s Real Time Info resources to see the current status of I-70!
Winter Traffic Patterns (October-April)
I-70 is congestion-free the majority of the time, and with just a bit of planning travelers can enjoy More Mountains. Less Traffic. Below is the typical winter weekend traffic pattern.
Friday Westbound: Light to moderate traffic is likely from about 4:00-9:00 p.m.
Saturday Westbound: Traffic can be expected from about 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the peak traffic occurring around 8:00 a.m.
Sunday Westbound: Sunday morning WB traffic is consistently lighter than Saturday morning, and sometimes non-existent. To play it safe, avoid the 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. timeframe.
Saturday Eastbound: Traffic typically builds around 2:00 p.m., peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops dramatically after 7:00 p.m. Expect congestion.
Sunday Eastbound: I-70 starts to fill up earlier than it does on Saturday, as early as 1:00 p.m. Traffic peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops off soon after 7:00 pm. Expect heavy traffic.
This Travel Forecast is based on historical traffic data. Please note that weather, road conditions and accidents are impossible to predict and can have significant impacts on I-70 travel.
When a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon eastbound traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have minimal congestion, making it an ideal day to travel.
Traffic metering goes into effect during very high volume times and can occur at multiple I-70 eastbound on-ramps and/or on the Eisenhower Johnson Tunnel eastbound approach. Metering controls the flow of traffic eastbound towards the Eisenhower Tunnel so traffic does not back up in the tunnel, causing potential safety issues.