Getting from Denver to Breckenridge: The Best Ways

alternate route from downtown Denver to downtown Breckenridge

Breckenridge is famous for its ski resort, attracting visitors from all over the world. If you’re wanting to travel to Breckenridge either to explore the heart of the historic district or to enjoy the ski season, this article is for you!

We’ll give you the best ways to get from Denver to Breckenridge by land travel. 

Denver to Breckenridge Travel Options:

You have plenty of great options to enter Breckenridge from Denver. Your decision will rest on how much you’re willing to spend and your comfort level.

Whatever travel mode you pick, you’re certain to enjoy the scenic route with Breckenridge’s magnificent mountain views.

Denver to Breckenridge via Rental Car

Independent travelers who like to move at their own pace can choose to rent a car. They can pick one up at Denver International Airport or from several rental car agencies around the city center. The drive from Denver takes about an hour and 45 minutes, depending on the traffic and weather conditions. 

If you’re coming from the airport, watch for the signs to I-70 westbound. You’ll be spending more than an hour on this highway. You’ll pass through the four-lane Eisenhower Tunnel. The journey takes you to the Continental Divide and you’ll be faced with the amazing sight of the Rocky Mountains.

Breckenridge road trip and scenic drive to ski mountain

When you leave the tunnel, you’ll continue driving west on I-70 to exit 203. Then proceed to Highway 9 south. The distance from this point to Breckenridge is around a nine-mile drive. 

Breckenridge, as a world-class ski destination, can be crowded at its peak winter ski season. So travelers often book their accommodations in nearby towns such as Dillon, Frisco, and Silverthorne.

Another route that you can take is via Highway 285 south from Denver to Highway 9 north. This can potentially add a half hour to your travel time, but on particularly busy holidays and weekends when everybody’s using Highway I-70, this can be a time-saving option.

Note that driving in Colorado during the snowy winter season subjects you to stricter driving regulations. When the snowfall is particularly heavy, your car is required to have special winterized tires. You’ll also need to drive an SUV or AWD to avoid paying a hefty penalty. This law actually protects drivers and keeps them safe from the slippery roads during winter.

Denver to Breckenridge via Organized Tour

If you’re short on time and it’s not possible to spend the night in Breckenridge then doing the organized tour is the best plan.

Go for the Breckenridge Mountain Explorer day trip. You’ll experience an 8-hour escapade that starts with a pickup in Denver’s Union Station to Breckenridge. There will be a few stopovers along the way.

  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – the first stopover is a huge and stunning outdoor amphitheater
  • Coffee Break – this is a quick coffee stop in a mining town

Once there, you can explore Breckenridge to your heart’s content for three hours. Take time to roam the lively Main Street and check out the cute shops and attractive art galleries. You can also dine at one of the many restaurants offering varying, delicious cuisines. If you like watching artists immersed in their crafts, you won’t want to miss the Breckenridge Arts District.

Colorado road trip visiting Breckenridge via the main route

Denver to Breckenridge via Luxury SUV Charter

If you want a more relaxed trip and have the option to splurge, pick the luxury SUV charter Summit Express service. You’ll have a comfortable private ride in a luxe SUV dressed in elegant leather interiors. A chauffeur will pick you up from the airport and the vehicle will fit 5 people with the ability to make accommodations for pets. 

The advantage of booking this private mode of travel is you can ask to stop over anytime whether you need a restroom break, a snack or find a quaint place to capture some photos.

Conveniently, this service is available 24/7. The costs more than makes up for it since it works according to your schedule unlike a shared shuttle service.

Denver to Breckenridge via Shared Shuttle

If you don’t want to drive yourself, follow an organized tour or shell out the extra money for a private driver, there’s always the option of a shared shuttle transfer service.

Take the Epic Mountain Express ride and you’ll be seated in a passenger van that can accommodate around 10 people. The pick-up point will be Denver International Airport and they pass by most Breckenridge hotels and vacation resorts.

The journey can take around 2.25 hours but the whole trip is comfortable so you won’t notice the time. There’s also frequent trips back and forth. You can either choose to book your ticket online or buy a ticket at their airport booth. Depending on the maximum capacity, the latter option may be a longer wait than an online booking.

Colorado mountains and town

Denver to Breckenridge via Bus

For budget-conscious travelers, the cheapest mode of travel to Breckenridge is still riding the public bus. Starting at Union Station in Denver, catch a ride of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang (CDOT) West Line bus.

It’s located west of the Frisco Transit Center. There are 2 daily departure times. You can either take the 7AM or 5:40PM schedule. The entire duration of the trip will take around an hour and 45 minutes. After which, you need to ride the Summit Stage bus to Breckenridge Station. Then book another ride to your hotel or rental home.


With all these options available to you, all that’s left is to enjoy the journey and your time in Breckenridge.

For more information on vacation rentals in Frisco, CO, and surrounding areas, check out Bighorn Rentals!

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