By Car -- Aspen is located on Colo. 82, halfway between I-70 at Glenwood Springs (42 miles northwest) and U.S. 24 south of Leadville (44 miles east). In summer, it's a scenic 3 1/2-hour drive from Denver: Leave I-70 West at exit 195 (Copper Mountain); follow Colo. 91 south to Leadville, where you pick up U.S. 24; turn west on Colo. 82 through Twin Lakes and over 12,095-foot Independence Pass. In winter, the Independence Pass road is closed, so you'll have to take I-70 to Glenwood Springs and head east on Colo. 82. In optimal driving conditions, it'll take about 4 hours from Denver by this route.
By Plane -- Visitors who wish to fly directly into Aspen can arrange to land at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, 5 miles northwest of Aspen on Colo. 82 (tel. 970/920-5384; www.aspenairport.com). Operating year-round flights are United Airlines (tel. 800/864-8331), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212), and Frontier (tel. 800/432-1359). US Airways (tel. 800/943-5436) also operates during ski season.
Another option is the Eagle County Regional Airport near Vail (tel. 970/524-9490; www.eaglecounty.us/airport).
By Airport Shuttle -- Colorado Mountain Express (tel. 800/525-6363 or 970/926-9800; www.cmex.com) offers shuttle service from Denver International Airport starting at $120 per person, one-way.
By Train -- Coming from the San Francisco area or Chicago, Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) stops in Glenwood Springs, 42 miles northwest of Aspen.
For information, contact the Aspen Chamber of Commerce and Resort Association, 425 Rio Grande Place, Aspen, CO 81611 (tel. 800/670-0792 or 970/925-1940; www.aspenchamber.org), which operates a visitor center at the same location (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm), and another at the Wheeler Opera House, located at Hyman Avenue and Mill Street (usually daily 10am-6pm), as well as smaller locations at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport and on the Cooper Avenue Mall. You can also get information from the Snowmass Village Resort Association, 130 Kearns Rd. (P.O. Box 5010), Snowmass Village, CO 81615 (tel. 800/766-9627; www.snowmassvillage.com).
Entering town from the northwest on Colo. 82, the artery jogs right (south) 2 blocks on Seventh Street, then left (east) at Main Street. East and west street numbers are separated by Garmisch Street, the next cross street after First Street. Mill Street is the town's main north-south street. There are several pedestrian malls downtown, which throw a curve into the downtown traffic flow.
By Shuttle Bus -- Free bus service is available within the Aspen city limits and between Aspen and Snowmass Village, beyond which you can get connections west as far as Glenwood Springs, at reasonable rates, is just $7. Exact fare is required. Information can be obtained from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority's Rubey Park Transit Center, Durant Avenue between Mill and Galena streets, in Aspen (tel. 970/925-8484; www.rfta.com). Schedules, frequency, and routes vary with the seasons; services include free ski shuttles in winter between all four mountains, shuttles to the Aspen Music Festival, and tours to the Maroon Bells scenic area in summer. Free shuttle transportation within Snowmass Village is offered daily during ski season and on a limited schedule in summer, by the Snowmass Transportation Department (www.tosv.com).
By Taxi -- Call High Mountain Taxi (tel. 970/925-8294; www.hmtaxi.com). For a more distinctive (and bizarre) experience, call Jon Barnes and the Ultimate Taxi (tel. 970/927-9239; www.ultimatetaxi.com).
Riding in Style: The Ultimate Taxi -- Known in the Aspen Valley as the Ultimate Taxi, Jon Barnes's yellow cab is one of the most unusual vehicles on the planet: There's a rainbow of luminescent fiber optics on the ceiling, laser projectors, a webcam, a recording studio complete with keyboards and drum machines, a mirror ball, a roller-coaster simulator, and much, much more. Barnes has worked as a cabbie in Aspen since 1984, but started modifying his taxi in the early '90s. Today it's a blast for kids and partiers alike, with rides running $150 per group for a ride lasting about 40 minutes. Barnes even takes your picture and posts it on his website (www.ultimatetaxi.com) for posterity -- check mine out from June 2006. Call Jon for reservations or a ride at tel. 970/927-9239.
By Rental Car -- Car-rental agencies at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport include Alamo (tel. 970/920-2603), Avis (tel. 970/920-2355), Budget (tel. 970/925-4693), Dollar (tel. 970/920-9008), Enterprise (tel. 970/544-3678), and Hertz (tel. 970/925-7368).
The Aspen Valley Hospital, 401 Castle Creek Rd., near Aspen Highlands (tel. 970/925-1120; www.aspenhospital.org), has a 24-hour emergency room. The post office is at 235 Puppy Smith St., off Mill Street north of Main; there's another in Snowmass and another in Woody Creek Center. For hours and other information, contact the U.S. Postal Service (tel. 800/275-8777; www.usps.com). For road reports, call tel. 970/920-5454.
Wintersköl Carnival, mid-January, in Aspen and Snowmass; Aspen Gay Ski Week, mid-January; Snowmass Mardi Gras, early February; Food & Wine Magazine Classic, mid-June, in Aspen; Aspen Arts Festival, mid-July; Aspen Filmfest, late September.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.