Road Trippin’ Alternate Routes to Glenwood Springs

Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon is just one way to get to your favorite hot springs town in the Colorado mountains. Fortunately, whether you’re driving, flying, riding the rails or taking the bus, alternate routes are easily accessible and part of the adventure of vacationing to Glenwood Springs.

Glenwood Canyon has always kept Glenwood Springs residents and Colorado travelers on their toes. It’s nothing new. The narrow, 16-mile-long canyon was as much a tricky spot for Native Americans who chose to circumnavigate it over the Flat Tops as it is today for federal, state and local officials who are working together to determine the best path forward after mudslides caused a temporary closure of the highway. Fortunately for travelers, there is more than one way to get to Glenwood Springs and they all have their charms!

Full detour map

Alternate Driving Routes to Glenwood Springs

Keep in mind, the only road closure getting to Glenwood Springs is on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon. Also, Google maps and other navigation aids are not always up to date with the latest information. While driving apps are a helpful tool, they can sometimes lead you astray. Do yourself a favor and follow these select routes to get to Glenwood Springs.

  • Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recommends westbound motorists take the northern route—a scenic drive that funnels travelers from I-70 through Silverthorne (Hwy. 9) towards Steamboat Springs (Hwy 40) to Rifle (Hwy. 13) where they can connect to I-70 eastbound for the final 30-mile drive along I-70 east to Glenwood Springs.
  • For those already on the Western Slope and traveling to Glenwood Springs, the driving is easy and unimpeded on I-70 eastbound. Semi-trucks must exit the highway at Rifle, but other vehicles may continue to Glenwood Springs as usual. If stopped, let officials know that your party has reservations in Glenwood Springs.
  • The route from Paonia over McClure Pass (Hwy. 133) to Carbondale and Glenwood Springs is yet another driving option.

Rails, Rides & Flights

Amtrak’s California Zephyr is an east-west passenger rail route to and from Glenwood Springs; and Bustang, Colorado’s inter-regional bus service has resumed daily service via the CDOT recommended northern route. Check their websites for schedule and reservation details.

Guests flying into the area can easily add a hop to the Western Slope. Regional airports in Aspen, Grand Junction, Montrose  and Steamboat Springs serve major airlines including Allegiant, American, Avelo, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United. Smaller airports may have limited car rentals; be sure to check availability or consider using private vehicle sharing through a car rental app like TURO.

Make Getting Here Half the Fun

Now that you’re en-route to Glenwood Springs, let the fun begin! Get in a vacation mindset long before you arrive; here’s how:

Play road trip games

The editors at Traveling Mom have curated a creative collection of 21 road-friendly games that will engage car passengers of all age groups from tots to teens. This might be the one time there’s no fighting in the back seat!

Pack snacks & make stops

Following the recommended driving routes to Glenwood Springs, you’ll pass through some of the most scenic spots in the state. Plan ahead with water or other hydration and all the fixings for a picnic; pullover at a scenic overlook or another pretty spot to stretch and refuel.

Listen up

Glenwood Springs has created a Spotify playlist specifically to enhance your travel time. Tune into our list of tracks intended to keep you groovin’ and finger tapping all the way here. Along the same lines, catch up on some reading with an Audible audiobook. There’s nothing like a good story to make time fly!

Quick hot springs pick-me-up

Glenwood Springs is home to three hot springs attractions—Glenwood Hot Springs, Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves—all soothing places to relax when you get to town. Along the way to Glenwood Springs, depending on your route, you’ll pass through other towns with geothermal attractions. Take a hot water dip in Steamboat or at springs near Salida in Chaffee County.

Stay up to date on the latest information regarding travel through Glenwood Canyon. Learn more and plan your Glenwood Springs getaway at today.

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