Colorado offers everything from world-class skiing to breathtaking natural landscapes. However, getting there doesn’t have to break the bank. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado, helping you save money without sacrificing the quality of your trip!
Welcome to Colorado—the land of towering peaks, endless outdoor adventures, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes in America. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, the Centennial State has something for everyone. From the world-class ski resorts in Aspen and Vail to the awe-inspiring lakes, Colorado is a playground for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
But let’s face it, the journey to this mountainous paradise can be just as important as the destination itself. And that’s where this guide comes in handy. If you’re like me, always on the hunt for the best travel deals, then you know that finding the cheapest airports to fly into can make all the difference for your budget and your itinerary.
So, whether you’re planning a winter ski trip, a summer hiking expedition, or simply want to soak in the natural beauty, we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the 9 cheapest airports to fly into Colorado, each offering its own unique advantages and opportunities for adventure. Buckle up, because your next Colorado escapade starts right here!
#1 tip to find cheap flights to Colorado
Looking for cheap flights to Colorado? Before diving into all the top cities and airports to fly to, I want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.
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Now without further ado, here are the best Colorado flights in 2023.
Ah, the Mile-High City! Denver International Airport (DEN) is often the go-to choice for many travelers, and for good reason. As the largest airport in Colorado, DEN offers a plethora of flight options. This makes it the cheapest airport in Colorado to fly into most of the time.
One of the key reasons Denver often ranks as the cheapest airport to fly into Colorado from the USA is its status as a major hub for several airlines. This includes United and Southwest. Additionally, the airport frequently offers special promotions and discounts, especially during off-peak seasons.
Denver itself is a bustling metropolis with a vibrant arts scene, craft breweries, and, of course, its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. You’ll never run out of things to do in Denver, from exploring the Denver Art Museum to taking a stroll down the 16th Street Mall.
The best time to snag cheap flights to Denver is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Airlines often offer discounted rates during these periods, especially if you book a few months in advance.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Colorado on a budget, Denver’s got some great wallet-friendly options. Plus, it’s a fantastic starting point for exploring the rest of the state.
Denver is incredibly well-connected, and you can get to Colorado Springs in just over an hour by car, and Boulder is even closer. If you’re looking to hit the ski slopes in Aspen, a car ride would take you around 3 hours, making it a feasible day trip. Is this the cheapest airport to fly into CO? 100%!
Welcome to the gateway of the Rocky Mountains! Colorado Springs Airport (COS) is another excellent option on the list of cheapest airports to fly into Colorado. Located in the southern part of the state, this airport is smaller than Denver’s but offers its own set of advantages.
Colorado Springs is not just an airport; it’s a destination worth exploring. With attractions like Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods nearby, you’ll find yourself immersed in natural beauty as soon as you land. The city is also home to the United States Air Force Academy. This adds a touch of historical significance to your visit.
COS stands out as the cheapest Colorado airport to fly into because of its lower operational costs compared to larger airports. These savings often get passed on to travelers in the form of cheaper ticket prices. Additionally, fewer crowds mean quicker check-ins and shorter security lines, making your travel experience more pleasant.
The best months for affordable flights to Colorado Springs are late spring and early fall. During these times, you’ll find fewer tourists and more airline deals, especially if you book your flight well in advance.
If you’re considering other destinations in Colorado, Colorado Springs offers gastronomic experiences and a convenient access to several cities. For instance, a drive to Denver would take you roughly an hour and a half, while reaching the ski resorts in Vail would be about a 2.5-hour drive.
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Nestled in the western part of the state, Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) offers a unique entry point for those looking to explore Colorado’s natural wonders. It’s the cheapest airport in Colorado to fly into if you’re planning to visit places like Grand Mesa or Colorado National Monument.
Grand Junction is a hidden gem, often overshadowed by more popular Colorado cities. Yet, it’s a fantastic destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking, or simply enjoying scenic drives, Grand Junction has it all. This makes it the cheapest city to fly into Colorado for those who want to avoid the crowds and get straight to nature.
The airport’s smaller size and lower traffic volume contribute to more competitive airfares, making it a budget-friendly option. Plus, fewer flights mean less competition for overhead bin space and a generally more relaxed airport experience.
When it comes to affordability and convenience, Grand Junction stands out as the best city to fly into Colorado. The best time to find cheap flights here is during the late spring and early fall, similar to other Colorado airports. These shoulder seasons offer mild weather and fewer crowds, perfect for outdoor activities.
If you’re looking to explore, Grand Junction is about a 4-hour drive to Denver. However, it’s much closer to other outdoor havens like Telluride, which is just under a 2.5-hour drive.
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is your gateway to the Rocky Mountains. It is a top choice when considering where to fly into Colorado. Though not the cheapest option, it offers unparalleled access to some of the state’s most iconic destinations.
Aspen is synonymous with world-class skiing, but it’s also a year-round destination offering hiking, mountain biking, and cultural events like the Aspen Music Festival. The city itself is a blend of luxury and rustic charm. This makes it the cheapest place to fly into Colorado if you’re looking for a high-end experience without the crowds.
The reason ASE isn’t typically the cheapest option is due to its smaller size and the higher cost of operating flights into a mountainous region. However, what you might spend on airfare, you could save on transportation costs to ski resorts and other nearby attractions.
The best time to find affordable flights to Aspen is during the late spring and early fall, avoiding the peak ski season. During these times, you can still enjoy the great outdoors without the winter crowds. This makes it the best place to fly into Colorado for off-season adventures.
As for reaching other popular Colorado destinations, Aspen is relatively isolated. A trip to Denver would take you around 3 hours by car, but the drive is incredibly scenic and well worth the time.
For those looking to hit the slopes or explore the great outdoors, Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is often the cheapest city in Colorado to fly into when heading to Vail or Beaver Creek ski resorts. This airport offers a more intimate and convenient experience compared to larger hubs.
Eagle County is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With Vail and Beaver Creek just a stone’s throw away, you’ll be on the slopes or hiking trails in no time. This makes it the cheapest Colorado airport to fly into for those who prioritize proximity to outdoor activities.
EGE can offer competitive prices because of its partnerships with various airlines that provide seasonal services. During the ski season, for example, airlines often offer package deals that include flights, lodging, and ski passes. This makes it a budget-friendly option for winter sports enthusiasts.
The best time to find affordable flights to Eagle County is during the late spring and early fall, outside of the peak ski season. During these months, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities without the winter crowds. Eagle County is about a 2-hour drive to Denver and a 3-hour drive to Colorado Springs. This makes it a convenient base for exploring other parts of the state.
If you’re looking to explore the southwestern part of the state, Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) should be on your radar as one of the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado. This airport is a gateway to some of the state’s most unique attractions, including Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Durango itself.
Durango is a charming town that offers a mix of outdoor adventures and historical sites. From the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to whitewater rafting on the Animas River, there’s no shortage of activities. This makes it the cheapest airport in Colorado to fly into for those interested in both history and outdoor pursuits.
One reason DRO is a cost-effective option is its range of direct flights from major cities like Denver and Phoenix. The airport also benefits from lower operational costs, which often translates to more affordable ticket prices for travelers.
The best time for budget-friendly flights to Durango is during the late spring and early fall. These months offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking and river rafting.
In terms of reaching other popular Colorado destinations, Durango is a bit more isolated. A drive to Denver would take approximately 6 hours, so it’s not the most convenient for quick trips to other parts of the state.
Looking for more of the cheapest airports in CO? Nestled in western Colorado, Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) offers travelers a unique entry point to some of the state’s most scenic destinations, including Telluride and Ouray. Montrose offers an intimate, nature-focused Colorado experience without breaking the bank. Its smaller size and seasonal deals make it an excellent option for those looking to explore the state’s western regions.
Montrose itself is a charming town surrounded by natural beauty. This makes it the cheapest airport to fly into Colorado for those who want to explore the great outdoors without the crowds. From fishing and hiking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Montrose offers a range of activities for all seasons.
The airport’s smaller size and fewer flights mean less competition, but don’t let that fool you. Airlines often offer seasonal deals, especially during the ski season, making MTJ a budget-friendly option for winter sports enthusiasts.
When it comes to affordability, Montrose shines as the best place to fly into Colorado during the off-peak seasons of late spring and early fall. During these times, you’ll find fewer tourists and more airline deals, especially if you book your flight well in advance.
Montrose is about a 5-hour drive to Denver. However, it’s much closer to other outdoor havens like Telluride, which is just under a 1.5-hour drive.
For travelers looking to explore the southern part of the state, Alamosa San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS) offers a unique entry point. This airport is particularly convenient for travelers interested in visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park or the San Luis Valley.
Alamosa is a small but vibrant community. This makes it the cheapest city in Colorado to fly into for those who prefer a quieter, more laid-back experience. The town offers a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and bird-watching to exploring the nearby national park.
When it comes to budget-friendly options, Alamosa is one of the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado. The airport’s smaller size and lower operational costs often result in cheaper ticket prices. Plus, its location in the southern part of the state makes it a convenient entry point for exploring less touristy areas.
The best time to find affordable flights to Alamosa is during the late spring and early fall. These shoulder seasons offer mild weather and fewer crowds, perfect for outdoor activities. If you’re looking to explore other Colorado destinations, Alamosa is relatively isolated. A drive to Denver would take you around 4 hours, but the journey is filled with scenic views that make the trip worthwhile. As such, Alamosa is definitely among the cheapest airports in Colorado.
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience in Colorado, Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB) might just be the ticket. Located in the southern part of the state, Pueblo offers a unique blend of cultural and outdoor experiences.
Pueblo itself is a city rich in history and culture. This makes it the best city to fly into Colorado for those interested in exploring Colorado’s heritage. From the historic Arkansas Riverwalk to the Pueblo Zoo, there’s a variety of attractions to keep you entertained.
When it comes to affordability, Pueblo stands out as one of the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado. The airport’s smaller size and fewer flights often result in lower ticket prices. Additionally, its location away from major tourist hubs means less competition and more chances for discounted fares.
The best time to find affordable flights to Pueblo is during the late spring and early fall. These months offer pleasant weather and the opportunity to explore the city’s outdoor and cultural attractions without the crowds. Pueblo is about a 2-hour drive to Colorado Springs and a 2.5-hour drive to Denver. This makes it a convenient base for exploring other parts of the state.
Before we wrap up, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions about the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado to help you plan your trip even better. Here’s everything you need to know about flights to Colorado:
The cost of flying into Colorado can vary widely depending on several factors, such as your departure city, the time of year, and how far in advance you book. However, Denver International Airport (DEN) often emerges as the cheapest airport to fly into Colorado. This is primarily because Denver serves as a major hub for several airlines, including United and Southwest.
The high volume of flights going in and out of DEN creates a competitive environment, which often leads to lower fares. Additionally, Denver frequently offers special promotions and discounts, especially during off-peak seasons, making it a budget-friendly option for many travelers.
Is it better to fly into Vail or Denver?
Whether it’s better to fly into Vail or Denver depends on your priorities, budget, and travel plans. Here are some considerations to help you decide:
Flying into Vail (Eagle County Regional Airport – EGE):
- Convenience: If Vail or nearby ski resorts are your primary destination, flying directly into Eagle County Regional Airport can save you the drive from Denver, which can be especially beneficial during winter months when mountain passes can be treacherous.
- Smaller Airport: EGE is a smaller airport, which often means quicker check-ins and less hassle compared to larger airports.
- Scenic: The flight into Vail offers breathtaking mountain views.
- Cost: Flights directly into Vail can be more expensive than flights into Denver, especially if coming from farther away.
- Limited Flight Options: There are fewer flights and routes available to EGE compared to Denver, which might limit flexibility.
Flying into Denver (Denver International Airport – DIA):
- More Flight Options: DIA is a major international airport with numerous daily flights from a wide range of domestic and international locations. This can offer more flexibility in terms of flight times and often more competitive prices.
- Cost: Generally, flights into Denver can be cheaper than flights into Vail, especially if you’re booking well in advance or catching a deal.
- Drive: The drive from Denver to Vail is about 2 hours without traffic, but this can vary greatly depending on weather conditions, especially in winter. The drive, though, is scenic and takes you through the Rocky Mountains.
- Versatility: If you’re planning to visit other parts of Colorado in addition to Vail, flying into Denver might offer more flexibility.
The most budget-friendly times to fly to Colorado are generally the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall. During these months, the state sees fewer tourists. This often leads airlines to offer special promotions and discounts to fill seats. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can take advantage of these lower prices by booking a few months in advance. It’s also worth noting that prices can spike during major events or festivals, so it’s wise to check the local calendar before booking your trip.
Flights are generally most affordable during off-peak hours. This usually means flying mid-week or during inconvenient times like late at night or very early in the morning. These less popular times are less likely to fill up, prompting airlines to lower prices to attract passengers. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule and can vary depending on the airline and the specific route. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to compare prices for different times and days when planning your trip.
For the best fares, aim to book your flight to one of the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado around 50 to 100 days before your planned departure. Airlines often release their most competitive fares during this window. However, this can vary depending on the time of year and the popularity of the route. If you’re planning to travel during peak seasons like winter for skiing or summer for hiking, you may need to book even further in advance to secure the best rates.
Smaller airports like Colorado Springs Airport (COS) or Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB) can offer competitive prices. It is mainly due to their lower operational costs and fewer amenities. However, these airports may have fewer flight options, which could limit your flexibility. It’s essential to weigh the cost savings against the convenience and availability of flights when choosing an airport.
Where is the best place to fly into Colorado?
The best place to fly into Colorado largely depends on your intended destinations and activities within the state. Here are the major airports in Colorado and their advantages:
- Denver International Airport (DIA):
- Advantages: It’s the largest airport in Colorado and one of the busiest in the U.S. This means it offers the most flight options, often at competitive prices. It’s a hub for many major airlines. From DIA, you have easy access to Denver, Boulder, and it’s a gateway to the Rocky Mountains and ski resorts like Breckenridge, Vail, and Aspen (though these are still a drive away).
- Colorado Springs Airport (COS):
- Advantages: Located in the southern part of the state, it’s a smaller and less hectic alternative to DIA. It’s ideal if your primary destinations are Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, or other southern Colorado attractions.
- Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE):
- Advantages: If you’re heading straight to Aspen for skiing or festivals, flying directly into this airport can save you a long drive from Denver. However, flights might be pricier and more limited.
- Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE):
- Advantages: Located closer to ski resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek, it’s a convenient option during the ski season. Like Aspen, flights might be more limited and potentially more expensive.
- Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT):
- Advantages: If you’re exploring the western part of Colorado, like the Colorado National Monument or the wine country around Palisade, this airport is a good choice.
Sometimes flying into a major airport like Denver International Airport (DEN) and then driving to your final destination can be more cost-effective, especially if you’re heading to a less accessible area of the state. However, this approach adds the extra time and potential cost of car rental or other forms of transportation. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider these additional factors and calculate the total cost to see if this option makes sense for your trip.
Yes, airlines frequently offer package deals, particularly for high-traffic tourist destinations like the ski resorts in Vail or Aspen. These packages often include not just flights but also accommodations and sometimes even ski passes or other activity tickets. By bundling these elements, you can often save a significant amount compared to booking each component separately.
To secure the best flight deals, it’s advisable to use a combination of search engines and fare alert services. This approach allows you to compare prices from multiple sources and be notified when fares drop. Additionally, consider flying mid-week or being flexible with your travel dates, as these factors can significantly impact the cost of flights. Lastly, don’t forget to check the airlines’ own websites, as some carriers reserve their best fares for customers who book directly, and you may also avoid additional booking fees.
Choosing the right airport can make all the difference when planning your Colorado adventure, both in terms of cost and convenience. From bustling hubs like Denver International Airport (DEN) to smaller, more specialized airports like Alamosa San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS), Colorado offers a range of options to fit every traveler’s needs and budget.
The key to finding the best deals is flexibility. Being open to flying at different times of the day, or even into different airports, can yield significant savings. And remember, the cheapest airports to fly into Colorado aren’t always the most obvious ones. Smaller airports often offer competitive prices and can be closer to your final destination, saving you both time and money.
Timing is also crucial. The cheapest fares are often found during Colorado’s shoulder seasons in late spring and early fall. However, if winter sports are your thing, keep an eye out for package deals that can make even the more expensive airports more affordable.