I-70 and Hwy 82 are generally well maintained. However if there is a snow storm the four hour drive from the airport can be scary for someone who doesn't know how to drive in the snow.
If you are staying in Snowmass/Aspen for vacation you won't need a car to get around, there is a free bus system that is very efficient. You could take the CME shuttle from Denver to Snowmass or you could catch a flight with Frontier Airlines (or another airline) directly to Aspen Airport.
I would agree that the drive from Denver to Snowmass/Aspen can be a challenge. In my opinion, I would only do the drive with a 4WD vehicle and only during the day. If there has been snow, can be tricky. There are a number of steep inclines/declines. The positives are that it is a very scenic trip and you drive past a number of other ski resorts like Vail so interesting to see. Also, the last part of the trip up Glenwood Canyon and then up the Roaring Fork Valley to Aspen area is really pretty. You get a much better sense of the area. Reliable flights in/out of Aspen can be a challenge. There are often snow and weather delays so the drive from/to can often be the same amount of travel time as flying if not quicker. If flying, I would pick US Air as they have the largest number of flights and fleet so can can manage delays much better. For example, Delta often only has one flight, so if you miss it you are delayed a whole day (if not more if they can't get you seats). There are also a number of ground shuttle services from Denver and these are very good and then you don't have to drive.Edited: 24 April 2011, 00:25
I noticed that there are several "destination experts" in this thread, so I thought I might query whether it's wise/advisable/doable to drive from Denver to Aspen in late November?
My options are as follows: currently, my sister and I can fly into Denver for about $350 roundtrip each. We can rent a standard car for about $250/week or an SUV for about $350/week and drive the 4 hours to Aspen. Alternatively, we can take a connecting flight to Aspen (routed through Denver with a 2-hour layover) for about $650 each.
We don't mind the drive and it doesn't seem like much of a time save to fly, but I am wondering if it's doable that time of year?
The drive is doable any time of the year, even Nov. How long it takes and under what conditions is weather dependent. If you've zero experience driving in snowy conditions maybe the extra $$ and time for the flight will lower the anxiety level. On the other hand it could be sunny and the drive in parts is quite spectacular. Tough call.
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