Glenwood Springs RFTA: Getting Around


Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is a vibrant destination renowned for its natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and unique cultural experiences. It serves as a gateway to the Roaring Fork Valley, offering visitors a chance to explore the region’s stunning landscapes and embrace an active lifestyle. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) makes it easy to get to all the area has to offer.


  • Glenwood Springs provides access to world-class skiing, hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities in the Roaring Fork Valley.
  • The city boasts the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), a comprehensive public transit system connecting Glenwood Springs to Aspen and other nearby towns.
  • Visitors can indulge in local cuisine, hot springs, and cultural attractions while enjoying the convenience of RFTA's mobile ticketing and trip-planning services.

Destination Overview

Settled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Glenwood Springs is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends outdoor recreation with rich cultural heritage. The city’s prime location along the Roaring Fork Valley offers easy access to the Rio Grande Trail, a scenic pathway perfect for hiking and biking enthusiasts that passes through places like Woody Creek and Stein Park.

Additionally, Glenwood Springs serves as a hub for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). This public transit system connects the city to nearby towns like Aspen, Carbondale, Grand Junction, Basalt, and Snowmass Village, providing visitors with a convenient way to explore counties like Pitkin, Mesa, and Garfield County.

Free transportation like the Snowmass Village Shuttle, Aspen Free Shuttle, and the “Ride Glenwood Springs” bus service (RGS Buses) make it easy for locals and visitors alike. RFTA rider resources like RFTA routes and RFTA tickets are available online, and the RFTA bustracker has an interactive system map and real-time notifications. This customer service is a vital element in any commuter’s day.

The RFTA and the Colorado Department of Transportation have gone to great lengths to connect the system to the surrounding areas to reach as many travelers as possible. The Parachute Area Transit System (PATS) connects riders from Parachute and Battlement Mesa to Rifle, allowing them to use RTFA to commute for work or entertainment.

Basalt Connect offers free, on-demand rides to and from downtown Basalt, Willits, and nearby neighborhoods. The Pitkin County Senior Van service, which offers door-to-door service to people over the age of 60 in the Upper Valley and Snowmass Village, is also free. Free park-and-ride locations for neighborhoods like West Glenwood and New Castle allow those living outside the service area to take advantage of RFTA routes.

Local Experiences and Culture

Immerse yourself in the authentic local experiences that make Glenwood Springs truly unique. Savor the flavors of the region’s cuisine, which often incorporates locally sourced ingredients and reflects the area’s diverse cultural influences. Attend vibrant community events and festivals in downtown Glenwood Springs that celebrate the city’s rich heritage, visit the Colorado Mountain College campus, or explore the Roaring Fork Valley local arts and crafts scene, where you’ll find handmade treasures crafted by talented artisans.

Public Transportation and Accessibility

RFTA offers a comprehensive network of bus routes that cater to both locals and visitors alike. With the Rio Grande Trail running parallel to many of these routes, you can easily combine public transportation with outdoor adventures. RFTA’s mobile ticketing system allows you to purchase and use tickets and passes instantly on your smartphone, streamlining your travel experience. The trip planner feature also ensures you can easily navigate the Mesa, Pitkin, and Garfield County areas, maximizing your time and enjoyment. If needed, buses are equipped with a bike rack, allowing an easy transition from RFTA bus rapid transit to bike trails.

Outdoor Adventures

Glenwood Springs is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering diverse activities for adventure seekers of all levels. Embark on a thrilling skiing adventure at one of the nearby world-class ski resorts, or cast your line in the pristine waters of the Roaring Fork River for an unforgettable fishing experience. The Rio Grande Trail beckons hikers and bikers with its scenic vistas and well-maintained paths, while the surrounding mountains provide ample opportunities for rock climbing, camping, and more.

Accommodation and Dining

Whether you prefer the cozy charm of a cabin or the modern amenities of a hotel, Glenwood Springs offers a variety of accommodation options to suit your preferences. Indulge in the local cuisine at one of the city’s renowned restaurants, where you’ll find dishes that celebrate the region’s flavors and ingredients. From casual eateries to upscale dining experiences, Glenwood Springs caters to every taste and budget.

Travel Planning and Weather Preparedness

Planning your trip with the local weather conditions in mind is essential to make the most of your visit to Glenwood Springs. The city experiences four distinct seasons, each offering unique charms and outdoor adventure opportunities. Stay prepared for Colorado’s unpredictable weather by packing appropriate clothing and gear, and consider the Destination 2040 initiative, which aims to enhance the region’s transit infrastructure and accessibility.

Local Attractions and Leisure Activities

Glenwood Springs boasts a wealth of local attractions that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages. Indulge in the rejuvenating waters of the world-famous hot springs, a must-visit attraction that has drawn travelers for centuries. Explore the city’s vibrant downtown area, where you’ll find unique shops, galleries, and local attractions. For those seeking a more leisurely experience, take advantage of RFTA’s free rides within the city limits and enjoy a relaxing day of sightseeing and exploration.

Transit Expansion and Future Plans

The Destination 2040 initiative is a visionary plan to enhance the region’s public transportation system and improve accessibility for both residents and visitors. This ambitious project seeks to expand RFTA’s services, introduce new routes, and integrate cutting-edge technologies to provide a seamless and sustainable transit experience. As Glenwood Springs continues to grow as a premier destination, these plans will ensure that visitors can easily explore the area while minimizing their environmental impact.

RFTA’s expansion allows easy day trips from Glenwood Springs, allowing access to all the surrounding area offers. Simply take the bus to towns like Aspen and explore the town using the Free Transit system. Maps are available online, providing the details of each route. For example, take the Castle Maroon line to Aspen Highlands Village and the Aspen Recreation Center in Aspen. By bus, you can also easily explore Hunter Creek, Maroon Bells, Cemetery Lane, Rubey Park, and Galena Street.


What is the best time of year to visit Glenwood Springs?

Glenwood Springs is a year-round destination, offering unique experiences each season. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and biking, while winter attracts skiers and snowboarders to the nearby resorts. Spring and fall are great for enjoying milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

How can I get around Glenwood Springs without a car?

RFTA’s extensive bus network and the Rio Grande Trail make it easy to explore Glenwood Springs and the surrounding areas without a personal vehicle. You can purchase mobile tickets and plan your trips using RFTA’s convenient trip planner and other RFTA rider resources. The RFTA bustracker will ensure you know when and where your bus is arriving, and the provided system map will simplify following your routes. Ride Glenwood Springs (RGS buses) make travel around town a breeze.

Are there any free activities or attractions in Glenwood Springs?

Yes, Glenwood Springs offers several free activities and attractions. You can take advantage of RFTA’s free rides within the city limits, explore the Rio Grande Trail, or visit local parks and public spaces. Some museums and galleries also offer free admission on certain days or during special events.

What outdoor activities are available in the Roaring Fork Valley?

The Roaring Fork Valley is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a wide range of activities such as skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing, and more. The Rio Grande Trail and the nearby mountains provide ample opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Can I purchase RFTA tickets and passes in advance?

Yes, RFTA offers a mobile ticketing system that allows you to purchase tickets and passes instantly on your smartphone. This convenient feature ensures you can plan your trips and avoid long lines at ticket vending machines.


About the author

Shannon Persad

As a seasoned journalist and Colorado native, I bring a deep-rooted connection and comprehensive understanding of Colorado to my work at My appreciation for the state’s rich history, vibrant culture, and pressing environmental issues drives my commitment to exploring its evolving landscape—from the bustling urban centers to the tranquil mountain towns.