Fall Colors & Festivals: Bustang to Estes has it covered

September 12, 2019 - Denver Metro Area, Colorado - Children under 12 now Ride free

DENVER  With the changing of the aspen leaves and the elk mating season occurring over the next few weeks, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bustang to Estes weekend service is providing another travel option for people who want to experience the transition from summer to fall at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

“With Bustang, you don’t have to worry about finding a parking space once you arrive in Estes Park,” said Town of Estes Park Parking and Transit Manager Vanessa Solesbee.  “With only 1,200 parking spaces located within the core of our downtown area and great events each weekend in September, spaces are often filled early. Bustang is a great option for those looking to leave the parking (and driving!) to someone else.

A round-trip ticket is $10 per person.  To encourage families to use the service during one of the busiest months of the year for visitors, children 11 years old and younger now can travel with their parents or guardians for free beginning this weekend and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 29. 

Once in Estes Park, visitors can catch the free trolley to access a variety of locations or take it to one of the many events taking place this month, including: 

  • Sept. 14 - 15: Fine Arts & Crafts Festival
  • Sept. 21 - 22: Rocky Mountain Craft Spirits Fest
  • Sept. 28 - 29: Elk Fest

Bustang riders also can catch a bus to the park & ride on the Bear Lake Corridor in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Please note that visitors must purchase a park pass for entry into RMNP. 

Each Saturday and Sunday, Bustang travels twice a day between Denver’s Union Station and the Estes Park Visitor Center. 


Northbound                                                                                    Route 201          Route 203

DEPART Denver Union Station                                                         7:00 a.m.           8:00 a.m.

DEPART Westminster - U.S. 36 & Sheridan Boulevard                     7:30 a.m.           8:30 a.m.

ARRIVE Estes Park Visitor Center                                                    8:55 a.m.           9:55 a.m.  


Southbound                                                                                   Route 200          Route 202

DEPART Estes Park Visitor Center                                                   3:00 p.m.           5:00 p.m.

ARRIVE Westminster - U.S. 36 & Sheridan Boulevard                      4:25 p.m.           6:25 p.m.

ARRIVE Denver Union Station                                                         4:55 p.m.           6:55 p.m.

Schedule may vary depending on weather and road conditions

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://ridebustang.com/estes-park/  Please visit: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm for additional information on the shuttle system to RMNP. 

“This program is part of our continuing effort to provide service to high demand recreational areas like Estes Park,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew.  “Bustang is a good travel alternative to that helps improve safety by reducing the number of vehicles on our mountain highways, helping us to enhance our Whole System – Whole Safety initiative.”

Ace Express Coaches of Golden contracts with CDOT to operate Bustang to Estes.  

Bustang coaches are climate controlled, equipped with Wi-Fi, a restroom, USB and power outlets, comfortable seats, and wheelchair access. 

“Travel to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park is being significantly enhanced with the new Bustang service, especially with the changing of the seasons and increased travel to the area,” said Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Executive Director Betsy Markey.  “It helps fulfill our ‘Care for Colorado Principles’ and conservation ethics, and shows how local, state and federal entities can partner together to enhance the Colorado Experience.”