Closest Airport to Rocky Mountain National Park (+Transportation Options)

Pep Dekker

Closest Airport to Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re planning a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park from out of state, you might be wondering where you can fly into the park.

Unfortunately, you can’t fly directly into Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll still have to make a bit of a commute, but trust me, the drive is worth it.

As a resident of Estes Park, I’m familiar with the struggle of getting in and out of the area. Especially during the busy summer season, when the roads out of Denver get backed up.

The closest airport to Rocky Mountain National Park is Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. However, the other three closest options are still great choices, which is why today I’ll be covering:

  • The closest airports to Rocky Mountain National Park
  • A breakdown of each airport, including what airlines fly there
  • Your transportation options for getting into the Park

Let’s get into it!

Airports Near Rocky Mountain National Park

You’ll find that the easiest way to fly into Rocky Mountain National Park is through Denver International Airport. However, there are three other smaller, regional airports that make for a more memorable trip into the park.

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC)

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport

At a glance:

  • Location: Broomfield, Colorado
  • Best For: smaller charter flights
  • Operating Airlines: JSX
  • Destinations: Burbank, CA; Dalla-Love Field; Las Vegas; Phoenix
  • Transport Options: car, or you can rent a shuttle in Denver
  • Distance to Park: 51 miles
  • Travel Time To Park: Over an hour of drive time, depending on road conditions
  • Best Route to Take: Through Lyons and Allenspark and up to the Wild Basin Entrance
  • Pros: The location is a good distance from Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park, which makes the trip a lot easier.
  • Cons: It’s a smaller airport and only one airline currently operates there, so you might have a hard time getting the flights you’re after.

As its name suggests, Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) is the closest airport to Rocky Mountain National Park. 

You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains when you fly into this airport, which is located halfway between Denver and Boulder.

Speaking of the location, RMMA is the closest airport to the city of Denver. It’s located 16 miles northwest of the Central Business District, making it a great alternative to the larger Denver International Airport.

RMMA is a medium-sized airport that’s on the smaller side. I would describe it as a small-town type of airport. There’s not much to see and do aside from watching the planes take off and land!

Its small size also means that it’s hard to get flights. As of writing, the only airline that operates out of RMMA is JSX, which offers flights to only four other airports in the country. These are Burbank, Dallas-Love, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale. 

So, if you don’t live near these locations, you’ll likely have to take a connecting flight or two to get there.

The other issue is transportation from the airport. Unfortunately, there aren’t many public transportation options available to get you to Rocky Mountain National Park, so you’ll likely have to hire a car!

You can always find a private shuttle service, but renting a car is probably the easiest way to get into the park.

While it is the closest airport, I’d recommend looking into Denver International Airport or your other options first. They still offer great options and might have more flight options for you to choose from.

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Denver International Airport

At a glance:

  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Best For: the cheapest and easiest option.
  • Operating Airlines: every major commercial airline you can think of, as well as several international ones
  • Destinations: most major US airports and some international ones
  • Transport Options: shuttle to Estes Park, rental car companies
  • Distance to Park: 76 miles
  • Travel Time To Park: About an hour and 20 minutes
  • Best Route to Take: Reach the park through Lyons and Allenspark, driving until the Wild Basin Entrance
  • Pros: it’s a big airport, which means it’s cheaper and offers more frequent flight options.
  • Cons: you have to account for it being a big airport into your travel time, as it can sometimes take a while to get through security. 

Denver International Airport is the closest international airport to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s also the only airport on this list that isn’t a regional airport, and you can fly here from pretty much every major airport in the country, and even internationally!

The airport is located around 76 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park and 25 miles from downtown Denver. While it’s a bit further away, being close to the city makes it a super convenient stopover.

If you’re looking to fly to the regional airports around Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll likely have to transit through Denver International anyway, so you might as well save your money and stop here. 

You can head into the city for a few days to acclimatize to the altitude then head through Boulder to the Estes Park entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park.

One of the biggest bonuses of this airport is that lots of airlines operate through it, such as Spirited, American, Frontier, Delta, United, Alaska, and more. 

This means you’ll have plenty of flight options to choose from. It’ll also help to make your trip cheaper and more convenient. 

Another bonus is that several car rental companies operate from the airport. Renting a car is the most convenient way to get to Rocky Mountain National Park, as there aren’t a lot of public transport options around the area. 

The airport is around an hour and 20 minutes from the Wild Basin entrance, with plenty of towns to stop at along the way.

Overall, I would say that Denver International Airport is your cheapest and most convenient option when it comes to flying to Rocky Mountain National Park. 

You can usually save yourself a few hundred dollars by flying here rather than to a regional airport!

Cheyenne Regional Airport

Cheyenne Regional Airport

At a glance:

  • Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Best For: a scenic drive into the Park.
  • Operating Airlines: United Airlines
  • Destinations: Denver
  • Transport Options: rental cars, shuttle
  • Distance to Park: 93 miles
  • Travel Time To Park: Around 2 hours by car
  • Route to Take: Head south towards Loveland to get on Highway 34 which takes you to Estes Park
  • Pros: It offers the most scenic drive into Rocky Mountain National Park from the east.
  • Cons: It’s the furthest airport located on the east side of the Park.

Although Cheyenne Regional Airport is across state lines in Wyoming, it’s still a good option to consider, being the third closest to the Park. 

I would consider this airport if you’re looking to spend time in southern Wyoming or visit the Cheyenne Frontier Days, as it lends well to the area.

The drive from this airport into Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t one you want to miss. I recommend driving south to Loveland and taking Highway 34 from there to Estes Park. 

This highway eventually turns into Trail Ridge Road, which is the main road through the Park. It also goes through Big Thompson Canyon, offering stunning views as you’re heading into the Park.

Back to the airport: as it’s a regional airport, you will still transit through Denver, which is the only destination this airport flies to. 

The only airline that operates out of this airport is United, however, they have just built a brand new terminal with space for three more airlines. So keep an eye out for more routes opening up in the future.

You can save a bit of money (and time) by flying into Denver International, but if you’re looking to skip the hustle and bustle of an international airport, this one could be a great option. 

The biggest downside is the distance to the Park, which is around 90 miles away. However, if you love a good scenic drive, I would definitely recommend looking into it.

Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) 

Eagle County Regional Airport

At a glance:

  • Location: Gypsum, Colorado
  • Best For: trips during the ski season
  • Operating Airlines: American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, United Airlines, United Express
  • Destinations: 
  • regular: Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver; 
  • seasonal: Chicago-O’Hare, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco
  • Transport Options: rental cars, taxis, shuttles
  • Distance to Park: 97 miles
  • Travel Time to Park: About 2 hours by car
  • Route to Take: Starting on Highway 6, turn onto 131 until you hit Trough Road which is when you turn right and follow the road to Kremmling. From there, you can get onto Highway 40 which takes you to Grand Lake and links up with Highway 34. You’ll reach the Park through the Grand Lake entrance.
  • Pros: It has the most options for flying in and out compared to other regional airports
  • Cons: It’s the furthest airport from the Park.

Finally, at number four we have Eagle County Regional Airport. Listed at #8 in 2010 by the History Channel as one of the world’s most extreme airports, this airport is not for the faint of heart. 

In the heart of the mountains, the elevation, mountainous terrain, and weather can sometimes make it a bit of a tricky airport to fly into! However, that also means it has some of the best views out of all the airports on this list.

This airport is also the only one on this list that’s located on the west side of the park, so you’ll have to drive through Grand Lake to enter. 

However, you’ll get to drive along Highway 40, which offers plenty of gorgeous mountain views to make up for the two-hour drive to Grand Lake.

There are also plenty of transport options to get into Rocky Mountain National Park, including plenty of car rental services. 

I’d recommend driving, as it’s the easiest and most efficient way of getting to the park. However, if you’re staying in a hotel, you can also look into their shuttle services to and from the airport.

One of the downsides of this airport, however, is that it runs on a seasonal schedule. It’s most popular during the winter season due to its proximity to ski fields and resorts. However, with three major airlines operating out of it, it’s the best regional airport on this list.

Of course, you’ll still likely have to transit Denver International – especially during the summer, which adds more time and money to the trip. But if you’re looking for a unique scenic drive, I’d recommend taking a flight to this airport.


  • Pep Dekker

    Hey. I’m Pep, Paige's husband, and dad to Juliana, Lucille and Maxine. I'm founder and writer here at I've been living full-time in Estes Park for 3 years now and been visting the Estes Valley for 8. I'm a seasoned traveller, and all around expert on all things Estes Park, Colorado and I'm excited to share all that I've learned with you.