NOTES FROM EDITOR
You will see below an Announcement about the return of the BUSTANG to the Front Range — a scheduled inexpensive bus ride via a route from Denver to Estes Park. We applaud the National Park and CDOT for working together to create a way to reduce the usage of cars, thereby reducing carbon in the air, and pollution in the park, and lessening their traffic jams and overfilled parking lots!
BUT…. There were questions that I had about this, which ARE NOT in the News Release, and I will state their answers here:
1. LIMITED BUS SCHEDULE IN THE PARK
The BUSTANG has two buses travelling into Estes and two leaving on its route from Denver to Estes Park. Travellers get off the bus at the Estes Park Visitor Center, and catch a RMNP bus to go into the park. It is not an all day, on and off, run of buses. Also, you will have to keep that in mind if you want to spend time in Estes Park. They are:
==one bus in morning INTO the Park at 9 a.m., shortly after arrival
==one bus in morning INTRO the Park at 10 a.m. shortly after arrival
==one bus in the afternoon OUT of the Park at 2 p.m.
==one bus in the afternoon OUT of the Park at 4 p.m.
You can then catch the bus back to Lyons/or/Denver at 3 p.m. or 5 p.m.
2. PARK N RIDE stop in the Park
Once the RMNP bus takes you from the Estes Park Visitor Center into the Park, there is one stop: the PARK N RIDE parking lot. From there you can walk around, or you can take one of two (beautiful) BUS options:
==BEAR LAKE Route – every 10-15 minutes
==MORAINE LAKE Route – every 30 minutes
Click here to see the LIST of the places that are covered on these bus routes.
3. NOTE the “Hiker’s Bus” in the Park is not reinstated for the summer of 2021.
4. WEEKENDS ONLY! This is offered on the weekend only. Currently their web page does not say that, but they assure me it will be updated.
5. LOCATION OF BUS STOP IN LYONS:
The CDOT schedule lists 555 Fourth Street as the location of the bus stop (which is between Lyons Automotive and the library).
In recent years, when the library was built and the RTD bus parking lot was eliminated, the bus stop was moved to Railroad Avenue, between Highway 36, and the vacant Valley Bank building (and 2nd and Park Streets).
Since the flier states “555 Fourth” then you should go there. NEITHER place has a ”bus shelter.” In the future, be sure to read the Reservation page carefully to see if that location changes. The Town staff have been in communication with CDOT to figure out which location would be best.
6. PARK PASSES
You must buy a Park Pass to get into the Park. It will be checked before you board the Park bus.
Most people will buy the DAY PASS, which is $15. But if you are travelling with another person who would have been ”in your car,” you can buy the $25 “car pass.”
You should buy the Pass at the same time you buy the bus ticket — all on the same two web pages. Very easy. You will not have time to buy one before getting on the Park bus while in Estes Park.
Most people will not be buying an Annual pass; but if you want to, be warned: Annual and Lifetime passes purchased online take 2–4 weeks to arrive by mail.
This is the standard RMNP price list for this year:
1-Day Pass – Per Person – $15.00 ($25 if you were to drive your own car)
Annual Pass: $80 (online $70)
Annual Military Pass: Free* Find detailed information about who qualifies
Annual Fourth Grade Pass for US students in fourth grade: Free
Annual Senior Pass: $20
Lifetime Senior Pass: $80
Please continue to read the official announcement below as there is pertinent information there. The main thing is that travelers will need to get a PARK PASS, but they will not need to get a TIMED ENTRY. There are “time entry” seats set aside for those travelling by bus, as an incentive to get people to use the bus and protect our environment.
(**NOTE** this article is published in Lyons, and therefore, there are references to Lyons throughout, but 90% of the information is useful to all)
I obtained this information from the CDOT communications official, and the RMNP communications/public affairs official — not copied from any web site, or Facebook entry, or newspaper. Everything I uncovered is here — If you have further questions, use their CDOT or RMNP ”contact us” link.
Have fun! This is a marvelous opportunity!
Announcement from CDOT on BUSTANG
Travelers, locals and tourists, now have another option if they are heading to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park with the Bustang bus service starting during the Fourth of July weekend.
Bustang provides a convenient way to get to Estes Park. Let us do the driving so you can sit back and enjoy the scenic mountain views. We’ll drop you off at the Estes Park Visitors Center, where you’ll be greeted by friendly town Ambassadors who can help you make the most of your day. The Visitor Center also offers brochures for local attractions, maps, public restrooms and all the information you will need during your stay.
You can catch the Town’s free trolley, which will take you to a variety of locations in Town, or catch a free bus to the Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park – all right from the Visitor Center! Just remember that a valid RMNP Entrance Pass is required to ride the free bus to Bear Lake Park and Ride. Bustang passengers do not need to purchase a Timed Entry Permit.
FARES: A roundtrip ticket is $10 per person. Tickets are $5.00 each way for Denver, Westminster and Boulder, and $3.00 each way for Lyons. No additional discounts are available. PLEASE NOTE: You must purchase a ticket below to reserve a seat. If you plan to pay with cash, please choose “Pay Cash on Board” as your ticket type at the beginning of the reservation process. Thank you!
Lyons Park-n-Ride – 555 4th Ave (see: note from editor)
Lyons Park-n-Ride – 555 4th Ave
“This is part of our continuing effort to provide service to recreational areas that have high visitation numbers but unmet transit needs,” said the Chief of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Office of Innovative Mobility Kay Kelly. “Providing travel alternatives to a popular tourist area helps us to enhance safety, avoid congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of vehicles coming in and out of the Estes Park area.”
The Bustang to Estes Park route began in August 2019. CDOT suspended the service for the 2020 season due to COVID-19.
Please note: Schedule may vary depending on weather and road conditions.
To purchase tickets for the BUS, please visit: https://ridebustang.com/estes-park/.
Please visit RMNP SHUTTLE ROUTE: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm for additional information.