Clean Cars in Colorado

DENVER - Last week the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted unanimously to  adopt Low Emission Vehicle Standards for the state. Snowriders International is excited to see the state of Colorado leading on emission standards regulation in the absence of national action. Read out statement below:

"Here in Colorado, most of us rely on our personal cars to get us out to the slopes in the winter, or in the summer to the pitch, the river or the hiking trail.  And the emission from our weekend adventures have a real impact on our communities and environment. Exhaust from idling cars in winter traffic jams degrades air quality in mountain towns, and releases climate change causing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"At Snowriders we believe that a trip to the mountains shouldn’t harm the beautiful natural places we are there to enjoy; and that our transportation shouldn’t threaten the future of Colorado’s snowy winters by contributing to climate change. Clean car standards, like the Low Emission Vehicle Standard announced last week by AQCC are an essential step to making this vision a reality.  More efficient cars on the road means cleaner and more responsible transportation choices for us all and they will allow more Coloradans to enjoy our mountains with a lighter environment impact.

"With the Trump administration backing off of clean car regulations nationally, we are thrilled to see Colorado leading the way in this essential and common sense step so that we can be responsible stewards of Colorado’s incredible natural beauty for generations to come."

As Citizens Testify, EPA's Clean Car Standards At Stake

For Immediate Release: September 6, 2017
Lucie Coleman, Organizer, Snowriders International,,914.417.1454


Today in Washington DC, concerned citizens, advocates and decision makers are gathering at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing urging them to strengthen, not weaken their clean car standards. The hearing is a result of the Trump Administration’s announcement that it was reopening the EPA’s midterm evaluation of clean car standards.  This decision withdraws the final emission standards for 2022-2025 that the EPA released in 2012.

Snowriders International is an organization of skiers, snowboarders and mountain recreation enthusiasts dedicated to the promotion of winter sports and the protection of the environment across the globe. Snowriders organizer Lucie Coleman issued the following statement:

“The fact is, the vast majority of us still rely on our personal cars to get us to the slopes, the river or the hiking trail. We believe a trip to the mountains shouldn’t endanger the natural spaces we love, and the EPA’s clean car standards are an essential part of making our vision a reality. We cannot yet depend on public or shared transportation to access our outdoor recreation activities, so in the meantime it’s crucial that conscientious outdoors-people advocate for strong emission standards for vehicles.


“People want cleaner cars, and today the EPA will hear how much. With transportation now the single largest source of carbon emissions in the country, we need to strengthen clean car standards not weaken them.  Curbing carbon emissions from transportation through these common-sense standards is essential if we want to continue to have access to the beautiful places and recreation activities we love while still taking meaningful and responsible action to combat climate change.

“We fear that reopening the evaluation process will lead to weaker standards. With 2016 now the hottest year on record, skiers and boarders well know that we need to get serious about cutting carbon emissions, not roll back the effective tools we already have in place. The current clean car standards would, when fully phased in, reduce America’s oil use by 12 billion barrels, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billions metric tons.  The clean car standards are the single most important tool now in place on the federal level to avert the worst impacts of climate change; we cannot afford to weaken them.”


Guide to Car-Free Skiing in Tahoe

Car-Free Skiing in Tahoe: Accessing Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area without Driving a Personal Car


For Immediate Release:

March 29, 2017

New guide from Snowriders International and Environment California Research and Policy Center shows fifteen public and shared transit options for skiers and boarders trying to get from the Bay Area to ski in Lake Tahoe without driving their personal car. The report highlights that public transit options to Tahoe from the Bay Area are limited, and advocates for greater investment and improved options by the beginning of next ski season. Find the guide here.



Why you Should Ditch your Car for Your Next Ski Trip

Help Create a Flexible and Sustainable Transportation System that Works for Skiers and Snowboarders.

Most of us take for granted that getting to the ski slopes in the winter includes a significant journey by car. As we head into the mountains on weekends and holidays, traffic spikes along major ski corridors like I-70 in Colorado or I-80 on the way to Tahoe, causing terrible traffic jams and adding hours onto commutes. The exhaust from so many idling cars greatly increases air pollution, endangering public health and contributing to climate change,  which threatens the beautiful outdoor places we are traveling to enjoy.

But, it doesn't need to be this way!

At Snowriders, we believe that our trip to the slopes shouldn’t endanger the mountains and snow that we love.  For years, personal cars have remained the only convenient way to access the mountains in most areas of the country.  Snowriders International, however, believes that a flexible and modern transportation system that gets us where we need to go without harming the natural places that we love, is not only possible but necessary. We’re working with skiers and snowboarders across the country to demand better and more varied public and shared transportation options that can allow us to enjoy the mountains while also protecting them.


Options are already growing nationwide, but more work is necessary.  The key to making a personal-car-free transportation system work is offering enough convenient options. A 2013 study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that young people demand transportation systems with many options and desire the ability to pick between choices depending upon the practical needs of their trip.

Want to get to the mountain early enough for first chair? You need an option that gets on the road in the wee hours of the morning.

Need to head back early? You'll want transportation with multiple or flexible departure times.

Want to play Angry Birds, or get a little work done on the drive? A public transit option would be perfect.  

As shuttle, bus, rideshare and train options proliferate, skiers are beginning to get a taste of what car-free skiing can offer.  The more people demand and take advantage of these options, the more will appear. So before you jump in your car for your next weekend adventure, consider the public and shared transportation options available in your region, and take this simple action to protect the mountains we love.

Improve Your MPGs on the way to the Slopes

Want to make your ride to the mountain more environmentally friendly?

Consider these tips:

1) Carpool!

Here’s an obvious one. Grab a few of your friends, or sign up for a local online rideshare board and fill as many seats as you can in your car. This is not only more fun, but you can also split gas money and each one of you is contributing that much less pollution to the environment than if you had each driven up alone.

2) Drive at non-peak times

Idling in traffic is incredibly inefficient, and if you live along a popular ski corridor, you know to expect a whole lot of traffic at around 7am on a winter Saturday.  Head up the night before when the traffic is lighter. You’ll use less gas and be less frustrated.  And if you do find yourself in a terrible traffic jam, consider pulling off and parking somewhere for a while until it clears rather than inching forward for hours on the freeway.

3) Reconsider the car you’re driving

This is important for both fuel efficiency and safety. If your route to the mountains involves any snowy passes or icy roads, it’s probably not the best place for your 1960s VW Beetle, no matter how cute it looks with the little roof rack. Driving a car with insufficient traction is dangerous to yourself and others.  Older cars are also less efficient than their newer counterparts by a significant margin. If you drive a particularly old, small, or gas-guzzly car, you might consider replacing it with a newer more efficient model.

4) Check tire pressure regularly

Underinflated tires decrease your fuel efficiency.  In the winter, when it’s cold out, air contracts reducing tire pressure, so it’s even more important to check it regularly.

5) Park in warm places

Keeping your car in the garage the night before your day at the mountain is a good idea for fuel efficiency and many ski resorts offer indoor, or at least covered parking which may be worth the extra cost.

6) Store your ski/snowboard differently

Ski racks add significant drag to your car and can reduce your MPG more than you would think.  If you can safely secure your skis inside the car, that would be the best option. Some roof boxes and back-of-the-car racks also claim to be more efficient than a regular roof rack. Some ski mountains and ski shops have lockers so you can store your skis close to the mountain in between trips.

7) Avoid using warmers, defroster and other electronics more than necessary

Anything additional your car is doing beyond driving impacts your gas mileage, so avoid excessive use of chargers, warmers, and anything else in your car that’s electric. Probably still worth it run the radio and radiator, though!


The Growing Ways to Get from the Denver Region to the Slopes Without Your Personal Car




For years, the only real way for people to get from the Denver region up to the ski slopes has been to drive their personal car. While the number of people who carpool along the limited roads that lead to our slopes is high, relying on personal vehicles to move hundreds of thousands of people from the Front Range to the ski slopes during the winter is inefficient, unsafe, and has a negative impact on our health and the environment.

Colorado needs a transportation system that provides safe, convenient, affordable options that connect the Front Range to the ski slopes. In the short term, we need to ensure that the personal vehicles that are travelling to the slopes are maximizing carpool opportunities in each vehicle. In the long term, we need a lot more options so people can ditch their car for shuttles, vans, buses and trains.

The good news is that over the last few winter seasons, options for getting to the slopes without driving your personal car have increased and smart phone technologies have made ride sharing and carpooling an increasingly efficient option.

This guide highlights the available options that our researchers found for travelling from the Denver metro region to the ski slopes without your personal car. Currently, available options include airport shuttles, multiple vans and bus programs, rideshares, and two train lines. The costs and convenience varies widely among the options but we included every option that our researchers found that we thought the public could access. The research was done between January 31st and February 6th. We also include some of the policies that ski resorts are implementing to incentivize carpooling including providing preferred parking.



Daily Access*


Bustang West Line

Stops: Frisco, Vail, Glenwood Springs
Cost: $12-$28

RTD ski-n-ride (Route N)

Stops: Eldora   
Cost: $4.50

Greyhound Bus   

Stops: Frisco, Vail, Glenwood Springs
Cost: $14-$32

Amtrak California Zephyr

Stops: Fraser-Winter Park, Granby, Glenwood Springs
Cost: $35-$168


Weekend access*



Stops: A-Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, and Winter Park
Cost: $45-$60 (round trip)

Front Range Ski Bus

Stops: Loveland Ski Area, Copper Mountain
Cost: $45 (round trip)

Amtrak Winter Park Express

Stops: Winter Park
Costs: $59 (round trip)

University of Colorado, Boulder Ski Bus Program **

Stops: Keystone, A-Basin, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Vail -- different each weekend
Cost: $5-$15 (round trip)


Access from Denver International Airport***


Colorado Mountain Express

Stops: Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Vail, Beaver Creek, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Aspen & Snowmass Village
Cost: $49-$120 †

Fresh Tracks Transportation

Stops: Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Frisco and Silverthorn/Dillon
Cost: $63††

Peak 1 Express

Stops: Breckenridge and Summit County & Vail Valley
Cost: $44-$99††

Powderhound Transportation‡   

Stops: Aspen Snowmass, Beaver Creak, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Steamboat, Vail, Winter Park
Cost: $249-$299‡

Summit Express

Stops: Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Frisco, Dillon/Silverthorn
Costs: $65††


Ride Share Options*

SkiCarpool is a nonprofit organization that facilitates carpooling to Colorado resorts using an active rideboard on their website

Carpool World

International ridesharing website with an active ride-board of people driving from Denver Metro Area to the mountains.

WaytoGo SkiPool Program   

Between December 2014 and March 2015, members of a vanpool through the Way to Go program received one free rideshare trip to the mountains per week.  Way to Go members should contact DRCOG to see if SkiPool options are still available.

Craigslist Rideshare

General resource board where individuals can post requests and find people to carpool with.


Mountains with Carpool Incentives *


Arapahoe Basin

Limited priority parking for a car of three or more.  Discount tickets with a car of four or more.

Copper Mountain Resort

Priority parking for carpools of four or more,

Breckenridge Ski Resort

$5 discount on parking with car of four or more.

Keystone Resort

Priority parking for carpools of four or more.

* Information subject to change by the organizations and companies that run the service. Check website for latest information.       
** only available to students and alumni
*** Only shared shuttle options presented unless otherwise noted
† Discounts for children   
 ††Discounts for 3+ people and kids