How to Navigate the Denver Airport July 4th Weekend

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The mountains are beautiful and have so many exciting summer activities and events; it is no wonder Colorado and Denver International Airport receive so many visitors over the 4th of July.  Denver International Airport (DEN), located 23 miles from Downtown Denver, is the second largest airport in the world by size and was built with expansion in mind. It is thanks to this goal that DEN hosts just under seventy million passengers annually!

plane flying into distant mountains

For many travelers departing the Mile High City for the first time, or for those arriving at the giant white peaks that make up the crown of the airport, navigating the inside of this city-sized transportation hub can be a confusing journey. Here are some thoughts and things to consider as you navigate this 28-year-old airport to lessen your travel stressors and guide you on your journey with ease.

How to Find Peak 1 Express

After departing the plane, you will take the underground train to the Jeppesen Terminal, ride an escalator or elevator to Level 5 to find Baggage Claim. Carousels 1-9 will be on the East side of the terminal and 10-19 will be on the West side of the terminal. After collecting your bags, you can find the Peak 1 Express Shuttle on the East side of the terminal just outside Door 513 and across one lane of traffic, under the sign that reads “Mountain Carriers”.

Man sitting at airport watching plane

Understand Colorado Roads

Being aware of Colorado road conditions and traction laws is helpful to visitors and locals alike. Not only have my partner and I built a snowman every month of the year living in the mountains (the smallest being 18”), but the lovely folks of the front range enjoy spending as much time as they are able in the mountains like us! That means that on top of any kind of mountain weather Mother Nature will create, consider that the traffic on I-70 will be heavy on Friday afternoon/evening heading up to the mountain tops and Sunday morning/afternoon heading back to Denver, especially on Holiday weekends!

traffic on highway

Plan Ahead

When returning to DEN for your return flight, you will want to arrive at least 2 hours before your planned departure time anytime of the year. For the July 4th weekend, planning to arrive with plenty of time to spare is not just encouraged, but in my experience, necessary. When you book your Peak 1 Express ride, our team will make sure you get on a shuttle with plenty of time to spare before your flight. If driving yourself, make sure you check the weather and road conditions and make sure you give yourself ample time to navigate any traffic you may be a part of.

Best of Summit Image of Peak 1 Express employees inside a shuttle vanRelax at the Airport

Once you arrive to Denver International Airport, if you need some emotional support, the Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) program, featured in the 2023 Guinness World Records book as the ‘Largest Airport Therapy Program,’ will help make your travels stress free. With 80 dogs and one cat, this animal fleet wanders throughout the airport in easy to spot “Pet Me” vests. Don’t hesitate to pet, hug, or take pictures with the airport’s favorite crew!

dog on leash looking at person

Plan Ahead

Make sure you have your flight information and are prepared for Security and what options may be available for your trips. If you are checking bags, give yourself enough time to check these in at the kiosk before heading through security.

woman holding bags at airport

I have spent many hours inside Denver International Airport over the 20+ years I have lived in Colorado and have found it to be quite easy to navigate. They have done a great job with clear signage, ample restrooms, and with the Dine-Relax-Shop opportunities, there are plenty of entertainment options while you wait for your flight.

Don’t forget to book your shuttle with Peak 1 Express early for the best rates, as well as read more tips from Denver International Airport before you fly over the July 4th holiday!

And if you’re looking for inspiration planning your mountain adventure, check out AVA Rafting and Ziplining for exciting Whitewater Rafting, Ziplining, and Via Ferrata trips and adventure packages!  With customizable transportation options, Peak 1 Express can also help you get to these or any other mountain activities.

Written by Mandy Hope, Contributing Member of the Sales and Marketing team

Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist