DIA parking: Beware the disappearing Mt. Elbert lot!

In that ballooning budget for Denver International Airport's expansion, do you think officials could find a little extra cash for some signage?

Zooming to DIA two Fridays ago for a one-way flight to Durango (where I was meeting family for a road trip back to Denver), flashing temporary signs outside the full Pikes Peak lot directed me -- as well as many others -- to the remote Mt. Elbert lot. Two days later, when I was getting dropped at DIA so that I could retrieve my car, I suddenly realized that I had no idea how to get to Mt. Elbert. Although I'd parked there many times before, I'd always followed the temporary signs -- and those had disappeared during my two-day absence.

The cop we asked for directions had no idea how we could get to Mt. Elbert. And after we drove around in circles for a while, I finally wised up and just got out at the airport, where I made my way to the shuttle stop. And when I asked the shuttle driver how people were supposed to find Mt. Elbert when the signs were down, the driver just laughed and said he'd heard that question before.

A lot.

Why no permanent signs at DIA for Mt. Elbert, when there are plenty for Pikes Peak?

That's what I asked airport spokesman Heath Montgomery. "After some research, this is what I learned," he reports. "Directional signs to Mt. Elbert are turned off when the Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot is open. This helps prevent confusion for customers wishing to park in our most economical lot(s). Vehicles are unable to enter Mt. Elbert when it is in a closed status. Shuttles are available from the terminal for those customers wishing to return to Mt. Elbert to pick up their vehicle."

For the record, if you need to get to Mt. Elbert and no signs are up, just take the Peña Boulevard turnoff for Pikes Peak and go past that lot to Jackson Gap, where you take a right and wind around, and around, until you reach Mt. Elbert. Or you could just consult this map from the DIA website: Which brings up another question: Who was this Jackson? And what was the mysterious gap?

Maybe it was some missing signage.

From the Calhoun wake-up call archive: "DIA extending Final Approach hours and bathroom access: Pee at last!"

Have a tip? Send it to patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

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