Denver is the largest airport in the USA by area, covering 53 square miles of flat land to the east of the city. It was built to replace the crowded Stapleton Airport, and opened in 1995. It is known for having six runways, all of them 12,000ft (3,658m) long, apart from the 16,000ft (4,877m) 16R/34L. Given the airport’s altitude, long take-off runs are often required, necessitating these long runways. It has three terminals – A, B and C
Terminal A hosts Frontier and is the best terminal for spotting. Inside, walk to the end of the terminal where there are large glass windows. This overlooks the commuter aircraft, and across to the United gates. This is the best spot for covering most movements, although the airport is so big and has so many runways that it is impossible to cover everything.
Terminals B and C also both have large windows at their gates, which offer views of aircraft moving around.
There are a few other spotting locations around the perimeter:
- Valley Head St
At the southern end of the airport, a small parking area is close to aircraft shortly before landing on runway 35L, and has (more distant) views of aircraft approaching 35R. To reach the spot, turn off Pena Blvd before it turns towards the terminals, onto Jackson Gap Rd. Follow this and take the first right then keep going until you reach a T-junction and turn left onto Valley Head St. The parking area is on your right.
- 114th Avenue
When on Pena Blvd heading towards the airport, turn off onto Tower Road heading north. Follow this to 96th Ave East and turn right. The road will turn left, then right before reaching the approach path to runways 34L/R. Aircraft will pass you at close quarters when arriving or departing.
Denver Spotting Hotel
Westin Denver Airport
8300 Peña Blvd, Denver, CO 80249 | +1 303 317 1800 | www.westindenverairport.com
A new hotel near the main terminal building. High floor rooms at either end of the building look out over the nearer parking stands and runways, and you can see movements elsewhere at a distance. This is a large airport, so it’s hard to catch everything.