11 days in Colorado & Utah Itinerary

11 days in Colorado & Utah Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Colorado & Utah Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + Shuttle:  7​h 30​min
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Moab
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
5
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
End: Chicago


Learn more about your trip

1
night
Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park ©
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park holiday planner .

Chicago to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Chicago to Mesa Verde National Park due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Chicago, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Mesa Verde National Park, ranging from highs of 90°F to lows of 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to drive to Moab.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

2
nights
Moab

Moab ©
The gateway to Utah's popular canyon country, Moab sits engulfed in the middle of desert wilderness.
On the 1st (Wed), explore the striking landscape of Arches National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu): get interesting insight from Tours and then admire the majestic nature at Dead Horse Point State Park.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Moab road trip site .

Getting from Mesa Verde National Park to Moab by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. In July, Moab is a bit warmer than Mesa Verde National Park - with highs of 97°F and lows of 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Moab

Outdoors Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Arches National Park ©
Arches National Park
Dead Horse Point State Park ©
Dead Horse Point State Park
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

2
nights
Aspen

Aspen ©
Known as a ski resort town, Aspen's history goes back to its roots as a silver-mining village tucked away in an isolated valley of the Rocky Mountains.
On the 3rd (Fri), take in the awesome beauty at Maroon Bells. Keep things going the next day: trek along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and then take a memorable drive along Independence Pass.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Aspen driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Moab to Aspen takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or fly. Traveling from Moab in August, expect Aspen to be slightly colder, temps between 77°F and 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. On the 5th (Sun), witness a stunning natural landmark at Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To see ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Buena Vista trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Buena Vista takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 77°F, and evening lows to 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa ©
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa

2
nights
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at The Beach at Grand Lake, then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, and then admire the verdant scenery at Many Parks Curve Overlook. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Emerald Lake Trail, then explore the activities along Dream Lake, and then explore the activities along Bear Lake.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Rocky Mountain National Park trip maker tool .

You can drive from Buena Vista to Rocky Mountain National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Buena Vista in August, things will get somewhat warmer in Rocky Mountain National Park: highs are around 89°F and lows about 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can go by car to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

The Beach at Grand Lake
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Bear Lake ©
Bear Lake

2
nights
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Garden of the Gods, examine the collection at Michael Garman Museum & Gallery, and then go for a walk through Pikes Peak. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get your game on at Battlefield Colorado, then get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop, and then meet the residents at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Colorado Springs trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in August, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Colorado Springs: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Battlefield Colorado ©
Battlefield Colorado

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