11 days in Colorado Itinerary

11 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel planner

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Route & dates

11 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Louisville
Fly + taxi:  8​h
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Ouray
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Aspen
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Vail
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Estes Park
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Louisville

2
nights
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.
On the 13th (Tue), explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace, explore the ancient world of Balcony House, then delve into the distant past at Long House, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Far View Sites.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park trip planner.

Louisville to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. Traveling from Louisville in August, plan for a bit cooler nights in Mesa Verde National Park, with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cortez, The Anasazi Heritage Center
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Hovenweep National Monument ©
Hovenweep National Monument
The Anasazi Heritage Center ©
The Anasazi Heritage Center

1
night
Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. On the 16th (Fri), take in the natural beauty of The Springs Resort & Spa, then pedal to the sights with Bike Tours, and then admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls.

Plan my Pagosa Springs trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Pagosa Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. While traveling from Mesa Verde National Park, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Pagosa Springs, ranging from highs of 77°F to lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa

1
night
Ouray

Ouray ©
Ouray is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Perimeter Trail, admire the sheer force of Bear Creek Falls, then steep yourself in history at Yankee Girl Mine, and finally explore the striking landscape at Yankee Boy Basin.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Ouray trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Pagosa Springs to Ouray takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Traveling from Pagosa Springs in August, you will find days in Ouray are little chillier (70°F), and nights are about the same (49°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Perimeter Trail ©
Perimeter Trail
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls

1
night
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 18th (Sun), examine the collection at Holden Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then trek along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Aspen trip planner .

Drive from Ouray to Aspen in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Ouray in August: highs in Aspen hover around 77°F, while lows dip to 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Vail.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Holden Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum ©

1
night
Vail

Originally built as a base for Vail Ski Resort, the town of Vail has blossomed into its own destination, but still has less than 6,000 permanent residents.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Vail road trip planning tool .

Drive from Aspen to Vail in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Aspen in August: highs in Vail hover around 62°F, while lows dip to 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Vail

Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours

4
nights
Estes Park

Estes Park ©
More than just a convenient resting place for travelers on their way to the national park encompassing the Front Range of the Rockies, Estes Park is a popular place to visit in its own right.
Images of Rocky Mountain National Park and Patterson Glassworks Studio & Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Trail Ridge Road and Photography Tours. Get out of town with these interesting Estes Park side-trips: Rocky Mountain National Park (Old Fall River Road & Alluvial Fan). There's much more to do: hike along Emerald Lake Trail, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get all the information you need at Estes Park Visitor Center, and admire the verdant scenery at Many Parks Curve Overlook.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Estes Park trip planner.

Getting from Vail to Estes Park by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Vail in August, you will find days in Estes Park are much hotter (89°F), and nights are somewhat warmer (56°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Scenic Drive Parks

Side Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Alluvial Fan ©
Alluvial Fan
Old Fall River Road ©
Old Fall River Road

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