11 days in Colorado Itinerary

11 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly + Drive:  5​h 30​min
1
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h
2
Palisade
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
5
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Houston

few
hours
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park ©
The Gunnison River has been hard at work over the past two million years, carving out the sheer cliffs and towering spires that today make up Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
On the 10th (Tue), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park road trip site .

Houston to Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In July, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park is a bit cooler than Houston - with highs of 89°F and lows of 60°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to travel to Palisade.

Things to do in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Palisade

Palisade ©
Palisade is a Statutory Town in Mesa County, Colorado, United States. On the 11th (Wed), learn about winemaking at Varaison Vineyards and Winery, learn about winemaking at Meadery of the Rockies, learn about winemaking at Mesa Park Vineyards, then do a tasting at Hermosa Vineyards, and finally learn about winemaking at Talon Winery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Thu): wander the streets of Downtown Grand Junction, take in the awesome beauty at Grand Mesa, then learn about winemaking at Carlson Vineyards Winery & Tasting Room, and finally make a trip to The Blue Pig Gallery.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Palisade travel route planner.

Drive from Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park to Palisade in 2 hours. In July in Palisade, expect temperatures between 93°F during the day and 64°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Palisade

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trip

Grand Junction
Highlights from your plan
Hermosa Vineyards ©
Hermosa Vineyards
Varaison Vineyards and Winery ©
Varaison Vineyards and Winery

1
night
Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs ©
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): delve into the distant past at Chimney Rock National Monument, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Pagosa Springs trip itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Palisade to Pagosa Springs in 5 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Palisade in July, with highs in Pagosa Springs at 81°F and lows at 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Chimney Rock National Monument ©
Chimney Rock National Monument

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Long House and The Anasazi Heritage Center. Get a sense of the local culture at Hovenweep National Monument and Petroglyph Point Hike. And it doesn't end there: delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, steep yourself in history at Balcony House, hike along Farming Terraces, and see the interesting displays at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum.

To find ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Mesa Verde National Park driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Pagosa Springs in July, you will find days in Mesa Verde National Park are a bit warmer (90°F), and nights are about the same (56°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Parks Trails

Side Trips

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

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): get all the information you need at Estes Park Visitor Center, then get a taste of the local shopping with Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, then wander the streets of Downtown Estes Park, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Red Rose Rock Shop & Dick's Rock Museum, then learn about winemaking at Snowy Peaks Winery, then cruise along Trail Ridge Road, and finally appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook.

For where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Estes Park trip maker app .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Mesa Verde National Park to Estes Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 91°F in July, and nighttime lows around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Neighborhoods Scenic Drive Outdoors

Side Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Downtown Estes Park ©
Downtown Estes Park
Snowy Peaks Winery ©
Snowy Peaks Winery
Images of Rocky Mountain National Park ©

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Garden of the Gods, then find something for the whole family at North Pole - Santa's Workshop, and then identify plant and animal life at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, explore the historical opulence of Glen Eyrie Castle, and then identify plant and animal life at North Cheyenne Canon Park and Starsmore Discovery Center.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Colorado Springs trip planner.

Traveling by car from Estes Park to Colorado Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Estes Park in July: highs in Colorado Springs hover around 86°F, while lows dip to 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Highlights from your plan
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center ©
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Glen Eyrie Castle ©
Glen Eyrie Castle
North Cheyenne Canon Park ©
North Cheyenne Canon Park

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