12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel planner

Make it your trip
Drive to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Fly to Denver International Airport
1
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Steamboat Springs
— 2 nights
Unknown

S M T W T F S
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Denver

— 3 nights

Mile-High City

Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Get out of town with these interesting Denver side-trips: Estes Park (Spas, Off-Road Tours, &more) and Trail Ridge Road (in Rocky Mountain National Park). There's lots more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Denver Botanic Gardens, meet the residents at Denver Zoo, explore the world behind art at Denver Art Museum, and pause for some serene contemplation at Trinity United Methodist Church.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Denver trip planner.

Columbus to Denver is an approximately 10.5-hour combination of car and flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Columbus to Denver, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Columbus in December, plan for a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Denver: temperatures range from 43°F by day to 19°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can go by car to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Museums · Outdoors · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Colorado Springs

— 2 nights
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 28th (Sat): meet the residents at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and then look for gifts at Commonwheel Artists Co-op. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: walk around Garden of the Gods, visit Old Colorado City, and then deepen your knowledge of military history at United States Air Force Academy.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Colorado Springs travel route app.

Traveling by car from Denver to Colorado Springs takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and flight. Expect a daytime high around 45°F in December, and nighttime lows around 18°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Aspen

— 3 nights

Rocky Mountain High

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Thermal Spas (in Glenwood Springs) and Carbondale Branch Library (in Carbondale). And it doesn't end there: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Maroon Bells, appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary, take a memorable drive along Independence Pass, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Aspen trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Colorado Springs to Aspen by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Colorado Springs in December, expect Aspen to be a bit cooler, temps between 35°F and 10°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Steamboat Springs.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trips

Steamboat Springs

— 2 nights

Ski Town USA

An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): witness a stunning natural landmark at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, get your game on at The Crooked Key, and then fly down the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Steamboat Springs travel planner.

Getting from Aspen to Steamboat Springs by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. When traveling from Aspen in January, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Steamboat Springs: temperatures range from 27°F by day to 7°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.