12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
5
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Minneapolis

2
nights
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Estes Park side-trips: Boulder (Chautauqua Park, Flatirons, & more). There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, and take in the exciting artwork at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Estes Park holiday builder app .

Minneapolis to Estes Park is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Minneapolis to Estes Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Minneapolis in September, expect nights in Estes Park to be a bit cooler, around 50°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 81°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Boulder
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Photography Tours
Horseback Riding Tours

3
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.
Step out of Colorado Springs to go to Canon City and see River Rafting & Tubing, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. Next up on the itinerary: walk around Garden of the Gods, take in the pleasant sights at Pike's Peak - America's Mountain, appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Colorado City, and find something for the whole family at North Pole - Santa's Workshop.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Colorado Springs journey planner .

Drive from Estes Park to Colorado Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In September, daily temperatures in Colorado Springs can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Adventure

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
River Rafting & Tubing
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): mingle with the ghosts of the past at Winfield, witness a stunning natural landmark at Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Buena Vista road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Colorado Springs in September, expect Buena Vista to be little chillier, temps between 73°F and 42°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Aspen.

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
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): take in the awesome beauty at Maroon Bells. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and then cruise along Independence Pass.

Plan trip to Aspen with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Getting from Buena Vista to Aspen by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. September in Aspen sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 41°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

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

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): trek along Emerald Lake Trail, then cruise along Trail Ridge Road, and then get great views at Forest Canyon Overlook. On your second day here, explore the activities along Bear Lake, take a memorable drive along Old Fall River Road, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapel on the Rock.

To see maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Rocky Mountain National Park online travel route builder .

You can drive from Aspen to Rocky Mountain National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Aspen in September, with highs in Rocky Mountain National Park at 81°F and lows at 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors Parks Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Bear Lake ©
Bear Lake
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail

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