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: Louisville
Fly + Drive:  8​h 15​min
1
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Ouray
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Aspen
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Vail
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
New Castle
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Louisville

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 3rd (Wed): admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Pagosa Springs travel route planner .

Louisville to Pagosa Springs is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Louisville to Pagosa Springs, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. In July, Pagosa Springs is slightly colder than Louisville - with highs of 81°F and lows of 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Piedra River Trail ©
Piedra River Trail
San Juan River Walk ©
San Juan River Walk
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa

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 5th (Fri), make a trip to Park Point, explore the ancient world of Far View Sites, explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and finally delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace. On the 6th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, steep yourself in history at Petroglyph Point Hike, and then explore the ancient world of Long House.

To plan Mesa Verde National Park vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

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 and bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Pagosa Springs in July: highs in Mesa Verde National Park hover around 90°F, while lows dip to 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Parks Trails
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Long House ©
Long House
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike

1
night
Durango

Originally a frontier mining town, Durango is known today for its scenic setting, outdoor activities, and the 1880s steam-powered railway that takes visitors through sections of the mountains where roads don't reach.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): trot along with a tour on horseback, examine the collection at Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum, and then trek along Animas River Trail.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Durango trip builder site .

Do a combination of taxi and bus from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 86°F in July, and nighttime lows around 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Durango

Outdoors Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Animas River Trail ©
Animas River Trail

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. On the 8th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Baby Bath Tubs Trail, then take in the dramatic scenery at Uncompahgre Gorge, then take in the dramatic scenery at Bear Creek Falls, and finally stroll through Bear Creek National Recreation Trail.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Ouray travel route planner .

You can drive from Durango to Ouray in 2 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Traveling from Durango in July, you will find days in Ouray are slightly colder (74°F), and nights are about the same (52°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Aspen.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls
Baby Bath Tubs Trail ©
Baby Bath Tubs Trail
Uncompahgre Gorge ©
Uncompahgre Gorge

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 9th (Tue), hike along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and then appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Aspen trip builder app .

Getting from Ouray to Aspen by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Ouray in July, expect nights in Aspen to be about the same, around 49°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 81°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Vail.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
The John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary

3
nights
Vail

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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): cast your line with a fishing tour. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of Frisco Historic Park and Museum, trek along Lily Pad Lake, and then grab your bike and head to Vail Recreation Path.

To see photos, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Vail trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Vail takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Aspen in July: highs in Vail hover around 65°F, while lows dip to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to New Castle.

Things to do in Vail

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Frisco Historic Park and Museum, Lily Pad Lake
Highlights from your plan
Lily Pad Lake ©
Lily Pad Lake
Frisco Historic Park and Museum ©
Frisco Historic Park and Museum

2
nights
New Castle

New Castle ©
The Town of New Castle is a Home Rule Municipality in Garfield County, Colorado, United States. You've now added Rocky Mountains to your itinerary.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the New Castle road trip website .

Traveling by car from Vail to New Castle takes 1.5 hours. When traveling from Vail in July, plan for much hotter days in New Castle, with highs around 91°F, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 57°F. On the 14th (Sun), you're off tohome.

Things to do in New Castle

Golf Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Rocky Mountains
Highlights from your plan
Rocky Mountains ©
Rocky Mountains

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