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: Detroit
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
2
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Glenwood Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Durango
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Detroit

1
night
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
National Landmark red cliffs and the even more striking Pikes Peak mountain attracts tourism to Colorado Springs.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral and then take in the dramatic natural features at Garden of the Gods. Keep things going the next day: learn about all things military at National Museum of World War II Aviation, examine the collection at Penrose Heritage Museum, then explore the ancient world of Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and finally take a stroll through Old Colorado City Historic District.

Make your Colorado Springs itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Detroit to Colorado Springs is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Detroit to Colorado Springs due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Detroit in December, expect nights in Colorado Springs to be little chillier, around 18°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to catcht the bus to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Highlights from your plan
Manitou Cliff Dwellings ©
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Old Colorado City Historic District ©

3
nights
Denver

Denver ©
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate 16th Street Mall and Molly Brown House Museum. Get a sense of the local culture at Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Denver: Boulder (Dairy Arts Center, Liberty Puzzles, & more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Union Station, admire the landmark architecture of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, and get curious at Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center.

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

Getting from Colorado Springs to Denver by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and train. In December, plan for daily highs up to 43°F, and evening lows to 19°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Boulder, Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center
Highlights from your plan
Denver Union Station ©
Denver Union Station
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver Art Museum ©
Denver Art Museum

1
night
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 26th (Wed): take an in-depth tour of Eagle Plume's, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapel on the Rock, then cruise along Trail Ridge Road, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Wild Basin Area.

Make your Rocky Mountain National Park itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 2 hours. December in Rocky Mountain National Park sees daily highs of 46°F and lows of 17°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to drive to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Scenic Drive Outdoors Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Chapel on the Rock ©
Chapel on the Rock
Wild Basin Area ©
Wild Basin Area

2
nights
Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs ©
Glenwood Springs occupies a scenic location at the junction of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, halfway between Vail and Aspen along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): trek along Hanging Lake Trail and then boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa. On the 28th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Rifle Gap State Park, take in the exciting artwork at Cooper Corner Gallery, and then look for gifts at Gene Taylor Sports.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Glenwood Springs trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Rocky Mountain National Park to Glenwood Springs by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and train. When traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in December, plan for much colder days in Glenwood Springs, with highs around 26°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Durango.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Outdoors Parks Spas

Side Trips

Gene Taylor Sports, Rifle Gap State Park
Highlights from your plan
Rifle Gap State Park ©
Rifle Gap State Park
Thermal Spas
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

1
day
Durango

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.
On the 29th (Sat), take an in-depth tour of Animas Museum, stop by Earthen Vessel Gallery, take in the exciting artwork at Scenic Aperture Gallery, then do a tasting at Four Leaves Winery, and finally see the interesting displays at Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Durango online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Glenwood Springs to Durango by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Traveling from Glenwood Springs in December, expect nights in Durango to be about the same, around 13°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Museums Tours Wineries
Highlights from your plan
Earthen Vessel Gallery ©
Earthen Vessel Gallery
Four Leaves Winery ©
Four Leaves Winery

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): take a memorable drive along Ruins Road, then delve into the distant past at Balcony House, and then contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace. On the next day, make a trip to Park Point, appreciate the extensive heritage of Far View Sites, then delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, and finally delve into the distant past at Long House.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Mesa Verde National Park vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle and taxi. December in Mesa Verde National Park sees daily highs of 44°F and lows of 15°F at night. On the 1st (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

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