12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Fort Wayne
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Denver
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Ouray
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Shuttle + Fly:  9​h 30​min
End: Fort Wayne

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Dinosaur Ridge and then get curious at Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Denver travel itinerary planner .

Fort Wayne to Denver is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Fort Wayne to Denver due to the time zone difference. In September, daily temperatures in Denver can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Dinosaur Ridge, Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center
Highlights from your plan
Dinosaur Ridge ©
Dinosaur Ridge
Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center ©

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): explore the activities along Bierstadt Lake, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chapel on the Rock, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Mills Lake. On your second day here, trek along Flattop Mountain Trail, trek along Lily Lake Trailhead, then explore the striking landscape of Sheep Lakes, and finally appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook.

For reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Rocky Mountain National Park vacation maker tool .

Getting from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park by car takes about 2 hours. September in Rocky Mountain National Park sees daily highs of 81°F and lows of 50°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Aspen.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Chapel on the Rock ©
Chapel on the Rock
Bierstadt Lake ©
Bierstadt Lake
Many Parks Curve Overlook ©
Many Parks Curve Overlook

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): examine the collection at Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center, then hike along Snowmass Village Hiking Trails, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Castle Creek Road. On the 24th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Ute Cemetery, and then trek along Grottos Trail.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Aspen online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Aspen takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and flight. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in September: high temperatures in Aspen hover around 72°F and lows are around 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Snowmass Village, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area ©
Grottos Trail ©
Grottos Trail
Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center ©
Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center

2
nights
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 25th (Tue), take in the dramatic scenery at Uncompahgre Gorge and then stroll through Ophir Pass Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Wed): trek along Jud Wiebe Trail, stop by Telluride Truffle, and then take a stroll through Town Park.

To see more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Ouray trip planner .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Ouray takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and taxi. While traveling from Aspen, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Ouray, ranging from highs of 66°F to lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Telluride, Dennis Weaver Memorial Park
Highlights from your plan
Dennis Weaver Memorial Park ©
Dennis Weaver Memorial Park
Ophir Pass Trail ©
Ophir Pass Trail
Uncompahgre Gorge ©
Uncompahgre Gorge

2
nights
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. On the 27th (Thu), take in the exciting artwork at Lantern Dancer.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Pagosa Springs trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Ouray to Pagosa Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Traveling from Ouray in September, expect nights in Pagosa Springs to be about the same, around 44°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Chimney Rock National Monument ©
Chimney Rock National Monument
San Juan River Walk ©
San Juan River Walk
San Juan Historical Museum ©
San Juan Historical Museum

1
night
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 29th (Sat): make a trip to Park Point, then explore and take pictures at Ruins Road, and then explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park trip itinerary website .

You can drive from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Pagosa Springs in September, expect nights in Mesa Verde National Park to be about the same, around 45°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 80°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Scenic Drive Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace

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