12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly + taxi:  9​h
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Durango
— 1 night
shuttle:  1​h 30​min
3
Telluride
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Glenwood Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
5
Aspen
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
6
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
7
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
8
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Charlotte

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): delve into the distant past at Long House, then delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and finally delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House.

For where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park trip maker website .

Charlotte to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Charlotte in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Mesa Verde National Park, with lows of 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to drive to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sun): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then take a memorable tour with Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Durango day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; 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 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Telluride.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Telluride

Telluride ©
The town of Telluride is the county seat and most populous town of San Miguel County in the southwestern portion of the U.S. On the 15th (Mon), steep yourself in history at New Sheridan Hotel, wander the streets of Town Park, then don't miss a visit to Alpine Chapel, then admire the sheer force of Bear Creek Falls, and finally make a trip to Idarado Mine.

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Telluride journey planner.

Take a shuttle from Durango to Telluride in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Durango in July, plan for little chillier days in Telluride, with highs around 74°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to drive to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Telluride

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Idarado Mine
Highlights from your plan
New Sheridan Hotel ©
New Sheridan Hotel
Alpine Chapel ©
Alpine Chapel
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls

1
night
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.
On the 16th (Tue), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Glenwood Springs tour planner .

Drive from Telluride to Glenwood Springs in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Telluride in July, plan for little chillier days in Glenwood Springs, with highs around 68°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Spas Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
Thermal Spas
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): cruise along Independence Pass and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Aspen itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Glenwood Springs to Aspen takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Glenwood Springs in July: highs in Aspen hover around 81°F, while lows dip to 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Aspen

Outdoors Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass

1
night
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.
On the 18th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Miramont Castle Museum and then stroll around Garden of the Gods.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Colorado Springs driving holiday planning website .

You can fly from Aspen to Colorado Springs in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. Traveling from Aspen in July, Colorado Springs is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to catcht the bus to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Miramont Castle Museum
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Miramont Castle Museum ©
Miramont Castle Museum

2
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.
On the 19th (Fri), see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, get a taste of the local shopping with Denver Botanic Gardens, then admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, and finally take a stroll through 16th Street Mall.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Denver trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Colorado Springs to Denver takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In July, daytime highs in Denver are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

2
nights
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve ©
Keep things going the next day: explore the fascinating landscape at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve trip itinerary maker site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Denver to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve when traveling from Denver in July, with lows around 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Mosca
Highlights from your plan
Great Sand Dunes National Park ©
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Zapata Falls ©
Zapata Falls

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