12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado holiday planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Fort Lauderdale
Fly + shuttle:  9​h 45​min
1
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Ouray
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
Aspen
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
6
Vail
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  12​h
End: Fort Lauderdale

1
night
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 5th (Mon): relax and rejuvenate at The Springs Resort & Spa, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, then identify plant and animal life at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Pagosa Springs attractions planner.

Fort Lauderdale to Pagosa Springs is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Pagosa Springs due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Fort Lauderdale in August, plan for a bit cooler days in Pagosa Springs, with highs around 77°F, while nights are colder with lows around 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park ©
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa

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 6th (Tue): delve into the distant past at Long House, tour the pleasant surroundings at Petroglyph Point Hike, then explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, then explore the ancient world of Balcony House, and finally explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace.

To find photos, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park day trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. When traveling from Pagosa Springs in August, plan for somewhat warmer days in Mesa Verde National Park, with highs around 86°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): fly down the slopes at Purgatory Resort, then trot along with a tour on horseback, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Animas River Trail.

For where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Durango tour planning site .

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. In August, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can go by car to Ouray.

Things to do in Durango

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Animas River Trail ©
Animas River Trail
Purgatory Resort ©
Purgatory Resort

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. Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): go deep underground at Idarado Mine, explore the striking landscape at Yankee Boy Basin, tour the pleasant surroundings at Perimeter Trail, then trek along Bear Creek Falls, and finally stroll around Box Canyon Waterfall & Park.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Ouray fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Durango to Ouray in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. When traveling from Durango in August, plan for slightly colder days in Ouray, with highs around 70°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Bear Creek Falls, Idarado Mine
Highlights from your plan
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls
Perimeter Trail ©
Perimeter Trail

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 9th (Fri): grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, then get interesting insight from Tours, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, and finally admire all the interesting features of The John Denver Sanctuary.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Aspen trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Ouray to Aspen takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Ouray in August, you will find days in Aspen are a bit warmer (77°F), and nights are about the same (46°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) to allow time to drive 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

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): grab your bike and head to Vail Recreation Path, go for a walk through Vail Pass Path, get your game on at Vail Valley Escape Room, then examine the collection at Walking Mountains Science Center, and finally examine the collection at Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, use the Vail trip app .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Vail takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. While traveling from Aspen, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Vail, ranging from highs of 62°F to lows of 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Vail

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Beaver Creek, Vail Pass Path
Highlights from your plan
Vail Valley Escape Room ©
Vail Valley Escape Room
Walking Mountains Science Center ©
Walking Mountains Science Center

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ouzel Falls and Coyote Valley Trail. Escape the urban bustle at Hallett Peak and Deer Mountain. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapel on the Rock, delve into the lush surroundings at Many Parks Curve Overlook, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Sheep Lakes, and get great views at Milner Pass.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Rocky Mountain National Park trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Vail to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 3.5 hours. When traveling from Vail in August, plan for much warmer days in Rocky Mountain National Park, with highs around 89°F, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 56°F. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Wed) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Coyote Valley Trail
Highlights from your plan
Deer Mountain ©
Deer Mountain
Ouzel  Falls ©
Ouzel Falls
Chapel on the Rock ©
Chapel on the Rock

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