12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel route builder

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Ouray
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive
5
Aspen
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Ouray

— 3 nights
Ouray is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yankee Boy Basin and Ouray County Museum. Escape the urban bustle at Perimeter Trail and Bear Creek Falls. Step out of Ouray to go to Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and see Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which is approximately 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Cascade Falls Park and stroll around Box Canyon Waterfall & Park.

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Ouray driving holiday planning site.

Atlanta to Ouray is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. When traveling from Atlanta in October, plan for much colder days and slightly colder nights in Ouray: temperatures range from 56°F by day to 37°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Pagosa Springs

— 2 nights
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 6th (Sat): take in the exciting artwork at Two Old Crows, then hike along Piedra River Trail, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Bath House (Hot Springs) @ The Springs Resort & Spa. Keep things going the next day: hike along San Juan River Walk, take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls, and then take in the exciting artwork at Handcrafted Interiors Art Gallery.

For ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Pagosa Springs online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Ouray to Pagosa Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Traveling from Ouray in October, expect nights in Pagosa Springs to be about the same, around 33°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to drive to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Mesa Verde National Park

— 2 nights
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 8th (Mon): delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and then steep yourself in history at Cliff Palace. On the 9th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get engrossed in the history at The Anasazi Heritage Center, admire the masterpieces at Notah Dineh Trading Company and Museum, and then hike along Petroglyph Point Hike.

To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park travel planning tool.

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, bus, and taxi. When traveling from Pagosa Springs in October, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Mesa Verde National Park: temperatures range from 69°F by day to 34°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Estes Park

— 1 night
More than just a convenient resting place for travelers on their way to the national park encompassing the Front Range of the Rockies, Estes Park is a popular place to visit in its own right.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): take a stroll through Downtown Estes Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get all the information you need at Estes Park Visitor Center, then hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, then explore the striking landscape of Sheep Lakes, and finally appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Estes Park trip itinerary planning tool.

You can fly from Mesa Verde National Park to Estes Park in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. In October in Estes Park, expect temperatures between 69°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Estes Park

Wildlife · Neighborhoods · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Aspen

— 2 nights

Rocky Mountain High

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): explore the activities along Crater Lake Trail, grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, and then stop by Snowmass Sports. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Sat): walk around The John Denver Sanctuary and then hike along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Aspen trip planner.

Traveling by car from Estes Park to Aspen takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Estes Park in October; daily highs in Aspen reach 60°F and lows reach 30°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.