12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel route planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly:  8​h 15​min
1
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Fruita
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Canon City
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Charlotte

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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Wed): brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Durango Craft Spirits.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Durango trip simple and quick.

Charlotte to Durango is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and shuttle; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Charlotte to Durango due to the time zone difference. Expect little chillier evenings in Durango when traveling from Charlotte in July, with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to drive to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Durango Craft Spirits ©
Durango Craft Spirits
Scenic Aperture Gallery ©
Scenic Aperture Gallery

2
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.
On the 2nd (Fri), take a memorable drive along Ruins Road, then hike along Petroglyph Point Hike, and then explore the ancient world of Long House. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Park Point, appreciate the extensive heritage of Far View Sites, 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.

For more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park trip planner .

You can drive from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 86°F in August, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) to allow time to travel to Fruita.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

1
night
Fruita

Fruita ©
The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 4th (Sun): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Colorado National Monument and then hike along McInnis Canyons Conservation Area.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Fruita trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Mesa Verde National Park to Fruita by car takes about 4.5 hours. Traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in August, Fruita is a bit warmer at night with lows of 61°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Fruita

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Colorado National Monument ©
Colorado National Monument

3
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.
Get outdoors at Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Go for a jaunt from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to see Hanging Lake Trail about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and cruise along Independence Pass.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Aspen travel planner.

Drive from Fruita to Aspen in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Fruita in August, things will get little chillier in Aspen: highs are around 77°F and lows about 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Hanging Lake Trail
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 8th (Thu): mingle with the ghosts of the past at Vicksburg, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then walk around McPhelemy Park, and finally mingle with the ghosts of the past at Winfield.

For traveler tips, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Buena Vista road trip website .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Buena Vista takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Buena Vista, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 47°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Canon City.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Canon City

Part of Colorado's Royal Gorge Region, Cañon City straddles the Arkansas River.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): cruise along Skyline Drive, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then learn about winemaking at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.

To find maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read Canon City online day trip planner .

Drive from Buena Vista to Canon City in 2 hours. Traveling from Buena Vista in August, expect Canon City to be a bit warmer, temps between 89°F and 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can go by car to Estes Park.

Things to do in Canon City

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Skyline Drive ©
Skyline Drive
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey ©
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey

2
nights
Estes Park

Estes Park ©
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 (Sat): capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour and then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road. On your second day here, admire the verdant scenery at Many Parks Curve Overlook and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Emerald Lake Trail.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Estes Park road trip site .

Getting from Canon City to Estes Park by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Traveling from Canon City in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Estes Park, with lows of 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Photography Tours
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail

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