12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado visit planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Durango
— 1 night
Drive
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Fruita
— 1 night
Drive
4
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive
6
Cañon City
— 1 night
Drive
7
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Durango — 1 night

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 5th (Mon): brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Durango Craft Spirits.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Durango trip itinerary site.

Charlotte to Durango is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Charlotte to Durango due to the time zone difference. In September, Durango is a bit cooler than Charlotte - with highs of 77°F and lows of 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.
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Adventure · Outdoors · Tours · Museums

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 7th (Wed): take a memorable drive along Ruins Road, hike along Petroglyph Point Hike, and then delve into the distant past at Long House. Here are some ideas for day two: don't miss a visit to Park Point, explore the ancient world of Far View Sites, 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 see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Mesa Verde National Park travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. In September, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Fruita.
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Historic Sites · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Trails

Fruita — 1 night

The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): stroll through Colorado National Monument and then explore the stunning scenery at McInnis Canyons Conservation Area.

To see reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Fruita trip maker site.

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Fruita in 4.5 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in September since evenings lows in Fruita dip to 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Aspen.
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Wildlife · Parks · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trip
Highlights from your trip

Aspen — 3 nights

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Maroon Bells and Hanging Lake Trail. There's still lots to do: take some stellar pictures from Independence Pass and hike along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

To find maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Aspen journey planner.

Getting from Fruita to Aspen by car takes about 2.5 hours. Traveling from Fruita in September, things will get slightly colder in Aspen: highs are around 72°F and lows about 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Buena Vista.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails
Side Trip

Buena Vista — 1 night

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): see a world frozen in time at Vicksburg, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then walk around McPhelemy Park, and finally see a world frozen in time at Winfield.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Buena Vista day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Aspen to Buena Vista takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Buena Vista can reach 73°F, while at night they dip to 42°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Cañon City.
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Adventure · Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Cañon City — 1 night

Part of Colorado's Royal Gorge Region, Cañon City straddles the Arkansas River.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): explore and take pictures at Skyline Drive, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then do a tasting at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Cañon City trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Buena Vista to Cañon City in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Buena Vista in September, with highs in Cañon City at 83°F and lows at 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Estes Park.
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Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Scenic Drive

Estes Park — 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour and then admire all the interesting features of Trail Ridge Road. On the next day, take a peaceful walk through Many Parks Curve Overlook and then trek along Emerald Lake Trail.

Start your trip to Estes Park by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Cañon City to Estes Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Cañon City in September, Estes Park is little chillier at night with lows of 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks
Side Trip

Colorado travel guide

4.3
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.
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