12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Glenwood Springs
— 1 night
Fly
2
Durango
— 1 night
Drive
3
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Fly
4
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive
5
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

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Glenwood Springs

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): test the waters at a local thermal spa. On the 1st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Hanging Lake Trail, then pause for some photo ops at Doc Holliday's Grave, and then admire the majestic nature at Rifle Gap State Park.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Glenwood Springs road trip planning tool.

Salt Lake City to Glenwood Springs is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Expect colder weather when traveling from Salt Lake City in March: highs in Glenwood Springs hover around 35°F, while lows dip to 21°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Durango.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Parks · Spas · Trails · Nature

Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): don't miss a visit to Historic Downtown Durango, then take a memorable tour with Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, and then do a tasting at Fox Fire Farms Winery. Keep things going the next day: indulge in some personalized pampering at Durango Hot Springs, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Earthen Vessel Gallery.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Durango trip builder tool.

Traveling by flight from Glenwood Springs to Durango takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Glenwood Springs in April, you will find days in Durango are much warmer (62°F), and nights are about the same (28°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Tours · Adventure · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

Mesa Verde National Park

— 1 night
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 4th (Sat): trek along Farming Terraces, delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then explore the ancient world of Balcony House, and finally contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Mesa Verde National Park trip planner.

Traveling by car from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle and taxi. In April, daytime highs in Mesa Verde National Park are 65°F, while nighttime lows are 29°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Estes Park.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites · Trails · Outdoors · Parks

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 5th (Sun): appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, then contemplate the waterfront views at Bierstadt Lake, and then kick back and relax at The Beach at Grand Lake. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Earthwood Artisans, then look for gifts at Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures, then shop like a local with Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Wild Basin Area.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Estes Park vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Fly from Mesa Verde National Park to Estes Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in April, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 35°F in Estes Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Denver.

Things to do in Estes Park

Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

Denver

— 3 nights

Mile-High City

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.
16th Street Mall and St. John's Cathedral are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Museum-lovers will get to explore Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Denver Art Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Denver: Pearl Street Mall (in Boulder) and Southlands (in Aurora). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Denver Union Station, get a sense of history and politics at Colorado Governor's Mansion, stop by Belmar, and get to know the resident critters at Denver Zoo.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Denver vacation planner.

You can drive from Estes Park to Denver in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Estes Park in April, you will find days in Denver are slightly colder (59°F), and nights are about the same (34°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Colorado Springs

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, then stroll around Garden of the Gods, and then get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City. On the 11th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about all things military at National Museum of World War II Aviation and then steep yourself in history at McAllister House.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Colorado Springs trip planner.

You can drive from Denver to Colorado Springs in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and flight. In April, daily temperatures in Colorado Springs can reach 60°F, while at night they dip to 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Neighborhoods

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.