13 days in Colorado Itinerary

13 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Denver
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h
3
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Glenwood Springs
— 4 nights
+3
shuttle + Fly + bus + subway:  7​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, then cruise along Trail Ridge Road, and then take in the exciting artwork at Mountain Blown Glass. Keep things going the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then admire all the interesting features of Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, then view the masterpieces at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, and finally view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Estes Park trip app .

Washington DC to Estes Park is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC to Estes Park, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Washington DC in December, plan for slightly colder days in Estes Park, with highs around 46°F, while nights are colder with lows around 17°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Denver.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Scenic Drive Museums

Side Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Spas
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway ©
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

3
nights
Denver

Denver ©
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.
Change things up with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Idaho Springs (about 40 minutes away). The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Mount Evans, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Denver Zoo, steep yourself in history at Molly Brown House Museum, and sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Denver trip planning website .

Getting from Estes Park to Denver by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus. In December in Denver, expect temperatures between 43°F during the day and 19°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Tours Parks Museums

Side Trip

River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Mount Evans ©
Mount Evans

2
nights
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
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 25th (Wed): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pike's Peak - America's Mountain, and then view the masterpieces at Commonwheel Artists Co-op. On the next day, learn about all things military at National Museum of World War II Aviation, find something for the whole family at North Pole - Santa's Workshop, then stroll around Garden of the Gods, and finally deepen your knowledge of military history at United States Air Force Academy.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Colorado Springs route tool .

You can take a bus from Denver to Colorado Springs in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 45°F in December, and nighttime lows around 18°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, Commonwheel Artists Co-op
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ©
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): take in the natural beauty of Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then see a world frozen in time at Vicksburg.

To find reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Buena Vista trip maker app .

Getting from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Colorado Springs in December, expect Buena Vista to be little chillier, temps between 38°F and 13°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa ©
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa

4
nights
Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs ©
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.
Change things up with a short trip to The John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen (about 56 minutes away). The adventure continues: boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa, view the masterpieces at Cooper Corner Gallery, pause for some photo ops at Doc Holliday's Grave, and hike along Hanging Lake Trail.

To see maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Glenwood Springs day trip website .

You can drive from Buena Vista to Glenwood Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Buena Vista in December, expect nights in Glenwood Springs to be about the same, around 15°F, while days are little chillier, around 26°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Rocky Mountains, The John Denver Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Rocky Mountains ©
Rocky Mountains
Thermal Spas
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

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