13 days in Colorado Itinerary

13 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Fly + taxi:  6​h 30​min
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Durango
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 45​min
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
4
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Denver
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h
6
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h
End: San Diego

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Tue): delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Mesa Verde National Park road trip planning app .

San Diego to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Diego to Mesa Verde National Park. While traveling from San Diego, expect little chillier days and colder nights in Mesa Verde National Park, ranging from highs of 69°F to lows of 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can go by car to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

1
night
Durango

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.
On the 4th (Thu), take in the exciting artwork at Toh-Atin Gallery, then explore the world behind art at Earthen Vessel Gallery, then examine the collection at Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Historic Downtown Durango.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Durango trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in October, and nighttime lows around 32°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Historic Downtown Durango ©
Historic Downtown Durango
Earthen Vessel Gallery ©
Earthen Vessel Gallery

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): take in the awesome beauty at Maroon Bells. Keep things going the next day: appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary, then mingle with the ghosts of the past at Holden Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, and then don't miss a visit to Independence Pass.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Aspen trip maker .

Getting from Durango to Aspen by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and car. Traveling from Durango in October, you will find days in Aspen are little chillier (60°F), and nights are about the same (30°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
The John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary

2
nights
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): take some stellar pictures from Farview Curve Overlook, explore and take pictures at Trail Ridge Road, and then explore the activities along Bear Lake. On the 8th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Emerald Lake Trail, explore and take pictures at Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Rocky Mountain National Park journey builder website .

You can drive from Aspen to Rocky Mountain National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Aspen in October, with highs in Rocky Mountain National Park at 69°F and lows at 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Denver.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors Scenic Drive Parks

Side Trip

Peak to Peak Scenic Byway
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
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.
Take a break from Denver with a short trip to Flatirons in Boulder, about 34 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in nature's colorful creations at Denver Botanic Gardens, stroll through Denver Zoo, pick up some local products at The Source, and contemplate the long history of Union Station.

For maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Denver trip planner .

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Denver takes 2 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to take a bus to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Parks Museums Tours

Side Trip

Flatirons
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Beer Tastings & Tours
Coors Field ©
Coors Field

3
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.
Take a break from Colorado Springs with a short trip to River Rafting & Tubing in Canon City, about 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Garden of the Gods, take in the pleasant sights at Pikes Peak, get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop, and admire all the interesting features of United States Air Force Academy.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Colorado Springs holiday builder 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 67°F in October, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, Commonwheel Artists Co-op, North Pole - Santa's Workshop
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
River Rafting & Tubing

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