15 days in Colorado Itinerary

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Detroit
Fly:  6​h 30​min
1
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Aspen
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Detroit

2
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.
Popular historic sites such as Union Station and St. John's Cathedral are in your itinerary. You'll explore and learn at Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Denver Art Museum. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of 16th Street Mall, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Denver Zoo, savor the flavors at The Source, and admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens.

For maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Denver itinerary builder website .

Detroit to Denver is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also drive; or take a train. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Detroit to Denver due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Detroit in September, Denver is little chillier at night with lows of 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Art Museum ©
Denver Art Museum
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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.
On the 11th (Tue), relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, and then get great views at Farview Curve Overlook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Hallett Peak, then contemplate the waterfront views at Bear Lake, and then view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Rocky Mountain National Park travel route planning website .

Traveling by car from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 2 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Nature Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Images of Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Bear Lake ©
Bear Lake
Hallett Peak ©
Hallett Peak

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.
Get outdoors at Garden of the Gods and River Rafting & Tubing. Popular historic sites such as Old Colorado City Historic District and Manitou Cliff Dwellings are in your itinerary. And it doesn't end there: take in the pleasant sights at Pikes Peak, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, look for gifts at The Glassblowers of Manitou, and get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Colorado Springs attractions planner .

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in September, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Manitou Springs, North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain

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 16th (Sun): get interesting insight from Tours, then get engrossed in the history at Buena Vista Heritage Museum, and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Elevation Beer Company.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Buena Vista vacation planning site .

Drive from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Colorado Springs in September, with highs in Buena Vista at 73°F and lows at 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Elevation Beer Company
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Elevation Beer Company ©
Elevation Beer Company
Buena Vista Heritage Museum ©
Buena Vista Heritage Museum

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Go for a jaunt from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to see Thermal Spas about 1h 25 min away. Next up on the itinerary: cruise along Independence Pass and appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Aspen vacation planner .

Getting from Buena Vista to Aspen by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In September in Aspen, expect temperatures between 72°F during the day and 41°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Durango.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Thermal Spas
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Thermal Spas

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 20th (Thu), examine the collection at Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, stop by Earthen Vessel Gallery, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Durango day trip website .

Fly from Aspen to Durango in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car, bus, and shuttle. September in Durango sees daily highs of 77°F and lows of 44°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Earthen Vessel Gallery ©
Earthen Vessel 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 21st (Fri), explore the ancient world of Long House, then explore the ancient world of Balcony House, and then steep yourself in history at Cliff Palace.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park travel 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 September, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 45°F. On the 22nd (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

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