15 days in Colorado Itinerary

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Steamboat Springs
— 1 night
Drive
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Ouray
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Steamboat Springs

— 1 night

Ski Town USA

An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
On the 6th (Tue), take an in-depth tour of Tread of Pioneers Museum and then hike along Yampa River Core Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Yampa River Botanic Park and then fly down the slopes at Steamboat Gondola.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Steamboat Springs trip planner.

Washington DC to Steamboat Springs is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Washington DC in August, expect nights in Steamboat Springs to be cooler, around 46°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 79°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Trails

Rocky Mountain National Park

— 4 nights
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
Take a break from the city and head to Emerald Lake Trail and The Beach at Grand Lake. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Old Fall River Road and Estes Park Visitor Center. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rocky Mountain National Park: Never Summer Mountain Products (in Grand Lake) and New Belgium Brewing Company (in Fort Collins). There's lots more to do: view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, take a peaceful walk through Many Parks Curve Overlook, hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour, and take a stroll through Downtown Estes Park.

Plan my trip to Rocky Mountain National Park with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from Steamboat Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and car. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Steamboat Springs in August, with highs in Rocky Mountain National Park at 89°F and lows at 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Aspen

— 2 nights

Rocky Mountain High

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.
On the 12th (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and then stroll around The John Denver Sanctuary. On your second day here, explore the activities along Crater Lake Trail, grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, and then hike along Lost Man Trail.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Aspen trip itinerary builder website.

Getting from Rocky Mountain National Park to Aspen by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, bus, and flight; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in August, expect Aspen to be little chillier, temps between 77°F and 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Ouray

— 3 nights
Ouray is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yankee Boy Basin and Museum of the Mountain West. Get outdoors at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Perimeter Trail. Take a break from Ouray with a short trip to Bear Creek Falls in Telluride, about 58 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Ouray Alchemist Museum, walk around Box Canyon Waterfall & Park, and hike along Cascade Falls Park.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Ouray trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Aspen to Ouray in 4 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. While traveling from Aspen, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Ouray, ranging from highs of 70°F to lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Pagosa Springs

— 2 nights
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Sat): trek along Piedra River Trail, trek along San Juan River Walk, and then take in the natural beauty of Bath House (Hot Springs) @ The Springs Resort & Spa. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the exciting artwork at Handcrafted Interiors Art Gallery, stroll through Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, and then admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Pagosa Springs road trip app.

You can drive from Ouray to Pagosa Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. When traveling from Ouray in August, plan for somewhat warmer days in Pagosa Springs, with highs around 77°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): examine the collection at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, then delve into the distant past at Balcony House, and then delve into the distant past at Long House.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park itinerary planner.

You can drive from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Pagosa Springs in August, expect nights in Mesa Verde National Park to be about the same, around 53°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 86°F. On the 20th (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites · Museums

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.