15 days in Colorado Itinerary

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+3
subway + bus + Fly + taxi:  6​h 30​min
1
Steamboat Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Ouray
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  9​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

1
night
Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs ©
An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Tread of Pioneers Museum and then trek along Yampa River Core Trail. On your second day here, hit the slopes at Yampa River Botanic Park and then fly down the slopes at Steamboat Gondola.

For reviews and other tourist information, go to the Steamboat Springs online travel route planner .

Washington DC to Steamboat Springs is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of subway, bus, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington DC to Steamboat Springs is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Washington DC in August, expect nights in Steamboat Springs to be much colder, around 46°F, while days are slightly colder, 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

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Yampa River Botanic Park ©
Yampa River Botanic Park
Tread of Pioneers Museum ©
Tread of Pioneers Museum

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to The Beach at Grand Lake and Old Fall River Road. Do some cultural sightseeing at Snowy Peaks Winery and Images of Rocky Mountain National Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rocky Mountain National Park: New Belgium Brewing (in Fort Collins) and Never Summer Mountain Products (in Grand Lake). And it doesn't end there: hike along Emerald Lake Trail, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, identify plant and animal life at Many Parks Curve Overlook, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Rocky Mountain National Park day trip planner .

You can drive from Steamboat Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and car. Plan for somewhat 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

Side Trips

Estes Park, Grand Lake, New Belgium Brewing Company
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Old Fall River Road ©
Old Fall River Road
Snowy Peaks Winery ©
Snowy Peaks Winery

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Mon): trek along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, admire all the interesting features of The John Denver Sanctuary, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. On the 13th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Crater Lake Trail, grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, and then stroll through Lost Man Trail.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Aspen trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Aspen in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and flight. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in August; daily highs in Aspen reach 77°F and lows reach 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Crater Lake Trail ©
Crater Lake Trail
The John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary

3
nights
Ouray

Ouray ©
Ouray is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States. Get a sense of the local culture at Ouray Alchemist Museum and Museum of the Mountain West. Visiting Cascade Falls Park and Yankee Boy Basin will get you outdoors. When in Ouray, make a side trip to see Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, approximately 1h 30 min away. Next up on the itinerary: admire all the interesting features of Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall, trek along Bear Creek Falls, tour the pleasant surroundings at Perimeter Trail, and admire the sheer force of Box Canyon Waterfall & Park.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Ouray sightseeing planning website .

Getting from Aspen to Ouray by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, bus, and taxi. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Aspen in August: highs in Ouray hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 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 Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Bear Creek Falls, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Museum of the Mountain West
Highlights from your plan
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Perimeter Trail ©
Perimeter Trail

2
nights
Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs ©
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, then contemplate the waterfront views at San Juan River Walk, and then take in the natural beauty of The Springs Resort & Spa. On your second day here, take in the exciting artwork at Handcrafted Interiors Art Gallery, then identify plant and animal life at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, and then admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls.

To see photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Pagosa Springs road trip tool .

You can drive from Ouray to Pagosa Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. While traveling from Ouray, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Pagosa Springs, ranging from highs of 77°F to lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can drive to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Piedra River Trail ©
Piedra River Trail
San Juan River Walk ©
San Juan River Walk
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park ©
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): see the interesting displays at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, contemplate the long history of Balcony House, and then delve into the distant past at Long House.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park route site .

Getting from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: 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. You will have some time to spend on the 20th (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum ©
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum
Long House ©
Long House
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House

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