15 days in Colorado Itinerary

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado trip maker

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Route & dates

15 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + shuttle:  7​h 30​min
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Ouray
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Steamboat Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
End: Chicago

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.
On the 8th (Sat), delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park day trip app .

Chicago to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Chicago to Mesa Verde National Park. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Chicago in September since evenings lows in Mesa Verde National Park dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Long House ©
Long House
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

1
night
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. Start off your visit on the 10th (Mon): witness a stunning natural landmark at The Springs Resort & Spa, then explore the activities along San Juan River Walk, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls.

For photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Pagosa Springs trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Pagosa Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and shuttle; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and shuttle. Traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in September, expect nights in Pagosa Springs to be about the same, around 44°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa
San Juan River Walk ©
San Juan River Walk

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. Visiting Yankee Boy Basin and Box Canyon Waterfall & Park will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Cascade Falls Park. When in Ouray, make a side trip to see Painted Wall in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: make a trip to Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall, admire the sheer force of Bear Creek Falls, and trek along Perimeter Trail.

For photos and tourist information, you can read our Ouray trip planner .

Traveling by car from Pagosa Springs to Ouray takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. When traveling from Pagosa Springs in September, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Ouray: temperatures range from 66°F by day to 45°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Cascade Falls Park ©
Cascade Falls Park
Perimeter Trail ©
Perimeter Trail

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail. Visiting Maroon Bells and Rocky Mountains will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports and appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Aspen travel planner .

You can drive from Ouray to Aspen in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Traveling from Ouray in September, expect nights in Aspen to be about the same, around 41°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 72°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Steamboat Springs.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Rocky Mountains, Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail
Highlights from your plan
Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail ©
Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Rocky Mountains ©
Rocky Mountains

1
night
Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs ©
An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
On the 17th (Mon), look for gifts at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, then trek along Yampa River Core Trail, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Yampa River Botanic Park.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Steamboat Springs trip maker .

Drive from Aspen to Steamboat Springs in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. In September in Steamboat Springs, expect temperatures between 72°F during the day and 40°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Yampa River Botanic Park ©
Yampa River Botanic Park
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore ©
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Emerald Lake Trail and Many Parks Curve Overlook. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Spas & Wellness and Estes Park Visitor Center. The adventure continues: explore and take pictures at Trail Ridge Road, take a stroll through Downtown Estes Park, do a tasting at Snowy Peaks Winery, and cruise along Old Fall River Road.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Rocky Mountain National Park tour itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of bus and car from Steamboat Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park in 3.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Steamboat Springs in September, with highs in Rocky Mountain National Park at 81°F and lows at 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors Parks Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Estes Park
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
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.
On the 21st (Fri), take in the dramatic natural features at Red Rock Canyon, take in the dramatic natural features at Garden of the Gods, and then step into the grandiose world of Glen Eyrie Castle. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Pikes Peak - America's Mountain and then explore the activities along Manitou Springs Incline.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Colorado Springs day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in September, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Manitou Springs Incline
Highlights from your plan
Manitou Springs Incline ©
Manitou Springs Incline
Glen Eyrie Castle ©
Glen Eyrie Castle
Red Rock Canyon Open Space ©
Red Rock Canyon Open Space

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