16 days in Badlands National Park & Colorado Itinerary

16 days in Badlands National Park & Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States route maker

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Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
2
Estes Park
— 3 nights
3
Steamboat Springs
— 3 nights
4
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
— 1 night
5
Durango
— 1 night
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 3 nights
7
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
— 3 nights

1
night
Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park ©
Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Badlands National Park, Ben Reifel Visitor Center and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. On the 17th (Sat), explore the striking landscape of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, get all the information you need at Ben Reifel Visitor Center, and then explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park.

For other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Badlands National Park tour planner.

Madison to Badlands National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Madison in August, expect nights in Badlands National Park to be about the same, around 58°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 87°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

3
nights
Estes Park

Estes Park ©
More than just a convenient resting place for travelers on their way to the national park encompassing the Front Range of the Rockies, Estes Park is a popular place to visit in its own right.
You've now added Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, explore the striking landscape at Alluvial Fan, then look for gifts at Rocky Mountain Gateway Gift Shop, and finally admire all the interesting features of Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. On the 20th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the activities along Bear Lake, have some family-friendly fun at Tiny Town Miniature Golf, and then find something for the whole family at Estes Park Ride-A-Kart & Cascade Creek Mini-Golf.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Estes Park day trip website.

You can fly from Badlands National Park to Estes Park in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, daily temperatures in Estes Park can reach 89°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Steamboat Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Nature · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Bear Lake ©
Bear Lake
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway ©
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

3
nights
Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs ©
An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
Attractions like Strawberry Park Hot Springs and Holy Name Catholic Church make great kid-friendly stops. There's more to do: have fun at Howelsen Ice Complex.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Steamboat Springs online trip builder.

Drive from Estes Park to Steamboat Springs in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Estes Park in August: high temperatures in Steamboat Springs hover around 79°F and lows are around 46°F. You will have some time to spend on the 24th (Sat) before leaving for Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Nature · Fun & Games · Parks
Highlights from your plan
Howelsen Ice Complex ©
Howelsen Ice Complex
Holy Name Catholic Church ©
Holy Name Catholic Church

1
night
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park ©
The Gunnison River has been hard at work over the past two million years, carving out the sheer cliffs and towering spires that today make up Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Pulpit Rock Overlook as well as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): cruise along South Rim Road, take in the awesome beauty at Pulpit Rock Overlook, and then explore the stunning scenery at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from Steamboat Springs to Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park takes 5 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Steamboat Springs in August, with highs in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park at 85°F and lows at 56°F. You will have some time to spend on the 25th (Sun) before leaving for Durango.

Things to do in Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Pulpit Rock Overlook ©
Pulpit Rock Overlook
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park ©

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.
To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Durango road trip planning site.

Getting from Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park to Durango by car takes about 3.5 hours. Traveling from Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park in August, plan for little chillier nights in Durango, with lows around 51°F. On the 26th (Mon), you'll travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Outdoors · Parks · Tours

3
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Mesa Verde National Park as well as Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mesa Verde National Park: Four Corners Monument (in Teec Nos Pos), The Anasazi Heritage Center (in Dolores) and Shiprock Rock Formation (in Shiprock). And it doesn't end there: delve into the distant past at Long House, contemplate the long history of Balcony House, examine the collection at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, and hike along Petroglyph Point Hike.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle and taxi. August in Mesa Verde National Park sees daily highs of 86°F and lows of 53°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to travel to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Four Corners Monument, The Anasazi Heritage Center, Shiprock Rock Formation
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

3
nights
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve ©
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve: Mission: Wolf (in Gardner), Bishop Castle (in Rye) and Fort Garland (Los Caminos Antiguos, Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center, &more).

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve trip website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Mesa Verde National Park to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in August, with highs in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve at 80°F and lows at 45°F. You'll set off for home on the 1st (Sun).

Things to do in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Fort Garland, Mission: Wolf, Bishop Castle
Highlights from your plan
High Dune Trail ©
High Dune Trail
Mission: Wolf ©
Mission: Wolf
Bishop Castle ©
Bishop Castle

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