16 days in Colorado Itinerary

16 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Wenatchee
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  10​h 45​min
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Durango
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
3
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Canon City
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Bus:  1​h
7
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  9​h 45​min
End: Wenatchee

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Sun): explore the ancient world of Long House, contemplate the long history of Balcony House, and then delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Wenatchee to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Wenatchee to Mesa Verde National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Wenatchee in September, expect nights in Mesa Verde National Park to be about the same, around 45°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 80°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to drive to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Mon): explore the galleries of Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, admire the masterpieces at Earthen Vessel Gallery, then stop by Animas Chocolate Company, and finally relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Honeyville, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Purgatory Resort, and then take in the natural beauty of Trimble Hot Springs.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Durango online trip maker .

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. In September in Durango, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 44°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Durango

Outdoors Tours Parks
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Purgatory Resort ©
Purgatory Resort

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 19th (Wed): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Maroon Bells. Here are some ideas for day two: take a memorable drive along Independence Pass and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Aspen road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Durango to Aspen takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and car. When traveling from Durango in September, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Aspen: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 41°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): take in nature's colorful creations at Buena Vista Boulder Garden, experience rural life at Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Buena Vista trip planning tool .

Getting from Aspen to Buena Vista by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. September in Buena Vista sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 42°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Canon City.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Adventure Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy ©
Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy

1
night
Canon City

Part of Colorado's Royal Gorge Region, Cañon City straddles the Arkansas River.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): head outdoors with Royal Gorge Anglers and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Canon City online road trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus and car from Buena Vista to Canon City in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Buena Vista in September, things will get somewhat warmer in Canon City: highs are around 83°F and lows about 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Canon City

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Royal Gorge Anglers ©
Royal Gorge Anglers

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, then examine the collection at Michael Garman Museum & Gallery, and then go for a walk through Pikes Peak. Here are some ideas for day two: explore and take pictures at United States Air Force Academy, then identify plant and animal life at Garden of the Gods, then view the masterpieces at Commonwheel Artists Co-op, and finally get your game on at Battlefield Colorado.

For traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Colorado Springs visit website .

Drive from Canon City to Colorado Springs in 1.5 hours. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Canon City in September since evenings lows in Colorado Springs dip to 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can take a bus to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Commonwheel Artists Co-op
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ©
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

3
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Denver: River Rafting & Tubing (in Idaho Springs) and Flatirons (in Boulder). There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens, meet the residents at Denver Zoo, explore and take pictures at Coors Field, and look and learn at Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Denver road trip planner.

Take a bus from Colorado Springs to Denver in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In September, daily temperatures in Denver can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Flatirons, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Coors Field ©
Coors Field
Mount Evans ©
Mount Evans

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 Rocky Mountain National Park with a short trip to Earthwood Artisans in Estes Park, about 36 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, hike along Emerald Lake Trail, look for gifts at Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures, and explore the activities along Bear Lake.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Rocky Mountain National Park travel planner.

Getting from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in September, and nighttime lows around 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Outdoors Scenic Drive Parks

Side Trip

Estes Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Horseback Riding Tours
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway ©
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

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