17 days in Colorado & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

17 days in Colorado & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

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17 days in Colorado & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

Start: Atlanta
Fly:  5​h
1
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
La Junta
— 1 night
Drive:  9​h
3
Grand Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Durango
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
6
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
8
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Greeley
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Atlanta

1
night
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 8th (Mon), admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Colorado City Historic District. Here are some ideas for day two: have some family-friendly fun at Battlefield Colorado, then look for all kinds of wild species at Garden of the Gods, then take an in-depth tour of Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and finally look for gifts at Downtown Manitou Springs.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Colorado Springs itinerary builder app .

Atlanta to Colorado Springs is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Atlanta to Colorado Springs. Traveling from Atlanta in April, expect nights in Colorado Springs to be much colder, around 33°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to La Junta.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Manitou Springs
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Manitou Cliff Dwellings ©
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Old Colorado City ©
Old Colorado City

1
night
La Junta

La Junta ©
La Junta is the city that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Otero County, Colorado, United States. On the 10th (Wed), see the interesting displays at Koshare Indian Museum and then steep yourself in history at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read La Junta travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Colorado Springs to La Junta takes 2 hours. Traveling from Colorado Springs in April, expect nights in La Junta to be about the same, around 38°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in La Junta

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Koshare Indian Museum ©
Koshare Indian Museum

1
night
Grand Canyon National Park

The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
On the 11th (Thu), steep yourself in history at Hermit's Rest and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rim Trail. Keep things going the next day: take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon South Rim, then see the interesting displays at Yavapai Geology Museum, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Grand Canyon National Park travel planning website .

Traveling by car from La Junta to Grand Canyon National Park takes 11 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. In April, Grand Canyon National Park is little chillier than La Junta - with highs of 62°F and lows of 26°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Hermit's Rest ©
Hermit's Rest
Yavapai Geology Museum ©
Yavapai Geology Museum

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace, then delve into the distant past at Balcony House, then explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, and finally stroll through Farming Terraces.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Grand Canyon National Park to Mesa Verde National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of car and bus. April in Mesa Verde National Park sees daily highs of 65°F and lows of 29°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Balcony House ©
Balcony House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House

1
night
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 14th (Sun): look for gifts at Animas Chocolate Company, don't miss a visit to Historic Downtown Durango, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Durango trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. In April, daytime highs in Durango are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 28°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Denver.

Things to do in Durango

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Historic Downtown Durango ©
Historic Downtown Durango
Animas Chocolate Company ©
Animas Chocolate Company

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.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Molly Brown House Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Union Station and 16th Street Mall. There's lots more to do: admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Denver Zoo, indulge your taste buds at The Source, and explore and take pictures at Coors Field.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Denver online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Durango to Denver by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Denver when traveling from Durango in April, with lows around 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Cherry Creek State Park
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Union Station ©
Denver Union Station
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): examine the collection at Red Rose Rock Shop & Dick's Rock Museum, then trot along with a tour on horseback, then learn about winemaking at Snowy Peaks Winery, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Images of Rocky Mountain National Park. On the 19th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures, wander the streets of Downtown Estes Park, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Estes Park trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Denver to Estes Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In April in Estes Park, expect temperatures between 64°F during the day and 35°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Estes Park

Neighborhoods Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
Downtown Estes Park ©
Downtown Estes Park
Red Rose Rock Shop & Dick's Rock Museum ©

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.
Explore Rocky Mountain National Park's surroundings by going to Winter Park Resort (in Winter Park) and Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (in Walden). Next up on the itinerary: get to know the fascinating history of Wild Basin Area, contemplate the waterfront views at Bear Lake, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Hallett Peak.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Rocky Mountain National Park trip maker website .

Rocky Mountain National Park is just a short distance from Estes Park. In April, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 35°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can travel to Greeley.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, Winter Park Resort
Highlights from your plan
Winter Park Resort ©
Winter Park Resort
Wild Basin Area ©
Wild Basin Area
Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge ©
Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge

2
nights
Greeley

Greeley ©
The City of Greeley is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Weld County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): admire the natural beauty at Benson Park Sculpture Garden, examine the collection at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and then admire the masterpieces at Swetsville Zoo.

Plan trip to Greeley with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Greeley in 2 hours. In April, daytime highs in Greeley are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 32°F. On the 24th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Greeley

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Benson Park Sculpture Garden, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Swetsville Zoo
Highlights from your plan
Benson Park Sculpture Garden ©
Benson Park Sculpture Garden
Swetsville Zoo ©
Swetsville Zoo
Pawnee National Grasslands ©
Pawnee National Grasslands

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