17 days in Colorado Itinerary

17 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado trip planner

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Route & dates

17 days in Colorado Itinerary

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

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 10th (Mon): fly down the slopes at Yampa River Botanic Park. On the 11th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: fly down the slopes at Steamboat Gondola, then explore the galleries of Tread of Pioneers Museum, and then trek along Yampa River Core Trail.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Steamboat Springs trip planner .

San Diego to Steamboat Springs is an approximately 4-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Diego to Steamboat Springs due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Diego in September, you will find days in Steamboat Springs are little chillier (72°F), and nights are cooler (40°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can travel to Denver.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

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

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): take a memorable drive along Mount Evans Scenic Byway.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Denver trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Steamboat Springs to Denver takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Steamboat Springs in September, things will get somewhat warmer in Denver: highs are around 79°F and lows about 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Outdoors Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Mount Evans Scenic Byway ©
Mount Evans Scenic Byway

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Emerald Lake Trail and Hallett Peak. Get in touch with nature at Old Fall River Road and Many Parks Curve Overlook. Change things up with a short trip to Cache La Poudre Wilderness in Livermore (about 1h 05 min away). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Downtown Estes Park, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Estes Park Visitor Center.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Rocky Mountain National Park trip itinerary maker website .

You can drive from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can go by car to Aspen.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Estes Park, Cache La Poudre Wilderness
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Old Fall River Road ©
Old Fall River Road
Cache La Poudre Wilderness ©
Cache La Poudre Wilderness

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.
Get outdoors at Rio Grande Trail and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore hidden gems such as Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail and Hanging Lake. And it doesn't end there: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Rocky Mountains, appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary, and trek along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

To plan Aspen vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Aspen in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and flight. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in September: high temperatures in Aspen hover around 72°F and lows are around 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Ouray.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Glenwood Springs, Rocky Mountains
Highlights from your plan
Hanging Lake ©
Hanging Lake
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Rocky Mountains ©
Rocky Mountains

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 outdoors at Perimeter Trail and Box Canyon Waterfall & Park. Step off the beaten path and head to Bear Creek Falls and Painted Wall. 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. And it doesn't end there: admire the sheer force of Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall, stroll through Yankee Boy Basin, and trek along Cascade Falls Park.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Ouray road trip planner .

You can drive from Aspen to Ouray in 4.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car, bus, and taxi. While traveling from Aspen, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Ouray, ranging from highs of 66°F to lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Painted Wall ©
Painted Wall
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. On the 22nd (Sat), relax and rejuvenate at The Springs Resort & Spa, explore the activities along San Juan River Walk, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls. Keep things going the next day: stop by Made in Colorado Shoppe, then look for all kinds of wild species at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, then indulge your taste buds at The Choke Cherry Tree, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedra River Trail.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Pagosa Springs online trip maker .

Getting from Ouray to Pagosa Springs by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. When traveling from Ouray in September, plan for somewhat warmer days in Pagosa Springs, with highs around 72°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

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

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Hovenweep National Monument and Petroglyph Point Hike. Visit Spruce Tree House and Long House for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to The Anasazi Heritage Center (in Dolores) and Notah Dineh Trading Company and Museum (in Cortez). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Balcony House, delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace, and don't miss a visit to Park Point.

To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Mesa Verde National Park travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Pagosa Springs in September: highs in Mesa Verde National Park hover around 80°F, while lows dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Cortez, The Anasazi Heritage Center
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Hovenweep National Monument ©
Hovenweep National Monument
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House

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