17 days in Colorado Itinerary

17 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Fly + Taxi:  4​h
1
Steamboat Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
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
— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Mon): hit the slopes at Yampa River Botanic Park. Here are some ideas for day two: fly down the slopes at Steamboat Gondola, take an in-depth tour of Tread of Pioneers Museum, and then trek along Yampa River Core Trail.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Steamboat Springs trip itinerary maker website .

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. The time zone difference when traveling from San Diego to Steamboat Springs is 1 hour. Traveling from San Diego in September, you will find days in Steamboat Springs are a bit cooler (72°F), and nights are cooler (40°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Yampa River Botanic Park ©
Yampa River Botanic Park
Tread of Pioneers Museum ©
Tread of Pioneers 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Spas & Wellness and Emerald Lake Trail. Visiting Trail Ridge Road and Sheep Lakes will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: cruise along Old Fall River Road, stroll through Estes Park Visitor Center, explore the activities along Lily Lake, and appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook.

To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Rocky Mountain National Park trip planner .

Drive from Steamboat Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Steamboat Springs in September, things will get a bit warmer in Rocky Mountain National Park: highs are around 81°F and lows about 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough 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 15th (Sat), look for all kinds of wild species at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop, and then explore the striking landscape at Red Rock Canyon. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape at Garden of the Gods, then explore the historical opulence of Glen Eyrie Castle, and then look for all kinds of wild species at North Cheyenne Canon Park and Starsmore Discovery Center.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Colorado Springs visit planning website .

You can drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Highlights from your plan
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center ©
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
North Cheyenne Canon Park ©
North Cheyenne Canon Park
Glen Eyrie Castle ©
Glen Eyrie Castle

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Maroon Lake Scenic Trail and The John Denver Sanctuary. Step out of the city life by going to Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail and Rocky Mountains. It doesn't end there: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Maroon Bells and get interesting insight from Tours.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Aspen trip itinerary builder tool .

You can fly from Colorado Springs to Aspen in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Colorado Springs in September, with highs in Aspen at 72°F and lows at 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Ouray.

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

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 Perimeter Trail will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall. Step out of Ouray to go to Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park and see Painted Wall, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: admire the sheer force of Box Canyon Waterfall & Park, stroll through Cascade Falls Park, and hike along Bear Creek Falls.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Ouray holiday maker app .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Ouray takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can 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 22nd (Sat) early enough 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
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Cascade Falls Park ©
Cascade Falls Park
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 23rd (Sun), trek along Piedra River Trail, savor the flavors at The Choke Cherry Tree, then stop by Made in Colorado Shoppe, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at The Springs Resort & Spa. On the 24th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the activities along San Juan River Walk, then identify plant and animal life at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls.

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

You can drive from Ouray to Pagosa Springs in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. When traveling from Ouray in September, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Pagosa Springs: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 44°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

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

2
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.
On the 25th (Tue), explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, trek along Petroglyph Point Hike, and then explore the ancient world of Long House. On the 26th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace, then explore the ancient world of Balcony House, and then hike along Spruce Canyon Trail.

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park road trip planner.

Drive from Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. When traveling from Pagosa Springs in September, plan for a bit warmer days in Mesa Verde National Park, with highs around 80°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Long House ©
Long House
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike

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