17 days in Colorado, Utah & New Mexico Itinerary

17 days in Colorado, Utah & New Mexico Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner
Make it your trip
— 3 nights
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
— 2 nights
Salt Lake City
— 2 nights
— 3 nights
Santa Fe
— 4 nights


Denver — 3 nights

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Colorado Model Railroad Museum and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. National Museum of World War II Aviation and Molly Brown House Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Get out of town with these interesting Denver side-trips: Annual Flower Trial Garden (in Fort Collins), Benson Park Sculpture Garden (in Loveland) and Garden of the Gods (in Colorado Springs). The adventure continues: admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens and examine the collection at Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Denver tour planner.

London, UK to Denver is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Denver is minus 7 hours. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in May, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Mesa Verde National Park.
Museums · Parks · Shopping · Childrens Museums
Side Trips

Mesa Verde National Park — 2 nights

Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
On the 10th (Tue), delve into the distant past at Far View Sites and then delve into the distant past at Long House. On your second day here, explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, contemplate the long history of Balcony House, and then contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park online travel planner.

Fly from Denver to Mesa Verde National Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or do a combination of bus, car, and taxi. While traveling from Denver, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Mesa Verde National Park, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Moab.
Historic Sites

Moab — 2 nights

The gateway to Utah's popular canyon country, Moab sits engulfed in the middle of desert wilderness.
On the 12th (Thu), take in the dramatic natural features at Arches National Park and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. On the 13th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then see Off-Road Tours.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Moab visit planning app.

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Moab in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Moab, with lows of 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Salt Lake City.
Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Nature

Salt Lake City — 2 nights

Utah's capital and most populous city, Salt Lake City boasts a small-town feel, big-city amenities, and plenty of nature on its doorstep.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): examine the collection at Land Cruiser Heritage Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of the Madeleine, and then view the masterpieces at Art at the Main Gallery. On the next day, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Salt Lake Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple Square, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of The Tabernacle.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Salt Lake City trip planning site.

Getting from Moab to Salt Lake City by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car and train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Albuquerque.
Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks

Albuquerque — 3 nights

Albuquerque remains one of the state's secret jewels, as its tourist attractions are often overshadowed by the more popular holiday destination of Santa Fe.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Bandelier National Monument and San Felipe de Neri Church. Let the collections at New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center capture your imagination. The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Albuquerque Old Town, get curious at Explora Science Center and Children's Museum, and explore the striking landscape at Petroglyph National Monument.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Albuquerque online trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Salt Lake City to Albuquerque takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in May, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Santa Fe.
Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
Side Trip

Santa Fe — 4 nights

Santa Fe continuously ranks among the world's top holiday destinations, attracting visitors with its unusual combination of scenic beauty, rich history, cultural diversity, and high concentration of performing arts venues, fine restaurants, and interesting attractions.
Let the collections at Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Mama's Minerals capture your imagination. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Loretto Chapel and Canyon Road. Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, see the interesting displays at Museum of International Folk Art, view the masterpieces at Nedra Matteucci Galleries, and don't miss a visit to ViVO Contemporary.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Santa Fe trip builder website.

Drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Albuquerque in May since evenings lows in Santa Fe dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can fly back home.
Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods

Colorado travel guide

River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.

Utah travel guide

Geologic Formations · Hiking Trails · Canyons
The Beehive State
A huge but sparsely populated land, Utah remains a major holiday destination offering plenty of year-round outdoor vacation ideas, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and camping. The rugged terrain, defined by towering mountain peaks, deep canyons, and vast deserts, seems custom-made for adventurous nature lovers. With five national parks, the state has no shortage of pristine wilderness areas, causing many tourists to overlook the cultural attractions of its towns. Salt Lake City, the state's capital, features the headquarters of the Mormon Church, and draws over 5 million annual visitors. Utah also hosts several major film festivals each year, attracting young movie buffs from around the world.

New Mexico travel guide

Specialty Museums · Geologic Formations · Historic Walking Areas
Land of Enchantment
New Mexico is a land of distinctive regional cuisine and a thriving art scene, centered around the state's cosmopolitan urban centers. Once a Spanish colony claimed by 16th-century conquistadores, New Mexico remains the home of a large Spanish-speaking population and plenty of historical places to visit. The state also contains many Native American communities, sheltering a traditional way of life irretrievably lost in most other places in the country. With large tracts of sparsely inhabited land, the state is a great vacation destination for those who want to discover one of the world's last truly untamed regions, interspersed by only a few ancient pueblos and centuries-old missionary churches.