18 days in Colorado Itinerary

18 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado holiday planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  8​h
1
Aspen
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Fruita
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  5​h 45​min
4
Canon City
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Buena Vista
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Estes Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Denver
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Philadelphia

4
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.
Visit South Park City Museum and Ute Cemetery for their historical value. Step out of the city life by going to Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Aspen: Thermal Spas (in Glenwood Springs) and Marble Distilling Co. & The Distillery Inn (in Carbondale). Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable drive along Independence Pass, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and identify plant and animal life at Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Aspen driving holiday planner .

Philadelphia to Aspen is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and car; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Philadelphia to Aspen. While traveling from Philadelphia, expect slightly colder days and colder nights in Aspen, ranging from highs of 72°F to lows of 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Fruita.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

South Park City Museum, Thermal Spas, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, Marble Distilling Co. & The Distillery Inn
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

1
night
Fruita

Fruita ©
The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. On the 9th (Mon), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Colorado National Monument and then look for all kinds of wild species at McInnis Canyons Conservation Area.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Fruita trip planner .

You can drive from Aspen to Fruita in 2.5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Aspen in September, with highs in Fruita at 81°F and lows at 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Fruita

Nature Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Colorado National Monument ©
Colorado National Monument

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): explore the striking landscape at Square Tower House, then hike along Petroglyph Point Hike, then hike along Nordenskiold #16 Trail, and finally explore the ancient world of Long House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): make a trip to Park Point, don't miss a visit to Far View Sites, then delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then contemplate the long history of Balcony House, and finally contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Fruita to Mesa Verde National Park in 4.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Fruita in September since evenings lows in Mesa Verde National Park dip to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Canon City.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

1
night
Canon City

Part of Colorado's Royal Gorge Region, Cañon City straddles the Arkansas River.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation, explore the different monuments and memorials at Mt Pisgah Cemetery, and then do a tasting at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. On the next day, examine the collection at Museum of Colorado Prisons, then take a memorable drive along Skyline Drive, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Canon City trip itinerary planner.

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Mesa Verde National Park to Canon City in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in September since evenings lows in Canon City dip to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Canon City

Outdoors Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation, Mt Pisgah Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation ©
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation
Skyline Drive ©
Skyline Drive

2
nights
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sat): tee off at Rocky Mountain Mini Golf and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the next day, see a world frozen in time at Winfield, then mingle with the ghosts of the past at Vicksburg, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Deerhammer Distillery.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Buena Vista vacation planning website .

Getting from Canon City to Buena Vista by car takes about 2 hours. In September, Buena Vista is slightly colder than Canon City - with highs of 73°F and lows of 42°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Estes Park.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Outdoors Golf Adventure

Side Trip

Salida
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Spas
Deerhammer Distillery ©
Deerhammer Distillery

3
nights
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Photography Tours and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with these side-trips from Estes Park: New Belgium Brewing (in Fort Collins) and Trail Ridge Road (in Rocky Mountain National Park). Next up on the itinerary: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, sample the fine beverages at Dancing Pines Distillery, appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Rock Cut Brewing Company.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Estes Park holiday builder website .

Traveling by car from Buena Vista to Estes Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of car and flight. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Buena Vista in September: high temperatures in Estes Park hover around 81°F and lows are around 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Denver.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Collins
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Photography Tours

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 Union Station and Holy Ghost Catholic Church will appeal to history buffs. There's lots more to do: enjoy some music at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, sample the fine beverages at Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour, take a stroll through 16th Street Mall, and experience the excitement of Back In A Flash Chiropractic & Massage.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Denver trip planner .

You can drive from Estes Park to Denver in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In September, daily temperatures in Denver can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Denver

Historic Sites Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Denver Union Station ©
Denver Union Station
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour ©
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall

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