18 days in Colorado Itinerary

18 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Denver
1
Denver
— 2 nights
Bus:  1​h
2
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Vail
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Steamboat Springs
— 2 nights
Bus + Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Estes Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
End: Denver

2
nights
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Mount Evans Scenic Byway and Colorado State Capitol. Escape the urban bustle at Mount Evans and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with a short trip to Pearl Street Mall in Boulder (about 32 minutes away). There's still lots to do: get curious at Denver Museum of Nature & Science and take in nature's colorful creations at Denver Botanic Gardens.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Denver visit planner .

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Denver. In July, plan for daily highs up to 87°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Outdoors Parks Museums

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, Pearl Street Mall
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Mount Evans Scenic Byway ©
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Mount Evans ©
Mount Evans

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, then explore and take pictures at Pikes Peak, and then take in the exciting artwork at Navajo Gallery & Gifts. On the 19th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Miramont Castle Museum, then get in on the family fun at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, and then expand your understanding of the military at United States Air Force Academy.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Colorado Springs planner .

You can take a bus from Denver to Colorado Springs in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. In July, plan for daily highs up to 86°F, and evening lows to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Theme Parks Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Manitou Springs
Highlights from your plan
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park ©
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
Miramont Castle Museum ©
Miramont Castle Museum

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. Start off your visit on the 20th (Sat): take in the natural beauty of The Springs Resort & Spa, look for all kinds of wild species at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trot along with a tour on horseback, get a taste of the local shopping with Handcrafted Interiors Art Gallery, then delve into the distant past at Chimney Rock National Monument, and finally look for gifts at Made in Colorado Shoppe.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Pagosa Springs online vacation planner .

You can drive from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Colorado Springs in July; daily highs in Pagosa Springs reach 81°F and lows reach 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park ©
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park
Chimney Rock National Monument ©
Chimney Rock National Monument
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Clear Creek Reservoir, witness a stunning natural landmark at Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find other places to visit and more tourist information, refer to the Buena Vista tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Pagosa Springs to Buena Vista in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In July, daytime highs in Buena Vista are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Adventure Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa ©
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa
Clear Creek Reservoir ©
Clear Creek Reservoir

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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and Independence Pass. Step out of Aspen to go to Glenwood Springs and see Hanging Lake Trail, which is approximately 1h 20 min away. It doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at White River National Forest and take in the awesome beauty at Maroon Bells.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Aspen trip planner.

Drive from Buena Vista to Aspen in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Aspen can reach 81°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Vail.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Glenwood Springs, White River National Forest
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
White River National Forest ©
White River National Forest
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

2
nights
Vail

Originally built as a base for Vail Ski Resort, the town of Vail has blossomed into its own destination, but still has less than 6,000 permanent residents.
On the 26th (Fri), indulge your thirst for a good beer at Broken Compass Brewery & Tap House, make a trip to Main Street, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. On your second day here, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Vail Mountain Resort and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Vail day trip planner .

You can drive from Aspen to Vail in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Aspen in July, you will find days in Vail are little chillier (65°F), and nights are about the same (49°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can drive to Steamboat Springs.

Things to do in Vail

Outdoors Adventure Winter Sports

Side Trips

Breckenridge, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing

2
nights
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 28th (Sun): witness a stunning natural landmark at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, then take in the dramatic scenery at Fish Creek Falls, and then hit the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort. Keep things going the next day: trek along Thunderhead Hiking Trail, look for gifts at F.M. Light & Sons, and then tee off at The Steamboat Golf Club.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Steamboat Springs trip maker site .

Traveling by car from Vail to Steamboat Springs takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Vail in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Steamboat Springs: temperatures range from 82°F by day to 49°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Fish Creek Falls ©
Fish Creek Falls
Steamboat Ski Resort ©
Steamboat Ski Resort
F.M. Light & Sons ©
F.M. Light & Sons

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Photography Tours and New Belgium Brewing. Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Trail Ridge Road. Take a break from Estes Park with a short trip to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, about 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: learn about winemaking at Snowy Peaks Winery and admire all the interesting features of Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

For ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Estes Park sightseeing tool .

You can do a combination of bus and car from Steamboat Springs to Estes Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In July, Estes Park is somewhat warmer than Steamboat Springs - with highs of 91°F and lows of 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to drive back home.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Tours Scenic Drive

Side Trips

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

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