20 days in Colorado Itinerary

20 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Canon City
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
Buena Vista
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Aspen
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Fruita
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
8
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
9
Durango
— 2 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Washington DC

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.
Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and Denver Zoo. Get a sense of the local culture at Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Molly Brown House Museum. Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, contemplate the long history of Union Station, take a stroll through 16th Street Mall, and admire all the interesting features of Coors Field.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Denver holiday site .

Washington DC to Denver is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC to Denver, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Washington DC in August, plan for little chillier nights in Denver, with lows around 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

4
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.
Get in touch with nature at Trail Ridge Road and Bear Lake. Go for a jaunt from Rocky Mountain National Park to Estes Park to see Earthwood Artisans about 36 minutes away. There's still lots to do: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, explore the activities along Dream Lake, stroll through Emerald Lake Trail, and explore and take pictures at Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Rocky Mountain National Park road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 2 hours. In August, daytime highs in Rocky Mountain National Park are 89°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Estes Park
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Hallett Peak ©
Hallett Peak

3
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.
Visiting Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak will get you outdoors. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Old Colorado City Historic District and National Museum of World War II Aviation. And it doesn't end there: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, explore the ancient world of Manitou Cliff Dwellings, get your game on at Battlefield Colorado, and admire the sheer force of Helen Hunt Falls.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Colorado Springs online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in August: highs in Colorado Springs hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Canon City.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Manitou Springs
Highlights from your plan
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
Penrose Heritage Museum ©
Penrose Heritage Museum

1
night
Canon City

Part of Colorado's Royal Gorge Region, Cañon City straddles the Arkansas River.
On the 26th (Sun), admire all the interesting features of Skyline Drive, see the interesting displays at Museum of Colorado Prisons, then do a tasting at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, and finally let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Canon City planner .

Traveling by car from Colorado Springs to Canon City takes 1.5 hours. While traveling from Colorado Springs, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Canon City, ranging from highs of 89°F to lows of 61°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Canon City

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Skyline Drive ©
Skyline Drive
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey ©
The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey

2
nights
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): get engrossed in the history at Buena Vista Heritage Museum, then head outdoors with Four Mile Recreation Area, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple Israel, don't miss a visit to Interlaken Historic District, then relax in the rural setting at Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy, and finally have fun at Buena Vista Boulder Garden.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Buena Vista trip builder website .

You can do a combination of car and bus from Canon City to Buena Vista in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Canon City in August, with highs in Buena Vista at 77°F and lows at 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Aspen.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Temple Israel, Interlaken Historic District
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Four Mile Recreation Area ©
Four Mile Recreation Area
Temple Israel ©
Temple Israel

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.
Visiting Maroon Bells and Hanging Lake Trail will get you outdoors. Take a break from Aspen with a short trip to Thermal Spas in Glenwood Springs, about 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable drive along Independence Pass, tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, and fly down the slopes at Aspen Snowmass.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Aspen tour planner.

You can drive from Buena Vista to Aspen in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 77°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Fruita.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Glenwood Springs, Aspen Snowmass
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Aspen Snowmass ©
Aspen Snowmass

1
night
Fruita

Fruita ©
The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. On the 1st (Sat), do a tasting at Varaison Vineyards and Winery, do a tasting at Meadery of the Rockies, then look for gifts at Enstrom's, then look for all kinds of wild species at Colorado National Monument, and finally take a stroll through Downtown Grand Junction.

To see reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Fruita online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Aspen to Fruita in 2.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Aspen in August; daily highs in Fruita reach 89°F and lows reach 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Fruita

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Grand Junction, Palisade
Highlights from your plan
Colorado National Monument ©
Colorado National Monument
Meadery of the Rockies ©
Meadery of the Rockies

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): delve into the distant past at Long House, delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and finally delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park sightseeing planning app .

Getting from Fruita to Mesa Verde National Park by car takes about 4.5 hours. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Fruita in September since evenings lows in Mesa Verde National Park dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can drive to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

2
nights
Durango

Durango ©
Originally a frontier mining town, Durango is known today for its scenic setting, outdoor activities, and the 1880s steam-powered railway that takes visitors through sections of the mountains where roads don't reach.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): enjoy the views from Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, make a trip to Historic Downtown Durango, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Durango travel app .

You can drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. In September, daytime highs in Durango are 77°F, while nighttime lows are 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Historic Downtown Durango ©
Historic Downtown Durango

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