22 days in Colorado & Montana Itinerary

22 days in Colorado & Montana Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States Trip Planner

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Route & dates

22 days in Colorado & Montana Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Cortez
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Ouray
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  5​h
3
Estes Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Manitou Springs
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  5​h 45​min
5
Glacier National Park
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Chicago


Learn more about your trip

4
nights
Cortez

Cortez ©
As the closest town to a national park known for its archeological dwellings, Cortez sits along ancient trails that native Puebloan tribes have used for millennia.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Petroglyph Point Hike and Hovenweep National Monument. Anasazi Heritage Center [museum] & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and Cortez Cultural Center will appeal to museum buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cortez: Mesa Verde National Park (Spruce Tree House, Balcony House, & more) and Climbing Tours (in Durango). It doesn't end there: examine the collection at Rio Grande Southern Railroad Museum..

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Cortez trip itinerary builder.

Chicago to Cortez is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Chicago in July, you will find days in Cortez are a bit warmer (91°F), and nights are little chillier (55°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Ouray.

Things to do in Cortez

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Mesa Verde National Park, Dolores
Highlights from your plan
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike
Hovenweep National Monument ©
Hovenweep National Monument
The Anasazi Heritage Center ©
The Anasazi Heritage Center

5
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. Discover out-of-the-way places like Ouray County Museum and Bachelor Loop. Ouray Alchemist Museum and Ute Indian Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Ouray's surroundings by going to Museum of the Mountain West, Inc. (in Montrose) and Last Chance Mine (in Creede). There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Box Canyon Waterfall & Park, immerse yourself in nature at Ridgway State Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bear Creek Falls, and make a trip to Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Ouray trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Cortez to Ouray in 3 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. When traveling from Cortez in July, plan for slightly colder days in Ouray, with highs around 75°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Ouray

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Creede, Montrose, Ridgway State Park, Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls
Museum of the Mountain West ©
Museum of the Mountain West
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin

5
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.
Visiting Zipline and Alluvial Fan will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Adams Falls Trail and Alberta Falls. Change things up with these side-trips from Estes Park: Swetsville Zoo (in Timnath) and Benson Park Sculpture Garden (in Loveland). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Emerald Lake Trail, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take a memorable drive along Old Fall River Road, and examine the collection at Red Rose Rock Shop & Dick's Rock Museum.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Estes Park tour planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight from Ouray to Estes Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Ouray in July, with highs in Estes Park at 91°F and lows at 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can drive to Manitou Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park, Benson Park Sculpture Garden, Swetsville Zoo
Highlights from your plan
Images of Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Swetsville Zoo ©
Swetsville Zoo
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail

3
nights
Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs ©
Manitou Springs' main street was once a trail that led directly to the base of Pike's Peak.
Escape the urban bustle at North Cheyenne Canon Park and Starsmore Discovery Center and Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. You'll discover tucked-away gems like North Pole - Santa's Workshop and Arcade Amusements Inc.. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Manitou Springs Incline, cruise along Pikes Peak - America's Mountain, look for gifts at Garden of the Gods Trading Post, and admire the sheer force of Helen Hunt Falls.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Manitou Springs vacation planner.

You can drive from Estes Park to Manitou Springs in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Estes Park in July: high temperatures in Manitou Springs hover around 83°F and lows are around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Glacier National Park.

Things to do in Manitou Springs

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Colorado Springs, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop
Highlights from your plan
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center ©
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Arcade Amusements, Inc ©
Arcade Amusements, Inc

4
nights
Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park ©
The glaciers from which Glacier National Park takes its name mostly dissipated eons ago, but they left behind a scoured landscape of high and steep mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, lush alpine meadows, and thick forests.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Virginia Falls and Trail of the Cedars. Get in touch with nature at Iceberg Lake Trail and Avalanche Lake. There's much more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Hidden Lake, hike along Highline Trail, and stroll through Grinnell Glacier.

For photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Glacier National Park custom trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Manitou Springs to Glacier National Park in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Traveling from Manitou Springs in July, expect little chillier with lows of 49°F in Glacier National Park. On the 31st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Hidden Lake
Highlights from your plan
Virginia Falls ©
Virginia Falls
Grinnell Glacier ©
Grinnell Glacier
Iceberg Lake Trail ©
Iceberg Lake Trail

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