7 days in Colorado Itinerary

7 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

7 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  4​h 45​min
1
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  5​h 15​min
3
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  6​h 30​min
4
Glenwood Springs
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  6​h
End: Chicago

1
night
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 27th (Sat): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and then get your game on at Battlefield Colorado. On the next day, explore the ancient world of Manitou Cliff Dwellings, then stroll around Garden of the Gods, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Colorado City Historic District.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Colorado Springs route builder tool .

Chicago to Colorado Springs is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Colorado Springs when traveling from Chicago in July, with lows around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ©
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Battlefield Colorado ©
Battlefield Colorado

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): kick back and relax at The Beach at Grand Lake, then appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, and then admire all the interesting features of Trail Ridge Road. Here are some ideas for day two: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, view the masterpieces at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, and then hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour.

To see maps and more tourist information, read our Estes Park trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Colorado Springs to Estes Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In July, plan for daily highs up to 91°F, and evening lows to 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park, The Beach at Grand Lake
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Photography Tours
Many Parks Curve Overlook ©
Many Parks Curve Overlook

1
day
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.
On the 31st (Wed), delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, delve into the distant past at Balcony House, then delve into the distant past at Cliff Palace, and finally explore the ancient world of Long House.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park travel route planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Estes Park to Mesa Verde National Park in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. In July, daytime highs in Mesa Verde National Park are 90°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can go by car to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

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

1
night
Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs occupies a scenic location at the junction of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, halfway between Vail and Aspen along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour and then test the waters at a local thermal spa. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Rocky Mountains and then trek along Hanging Lake Trail.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Glenwood Springs journey planner.

Drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Glenwood Springs in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or take a bus. While traveling from Mesa Verde National Park, expect colder days and little chillier nights in Glenwood Springs, ranging from highs of 64°F to lows of 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Outdoors Parks Spas

Side Trip

Rocky Mountains
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Thermal Spas
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

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