7 days in Colorado Itinerary

7 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado journey builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Denver
— 1 night
Drive
2
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Glenwood Springs
— 1 night
Drive
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
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15
16
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19
20
21
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26

Denver

— 1 night

Mile-High City

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Molly Brown House Museum and then take a stroll through 16th Street Mall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sun): learn more about the world around you at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, then get a taste of the local shopping with Denver Botanic Gardens, then admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Trinity United Methodist Church.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Denver trip website.

Philadelphia to Denver is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and subway. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Philadelphia to Denver. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Philadelphia in December, with highs in Denver at 43°F and lows at 19°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Estes Park

— 2 nights
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 21st (Mon): see exotic creatures in open habitats at Estes Park Guided Tours and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the next day, take in the exciting artwork at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, take in the exciting artwork at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, then admire the verdant scenery at Many Parks Curve Overlook, then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapel on the Rock.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Estes Park travel planner.

Drive from Denver to Estes Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In December in Estes Park, expect temperatures between 46°F during the day and 17°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can go by car to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors · Shopping · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trip

Glenwood Springs

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): trek along Hanging Lake Trail and then boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Glenwood Springs route builder.

You can drive from Estes Park to Glenwood Springs in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Estes Park in December, expect nights in Glenwood Springs to be about the same, around 15°F, while days are colder, around 26°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Spas · Trails · Parks · Outdoors

Mesa Verde National Park

— 2 nights
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
On the 24th (Thu), delve into the distant past at Long House, contemplate the long history of Balcony House, and then explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park day trip website.

You can drive from Glenwood Springs to Mesa Verde National Park in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and taxi. While traveling from Glenwood Springs, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Mesa Verde National Park, ranging from highs of 44°F to lows of 15°F. On the 25th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.