8 days in Colorado Itinerary

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  5​h 15​min
1
Aspen
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
2
Vail
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Estes Park
— 1 night
Fly + taxi:  5​h 15​min
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Pagosa Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
6
Ouray
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: Houston

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): pause for some photo ops at The John Denver Sanctuary and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Aspen Snowmass, then grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, and then hike along Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Aspen tour itinerary planner .

Houston to Aspen is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Houston to Aspen, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Houston in June, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Aspen: temperatures range from 79°F by day to 43°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Vail.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Aspen Snowmass
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
Aspen Snowmass ©
Aspen Snowmass
The John Denver Sanctuary
The John Denver Sanctuary

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 19th (Wed), hit the slopes at Beaver Creek Ski Area, trot along with a tour on horseback, and then hike along Booth Falls Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: put a fun spin on your tour with Breckenridge Welcome Center, explore and take pictures at Boreas Pass Road, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally get engrossed in the history at Frisco Historic Park and Museum.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Vail online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Aspen to Vail takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Aspen in June, plan for slightly colder days in Vail, with highs around 60°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Vail

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Breckenridge, Frisco, Beaver Creek Ski Area
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Frisco Historic Park and Museum ©
Frisco Historic Park and Museum
Boreas Pass Road ©
Boreas Pass Road

1
night
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.
On the 21st (Fri), stroll through Emerald Lake Trail, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, and finally hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Estes Park trip planner.

You can drive from Vail to Estes Park in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Traveling from Vail in June, expect nights in Estes Park to be somewhat warmer, around 54°F, while days are much hotter, around 87°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Emerald Lake Trail
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Photography Tours

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 22nd (Sat), delve into the distant past at Long House, trek along Petroglyph Point Hike, then explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and finally steep yourself in history at Cliff Palace.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park trip 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. Expect slightly colder evenings in Mesa Verde National Park when traveling from Estes Park in June, with lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike

1
night
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 23rd (Sun): soothe aching muscles at The Springs Resort & Spa, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then take in the dramatic scenery at Treasure Falls, and finally hike along Piedra River Trail.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Pagosa Springs trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from Mesa Verde National Park to Pagosa Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in June, you will find days in Pagosa Springs are slightly colder (80°F), and nights are about the same (44°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Ouray.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Piedra River Trail ©
Piedra River Trail
The Springs Resort & Spa ©
The Springs Resort & Spa

1
night
Ouray

Ouray ©
Ouray is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Ouray County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Yankee Boy Basin, contemplate the long history of Yankee Girl Mine, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Bear Creek Falls, and finally see the interesting displays at Ouray Alchemist Museum.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Ouray holiday planner.

Getting from Pagosa Springs to Ouray by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Traveling from Pagosa Springs in June, you will find days in Ouray are slightly colder (72°F), and nights are about the same (49°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Ouray

Outdoors Nature Parks

Side Trip

Bear Creek Falls
Highlights from your plan
Yankee Boy Basin ©
Yankee Boy Basin
Bear Creek Falls ©
Bear Creek Falls
Ouray Alchemist Museum ©
Ouray Alchemist Museum

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