8 days in Colorado Itinerary

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Janesville
Drive:  6​h
1
Colorado Springs
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Vail
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
4
Pagosa Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
End: Janesville

few
hours
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
National Landmark red cliffs and the even more striking Pikes Peak mountain attracts tourism to Colorado Springs.
You've now added Garden of the Gods to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Garden of the Gods and then get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City Historic District.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Colorado Springs travel route website .

Janesville to Colorado Springs is an approximately 15-hour car ride. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Janesville in March: highs in Colorado Springs hover around 57°F, while lows dip to 28°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can go by car to Estes Park.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Old Colorado City Historic District ©

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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): stop by Glen Haven General Store, enjoy the sand and surf at The Beach at Grand Lake, then gear up at Never Summer Mountain Products, and finally identify plant and animal life at Many Parks Curve Overlook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a taste of the local shopping with Scot's Sporting Goods, view the masterpieces at The Studio Fine Art and Framing, look for gifts at Earthwood Artisans, then shop like a local with Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Estes Park trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Colorado Springs to Estes Park in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. March in Estes Park sees daily highs of 61°F and lows of 29°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Vail.

Things to do in Estes Park

Shopping Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake
Highlights from your plan
Glen Haven General Store ©
Glen Haven General Store
Many Parks Curve Overlook ©
Many Parks Curve Overlook

1
night
Vail

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Tue): hit the slopes at Copper Mountain and then examine the collection at Colorado Ski Museum-Ski Hall of Fame.

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Vail trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Estes Park to Vail in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect colder weather when traveling from Estes Park in March: highs in Vail hover around 33°F, while lows dip to 19°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Pagosa Springs.

Things to do in Vail

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Copper Mountain
Highlights from your plan
Copper Mountain ©
Copper Mountain

2
nights
Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs ©
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. On the 27th (Wed), fly down the slopes at Wolf Creek Ski Resort. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Thu): view the masterpieces at Two Old Crows, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then admire the sheer force of Treasure Falls, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Handcrafted Interiors Art Gallery.

For other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Pagosa Springs road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Vail to Pagosa Springs takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. While traveling from Vail, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Pagosa Springs, ranging from highs of 51°F to lows of 24°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Durango.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Wolf Creek Ski Resort ©
Wolf Creek Ski Resort
Treasure Falls ©
Treasure Falls

1
night
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 29th (Fri): explore the world behind art at Earthen Vessel Gallery, browse the exhibits of Toh-Atin Gallery, and then fly down the slopes at Purgatory Resort.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Durango day trip planner.

You can drive from Pagosa Springs to Durango in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 56°F in March, and nighttime lows around 23°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can go by car to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Durango

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Purgatory Resort ©
Purgatory Resort
Toh-Atin Gallery ©
Toh-Atin Gallery
Earthen Vessel Gallery ©
Earthen Vessel Gallery

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sat): explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and then get to know the fascinating history of Far View Sites.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Mesa Verde National Park trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 59°F in March, and nighttime lows around 24°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House
Balcony House ©
Balcony House
Far View Sites ©
Far View Sites

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