8 days in Colorado Itinerary

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + Taxi:  7​h 15​min
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Durango
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Glenwood Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Denver
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: San Francisco

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.
To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park trip site .

San Francisco to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of subway, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi; or drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Francisco to Mesa Verde National Park due to the time zone difference. When traveling from San Francisco in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Mesa Verde National Park: temperatures range from 90°F by day to 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Durango.

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
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 2nd (Thu): explore the galleries of Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Durango day trip website .

Getting from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and shuttle. August in Durango sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 51°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can go by car to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
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.
On the 3rd (Fri), boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa and then kick back and relax at Rifle Gap State Park. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Hanging Lake Trail and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Glenwood Springs vacation planner .

You can drive from Durango to Glenwood Springs in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Durango in August: highs in Glenwood Springs hover around 64°F, while lows dip to 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Rifle Gap State Park
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Thermal Spas
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

3
nights
Denver

Denver ©
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 5th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Union Station, get to know the fascinating history of 16th Street Mall, and then see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Summit Lake Park and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Denver vacation app .

You can take a bus from Glenwood Springs to Denver in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. When traveling from Glenwood Springs in August, plan for much warmer days in Denver, with highs around 85°F, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Denver

Outdoors Nature Adventure

Side Trips

Idaho Springs, Cherry Creek State Park
Highlights from your plan
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
River Rafting & Tubing
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall

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