8 days in Colorado Itinerary

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel planner
Make it your trip
— 1 night
— 2 nights
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Estes Park
— 2 nights


Aspen — 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): appreciate the history behind The John Denver Sanctuary and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the waterfront views at Crater Lake Trail, then grab your bike and head to Rio Grande Trail, and then relax and float downstream with Elk Mountain Expeditions.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Aspen tour planner.

Philadelphia to Aspen is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Philadelphia in September, expect nights in Aspen to be colder, around 41°F, while days are slightly colder, around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can drive to Ouray.
Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Ouray — 2 nights

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 20th (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Ouray County Museum and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Perimeter Trail, admire the sheer force of Bear Creek Falls, and then trek along Cascade Falls Park.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Ouray day trip site.

Traveling by car from Aspen to Ouray takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Aspen in September: highs in Ouray hover around 66°F, while lows dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Mesa Verde National Park.
Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours
Side Trips

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 22nd (Wed), explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace, examine the collection at Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, and then delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu): hike along Petroglyph Point Hike and then delve into the distant past at Long House.

To see ratings and more tourist information, read our Mesa Verde National Park trip builder website.

Traveling by car from Ouray to Mesa Verde National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. When traveling from Ouray in September, plan for somewhat warmer days in Mesa Verde National Park, with highs around 80°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can fly to Estes Park.
Historic Sites · Museums · Trails · Parks

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.
On the 24th (Fri), take in the dramatic scenery at Alberta Falls, then stroll through Emerald Lake Trail, and then hike along Cub Lake Trail.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Estes Park vacation planning site.

Traveling by flight from Mesa Verde National Park to Estes Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. In September in Estes Park, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 50°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Side Trip

Colorado travel guide

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.