8 days in Colorado Itinerary

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  4​h 30​min
1
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
2
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Glenwood Springs
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  6​h
End: Chicago

1
night
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop and then take in the dramatic natural features at Garden of the Gods. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and then look for all kinds of wild species at North Cheyenne Canon Park and Starsmore Discovery Center.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Colorado Springs trip planner .

Chicago to Colorado Springs is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Chicago in May, expect little chillier with lows of 42°F in Colorado Springs. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
North Cheyenne Canon Park ©
North Cheyenne Canon Park
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ©
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

2
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 27th (Mon): explore the world behind art at Denver Art Museum, then get into the urban bustle at Dairy Arts Center, and then don't miss a visit to Pearl Street Mall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, then shop like a local with 16th Street Mall, and then steep yourself in history at Union Station.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Denver road trip planner.

Traveling by bus from Colorado Springs to Denver takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and train. May in Denver sees daily highs of 66°F and lows of 43°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Boulder
Highlights from your plan
Pearl Street Mall ©
Pearl Street Mall
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall
Dairy Arts Center ©
Dairy Arts Center

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.
On the 29th (Wed), look for gifts at Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures, then stop by Earthwood Artisans, and then kick back and relax at The Beach at Grand Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Estes Park vacation planner.

You can drive from Denver to Estes Park in 1.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. In May, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can go by car to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

The Beach at Grand Lake, Trail Ridge Road
Highlights from your plan
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Images of Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Kirks Flyshop & Mountain Adventures ©

2
nights
Glenwood Springs

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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): admire the engineering at Rifle Gap State Park and then trek along Hanging Lake Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: test the waters at a local thermal spa.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Glenwood Springs planner .

Traveling by car from Estes Park to Glenwood Springs takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight; or do a combination of car and train. When traveling from Estes Park in May, plan for cooler days in Glenwood Springs, with highs around 46°F, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 33°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Outdoors Parks Spas

Side Trip

Rifle Gap State Park
Highlights from your plan
Rifle Gap State Park ©
Rifle Gap State Park
Thermal Spas
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

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