9 days in Colorado Itinerary

9 days in Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Colorado Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  5​h 15​min
1
Aspen
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  4​h 15​min
2
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Denver
— 1 night
Fly + Taxi:  4​h
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Taxi + Fly:  4​h 45​min
5
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Chicago

2
nights
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. Take a break from Aspen with a short trip to Thermal Spas in Glenwood Springs, about 1h 25 min away. It doesn't end there: explore and take pictures at The John Denver Sanctuary.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Aspen travel route app .

Chicago to Aspen is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Chicago in August, plan for slightly colder days and cooler nights in Aspen: temperatures range from 77°F by day to 46°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Thermal Spas
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Thermal Spas
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail ©
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Tue): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then get a taste of the local shopping with Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Estes Park road trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Aspen to Estes Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Aspen in August: high temperatures in Estes Park hover around 89°F and lows are around 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Denver.

Things to do in Estes Park

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Spas
Aspen and Evergreen Gallery ©
Aspen and Evergreen Gallery

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Wed): look and learn at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, shop like a local with Denver Botanic Gardens, then admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, and finally browse the different shops at 16th Street Mall.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Denver trip website .

Getting from Estes Park to Denver by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in August, and nighttime lows around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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.
On the 22nd (Thu), delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then delve into the distant past at Long House, then delve into the distant past at Balcony House, and finally contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Mesa Verde National Park online tour itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Denver to Mesa Verde National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Denver in August, plan for a bit cooler nights in Mesa Verde National Park, with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Colorado Springs.

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

3
nights
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at National Museum of World War II Aviation and Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. Get in touch with nature at River Rafting & Tubing and Pikes Peak. Take a break from Colorado Springs with a short trip to Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, about 42 minutes away. There's more to do: walk around Garden of the Gods and see the interesting displays at Penrose Heritage Museum.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Colorado Springs online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Mesa Verde National Park to Colorado Springs takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle; or drive. In August, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Highlights from your plan
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain
River Rafting & Tubing
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center ©
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

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