9 days in Utah, Colorado & Tennessee Itinerary

9 days in Utah, Colorado & Tennessee Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Zion National Park
— 1 night
Drive
2
Arches National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Durango
— 1 night
Fly
4
Nashville
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Zion National Park

— 1 night
Towering cliffs of red, white, and pink Navajo sandstone, stream-carved slot canyons, and big blue sky all characterize Zion National Park.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): take a memorable drive along Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and then cruise along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Angel's Landing, then take a memorable drive along Zion Shuttle, and then take in breathtaking views at Zion's Main Canyon.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Zion National Park journey planning tool.

Indianapolis to Zion National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Indianapolis to Zion National Park due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder evenings in Zion National Park when traveling from Indianapolis in May, with lows around 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to drive to Arches National Park.

Things to do in Zion National Park

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Parks · Nature

Arches National Park

— 2 nights

A Red Rock Wonderland

Mother Nature kept reaching for red when she painted Arches National Park's 2,000 sandstone arches, resulting in one of the country's more distinctly shaped and colored landscapes.
On the 10th (Mon), take in the dramatic natural features at Turret Arch, then take in the dramatic natural features at Double Arch, then take in the dramatic natural features at Windows, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Delicate Arch. On the 11th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Landscape Arch, then trek along Devils Garden Trailhead, and then explore the striking landscape at Fiery Furnace.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Arches National Park tour itinerary planning site.

Traveling by car from Zion National Park to Arches National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of flight and car. Traveling from Zion National Park in May, Arches National Park is a bit warmer at night with lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can drive to Durango.

Things to do in Arches National Park

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Durango

— 1 night
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 12th (Wed): whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Durango trip itinerary planning site.

Traveling by car from Arches National Park to Durango takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Arches National Park in May, things will get a bit cooler in Durango: highs are around 68°F and lows about 35°F. On the 12th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly to Nashville.

Things to do in Durango

Tours · Adventure · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

Nashville

— 2 nights

Music City U.S.A.

Known as the capital of country music, the thriving city of Nashville combines old-world southern charm with a progressive urban flair.
On the 13th (Thu), examine the collection at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, see the interesting displays at RCA Studio B, and then sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Lane Motor Museum, take in the history at Carter House, then take in the history at Lotz House Museum, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Downtown Franklin.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Nashville online itinerary planner.

Fly from Durango to Nashville in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. When traveling from Durango in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Nashville: temperatures range from 80°F by day to 58°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Things to do in Nashville

Museums · Historic Sites · Tours · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

— 2 nights

A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, but it's the ease of access that makes this national park the United States' most visited.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): take in the awesome beauty at Clingmans Dome, then cruise along Newfound Gap Road, then pause for some photo ops at Rockefeller Memorial, and finally stroll around Chimneys Picnic Area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Sun): trek along Fighting Creek Trail, look for all kinds of wild species at Roaring Fork, and then trek along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Great Smoky Mountains National Park road trip planning site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Nashville to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. In May, daily temperatures in Great Smoky Mountains National Park can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Utah travel guide

4.8
Geologic Formations · Hiking Trails · Canyons
The Beehive State
A huge but sparsely populated land, Utah remains a major holiday destination offering plenty of year-round outdoor vacation ideas, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and camping. The rugged terrain, defined by towering mountain peaks, deep canyons, and vast deserts, seems custom-made for adventurous nature lovers. With five national parks, the state has no shortage of pristine wilderness areas, causing many tourists to overlook the cultural attractions of its towns. Salt Lake City, the state's capital, features the headquarters of the Mormon Church, and draws over 5 million annual visitors. Utah also hosts several major film festivals each year, attracting young movie buffs from around the world.

Colorado travel guide

4.4
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.

Tennessee travel guide

4.4
Specialty Museums · Distilleries · Theaters
The Volunteer State
Divided by law, geography, and custom into three major regions, represented by the three stars on state's flag, Tennessee boasts a distinctive musical heritage that includes elements of bluegrass, country-western, and blues. With a countryside as diverse as its people, Tennessee includes landscapes ranging from a mountainous region in the east to the lowlands of the west, with gently rolling hills in the middle. For a well-rounded vacation, you can hike remote mountain trails in the morning and explore the crowded bars of Nashville in the evening. Visit the urban attractions, such as Elvis Presley's former residence in Memphis, but don't miss a chance to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, situated in the eastern part of the state.