10 days in Colorado & South Dakota Itinerary

10 days in Colorado & South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Fly
2
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
Drive
4
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Estes Park
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Glenwood Springs
— 1 night
Fly

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Mesa Verde National Park

— 1 night
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat): delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then explore the ancient world of Long House, and then delve into the distant past at Far View Sites.

Plan my trip to Mesa Verde National Park with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Phoenix to Mesa Verde National Park is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Phoenix in October, expect Mesa Verde National Park to be much colder, temps between 69°F and 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites

Rapid City

— 2 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
On the 4th (Sun), take a memorable drive along Iron Mountain Road, explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and then trek along Presidential Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Bear Country USA, get a taste of the local shopping with Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries, then view the masterpieces at Suzie Cappa Art Center, and finally stop by Downtown Rapid City.

Plan my Rapid City trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can fly from Mesa Verde National Park to Rapid City in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. While traveling from Mesa Verde National Park, expect slightly colder days and a bit warmer nights in Rapid City, ranging from highs of 62°F to lows of 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Colorado Springs

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City, stroll around Garden of the Gods, and then cruise along Pikes Peak - America's Mountain.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Colorado Springs travel planner.

Fly from Rapid City to Colorado Springs in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in October, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can go by car to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Outdoors · Parks · Scenic Drive · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Denver

— 2 nights

Mile-High City

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.
On the 7th (Wed), see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, then admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens, then examine the collection at National Ballpark Museum, and finally take a stroll through 16th Street Mall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Molly Brown House Museum, explore the world behind art at Denver Art Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Denver Union Station.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Denver road trip planning app.

Getting from Colorado Springs to Denver by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of flight and train. In October, daily temperatures in Denver can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Childrens Museums

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and then do sightseeing your way with Estes Park Guided Tours. On the 10th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: view the masterpieces at Images of Rocky Mountain National Park, view the masterpieces at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, then appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, then take a memorable drive along Trail Ridge Road, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Chapel on the Rock.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Estes Park online attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Denver to Estes Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in October, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors · Tours · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Glenwood Springs

— 1 night
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 11th (Sun): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Rocky Mountains, hike along Hanging Lake Trail, and then boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Glenwood Springs holiday maker site.

You can drive from Estes Park to Glenwood Springs in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Estes Park in October, expect nights in Glenwood Springs to be slightly colder, around 32°F, while days are colder, around 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Parks · Spas · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

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.

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.