12 days in Colorado Itinerary

12 days in Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Colorado travel planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Cedar Rapids
Fly + Drive:  5 h 30 min
1
Estes Park
— 3 nights
Fly + Taxi:  5 h 15 min
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6 h
3
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
4
Colorado Springs
— 1 night
Bus:  1 h
5
Denver
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h
6
Aspen
— 3 nights
Fly:  6 h 15 min
End: Cedar Rapids

3
nights
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.
Get some historical perspective at Chapel on the Rock and Wild Basin Area. Take a break from the city and head to Photography Tours and Off-Road Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Rocky Mountain National Park (Trail Ridge Road & Bear Lake) and The Beach at Grand Lake (in Grand Lake). There's more to do: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and cruise along Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Estes Park online journey planner.

Cedar Rapids to Estes Park is an approximately 5.5- hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cedar Rapids to Estes Park due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Cedar Rapids in May since evenings lows in Estes Park dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park, The Beach at Grand Lake
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Trail Ridge Road ©
Trail Ridge Road
Off-Road Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): delve into the distant past at Spruce Tree House, then explore the ancient world of Balcony House, and then contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Mesa Verde National Park trip itinerary website.

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Estes Park to Mesa Verde National Park in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Estes Park in May, Mesa Verde National Park is slightly colder at night with lows of 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House
Spruce Tree House ©
Spruce Tree House

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. On the 23rd (Sat), kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Buena Vista holiday website.

Drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Buena Vista in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. While traveling from Mesa Verde National Park, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Buena Vista, ranging from highs of 62°F to lows of 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Zipline

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.
On the 24th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Miramont Castle Museum, delve into the distant past at Manitou Cliff Dwellings, then walk around Garden of the Gods, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Colorado Springs travel route planner.

You can drive from Buena Vista to Colorado Springs in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Buena Vista in May: high temperatures in Colorado Springs hover around 68°F and lows are around 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to take a bus to Denver.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Manitou Springs
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Old Colorado City ©
Old Colorado City
Manitou Cliff Dwellings ©
Manitou Cliff Dwellings

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 25th (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity United Methodist Church, wander the streets of 16th Street Mall, and then steep yourself in history at Denver Union Station. On the 26th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look and learn at Denver Museum of Nature & Science and then cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Denver trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by bus from Colorado Springs to Denver takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. May in Denver sees daily highs of 66°F and lows of 43°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Denver

Historic Sites Wildlife Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Denver Union Station ©
Denver Union Station
16th Street Mall ©
16th Street Mall
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
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.
On the 27th (Wed), take in the awesome beauty at Maroon Bells. On the 28th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: view the masterpieces at Cooper Corner Gallery, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then trek along Hanging Lake Trail.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Aspen day trip planning site.

Fly from Denver to Aspen in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Denver in May since evenings lows in Aspen dip to 34°F. On the 29th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Glenwood Springs, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail
River Rafting & Tubing

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