STARTING FROM DENVER
Day 1: Denver (CO)
Arrival at Denver International Airport, Car rental pick-up, and hotel check-in.
Denver Ramada Downtown *** or similar
Day 2: Denver > Colorado Springs
Today is dedicated to visiting Denver
, the capital of Colorado, nick-named the mile-high city. Make sure to visit the steps of the State Capitol
to see the original mile-high mark
and then spend a few hours downtown.
In the early afternoon, leave Denver and start heading South to Colorado Springs about 70 miles south of Denver (1.15-hour drive) where you can visit the beautiful Garden of the Gods Park
where beautiful red rocks will change color as the sun starts setting.
Colorado Springs Area Mgm Elegante Suites*** or similar
Day 3: Colorado Springs > Durango
Today, you will have some driving to do, but the scenery is beautiful, especially if you like long winding roads up and down the mountains
. You will need to cover approximately 315 miles by car (5h15) driving amongst mountains, old mine towns, beautiful landscapes and peaks at over 14,000 feet
Arrival in Durango
in the late afternoon - Durango is a very charming village with plenty of stores and delicious restaurants.
Make sure to visit the downtown area and the old train station when you arrive.
Durango Holiday inn hotel and suites Durango central*** or similar
Day 4: Durango > Silverton & Ouray > Black Canyon of the Gunnison > Crested Butte
Day dedicated to the discovery of the Wild Wild West
between old mines, original 19th-century saloons
, and original steam trains ending with the incredible scenery of the Black Canyon National Park
: Crested Butte Elevation Hotel & Spa *** or similar
Day 5: Crested Butte > Aspen
When you are ready to leave Crested Butte, make sure you check out the street Co-12 to reach Aspen. Now, this special road is a 110-mile long road with several unpaved section
s. You will need at least 4 hours to reach Aspen if you decide to take CO-12 but it's definitely recommended for all of those that love beautiful natural landscapes and sceneries
. The unpaved section of CO-12
is approximately 32 miles long. If you don't feel like driving off-road or if the street is closed to traffic (which happens especially during winter) then you can take the CO-133 (4 h 15 min (197.1 mi) via CO-133 N)
Arrival in Aspen for early afternoon. Afternoon dedicated to visiting Aspen and the Maroon Bells
Aspen Inn at Aspen by Wyndham vacation rentals*** or similar
Day 6: Aspen > Twin Lakes > Rocky Mountain National Park
Today, you will continue heading North, driving the magnificent CO-82 from Aspen to Twin Lakes
where you can admire the incredible mountains' scenery of Colorado as well as encounter the "Continental Divide
" -- about 1 hour by car from Aspen. After the first hour of panoramic drive
, you will keep heading North to reach the park for a total drive of approximately 170 miles
From Aspen to Grand Lake, it's 180 miles/3h40-4h20 by car via CO-82 --- when #82 is closed you can take the interstate to reach Grand Lake always 3/4 hours by car.
You will spend your afternoon driving
through the incredible National Park
from the Grand Lake entrance to Estes Park
entrance. You will drive up and down some spectacular roads that will take you well above 12,000 feet where you can encounter the Alpine tundra. During your visit, it's quite common to spot local wildlife including Elks, Deers, and Buffalos
Estes Park Coyote Mountain Lodge** or similar
Day 7: Estes Park > Boulder > Denver International
From Estes Park, you will start heading South towards Boulder
(1 hour away). You can spend your morning in this classic University Town
with a very charming downtown area.
Return to Denver International Airport to drop off the rental car and check-in for your flight.
End of Services.