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Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

JACKSONVILLE
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Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

Hi,

This is my very first post on TripAdvisor :)

Me and my husband are planning for Colorado from 29th Sep to 4th Aug. With so less time and too many things to do, after lot of research I concluded to following Itinerary:

9/29: Arrive in evening to DEN, rent a car & drive directly to Estes Park

9/30: RMNP

Drive to Trail Ridge Road and to Winter Park / Fraser, still have to check for other places for activities

10/1: Start early, drive directly to Aspen, Maroon Bells

Reach Colorado Springs by night. Too much drive on this particular day, but couldn't find anything better to cover Aspen. Spend night in Springs

2/10: Pikes Peak via Cog Railway and Seven Falls, Spend night in Springs

3/10: Drive to Canon City for Rafting, then drive to Salida for Zipline, Sunset at Garden of the Gods, Spend night in Springs

4/10: Start for DEN, if time permits, visit Denver

We are looking more of relaxing trip rather than more of driving.

Could anyone suggest me if it looks good or is there room for modification?

Looking for some great advise!

Thanks!

Park City, Utah
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1. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

Welcome to TripAdvisor. You'll get some really useful information from the many fellow travelers here.

You definitely have a lot more driving than you want in this plan. Your 10/1 day is seven hours driving alone. The 10/3 is over four hours driving plus somewhat time-consuming zip line and raft trips. And sunset is probably before 7 p.m. that time of year.

One option is dropping Aspen. Maroon Bells is spectacular. But you will have seen significant mountain scenery. Aspen as a town is also very nice. But do you really want to add that drive?

If you really do want to hit Aspen, think about going to Salida that night to checkoff the zip lines and rafting trips enroute to Colorado Springs.

It's pretty typical for initial itineraries to be pretty full. Best thing you can do to have a memorable trip is to eliminate a few things.

Have fun.

Colorado
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2. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

What part of the itinerary is most important to you?

I think knowing what you want to see, do experience, would help.

You are kind of all over so it is hard to tell. It is awful late in the year for rafting, especially this year. So if Rafting is a big part of the trip I'd rethink your plans.

There are many other things to do. Helps to know if you want luxury, adventure, relax, scenery, dining, family friendly activities?

Edited: 03 July 2012, 01:20
Colorado
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3. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

Oh and welcome to the forums! We do love to give advice here!

JACKSONVILLE
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4. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

Hi Alli,

Thanks for your response.

Rafting is not important part for us, we are more interested in relaxing and enjoy beautiful sites of Colorado Mountains , and a part of it to adventures( if possible). As we are least interested in driving too long, that's why I included maximum drive only in one single day!

Also let me know, if in Aug end and Sep., there is something which we should definitely cover and which of the places( I mentioned ) we should not.

Thanks!

JACKSONVILLE
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5. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

Hi TumbleweedandCactus,

Thanks for your input!

It seems a valid point to drop Aspen, and reach Springs on 10/1 morning. In that case, I will have two full days in Springs, one of which I can devote to Pikes Peak via Cog Railway and Seven Falls and another one to Zipline( that too is not necessary).

I would appreciate if you could suggest something near by Springs or I can extend my stay near RMNP for a day, if there is something interesting.

Cheers!

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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6. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

ladyfrmFl, you keep saying August but you do mean the end of September and early October. And yes, there is something going on in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Elk Fest is September 29 and 30. The peak of elk rut is mid-September to about mid-October and the elk are literally everywhere. It is a sight to see. Plus you may catch some beautiful fall foliage as the aspens shimmer with gold. The end of September and early October is usually the very end of fall foliage but it can vary slightly from year to year. Here is a link telling you more about Elk Fest.

www.estesparkcvb.com/events.cfm…

Elk Fest is very popular so get your lodging reservations early.

I would add a day to RMNP. There are more scenic drives in and near RMNP than just Trail Ridge Road plus plenty of easy walks and hikes like Bear Lake, Sprague Lake and the Alluvial Fan. About Trail Ridge Road, here is a link to a timeline and itinerary for driving and exploring TRR.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143048-i3489-k542…

All the walks mentioned are easy. You can add to the itinerary the walk around Lake Irene. Include stops and walks at the Holzwarth Historic Site and the Coyote Valley Trail to improve your chances of seeing moose and more elk! I must mention that early snows can temporarily close Trail Ridge Road. The park service usually has it open by 11:00 am once the road is plowed and the sun has melted any ice.

JACKSONVILLE
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7. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

fv1989 : Thanks for info!

But I would be travelling b/w 09/29 to 10/04 and as TumbleweedandCactus suggests that my trip includes lot of travel, so probably I am thinking to drop Aspen. I can definitely increase my stay at RMNP.

I am even open to change my itinerary, but I want to cover the best of Colorado as I am not sure when will I get another chance for visiting what I left.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

We did the trip to RMNP at the same time in 2010. The aspens were turning a golden yellow and we had a great time. We drove Trail Ridge Dr., the Peak to Peak Hwy and explored Estes Park. Great ideas from the DE's.

If the altitude bothers you be sure to drink plenty of water- it does bother some of us flatlanders from here in the south.

Have a great trip!!

JACKSONVILLE
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9. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

PeachBelle8288 : It looks difficult to cover Aspen, if I want to cover Springs as well, or may be I'll have to leave Springs and cover Aspen and maroon Bells.

Since, I only have 4 to 4.5days to visit, I'll have to cut short my plan.

And I would like to hear from you about your experience, since you had been there at the same time, and it will be easier for me to decide what to cover and what not.

Till now I am thinking to leave Aspen and cover Springs, but I can do other way round as well.

Thanks!

Windsor, Colorado
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10. Re: Review: 5 days Itinerary to Colorado from 09/28 to 10/4

LadyfrmFL, you are getting confused. In replies #6 and #8 Peachbelle and I are referring to aspen trees not the town of Aspen. Aspen trees are located in numerous places in Colorado. Beginning about the third week in September, the aspen trees start to turn a brilliant gold for fall. We are not telling you to go to the town of Aspen. We are letting you know that with the timing of your visit, you may get to see the amazing display of turning aspen trees along the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, in Estes Park and RMNP, and many other places along your travel route.