Going to do a road trip to Colorado in early July 2014. It will be 2 adults and 2 teens. We would like to see some national parks, ranger talks, do some short hikes, some rafting and maybe horseback riding. My early itinerary looks like this…
Day 1- Arrive in Denver from NYC. Drive to Rocky Mountain N P stopping in Estes Park for lunch. Go to the visitors center then drive the Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake where we will stay for 3 nights.
Day 2-Horseback riding in RMNP out of Grand Lake (Sombrero Ranch). Drive Old Fall River Road. Check for ranger programs.
Day 3-Do some hiking in RMNP and check ranger programs.
Day 4-Drive to Glenwood Springs stopping at Hanging Lake for a hike, then go to the hot springs. Staying in Glenwood Springs 2 nights.
Day 5- Would like to see Colorado National Monument, Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, and Grand Mesa. Not sure if this is doable in one day. What would you suggest? We’ll be staying in Glenwood Springs again.
Day 7- Do a jeep tour out of Ouray. Visit Box Canyon Falls. Enjoy the hot springs.
Day 8- Drive to Mesa Verde for the day then back to Ouray. I know it’s a tough drive but we’d rather change hotels as little as possible.
Day 9- Drive to Great Sand Dunes then stay in Salida for 2 nights.
Day 10- Do whitewater rafting out of Salida.
Day 11- Leaving Salida. Drive to Pikes Peak and do the Cog Railway. Spend the night in Denver.
Day 12- Depart for NYC
I’m trying to get a lot in by staying in as few central locations as possible. Trying to keep driving to about 3 hour spurts. I would love any input from anyone else as to what to skip , must see, other activities, hotel and restaurant recommendations or anything else that you think might help me. Also we’ve been to Denver before so not really looking to spend much time there. Thank you for all your help, I can always count on this site to set me straight. Rob