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4 day trip to Colorado

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Omaha, Nebraska
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4 day trip to Colorado

Hello,

I am driving from Omaha to Denver, Colorado on 27th September. I have 28, 29, 30 and 1st at my disposal. Places I would like to visit are Aspen/ Maroon Bells for fall colors, Pikes Peak, Garden of Gods. Are there any other places which are a must see while in Colorado ?

Also it would help me a great deal if you can suggest order of the places to visit.

Appreciate all the help!

Windsor, Colorado
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1. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

Since I see you have done road trips in the past, this route travels several of Colorado's designated scenic byways and should have some amazing fall foliage, gorgeous mountain views and dramatic canyons.

http://mapq.st/14Ri6K4

28th overnight in Aspen

29th overnight in Ouray

30th overnight in Salida or Mount Princeton Hot Springs at Nathrop

1st Colorado Springs

People who have seen Bryce and Zion (as you have based on your earlier posts) sometimes find Garden of the Gods less impressive. Garden of the Gods is a wonderful free city park, but it is not on the scale of a national park.

Either on the way from Aspen to Ouray or from Ouray to Salida, visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose.

Edited: 15 September 2013, 05:00
Omaha, Nebraska
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2. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

thanks fv1989 for the detailed info.

one question : are the places - Minturn, Leadville, Paonia, Sapinero, Salida part of the scenic byways or is there any particular must do activities at these places ?

Also would travelling into Estes NP be a good option with the recent flooding :(

thanks again!

Windsor, Colorado
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3. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

Estes Park is NOT an option. See this ongoing topic for detailed information.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60945-i436-k68430…

Some of the towns listed I have to use to get mapquest to take the most scenic route.

Aspen - you already know about Maroon Bells.

https:/…fsbdev3_001151.pdf

Ouray is known as the "Switzerland of America." A must do for most people visiting Ouray is a mountain off road jeep tour with one of the companies in town that offer these. I am not sure that any place in Colorado can match the combination of great fall foliage and the beauty of the San Juan Mountains. I would easliy give up time in Colorado Springs for more time in this area of the state. Ouray is also known for its hot springs pool plus great hiking.

http://www.ouraycolorado.com/

Salida has a great historic district with interesting shops and good restaurants and bars.

http://www.centralcolorado.com/salida.htm

Leadville is a historic town with wonderful Victorian architecture and an excellent mining museum.

http://www.visitleadvilleco.com/history_tours

Omaha, Nebraska
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4. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

thank you so much for the information. I have an additional day on the 2nd.. Would

1. Mesa Verde be a good addition ? OR

2. Skipping Salida and Colorado Springs (with Garden of Gods not so impressive and Royal Gorge being closed), and re routing from Ouray, Aspen to Yellowstone NP make sense ?

I am sorry if this sounds a little far fetched, but just trying to explore all options.

thanks!

Windsor, Colorado
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5. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

You do not want to see Yellowstone "on the fly" so to speak. First, it would take most of your days just to get there and back. Second, you can not do justice to Yellowstone in such a short time. It is huge, absolutely huge!

Since conditions have improved a little in Estes Park and RMNP and both are already back open on a limited basis, you can put them back into your trip by leaving out Colorado Springs. I would put them at the end of your trip. Here is the revised link.

http://mapq.st/1essRWz

The time estimates are just driving times. You need to allow time for stops, overlooks and short trails along the way. This is particularly true for Maroon Bells, Black Canyon National Park and along Trail Ridge Road in RMNP. A jeep tour in Ouray will take several hours or more depending on which trip you choose. I would not spend all my time in the car just driving.

As for the route, if you look at this map of Colorado Designated Scenic Byways, you will see many of the roads you will be traveling. Just so you know, I-70 between Denver and Grand Junction may be the most scenic interstate in this country.

www.coloradodot.info/travel/scenic-byways

Omaha, Nebraska
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6. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

wow!!!

thanks for the patience and detailed reply fv1989.. I will try to check if Estes & RMNP is open by Sept 28 and plan accordingly.

thanks!

Nederland, Colorado
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7. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

Estes Park is open and they plan to hold Elk Fest that weekend as scheduled: visitestespark.com/events-calendar/…

Omaha, Nebraska
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8. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

Hello all,

Thanks for all your replies. The revised route is:

Reach Denver on 27th night.

28th : Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Garden of Gods. Stay at Salida

29th : Salida to Mesa Verde. If daylight permits visit Four Corners. Night stay at Ouray

30th : Ouray, Black Canyon of Gunnison NP then reach Aspen. Check Maroon Bells. Stay at Aspen

1st : Maroon Bells, Independence pass, brief stop over at Denver and then reach Estes NP. Stay at Boulder

2nd : Check out Estes and RMNP and leave for Omaha by evening.

As I am travelling with my elderly parent, I am ruling out almost any hiking. Thus most of the trip will be drives and scenic lookout points.

Please let me know if there are any special lookouts I should be doing. Any advice would help. this is my first time in Colorado, thus would take in any help/ suggestions!

thanks again!

Edited: 24 September 2013, 20:58
Nederland, Colorado
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9. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

1st : Maroon Bells, Independence pass, brief stop over at Denver and then reach Estes NP. Stay at Boulder

2nd : Check out Estes and RMNP and leave for Omaha by evening.

Staying in Boulder to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is not going to work out for you. Most of the roads are closed due to the floods. The one route that is open will be a very long drive. You really should look into lodging in Estes Park.

Nederland, Colorado
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10. Re: 4 day trip to Colorado

If I am reading this right, you plan to drive from Aspen to Denver to Estes Park and then Boulder? That would be a very long drive for one day. Is there a reason for the Denver stop? Can you skip it?

I would suggest that you take the Peak to Peak Hwy from I-70 to get to Estes Park and stay there for the night so that you can visit RMNP the next day.

Here's the route on Google maps: http://goo.gl/maps/hnM1B