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Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

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Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

End of Sept we fly into Denver. Can we see these 4 cities

in 8 days? Can you suggest time needed in each city?

Is mid-sept better to see fall color? If we need to drop one

should it be steamboat or vail?

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1. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

Usually the color is better toward the end of September. I haven't been around Steamboat for fall color so I couldn't compare how good it is for fall color.

Will you have 8 full days to travel, or 6 days plus day of arrival and day of departure? That could make a difference in how many miles you want to cover. Also, are you mainly driving and sightseeing or did you want to include other activities such as hiking, horseback rides, jeep tours, museums etc.? Is your main focus the mountain scenery or are there particular activities you want to do in Denver? Why did you choose those particular places? That also may help determine how much time you spend in each place or whether there are other suggestions of places to include.

Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

I think you will have enough time to get a good taste of these cities. You can plan your route a couple of different ways.

Steamboat (2 nights, 3 hours from Denver) - Vail (2 days, 2 hours from Steamboat) - Glenwood Springs (1 night, 1 hour from vail) - Aspen (2 nights, 1 hour from Gelnwood) then drive back to Denver...if you are flying out of Denver via Independence Pass, there are gorgeous fall foliage near twin lakes on the other side of the pass before you reach Leadville (about 3 hours from Aspen - Denver).

On your way to Glenwood, stop at hanging lake and take the hike up about 1.5 hour round trip. It is a gorgeous hike and the lake is unbelievable. Don't miss the extra 5 minutes to Sprouting Rock...its a must. Relax in the Glenwood hot springs after your hike.

In Aspen, be sure to take the shuttle out to Maroon Bells (you cannot drive yourself). The pictures of these mountains with the leaves changes are my favorites.

I agree with the early post that late September is best for the foliage.

Aspen, Colorado
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3. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

re: Aspen, Maroon Bells

After Labor Day bus runs only on weekends. The days the bus is not running you can drive with the appropriate stickers.

Edited: 07 June 2012, 23:26
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4. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

Personally, I'd drop Aspen (a manufactured place, that's on your way so you'll see the countryside anyway) and consider Frisco-Leadville, and Glenwood Springs.

For example:

Denver-Steamboat-Glenwood-Aspen-Leadville/Frisco (via Independence Pass if open, via I70 if not)-Denver.

Where to spend more time? Follow the foliage patterns to decide closer to the date of your trip. Perhaps give 2 nights in Glenwood. Morning of the full day riding a bike along the Colorado River (e.g. Canyon Bikes' rental and shuttle to the starting point of the mainly downhill ride [with optional side hikes]). One evening in the hot springs pool.

If you want more drive-byes of foliage, and Trail Ridge Road is open when you visit, you might want to watch foliage reports for Peak-to-Peak highway and Rocky Mountain National Park on your way to Steamboat. A longer drive, but it certainly adds to the scenery if the road is open then.

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5. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

Oops, I meant drop Vail as a manufactured place. The Aspen area is certainly worth a visit (and an overnight or two if you get attractive value by your standards).

6. Re: Denver, steamboat, vail, aspen in 8 days??

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