Colorado 1 week itinerary help

Old Apr 15th, 2021, 07:25 AM
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Colorado 1 week itinerary help

We will be taking a trip to Colorado for the first time in mid-jun. I am looking for help planning where to stay overnight and what to do along the way. We are a family of 5 (3 boys ages 7, 10, 12).

We will be driving from Wisconsin starting on a Friday. We would likely arrive in the Denver area late Saturday afternoon. What is a good first night spot? Denver? Boulder? Estes Park?

Here is the itinerary I've roughly worked out. Looking for suggestions on what activities to fit in each day or changes to the stops that you think would make for a more enjoyable vacation. Thanks in advance for your help!

Friday: Drive Wisconsin to Lincoln NE
Saturday: Drive Lincoln to Boulder
Sunday: RMNP stay at YMCA of the rockies
Monday: RMNP stay at YMCA of the rockies
Tuesday: Drive to Breckinridge stay overnight
Wednesday: Drive to Glenwood Springs stay overnight
Thursday: Glenwood Springs
Friday: Drive to Colorado Springs overnight CS
Saturday: 1/2 day colorado springs drive to Nebraska
Sunday: Drive Nebraska to Wisconsin
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Old Apr 15th, 2021, 03:13 PM
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Welcome to Fodor's ! I must say that the drive the length of Nebraska (and Kansas) is pretty boring. At least you can get from Lincoln NE to Boulder in 7 hours (500 miles). Try for one of the old big hotels in Glenwood Springs with access to the largest hot spring fed swimming pool in the world. Leaving Glenwood, take 82 through Aspen and tie into US 24 to Colorado Springs. If you have extra time, you could visit the Great Sand Dunes NP and Preserve. There is a great paved hiking/bike trail along the Colorado River east of Glenwood Springs (Glenwood Canyon).
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Old Apr 15th, 2021, 03:51 PM
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I assume you know that RMNP will begin a timed entry permit system on May 28?

https://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
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Old Apr 15th, 2021, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
Welcome to Fodor's ! I must say that the drive the length of Nebraska (and Kansas) is pretty boring. At least you can get from Lincoln NE to Boulder in 7 hours (500 miles). Try for one of the old big hotels in Glenwood Springs with access to the largest hot spring fed swimming pool in the world. Leaving Glenwood, take 82 through Aspen and tie into US 24 to Colorado Springs. If you have extra time, you could visit the Great Sand Dunes NP and Preserve. There is a great paved hiking/bike trail along the Colorado River east of Glenwood Springs (Glenwood Canyon).
Thank you this is very helpful. Do you think it is worth it to skip staying overnight in Breckenridge in order to free up an extra day to explore Aspen and visit Great Sand Dunes?
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Old Apr 15th, 2021, 06:18 PM
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[QUOTE=Melnq8;17232624]I assume you know that RMNP will begin a timed entry permit system on May 28?


I had read about that. Thank you. Do you think it is still worth visiting the park? How many days do you think is a good amount of time to budget for RMNP?
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Old Apr 16th, 2021, 04:55 AM
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Honestly, with so little time I think I'd give RMNP a pass. The park has gotten record breaking visitors in the past few years and this year is expected to be even worse. There are many places in CO to choose from that will be considerably less busy and just as pretty.
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Old Apr 16th, 2021, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tj48103 View Post
Thank you this is very helpful. Do you think it is worth it to skip staying overnight in Breckenridge in order to free up an extra day to explore Aspen and visit Great Sand Dunes?
Must admit that I've never been to Breckenridge but really like the Glenwood Springs/Aspen area. There is a good bus service up to Aspen from Glenwood. There is a spur bus route to Maroon Bells.
At the top of a hill in Glenwood Springs is the cemetery where Doc Holliday is buried. There is a chairlift up to the Glenwood Caverns.
I also say to skip most of RMNP.
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Old Apr 16th, 2021, 09:24 AM
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It depends what you are planning to do, I assume see Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs? If you are going to Glenwood Srpings anyway, you have to drive through Aspen to get to Co Springs, seems to me.

I've been to Breckenridge several times to go skiing and wouldn't bother myself, just to go there for a day. I don't even like it that well, to be honest, I prefer Aspen and would think kids would, too. Of course when I go there, I"m there much longer (Aspen or Breckenridge), but I just don't see the attraction of Breckenridge to kids. I just don't like it because it is so small and crowded in ski season and too expensive for what it is. Tons of people tromping around on the few main streets mainly going into sportws bars and souvenir shops, a lot of drunks. ugh, but that's my take on it. The surrounding mountains are a different story but I don't see the point in going there out of your way just to stay overnight there. You aren't going to be doing anything in the mountains or activities.
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Old Apr 16th, 2021, 10:05 AM
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I'd skip Brek to do Sand Dunes anyday. Brek is cute but I'd rather see Aspen. Or Vail. Or Beaver Creek. I think your time line is great. Sometimes people try to be too ambitious with changing everyday. Glenwood is amazing. Definitely take the time to enjoy the water!
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Old Apr 16th, 2021, 10:27 AM
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Thank you for all of your feedback. I really appreciate it and it is very helpful!
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Old Apr 19th, 2021, 07:56 AM
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Sorry this is so long. I cut and pasted my Note for Aspen lodging. It's one of our favorite spots.
If possible, stay within Aspen itself, to walk around and enjoy the town.
We have stayed several times at The Gant and Aspen Square, both condo/hotels

Last time we were there, we stayed at Lift One and liked it.
I took photos, to remember which place is which. It doesn't look like my photos will post, though. If you're interested in a certain place, I could post its picture separately.

Hotel Durant
(Across from Lift One)

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/cf9271fd-3652-4efb-825c-23c1055d7177[/img]

http://durantaspen.com/

Aspen Alps, condos
https://www.aspenalps.com/best-condominium-rentals

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/0943c7a2-c33a-43c6-a161-55b6a8df0438[/img]


The Prospector
(Busier area of town, though)
https://prospectorcondos.com/

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/783e11d8-e25a-4a9b-b1b4-d119d0ca884a[/img]

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/954234f9-861a-4cab-b718-c6013d29433a[/img]

https://prospectorcondos.com/

The Limelight

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/e52574e0-6c87-4df4-bba2-85a1d5e84ed9[/img]

Alpenblick, Fifth Ave., Fasching Haus. (And all condos up the hill from St. Regis)

Lift One (nice)
131 E Durant
Get a unit with sleeping away from street, if possible. It’s not a busy street, but has some buses. Get third floor. Has elevator. Small, private parking lot.

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/5ebe51f3-c9f9-47f2-8473-4d9e1e421b05[/img]

Condo 202

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/f7e6bca0-802c-4c87-a0ba-200629e4a42e[/img]

View from balcony 202

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/be8de851-c17c-4c51-bb09-315f7018a1ff[/img]

Hearthstone House

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/3d0f1bf1-d8a3-4f58-a1bf-8382e128e10a[/img]

Park Central West

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/6e2dd3a6-b9b2-4de2-85ca-6288f06a46da[/img]

Mountain Chalet (looks dated from outside)
https://www.mountainchaletaspen.com


[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/8590fab3-2427-4fce-a008-8c8c9ec35df0[/img]

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/acc10dd8-d63c-45ee-96f2-a1ac62d94e27[/img]

South Point
Vrbo › ... › SouthpointSouthpoint Vacation Rentals | Vrbo.com

[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/828cc23a-754e-4275-88b6-5c29919083c9[/img]



[img]blob:https://www.fodors.com/5aba5491-c0a2-45a3-9490-702d5bc8bdb0[/img]

The Innsbruck, on Main Street
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3261484...RQ24UrPSMVtrwu

Last edited by MoBro; Apr 19th, 2021 at 08:06 AM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2021, 11:48 AM
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Thank you for the Aspen tips!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2021, 06:57 AM
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Sorry they came through so scrambled. I hoped my cut & paste would work better.
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Old Apr 24th, 2021, 01:40 PM
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I'm not sure if RMNP is worth more than half a day to a day to be completely honest.

If your kids like amusement park stuff then they'll probably love Glenwood Caverns.

Also, is there a reason in particular you're omitting Denver? There's a lot of family-friendly stuff to do there, like The Children's Museum & The Museum of Science and Industry, as well as a zoo, aquarium & botanical garden.

Personally, if I was doing the same trip I would plan the following:

Day 1: Boulder
Day 2: RMNP & Trail Ridge Road (sleep at Glenwood Springs)
Day 3: Glenwood Springs
Day 4: Drive to Colorado Springs (You can stop off at either Aspen or Breckinridge along the way if you'd like)
Day 5: Colorado Springs
Day 6: Denver

Last edited by SirhanTheStrong; Apr 24th, 2021 at 02:08 PM.
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 07:54 AM
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Thank you! I may look at trying to fit in Denver. Originally I was getting overwhelmed with the amount of planning due to covid restrictions and having to make advanced reservations for activities there.
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 01:52 PM
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In Denver do not waste money on the Children's Museum. You have activities at home as good as what they offer. The zoo is good as is the Museum . The Denver Art Museum has a wonderful Native American exhibit.
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tj48103 View Post
Thank you for all of your feedback. I really appreciate it and it is very helpful!
.
Definitely hit Aspen while your there it's probably the neatest mountain town in the entire country. Breckenridge is solid but not nearly as nice as Aspen. I also like Telluride alot as well but that may be too much driving. Telluride is 4 hours south of Aspen then 7 hours back to Denver, the drive through the Monarch pass on the way back is really beautiful though if your up for the drive.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 09:16 AM
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Her boys are ages 7, 10 & 12, so definitely too old for Children's Museum.
I can't understand why someone would come to Colorado and choose to spend time indoors, like at museums. Unless the weather is awful.
Otherwise, stay in the mountains and foothills and enjoy the great outdoors.
For instance, the kids could be interested in touring Red Rocks, and seeing the dinosaur fossils. Or visiting Boulder. The CU campus is gorgeous architecture. Etc., etc. . . .
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 01:39 PM
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Do not miss driving through (slowly for photos) and seeing the Garden of the Gods on the west side of ColoSpgs. These red natural standing boulder formations are
AWE-some, with a big eyed AWE. Try to arrive before sundown (earlier in CO due to Pikes Peak, or perhaps early morn before leaving. It won't take long at all.

If you haven't been to the Zoo in Omaha, NE, try to see it. I liked it better than the San Diego Zoo and you purchase fair priced (2013 anyway) tickets to ride a man driven 'train' from one part of the zoo to another and save some strength and legs.

Have a wonderful and safe trip.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 02:35 AM
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Since the dinosaurs were mentioned go down south of Denver to Morrison and Dinosaur Ridge. And Red Rocks would fit in that day.
And if going to CO Springs go to Woodland just 20 miles outside and see the dinosaur era museum there. It is really an excellent museum with a lab doing further recovery of artifacts.
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