Colorado Road Trip Ideas - 9 days - mid May

Jun 14th, 2019, 08:38 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
In SIX days (including your flight days!):
Denver
Idaho Springs
Mt Evans
Breckenridge
Independence Pass
Black Canyon
Gunnison
Great Sand Dunes
Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods
Denver

Sounds like my nightmare: driving, driving, driving past beautiful scenery, on the way to drive by more beautiful scenery, without enough time to enjoy anything. Over July 4th, no less, when everyone else is on the roads.

Sorry- I don't understand this type of trip. Why do people see Colorado as a drive-thru?
It adds to highway congestion and pollution.

Last edited by MoBro; Jun 14th, 2019 at 08:41 AM.
MoBro is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 12:12 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 45
MoBro May be there is a confusion about what am i trying to do
I am just staying in Idaho springs and after that driving 2 hrs to Breckenridge and spending all day there. next day i drive leisurely to Gunnison and spend all day there. and Spending a whole day in Great Sand Dunes and just visiting Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I don't understand why would you think its a drive through.
Not doing anything in Denver either

What would be your ideal itinerary in 6 days then ?
ashishahuja23 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 02:56 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
“Drive Leisurely to Black Canyon of Gunnison through Independence pass . . . and spending all day there”.

You mean drive from Breckenridge around to Aspen, then take Independence Pass, and proceed to Gunnison?
How many hours do you expect that drive to take?


MoBro is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 04:09 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,992
Just from the get go it looks difficult. >>3rd July - Reach Denver by 8:30 - Eat Dinner and Drive to Idaho Spring on I70<<

Assuming you mean 8:30PM, by the time you get the rental car sorted, and have dinner you'll get to Idaho Springs by maybe 11PM.

Then on the 4th . . . >>I am just staying in Idaho springs and after that driving 2 hrs to Breckenridge and spending all day << Not if you are driving up Mt Evans and then back back down and then to Breckinridge. Including any time on MT Evans -- you are talking at least four hours (three in the car)

And Breckinridge through Independence Pass/Black Canyon and on to Gunnison that will take ALL day. Nothing leisurely about it.

Just really really difficult. It seems you are trying to squeeze a busy week's trip into to 4.5 days.
janisj is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 05:55 PM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 45
Around 6-7 hrs which i don't mind and i have done that drive before to glenwood springs which was pretty cool

janisj I would skip Mt Evans then...Do you think it makes sense to go to Breckenridge or Aspen...which town has more charming vibe and things to do ?

Last edited by ashishahuja23; Jun 14th, 2019 at 05:59 PM.
ashishahuja23 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 05:24 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 322
Up thread you say you want to drive 1-3 hours, enjoy towns, food & drink and hike. Your plan does not achieve this. If one blindly follows google maps, it seems each driving day would be about 3.5 to 4 hours. What google maps will not show you is the reality of driving your proposed route in summer. Listen to the locals. We have had a record year of snow; with that comes road and bridge damage. Summer is prime time for road construction. Check out cotrip’s construction maps for your proposed route. In addition, tourist traffic including slow RV traffic will slow driving especially on mountain passes.
bailey123 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 06:18 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,394
Just reading this itinerary stresses me out.

3rd July - Reach Denver by 8:30 - Eat Dinner and Drive to Idaho Spring on I70 (57-76 miles depending on route, 60 minutes to 1:20). Most restaurants will be closed before you even leave the airport.

4th - Drive to Mt Evans in the morning and then drive to Breckenridge and stay in Breckenridge (an hour to get up to Mt Evans, in ideal conditions, which I doubt you'll have on July 4th, then an hour back down, not to mention time spent at the top - then about an hour to get to Breck)

5th - Drive Leisurely to Black Canyon of Gunnison through Independence pass ( Where can i stay at Gunnison ?) - The most direct route via 285 S and US 50 W will take close to three hours. Going via Independence Pass will take six! As far as where to stay - not a huge number of options in Gunnison, and I'm guessing you could be in a bind over this particular weekend.

6th - Visit Gunnison and Stay in Gunnison - okay, but what are your plans for Gunnison? Cute enough small town, but plenty to see in the surrounding area

7th - Drive to Great Sand Dunes ( 3+ hrs ). Hike High Dune and Stay near by ( which town i should stay in ? or any BnB's ?) - Not a whole lot of accommodation in the area - take a look here: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/lodging.htm - closest town is Alamosa, 34 miles away.

8th - Drive to Colorado Springs ( visit Garden of the Gods ) and then continue to Denver to catch flight at 7 pm - about a three hour drive, give or take to get to the Springs, then a few hours in Garden of the Gods, then the drive to DIA, which will take about 90 minutes if you're lucky - don't overlook the major construction on I-25 at The Gap - I drove through there yesterday and traffic was at a complete standstill.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 06:27 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,909
And do not cut your time short at DIA for check in!! The mazes can get very full, and then there is the train to the gate, etc.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 15th, 2019, 06:33 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
“i drive leisurely to Gunnison and spend all day there.”
Around 6-7 hrs which i don't mind”.

You say you will then have “all day” there? How does that work, after a 7-hour drive? How many daylight hours do you think there are? Makes no sense.

Last edited by MoBro; Jun 15th, 2019 at 06:41 AM.
MoBro is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 07:54 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,992
Originally Posted by ashishahuja23 View Post
Around 6-7 hrs which i don't mind and i have done that drive before to glenwood springs which was pretty cool

janisj I would skip Mt Evans then...Do you think it makes sense to go to Breckenridge or Aspen...which town has more charming vibe and things to do ?
I am only an occasional visitor to Colo. and you are getting great feedback from several locals who know the area better. I'm not sure what I would recommend to fix this but I do know you are trying to cover way too much territory in too little time - and over the busiest holiday period.
janisj is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 08:38 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,844
The locals are speaking. Most of us would choose neither Gunnison nor Colorado Springs for a 5 day trip in July. Unless you have very specific reasons for going there, the trip makes little sense to us.

Consider something simple like maybe staying in Denver -> Breck -> Leadville -> Aspen -> Vail.

And janis is correct, 4th of July week traffic getting in and out of Denver will be insane.
Nelson is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 08:42 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
"Do you think it makes sense to go to Breckenridge or Aspen...which town has more charming vibe and things to do ?"

Personally, we prefer Aspen.
However, over July 4th, you are at the mercy of whatever reservations you can find, wherever you can find them.

I'd recommend a "leisurely drive" from Denver to Aspen, stopping in Breckenridge/Vail/Glenwood Springs on the way.

Stay in Aspen, if you can afford to. Or Snowmass. Visit Maroon Bells, take a float trip on the Roaring Fork, enjoy the Aspen vibe.

Drive over Independence Pass, visit Leadville. Stop at Red Rocks Park on your way to Denver.

Depart from Denver.

(I'm not clear if your 8:30 arrival time in Denver is a.m. or p.m.?)
MoBro is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 08:42 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
Nelson, we were typing at the same time. I agree.
MoBro is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 08:50 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,844
Great local minds think alike!
Nelson is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 08:56 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,909
Do what Nelson says. Even non-Coloradoan here would not choose your itinerary.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 15th, 2019, 09:04 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,992
>>(I'm not clear if your 8:30 arrival time in Denver is a.m. or p.m.?)<<

I assumed it was PM because of >>3rd July - Reach Denver by 8:30 - Eat Dinner and Drive to Idaho Spring on I70<< which sounds like having dinner upon arrival then driving on to Idaho Springs. But looking at other sections of the post, I'm not totally sure.
janisj is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 09:07 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
It's confusing, isn't it?
If arriving at 8:30p.m., I'd head for the hills, after getting the car. Save precious vacation time by eating something before arriving, or get drive-thru on the way out of town.

Any bets on whether this trip ever takes place, given that it's mid-June and the OP is wanting to visit over a very busy holiday??

Last edited by MoBro; Jun 15th, 2019 at 09:12 AM.
MoBro is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 02:57 PM
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 45
Thank you Everyone
I would think about what nelson has mentioned and change my itinerary accordingly

"Any bets on whether this trip ever takes place, given that it's mid-June and the OP is wanting to visit over a very busy holiday??" - I would definitely make sure that the trip does take place and also i would take your advice into consideration
ashishahuja23 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 03:08 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,844
Have a great trip! Aspen is definitely worth a few nights.
Nelson is offline  
Jun 16th, 2019, 08:38 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 955
Good luck with it all. I just made reservations in Aspen for August, and found our favorite places are booked solid, or only their most expensive rooms are still available.

But, that's in Aspen's city center. There were openings in Snowmass and Basalt. Also, you can try Glenwood Springs for lodging.

Slow down and enjoy Colorado!
MoBro is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:38 AM.