Three days in Colorado

Old Aug 9th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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Three days in Colorado

Hi guys,

Very first post here. I realize I'm about to do the entire state of Colorado a massive disservice, but three days is all the time I will be able to squeeze out of work. What should I see in CO? I'll be based out of Denver.

After much reading and research, the one dead cert that I have fixed on is Rocky Mountain National Park. One idea that I'm thinking of is a vaguely circular route that goes through Vail/Aspen down through Great Sand Dunes NP and then back up to Denver. But that's just one option, and it may be too ambitious. But we do drive hard - deep into the night when necessary. I'm open to any suggestion that you guys might have.

London, UK
zuberino is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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IMO, way too much to do in three days--you would be driving at least 720 miles. What do you actually wants to experience in Colorado? If you tell us that, we can better advise you. Because you could easily spend 3 days in Rocky Mountain National Park and have a wonderful time. Then for your return trip to Denver you could do a circular route through the park to Grand Lake, Winter Park, over Berthoud Pass and back to Denver. Or you could stay 2 nights in Estes Park, visit RMNP, and spend one night in Vail then back to Denver.
martym is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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I suggest you do a loop that goes to Aspen and via Glenwood Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado also has some interesting mining towns in the Denver area--Cripple Creek, Colorado Springs, and the Gold Circle Towns:

I believe you will have a much more satisfying visit to Colorado if you leave Great Sand Dunes NP off of your itinerary.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 09:06 PM
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I agree with martym. Enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, then head back to Denver by going over Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake, Winter Park, etc.

Forget Vail and Aspen. With only 3 days, they would both be more of a hassle than they are worth
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Furledleader has it "right". You will love that loop and it will make you want to come back and do other parts.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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When do you plan on being here? You would want to verify that the route you'd like to take would allow you to enter the park, since the north entrance and Trail Ridge are closed, often by early September.

I like Martym's second suggestion about 2 nights in Estes and one in Vail. Very doable in 3 days. But the catch is, you might not be able to enter from Estes, in which case, plan on staying on the southern end in one of the charming towns of the Grand Lake area, Tabernash or Winter Park. You could just go for the day as well if you are here when the road is open and plan a drive through.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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Actually, Trail Ridge Road is often open through October, but the schedule is completely dependent upon the weather. It's just not 100% predictable. If the heavy snow comes early, more than a few inches, then the road is closed and you'd have to go the long way around to reach the west side of the park. However, September is by far the best time of year in Colorado, particularly when the aspens are changing and the weather can be dry, sunny and warm (with occasional blizzards!)
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