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How to Have the Ultimate Road Trip Experience in Colorado

Travelers Today       By    Hannah Smith

Updated: Jul 29, 2019 10:43 AM EDT

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Trip To Colorado

(Photo: Unsplash)

Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the world, rich with breathtaking sceneries almost everywhere you look. If you're planning a road trip to explore all the beauty that Colorado has to offer, you'll be in for an unforgettable experience.

How to Pick the Best Route?

Picking the best route depends on where you want to start your trip, and how long you plan on exploring the state. For instance, you can try the Peak to Peak Highway, starting in Black Hawk, and going all the way to Estes Park.

From there, you can go to the Grand Lake, visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park on the way, and preferably stopping to explore one of its numerous scenic hiking trails.

There's an abundance of opportunities. But if you want to have the ultimate road trip experience in Colorado, you should plan a two- or three-week route for visiting the top places in the state. Here's one adventurous route you can try.

The Best Colorado Road Trip Route

This route offers the most spectacular views of Colorado, and it's the easiest way to visit all the must-see places the state has to offer.

Day 1: Denver

Spend three days in Colorado's capital, which will provide you with mesmerizing outdoor experiences. If you're an art enthusiast, you'll definitely enjoy the city's art scene.

Don't miss the open-air Red Rocks Amphitheatre, situated 10 miles west of Denver. And make sure to visit the Lookout Mountain that offers a beautiful bird's-eye view of the city.

Day 4: Boulder

Boulder is a very charming city at the foothill of the Rocky Mountains, where you can explore a plethora of hiking trails dispersed over 45,000 acres. It's also an excellent place for shopping (Pearl Street Mall), not to mention savoring a bite in some of its quality restaurants with delicious cuisines.

Day 6: Glenwood Springs

After a few days in Boulder, you can head for Glenwood Springs straight via the I-70. You can also go toward Nederland and Black Hawk, and enjoy great views of the Golden Gate Canyon State Park, before getting on the I-70 near Idaho Springs.

On your way to the scenic Glenwood Canyon, make a stop at Hanging Lake. It's a beautiful turquoise body of water that you'll absolutely love.

Once in the resort, visit the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, spend a day at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and go water rafting on the Colorado River.

Day 9: Grand Junction

On your way to Grand Junction (about an hour ride), visit Rifle Falls, and the wine cellars in Palisade. Once you arrive in Grand Junction, check out the trail-lined Colorado National Monument, which has amazing sandstone towers and canyons.

Day 11: Ouray

The route to Ouray offers wonderful sceneries as well. Make a stop at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for some dramatic views, and get your camera ready for the Dallas Divide's breathtaking mountain view.

Ouray is a magical town with no cell reception, so you'll be able to truly take it all in. Don't miss the charming waterfalls while you're at it.

Day 13: Mesa Verde National Park

Head for Mesa Verde National Park through Silverton, driving along the Million Dollar Highway through charming San Juan National Forest. You'll enjoy some of the most awe-inspiring views in the world.

Known for the mysterious Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, especially Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park is a must-see stop on your trip. Spend a day exploring all of the park's unique attractions.

Day 14: Buena Vista

Start your day early, heading back toward Durango, and passing through Rio Grande National Forest, before reaching Buena Vista. Visit the Buena Vista Whitewater Park for some kayaking, rafting, biking, and hiking, and check out the Buena Vista Heritage Museum.

There's plenty to do in the city, so definitely spend a couple of days there.

Day 17: Colorado Springs

On your 2-hour drive to Colorado Springs, pass through the Pike National Forest (closed from October to May). Once in the city, check out the glacier-carved Pikes Peak, spend a day in the North Cheyenne Canyon Park, and visit the Helen Hunt Falls, and the spectacular Garden of the Gods.

Day 20: Back to Denver

Get ready for a 1.5-hour ride back to the Mile High City, where you'll also enjoy beautiful views along the way.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before packing your bags, get travel insurance, just in case. There are lots of eco-friendly restaurants and hotels on the way, but you can also try camping for a truly memorable experience.

Refrain from using public WiFi hotspots (in hotels, restaurants, etc.), since they're usually unsafe to use. They don't have encryption, which puts your devices and data at risk. You should get a VPN for Android or any other mobile device you plan to use. Do it before going on your trip, as it will encrypt your connection, and keep all your data safe, even on free WiFi.

Colorado awaits! Use this guide to navigate your way through the state, and be sure to plan your entire road trip in advance. That way, you won't miss anything, and you'll have an adventure of your life. 

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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