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  1. Default Road trip in Colorado

    Hi! We are planning on a trip in Colorado for 5 days/4nights the second week in September. We will be flying into Denver. What we would really like to do is go to the Great Sand Dunes with possibly going to Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak & Garden of the Gods) and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Any suggestions on the best route for this? Also, is it possible to fit this into our time frame and still enjoy ourselves? We are able to add 1 more day if needed. We would also like some suggestions if there are more beautiful places to visit if you have any. Thank you!
    Last edited by josie8196; 08-06-2016 at 07:54 AM. Reason: add words and correct speling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mindset Matters

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The problem with the mindset that you'll have "5 days/4 nights" is that you won't have that much time. There's a reason that vacation packagers use such phrasing, it's deceptive as hell but not quite a lie. The fact is that if you are staying four nights in Colorado, you only have three days to really enjoy your surroundings. 'Day 1' and 'Day 5' will be spent getting to an airport, getting through security, waiting, flying, getting out of an airport, picking up or dropping off a rental car, and getting to that day's destination. That doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else really.

    Now, you've got three days. If you were to try to include everything on your current itinerary, you'd need to spend a full day and a half just driving, leaving you all of a day and a half to actually be at and enjoy your destinations. Quite a bit different from your supposed five days. If you want a relaxing vacation and to experience some (not all) of the best that Colorado has to offer you will need to cut back on what you're trying to see and/or (preferably 'and') add that extra day to your trip.

    If you decide to cut back on your itinerary, there are two pretty good possibilities. A Denver/Boulder/Rocky Mountain NP/Black Hawk/Golden/Denver loop is one possibility and would be the more compact of the two, while a Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs/Great Sand Dunes NP/Florissant Fossil Beds NM loop would be a fair bit longer but include more of the places on your initial itinerary. We just got back from spending a few days on that southern loop so you might find a few ideas in that report.


  3. Default

    Thank you very much for all the info! This helps us out greatly and gives us some better options. This forum is great!

  4. Default

    We decided to stay the extra day and go the second route you talked about. Are there any hotel suggestions you have? We will be doing a mix of budget and nice but would really like a place 1 night that has hot springs. Thanks again for all your help and info. It's definitely going to make our trip more enjoyable!

  5. #5

    Default "Taking the waters"

    Quote Originally Posted by josie8196 View Post
    ...... would really like a place 1 night that has hot springs. !
    While I have never soaked at Cottonwood Hot Springs, I've toured the area up Cottonwood Pass between Taylor Park Reservoir on the west side and Buena Vista on the east side. The hot spring is right on the paved road between BV and the Pass. As is often the case, it gets mixed reviews on various forums, but suffice it to say it is a somewhat rustic, hippie-style place with modest (but expensive) rooms and hot pools into which the natural mineral waters flow.

    The drive from Gunnison up to Taylor Park and over the Pass (over 12,000'), then down to BV is awesome!


  6. Default

    Thank you for your reply!

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