Map of Best of Colorado			 including United States Of America

Road trip the best of the Rockies in Colorado

Colorado is big on beauty with snow-capped peaks, vast mesas and dramatic canyons at every turn. From hiking around Rocky Mountains National Park to exploring ancient archaeological sites and taking in show-stopping mountain views, this tour includes plenty of highlights and some lesser-known surprises along the way. Whether you’re a keen outdoor adventurer or prefer a relaxing scenic drive, this Colorado tour offers all you’re dreaming of and more.


Start
Denver, United States
Finish
Santa Fe, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs where dramatic sandstone rock formations are silhouetted against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.

  • Get to know Colorado’s lively capital as you explore Denver with your local leader. Check out the colourful River North Arts District and learn how local artists have brought this beloved neighbourhood back to life.

  • Have your camera ready during a scenic drive through Rocky Mountains National Park where spectacular scenes stream past the window at every turn.

  • Road trip your way along Colorado's Million Dollar Highway, one of the most scenic routes in the USA.

  • Join a ranger to explore the jaw-dropping Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • Stroll through the sprawling and serene Ghost Ranch, home to Georgia O’Keefe’s summer house and studio, plus thousands of well-preserved fossils.

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are many opportunities for easy/intermediate hikes, and sturdy footwear is recommended.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • No matter how fit you are, altitude sickness can still affect you. Our leaders are trained to spot the symptoms, but it is very important that you make yourself aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. You can find our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/us/altitude-sickness

Itinerary

Welcome to Colorado! Your adventure begins in Denver, where a meeting will take place at 9am this morning for you to link up with your local leader and fellow travellers. Colorado’s capital has a flourishing food and music scene, but the best way to get to know the city is by admiring its art. After your meeting, head to the River North (RiNo) Arts District, a hub for colour and creativity. Here your leader will introduce you to a vibrant collection of works, from graffiti and murals to fascinating 3D installations, and explain how local artists have brought this beloved neighbourhood back to life. In the early afternoon, leave the rush of the city behind and drive to scenic Estes Park, at the gates of Rocky Mountain National Park. Settle into your hotel and enjoy some time to get to know the area. This evening, you may like to take a spine-tingling tour of the vast Stanley Hotel, famed for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s 1977 horror novel and a hotbed of paranormal activity.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Denver – Art Tour
Optional Activities
  • Estes Park – Evening Ghost Tour - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 2 hours.
Rise and shine! It’s time to head into Rocky Mountain National Park, undoubtedly the state’s most scenic spot. Have your camera at the ready for a drive through the park, as spectacular scenes stream past the window. After the drive, hit one of the best-loved trails in the park for a hike to Bear Lake. This 1-kilometre loop will reward you with some truly unforgettable views, including Bear Lake itself, framed by glorious mountains. After a delicious picnic lunch, the rest of the day is free for your own discoveries – your leader will be on hand to offer suggestions, whether you feel like getting active or taking it easy.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rocky Mountain National Park - Hike
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – Scenic Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, make tracks from Estes Park to Colorado Springs, stopping along the way at the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. This world-famous concert venue is carved into a gigantic rock structure and has played host to many notable musicians since it opened in 1941. Here you’ll have some time to check out the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and grab some lunch. Carry on to Colorado Springs, where you’ll settle into your accommodation before heading out to the Garden of the Gods. Spend the afternoon discovering this remarkable landscape where dramatic sandstone rock formations are silhouetted against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Colorado Springs - Garden of the Gods
  • Morrison - Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 3 hours.
Settle back and relax on the drive from Colorado Springs to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park where you’ll discover some of the most dramatic canyon spires in North America. Carved out of the rocks by the Gunnison River, this lesser known canyon has steep sides and big views. Stop for lunch en route (own expense) before you embark on the famous South Rim Drive which packs a dozen scenic outlooks into less than 7 miles. Your leader will use their insider knowledge to make sure you stop at all the best ones. From here, it's a quick drive to Montrose and your hotel for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Montrose - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 7.5 hours.
Today you’ll explore one of the most scenic roads in Colorado, the famous Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton. After breakfast, drive to Ouray and go on a guided hike selected by your leader, followed by an enlightening tour of the Ouray Alchemist Museum. Step back in time to the Wild West and learn all about frontier medicine from the museum's curator. After your visit, drive south towards Silverton on the Million Dollar Highway stopping at all the best overlooks. After dinner at a local farm to table restaurant on a ranch outside of Durango, check into your hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ouray - Hike
  • Ouray - Million Dollar Highway
  • Ouray - Alchemy Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
After breakfast, drive to Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and spend the day taking in a landscape filled with expansive views, vast mesas and canyons. Your leader will decide which walks to do based on the group’s interests and fitness levels. You’ll also join a ranger-led tour for a visit to Cliff House, the largest Native American cliff dwelling in North America. After you’ve explored the trails and enjoyed a tasty picnic lunch, drive back to Durango where you’ll have the rest of the day to explore your way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Mesa Verde - Guided Tour of Ruins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Today you will travel to Santa Fe in New Mexico, making a stop along the way at the 21,000-acre Ghost Ranch. Here you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs with a self-guided walk through the inspiring landscape. Georgia O’Keefe’s summer home and studio were located in Ghost Ranch, so you may recognise some of the scenes from her paintings. Famed not only for its contributions to the artistic world, the ranch is home to thousands of well-preserved fossils, including skeletons of a small Triassic dinosaur. You can expect to arrive in Santa Fe around 4 pm, at which point your trip comes to an end. If you would like to extend your stay in Santa Fe, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Abiquiú - Ghost Ranch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.

Meals

6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Denver – Art Tour
  • Rocky Mountain National Park - Hike
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – Scenic Drive
  • Colorado Springs - Garden of the Gods
  • Morrison - Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
  • Montrose - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Ouray - Hike
  • Ouray - Million Dollar Highway
  • Ouray - Alchemy Museum
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Mesa Verde - Guided Tour of Ruins
  • Abiquiú - Ghost Ranch

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of Colorado trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 9am on Day 1 in Denver. Please make your own way to the Joining Point listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary.
2. This trip finishes at approximately 4pm in Santa Fe. No accommodation is booked for this evening. If departing this day, please do not book any flights before 8pm. If you would like to spend more time in Santa Fe, we can request additional accommodation for you post tour. Please speak to your booking agent.
3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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