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Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

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Auckland Region...
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Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

I'm from New Zealand and we are planning a vacation late September departing and arriving 20 September. Our main itinerary is self drive Denver, Cheyenne, Rapid City, Cody, Yellowstone, Jackson, Salt Lake City. We have 10 days because after Salt Lake City, we drive to a convention in Fresno and we have to be in Fresno on 1 October. We would like to see Aspen, but no itineraries seem to include this as part of this tour from Denver - even as a day trip from Denver. Is it doable or is Aspen a trip of it's own? Can we do Aspen from Denver in a day or is that crazy?

WestSlope,CO
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1. Re: Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

Aspen's close to 4 hours from Denver, probably more with stops, so it is too far for a day trip from Denver for most people. You could drive to Aspen and then to Yellowstone from there, but most itineraries don't include it because it would be a little out of the way. But if you have the time, it could certainly be done.

Park City, Utah
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2. Re: Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

As noted, it just isn't close to anywhere you're going. Yes, you could do it but you would give up two days in an itinerary that is already too crowded for 10 days. My suggestion is to choose between Aspen and Rapid City. And, if you did that, SLC would be a more practical gateway over Denver. But as noted, it's a solid four hours from Denver to Aspen so a daytrip is not very practical.

One other random thought. You could make it a full loop trip and go Yellowstone/GTNP to SLC to Aspen and back to Denver, then fly to Fresno.

Finally, have you looked into the rental car costs and have you found a package where you don't get hit with a one-day drop fee?

Good luck.

WestSlope,CO
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3. Re: Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

Yes, a loop starting in either Denver or Salt Lake City could include Aspen. (Be sure to drive to Redstone and up McClure Pass for some of the prettiest views of mountains and aspen groves.) But seems to me like it would mean skipping something either way. Start in Denver, skip Salt Lake City. Start in Salt Lake, skip Denver and Rapid City. Then fly to California.

Auckland Region...
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4. Re: Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

Excellent, thank you everyone. I didn't think it was possible and we would probably want longer in Aspen. Our itinerary is based from an existing tour that goes Denver, Cheyenne, Rapid City, Sheridan, Cody, Yellowstone, Jackson, Salt Lake City and that tour alone takes 11 days, so we will just stick with that. We have travelled the USA every year for the last 11 years, so we kind of know what we are doing. We always use Hertz rental cars and are #1 Gold Club Members, but will look at other rental options regarding the one way fees.

5. Re: Aspen to Denver to Yellowstone National Park?

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