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3 days in Denver itinerary

San Jose, California
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3 days in Denver itinerary

Hi Friends,

We are one couple in 30. We are visiting Denver from Spe1-3. I like driving and watching scenery. Rocky Mountain is a must for me but I need a suggested itinerary based upon your experience.

Sat (Sep1), I will be reaching around 10 AM at Denver, Sep4 (Tuesday) early morning taking flight to san francisco.

Thanks in advance !

Windsor, Colorado
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1. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

It appears from your question that you are lodging in Denver. Is this correct or do you have the option of spending the night in another location?

Are you interested in short walks or hikes of around a mile or less?

Edited: 9:58 pm, August 09, 2012
San Jose, California
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2. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

I have not booked hotel yet. But mostly staying in Denver and renting car to drive around. Short walks or hike should be fine.

denver
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3. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

IMO, you will want to spend one night near one of the entrances to RMNP to spend 2 days there. It's difficult to do it justice as a day trip out of Denver. I might suggest driving to Estes Park on Sat and spending Sat in Estes. Take Trail Ridge through the park on Sunday and go back to denver for Sun night. Drive to Colo Springs on Monday to see Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds. A lot of driving though.

San Jose, California
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4. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

that's good.. any suggested hotel near by RMNP ? Also any guide or information like what to see inside the park and any drive way which is like must do while going to RMNP ?

Thanks friends....

Windsor, Colorado
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5. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

Saturday, drive the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to Estes Park. coloradodot.info/travel/…peak-to-peak

On highway 7 near Estes Park, you might enjoy either the .7 mile Lily Lake trail loop or the better views from the 1.1 mile loop Lily Ridge Trail. From DIA along the Peak to Peak is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

In Rocky Mountain National Park (adjacent to Estes Park), you can enter Bear Lake Road (due to reconstruction restrictions) in your auto at 4:00 pm. Be at the Beaver Meadows Entrance on highway 36 at 3:45 pm. Stop at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on your way to the entrance station and buy the $2 guide to Trail Ridge Road for your trip Sunday. You will get a map at the Entrance Station. Drive to Bear Lake and take the .6 mile loop around Bear Lake. This is a "must do" for most people. On your way back down Bear Lake Road, stop and take the .5 mile loop around Sprague Lake. Across from the Moraine Park Visitor Center, drive the loop road to the Fern Lake and Cub Lake Trailheads.

Sunday, see this link for a timeline and itinerary for driving and exploring Trail Ridge Road. Reply #8 has some highlights. It is in the Top Questions on the RMNP forum. All the walks mentioned are easy.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g143048-i3489-k542…

Add the Alluvial Fan and the .2 mile walk to the waterfall to this. Shortly after you enter RMNP at the Fall River Entrance, you will see the road to Endovalley and the Alluvial Fan to your right. It is a short detour on your way to Trail Ridge Road. This is another "must do."

You can download a map of RMNP at www.nps.gov/romo under park tools.

www.estesparkcvb.com has lodging summaries for Estes Park. There are hotels, cabins, condos, B&B's, vacation homes--numerous options. Many places will have minimum stay requirements for the Saturday night of Labor Day weekend. Some to check-- Discovery Lodge, Rocky Mountain Park Inn, Mountain Sage Inn, Swiftcurrent Lodge, Comfort Inn. You can check reviews by going to the Estes Park forum and clicking on the hotels link. Lodging category links will appear across the top. You will have better luck finding the one night stay by calling. Some places that have minimum stays built into their reservations online have one nighters available. Do not wait to book this! If you have problems, call the CVB as they often have a list of places with one night stays available. You can also request lodging availability at the lodging link on the cvb site. You will get some automated responses.

Windsor, Colorado
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6. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

Bruce, I did a quick check of some of the places I like in Estes Park and there were some one nighters for Saturday sandwiched in between other stays. I prefer condos or cabins or rooms on a river, most of which are listed in the top ranked specialty lodging section of the reviews for Estes Park here on TA. You do pay to be on the river.

WestSlope,CO
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7. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

With the limited time you have, I would recommend staying Saturday and Sunday night in Estes Park. On Monday, drive back to Denver to stay near the airport for your early departure. You will find plenty to do on Sunday, then on Monday, spend the whole day driving Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake and back to Denver, exploring along the way. I would not go to Colorado Springs. You'll find more choices of lodging if you spend two nights in Estes Park, and there's plenty to see and do along this route.

From Grand Lake, drive to Granby and Winter Park along Hwy 40 and south to Interstate 70, then to Denver. If you have time, you could take the Mount Evans drive at Idaho Springs. If short on time, you might skip the drive to the Mount Evans summit. Or, head back toward Denver and spend some time Sunday evening sightseeing and having dinner downtown. Or maybe explore Red Rocks park, which is part of the same geological formation as Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Windsor, Colorado
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8. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

The last day the summit of Mount Evans is open is Labor Day, September 3. I would not want to drive both Trail Ridge Road and the Mount Evans Scenic Byway in the same day. That would be too much mountain driving for me. If you want to drive to the summit (lacking a 1/4 mile which you can walk) of over 14,000 foot Mount Evans, drive and explore TRR on Sunday and then continue through Grand Lake to Winter Park and over Berthoud Pass as Missp pointed out back to Denver. This is a very pretty drive. Do the Mount Evans Scenic Byway as a day trip from Denver on Monday. Get an early start as lots of folks may remember Monday is the last day for the summit. www.mountevans.com

Drive all of the scenic byway--103 from Bergen Park to Echo Lake (great overlooks at Eagle's Aerie and Juniper Pass), highway 5 to the summit (1600 year old bristlecone pines at Mount Goliath Nature Area, Summit Lake and the Chicago Lakes Basin Overlook) and 103 from Echo Lake to Idaho Springs. The 5 miles of the byway from Summit Lake to the summit are hair raising but worth it!! You can have lunch in Idaho Springs at Beau Jo's, Two Brother's Deli or Tommyknockers.

I agree with Missp. You can skip Colorado Springs for this trip.

Edited: 11:52 am, August 10, 2012
Windsor, Colorado
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9. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

Here is a link for the mapquest route to Mount Evans from Denver. It only goes to Summit Lake, the summit is 5 miles further (10 miles round trip). Plan on 4 hours driving time from Denver to the summit and then to Idaho Springs. This does not include stops.

http://mapq.st/NkoC1i

San Jose, California
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10. Re: 3 days in Denver itinerary

thanks for all excellent posts !

Is it possible to come to Denver through trail ridge road on Sunday ? In that case I can halt in denver and next day I may go to Mount Evans or colorado springs...