One Week Itinerary for Colorado

I love to prepare travel itineraries and I spent at least 20 hours over the past week perfecting an itinerary for a one week trip to Colorado I’m going on next month with a girlfriend.

This is a photo from two years ago of a trip to Durango and Silverton, Colorado.  This time I’ll be exploring Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder, Denver, Golden, Evergreen, and Idaho Springs.  I booked lodging through Airbnb for two of the locations and used Vacation Rental By Owner for the third location.  I’ve packed quite a bit in for the week…but with good planning utilizing a variety of online travel sites to include Trip Advisor, Yelp, and google maps, I’m confident we’ll be able to see it all without feeling rushed.  I’m flexible, so if we want to switch something up once we’re there, we can.  If you’ve been to any of these places or have any other recommendations, please share!  I have prices listed to give people an idea of how much things cost in the event someone wants to use any of the itinerary.  By choosing rentals that have a kitchen, we can cut down on the cost of food.

I can’t wait to hike and take some photographs!


9/2013 –       4:00am – Depart home – drive to airport

                        6:15am – Depart Cinci                                                          $230.00

                        7:15am – Arrive Denver

                                       Friend’s flight arrives at 10:30am

                        Rent Car through Thrifty Car Rental 11:00am        $115.00 per person

                        (Conf # _________)

                       45 min. drive to Walmart for groceries   (approx.)      $50.00 per person

                        12:45pm – 15 min. drive to Lyons Fork Restaurant

                                           arrive 1:00pm

                        2:30pm – Drive to Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park            $20 (permit fee)

                                       Visitors Center

                                       Arrive approx. 3:00pm

                        3:15pm – Drive to Bear Lake (30 min. drive)

                                        & hike ½ mile

                        5:15pm – Drive 45 mins. to resort

                        5:30pm – c/In at resort                                                       $131.00 each

                                    conf # ____________

                                    Contact: ___________ & Phone # __________

                        Have dinner in room

                        Use heated pool and hot tub

9/2013 –      Drive on trail ridge road – takes 1 ½ hrs. to reach top

                        Hike – take packed lunch

                        Have dinner at View Restaurant, Rock Inn Mountain Tavern or

                        Twin Owls Steakhouse

                         Use hot tub at resort

9/2013 –         c/o at 11am (c/o is by noon) – Depart & drive                        $149.00 each

                         1 hr. to Boulder

                          12noon – Have lunch at one of these restaurants:

                                                Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

                                                Q’s Restaurant

                                                Aji Restaurant

                        Contact: ___________  Phone #__________

                        c/in 1 or 2pm  Code is _______ for front door – key in door

                        Have dinner at home

9/2013 –         Have one meal at home

                          Check out Redstone Meadery (2nd largest meadery in the

                          U.S. (wine made from honey) located on Pearl St.

9/2013 –         c/o at 9am (c/o is by 11am) – Drive to Denver (40 mins.)

                        Park car at our Condo…walk 1 mile to

                        Downtown & 16th Street Mall area (a 1 mile long

                        Pedestrian promenade with shops, restaurants, etc.)

                        12noon – walk a block over to Larimer Square

                        & have lunch at one of theRestaurants…possibly Osteria Marco

                        c/In is at 2:00pm

                        __________ Condos                                                            $145.00 each

                        Wifi password – __________


                        Contact:___________  Phone # _____________

                        Have dinner at rental

                        Go out to bar in evening – Possibly

                        Grizzly Rose, Tavern Downtown, Lodo’s Bar, and Cowboy Lounge

9/2013 –       Rent bikes

                        Wine tasting

9/2013 –       9:00am – Drive to Idaho Springs (40 mins.)

                        Take short hike to St. Mary’s Glacier

                        12:00pm – Drive to Evergreen (30 mins.)

                         Have lunch at Willow Creek Restaurant

                         Make reservations by window or outside


                        1:30pm – Take short hike ________

                        3:00pm  – Drive to Golden (30 mins.)

                        Have dinner at one of these restaurants:

                        The Bridgewater Grill, Sherpa House Restaurant,

                        Mannie & Bo’s Pizzeria, or Old Capital Grill

                        5:30pm – Drive to Red Rock – 15 mins.

                        7:00pm – Red Rock Amphitheater –                                    $60.00

                         Attend concert

9/2013 –        5:45AM – Leave rental – drive to airport

                        drop car off

                        8:30AM – Depart Denver – Flight #________

                        1:03PM – Arrive Cinci

                                                             Approx cost for restaurants                 $140.00

                                                            GRAND TOTAL:                                       $1085.00

28 thoughts on “One Week Itinerary for Colorado

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  6. Love your organization, I do the same as well as my plan in writing, my daily attire depending on how many activities required right down to jewelry and shoes, that way I do not over pack (much) Have a wonderful trip!


  7. I do the same thing. Most people probably think we are nuts. We are preparing to go to this year’s National Real Estate convention in San Francisco. We are going to leave a week early so that we can hike Yosemite. My itineraries are like yours, including the driving times, restaurants, walking routes in the city and even which hiking trails to do in Yosemite (with estimated times for them too). I have done this for most of our trips. What I found is if you do the pre-planning then you don’t waste time trying to decide where to eat or what to do next. I found that it allows me to relax more and get the most out of each trip. Plus it is a great way to learn about other parts of the country and world. By the way, I grew up in Columbus, so it must be an Ohio thing. 🙂


  8. Your trip sounds like so much fun! All of the places will be so beautiful in September. The road to Bear Lake is under construction currently and traffic is allowed but there are delays at times. They will finish this fall but I’m not sure the exact date but hopefully it’s a smooth drive for you!


      • I’m glad to hear that they’re almost done! It’s been closed for so long we don’t even think about going that way now. Which hike are you going to do while you’re up there? There are so many beautiful ones. I know you have a lot planned/scheduled but if you get a free hour or so the Peak to Peak Hwy outside of Estes offers amazing views, especially if the aspens have turned! It actually goes all the way I-70 but there are plenty of places to turn around.


      • We were planning on the half mile loop around the lake since that’s our first day there coming straight from the airport. I’m not sure which hike to do the following day when we’re on the trail ridge road. Is that the same as the Peak to Peak Hwy? Do you have a hike to recommend. My friend can do about 3 miles. I’m gone as far as 13 miles in Yosemite…but need to accommodate her.


      • The Peak to Peak is different from Trail Ridge Road, it’s actually not part of the park, it goes south out of Estes. I haven’t done many short hikes on Trail Ridge, sorry!, it’s usually snowy or freezing when we’re there. At Rock Cut there’s a walk/hike on the tundra, it’s steep in the beginning but does level out. There are neat rock formations and you can climb on the rocks for awesome views. It’s not very long but the altitude can be taxing so it seems longer.


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