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Old 08-07-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Hi All,
I am new to this forum and this is my 1st post. Would request if someone can recommend other threads which will help me regarding my below question.

2 (Adults) of us are planning a 5 day trip to Colorado in the 1st week of Sep. This is basically a road/photography trip for us. Following is the itinerary. I understand that this involves a lot of driving and I would still like to have your suggestions on how I can make this trip more "efficient/enjoyable"

Day 1 --> Late Night arrival in Denver, stay overnight near Estes Park.
Day 2 --> RMNP, Trail Ridge, Longs PEak, Cottonwood Pass Scenic Drive. Stay overnight at the same place near Estes Park
Day 3 --> Leave early morning for Mt. Evans, Summit Lake. Also see Mt. Elbert, Independence Pass and then leave for Aspen. Overnight stay around Aspen
Day 4 --> See Aspen, Maroon Bells and then leave for Arches NP. On the way see Ghost Town of Cisco, UT. Stay overnight around Arches NP
Day 5 --> See Arches NP, Dead Horse Point SP and Canyonlands NP (I could avoid this though). Leave for Colorada Springs and on the way "touch" Vail and Breckenridge. Overnight stay somewhere near Pikes Peak
Day 6 --> Pikes Peak, Garden of Gods, Seven Falls and Manitou Springs. Catch late night Flight back from Denver

1. Should I change the order ins any way in order to hit upon places with possible "Fall Colour" leaves...if Any?
2. Would anything be closed since we may be going to places after labour day ?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:54 PM
 
3,793 posts, read 3,982,404 times
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Probably too early for much fall color. Nothing you mentioned should be closed.

It is your trip, and while I sometimes have traveled pretty hard & fast myself, it struck me that you will be driving to Utah to spend less than 24 hours there, not much more than 12 in the light. Would you consider cutting 1/2 - 1 day of Colorado activities for more time in Utah or cutting out Utah for this trip and giving yourself more time doing stuff in Colorado and doing less driving?

Last edited by NW Crow; 08-07-2011 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Agreed - too much driving, too many sights to see, too little time.
Also not much chance of seeing fall foliage that early in September.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:52 PM
 
3,793 posts, read 3,982,404 times
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A similar thread for an 8 day trip
Advice needed for summer vacation



If you want see alternatives that include Utah, this is one possible partial reshuffle and it is still busy.

Day 1 Late Night arrival in Denver, stay overnight near Estes Park.

Day 2 RMNP, Trail Ridge, Longs Peak. Stay overnight near Lake Granby.

Day 3 Leave early morning for Moab. Touch Vail along the way. See Ghost Town of Cisco, UT. Dead Horse Point SP. Stay overnight in Moab.

Day 4 See Arches NP. Maybe something else in the area.
Stay overnight or drive back late to Glenwood Springs.

Day 5 See Aspen. Visit Maroon Bells. Go over Independence Pass. Stay in Breckenridge.

Day 6 Mt. Evans, Summit Lake. Catch late night Flight back from Denver.

Last edited by NW Crow; 08-07-2011 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,860 posts, read 21,983,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manishbit View Post
Hi All,
I am new to this forum and this is my 1st post. Would request if someone can recommend other threads which will help me regarding my below question.

2 (Adults) of us are planning a 5 day trip to Colorado in the 1st week of Sep. This is basically a road/photography trip for us. Following is the itinerary. I understand that this involves a lot of driving and I would still like to have your suggestions on how I can make this trip more "efficient/enjoyable"

Day 1 --> Late Night arrival in Denver, stay overnight near Estes Park.
Day 2 --> RMNP, Trail Ridge, Longs PEak, Cottonwood Pass Scenic Drive. Stay overnight at the same place near Estes Park
Day 3 --> Leave early morning for Mt. Evans, Summit Lake. Also see Mt. Elbert, Independence Pass and then leave for Aspen. Overnight stay around Aspen
Day 4 --> See Aspen, Maroon Bells and then leave for Arches NP. On the way see Ghost Town of Cisco, UT. Stay overnight around Arches NP
Day 5 --> See Arches NP, Dead Horse Point SP and Canyonlands NP (I could avoid this though). Leave for Colorada Springs and on the way "touch" Vail and Breckenridge. Overnight stay somewhere near Pikes Peak
Day 6 --> Pikes Peak, Garden of Gods, Seven Falls and Manitou Springs. Catch late night Flight back from Denver

1. Should I change the order ins any way in order to hit upon places with possible "Fall Colour" leaves...if Any?
2. Would anything be closed since we may be going to places after labour day ?

Thanks
I'm only going to comment on the Utah portion of your trip. Trust me, you couldn't possibly do justice to all three of the places you are considering visiting on day five in just one day. If I were you, I'd stick strictly to Arches for that day. There is way more than enough to keep you busy there for a single day, so you're going to have to pick and choose anyway. Don't compound the problem by trying to fit in more than you can possibly enjoy. While in Arches, hike to Delicate Arch and the Fiery Furnace (you need advance reservations for this very popular ranger-led hike). In the evening, get one of the local (Moab) companies drive you up over Hell's Revenge in a Hummer. You'll thoroughly enjoy the day I've outlined. Otherwise, you'll just end up frustrated and exhausted.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:08 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,523,464 times
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Sounds like a hell of a lot of driving over roads that will take some time. Colorado 2 lane roads look so straight and quick on the Rand McNally Map but that isn't the reality.

I'd cut the trip down some.

There might be a wee bit of fall color out there, the east side of independence pass usually turns before the west side.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,666,650 times
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Whenver questions like this are posted on the forum, everybody's knee jerk response is always, "oh that's too much to do in just a few days." Well I'd disagree. Sometimes people just want to have a "sample platter" vacation, and there's nothing wrong with that. A nice diversity of scenery & things to do, instead of all one thing. If you're new and/or unfamiliar with these areas, that can be a great way to discover which places you'd like to come back to and see more in depth next time.

Arches and Canyonlands (& dead horse point) are very close to each other and they can both certainly be done in one day, one in the morning and one in the evening.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,181 posts, read 5,612,834 times
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If you're arriving in Denver late at night, just keep in mind that Estes Park is nearly an hour and a half drive from the airport. You probably already know this, but I just wanted to reiterate in case you might be tired after the flight, especially if you arrive late at night.

Overall, you're not going to have a lot of time in any of those places, but, like vegaspilgrim said, if you want a quick 'drive by' sample of all of these places, it should be do-able. If you have to cut anything out, I'd say delete the Vail and Breckenridge portion of the trip and travel directly to Colorado Springs from UT. It's not that Vail and Breckenridge aren't worth visiting, but when compared to everything else, I'd say they're the least important.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,834,005 times
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Seems like an awful lot of driving to me, but I'm one of those people who drive to my vacation destination, park my car and do everything on foot while I'm there, so I select my destination to allow for this. My car generally sits idle until the day of my departure. Of the places you listed, I'd personally choose the Aspen option and hang out there for 5 days. But to each his/her own...different strokes for different folks. Since you seem to prefer the sample platter option mentioned by vegaspilgrim, I will say that you've put together a rather tasty platter. I hope you have a VERY comfortable vehichle for all that driving. Enjoy!
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,433,442 times
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If the OP is anything like me this is too much to do by at least 25%. I am the type that like to take photography trips, but I may stop every 10 miles because there is a sight I just have to stop and shoot. If the place is really nice, I may sit around and just enjoy the surroundings for 30 minutes. Add in a little hiking (hey, I bet the light would hit those trees perfectly if only I were half-way around this lake)...

To each their own, but to me, this schedule is more than a little aggressive.
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