Colorado Loop: Colorado and Utah

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

5 days spent road tripping in Colorado and Utah, stopping at three National Parks, a National Monument, and spending an evening in Denver. We did this trip in late March, and there was snow in the mountains still. Check out our itinerary and go on this awesome road trip yourself! 

Click here to watch on YouTube:

This was our first road trip with our camper van. Although it wasn't even close to being finished, we had a bed, and that's what mattered the most! We took full advantage of this by taking a few road-side naps.

Day 1 - Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park

Rent snow shoes from YMCA or local outfitter during winter/spring

  • Bear Lake Trail (.5mi)

  • Alberta Falls (2 mile loop)

  • Emerald Lake Trail (3.1 mile hike)

  • Estes Park Tram

  • 4:00- Leave Rocky Mt. National Park

  • 6:15 pm - arrive at Silver Plume campsite

Rocky Mountain National Park

Day 2 Arches Nat'l Park

  • Leave Silver Plume, CO

  • Hanging lake: 2.8mi (or skip if you want more time in Arches)

  • Arrive at Arches: Arches is an out and back National Park. It's very doable to see a majority of the park in one day. Listed below are the arches we hiked to see.

  • Delicate Arch

  • Landscape Arch

  • Balanced rock

  • Double Arch

Castleton Tower’s Climbers Campsite: Moab, Utah, 38.642319, -109.376765

We do not recommend staying at this campsite. It was packed and the road to get in was very uneven! It would be best to pay for a site near Arches. But, if you need a free campsite in this area, this one is an option. Just arrive early and be prepared for lots of pot holes!

Day 3 - Black Canyon of the Gunnison Nat'l Park

  • Leave campsite

  • Arrive at Black Canyon

  • Exclamation Point trail (2.9mi, north rim)

  • Painted Wall hike (.2mi, do around sunset)

  • Camp at BLM land in Montrose, Colorado. 38.53065, -107.720228

Unfortunately we didn't do good enough research on this park because it was closed until late spring! We did get to go the visitor center and catch a few glimpses of the canyon. The above list is what we had planned to do in the National Park. We'll definitely have to stop a different day. I hear this park is awesome for star gazing!

Day 4 Pike's Peak/ Garden of the Gods

9:00 am - Leave campsite

2:00 pm - arrive at Pike’s Peak

  • St. Peters Dome trail (1.2 mi)

  • Garden of the Gods

  • Perkins central garden trail (1.1mi loop)

Stay overnight at Bass Pro Shop (1hr 20mins from GoG) in Colorado Springs 39.02371, -104.826538 if you are sleeping in a camper van/ RV (You can stay one night in the Bass Pro parking lot on the southwest side there are about 11 RV/Semi spots and they have view of the Rockies)

This was the best free campsite we could find in the area, but there are some paid campsites as well if you are tent camping or use a pop-up camper. 

Day 5 - Denver

9:00 am - leave Bass Pro Shop

10:00 am - arrive at Denver

  • Denver Central Market

  • Denver Pizza Company

  • Ozzi’s Ice Cream

We loved visiting Colorado and dipping our toes into the state of Utah! We will definitely be back, preferably in a warmer season when there won't be as much snow in the mountains. We've still got quite a few Parks to hit up in both of these states!

Thank You for Reading

Click here to watch this road trip on YouTube:

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