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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

7 Day Road Trip from Denver: One Week in Colorado

Snowy Mountain - Colorado Itinerary 7 Days

If you’re a fan of road trips, mountain views, hiking, and national parks, Colorado is an incredible state to explore. While a week is barely enough time to scratch the surface, you can plan a 7 day Colorado road trip to enjoy all of the above!

Starting in Denver, you’ll visit some of northern Colorado’s best places. Stop in well-known cities like Boulder and Estes Park, then get off the beaten path with visits to smaller towns like Fraser. Here’s how to spend 7 days in Colorado.

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Tips for Planning a 7 Day Road Trip from Denver

  • Hotels: Find the best hotel deals for your 7 days in Colorado on

  • Rental Cars: Use DiscoverCars to find cheap rental car options from Denver International Airport.

  • Best Time to Visit: Summer is the best time to visit Colorado, but it will also be the busiest.

  • Road Trip Overview: Denver to Boulder, Boulder to Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park to Winter Park (or Colorado Springs).

Colorado Itinerary 7 Days

Explore some of northern Colorado’s best cities and most scenic areas with this 7 day road trip from Denver. Once you arrive in Denver International Airport and grab your rental car, or maybe you’re making a mega road trip to Denver from Dallas like me, it’s time to explore these gems in Northern Colorado.

  • Denver to Boulder

  • Boulder

  • Estes Park

  • Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Estes Park to Winter Park

  • Winter Park & Fraser (Or Colorado Springs)

  • Back to Denver

Woman and dog hiking - 7 Day Road Trip From Denver

Day 1 | Denver to Boulder

Fly into Denver and grab your rental car. From here, it’s time to head to Boulder, the first stop on this 7 day road trip from Denver! The drive is about 40 minutes, so if you’re arriving in the morning or midday, plan to have dinner in Boulder. 

If you have any daylight hours left, you can wander around Pearl Street or even go for a short hike. Otherwise, enjoy dinner and possibly visit a brewery for after dinner beers in Boulder, Colorado.

Day 2 | Explore Boulder

Spend the day in Boulder, Colorado, a popular university city. Some of the best things to do in Boulder are visiting Pearl Street for shopping and sightseeing, going to the Boulder Farmers Market on Saturdays, having lunch at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, enjoying the Fiske Planetarium and campus of University of Boulder, and of course hiking.

Where to Eat in Boulder:
  • Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

  • The Sink (burgers and pizza)

  • Illegal Pete’s (Mexican food)

  • The Hungry Toad (pub)

  • Pits & Stems (cocktail bar)

  • VisionQuest Brewery

  • Gabee Coffee

Where to Stay in Boulder:

Woman hiking near river - 7 days in Colorado

Day 3 | Estes Park

You can grab breakfast in Boulder first, or plan to hit the road early and drive to Estes Park. This town is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park nestled in a mountain valley and offers cozy cabins, scenic hiking, great restaurants, and other fun activities.

Some of the best things to do in Estes Park itself are taking the aerial tramway up to the summit of Prospect Mountain, hiking around Lake Estes or at Hermit Park Open Space (check out Kruger Rock Trail for an epic dog-friendly hike!), and enjoying the shopping and dining along Elkhorn Avenue.

Where to Eat in Estes Park:
  • Himalayan Curry & Kebob (dog-friendly patio)

  • The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern (dog-friendly patio)

  • Raven's Roast Coffee Lounge

  • Penelope’s famous burgers

  • Kind Coffee (right on the river 😍)

  • The Barrel (dog-friendly beer garden)

  • The Sundae Saloon (ice cream)

Where to Stay in Estes Park:

Day 4 | Rocky Mountain National Park

From Estes Park, plan a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Make sure you plan your visit in advance as timed entry tickets are required. There is also an entrance fee into the national park or you can use your “America the Beautiful” annual pass.

Make sure you get the timed entry pass with access to Bear Lake Road. It will open up so many more hiking options for you if you’re visiting from Estes Park. Some of the most popular trails (with good reason) in Rocky Mountain National Park are Lake Haiyaha (4 mile trail) and Emerald Lake (3.2 mile trail).

Holzworth historic cabin in Rocky Mountain National Park

Day 5 | Estes Park to Winter Park

On the fifth day of your one week in Colorado, start with breakfast in Estes Park at Kind Coffee. They have a delicious food menu, cute indoor dining area, and an outdoor seating area right on the river. 

Next, it’s time to head to Winter Park, Colorado. You can drive through Rocky Mountain National Park for the quickest and most scenic route. If you choose to do this, make sure to get a timed entry pass for this day as well (you can purchase a 7-day entrance pass for about $5 more than a single day pass). 

Note: Trail Ridge Road which runs through Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)  from Estes Park to Winter Park is only open seasonally. It generally closes at the end of October and opens again after Memorial Day Weekend.

It takes about 2 hours to get from Estes Park to Winter Park. If you drive through RMNP, you can stop at some of the lookout points along the way, I recommend doing this. This might add an hour or two to your drive depending on how often and how long you stop.

Day 6 | Winter Park & Fraser

Explore Winter Park and the nearby Fraser on day 6 of this 7 day Colorado road trip. They’re both small towns, but they’re so charming and offer nice restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and tons of nearby hiking.

I recommend going on the gondola in Winter Park which is open in the summer for scenic riding. Other popular activities include mountain biking and fly fishing.

Beer tasting - 7 day road trip from Denver

Where to Eat in Winter Park & Fraser:
  • Deno’s Mountain Bistro | American food with unique flares

  • Randi’s Grill & Pub | Irish pub serving classics like fish n’ chips

  • Moon Frog Coffee Shop | Coffee, burritos, muffins, etc. and a great patio

  • Rollin’ Street Bakery | Serves breakfast and lunch chimney sandwiches

  • Charlie’s Frozen Treat Shop | Perfect place for a cold sweet treat

Where to Stay in Winter Park:

Day 7 | Back to Denver or Colorado Springs

Enjoy breakfast in Winter Park, I recommend Rollin’ Street Bakery for their chimney bread sandwiches 🤤. If you’re flying out of Denver International Airport, the drive from Winter Park is about 1.5 hours so remember to plan your departure accordingly.

Pro Tip: If you prefer larger cities, swap Winter Park for Colorado Springs. Only an hour south of Denver, it’s a great city to visit before heading back to the airport. The best place to visit in Colorado Springs is Garden of the Gods with its famous red rocks.

7 Days in Colorado: Extra Tips + Fun

Man on hiking trail - 7 Days in Colorado

More Cool Places to Visit from Denver

If you have more than 7 days in Colorado, here are some more places to visit. It’s hard to go wrong in Colorado, especially if you love hiking, getting outside, and enjoying good food and beer.

  • Fort Collins: 1 hour 20 minutes from Denver

  • Aspen: 3 hours and 20 minutes from Denver

  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater: 25 minutes from Denver

  • Roxborough State Park: 45 minutes from Denver

  • Colorado Springs: 1 hour 10 minutes from Denver

Things to Do in Denver

If you plan to stay a day or two in Denver, here are some fun things to do. There are also many hikes within 30 minutes of Denver if you’re wanting to stay active!

  • Meow Wolf: Interactive museum/art experience fun for any age (browse tickets here).

  • Brewery Hopping: Try Wynkoop Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company, and Woods Boss Brewing Company.

  • Denver Botanic Gardens: A great place to spend time outside, best enjoyed in warmer weather.

  • Explore RiNo: River North Arts District is a trendy neighborhood featuring art galleries, local restaurants, and concert venues.

  • Group Trip to Red Rocks & Echo Lake: Join a guided day tour to Red Rocks Park, wander through Evergreen, Colorado, and walk around Echo Lake.

Woman and dog hiking in Allenstown - Colorado Itinerary 7 Days

If you want to enjoy mountain views, hiking, and charming small city vibes, this 7 day road trip from Denver is perfect! After snagging flights to Denver, Colorado, this budget-friendly US trip will be one for the books.

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7 Day Road Trip From Denver - Alpacka My Bags Pin Cover


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Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 


I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.


I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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