Road trip map
Winter road trip highlighted in blue, spring in green, summer in red, and autumn in brown. Map illustration by Sean Parsons

Season: Winter

These stops feature ideal spots to bundle up and explore northwest Colorado’s snowy surfaces—plus fun ways to thaw out.

Stop #1 Kremmling
Sleep: Red Mountain RV Park
Play: What ski area Bluebird Backcountry lacks in chairlifts, it makes up for in 1,200 acres of avalanche-evaluated powder.
Relax: Marinate in natural-hot-springs-fed pools and baths at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort & Spa.

Stop #2 Clark
Sleep: Steamboat Lake Marina
Play: Rent snowmobiles via Rocky Mountain Sled Rentals to zip around groomed trails at Steamboat Lake State Park.
Eat: Order red jalapeño poppers in the two-year-old Glen Eden Restaurant’s cozy dining room.

Stop #3 Glenwood Springs
Sleep: Glenwood Canyon Resort
Play: Daily lift tickets for Sunlight Mountain Resort’s 72 trails start at just $59 for adults—so you’ll have cash left over for a trip to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park the next day.
Relax: Soak in the 40,500-square-foot hot springs pool (the largest in the world) at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.

Stop #4 Frisco
Sleep: Tiger Run Resort
Play: Whoosh down the tubing hills at Frisco Adventure Park or cross-country ski at the adjacent Frisco Nordic Center.
Eat: Two Below Zero hosts sunset sleigh rides with a cookies-and-cocoa break.

Season: Spring

It’s called mud season for a reason—but this time of year also means thinner crowds, making it an ideal time to get messy on some of southern Colorado’s best adventures.

Stop #1 Colorado Springs
Sleep: Garden of the Gods RV Resort
Play: Hop on a mountain bike and kick up red dust at Garden of the Gods.
Eat: Do dinner at Four by Brother Luck, where the namesake chef serves upscale Southwestern fare, like rabbit green chile.

Stop #2 Trinidad
Sleep: Tower 64 Motel & RV Park
Play: Tackle the 1.5-mile Challenge Trail in Colorado’s new Fishers Peak State Park.
See: Pop into the galleries along Main Street in the Corazón de Trinidad Creative District.

Stop #3 Cañon City
Sleep: Royal Gorge/Cañon City KOA
Play: Arkansas River Tours shepherds white-water rafting newbies through Bighorn Sheep Canyon during a six-hour excursion.
Drink: Sip a refreshing Code Blue American wheat beer at World’s End Brewing Company.

Stop #4 Lake George
Sleep: Eleven Mile State Park
Play: Hoist your waders (try Tumbling Trout Outfitters & Fly Shop in Lake George for rentals) and reel in rainbow trout from Spinney Mountain Reservoir.
Eat: Driving the 30 minutes to Iron Tree Restaurant, Bakery & Brewery is worth it for smoked meats and from-scratch pastries.

Season: Summer

This trip links up sites that played important roles in the history of our state, our country, and humanity itself.

Stop #1 Durango
Sleep: Bayfield Riverside RV Park
See: If it has reopened after its COVID-induced hiatus, check out the Southern Ute Museum in Ignacio. The permanent gallery is one of the few run by a Native nation.
Relax: On the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the same steam-powered locomotive that ferried miners to worksites in 1882 brings you through the San Juan National Forest.

Stop #2 Cortez
Sleep: Sundance RV Park
Play: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument contains more archeological sites than anywhere else in the state.
Drink: Savor the fruits (Cabernet Franc is a fruit, right?) of Sutcliffe Vineyard’s 25-year-old vines in its chic tasting room nestled in McElmo Canyon.

Stop #3 Telluride
Sleep: Telluride Town Park Campground
Play: Hike 1.8 miles to reach Bridal Veil Falls, where a hydroelectric plant, built in 1907 to power mining operations, perches atop the cascade.
See: Stroll around Telluride’s downtown to spot landmarks from yesteryear, like the 108-year-old Sheridan Opera House.

Stop #4 Buena Vista
Sleep: Wilderness Expeditions RV Park
Play: Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals hosts guided ATV rides to St. Elmo, a village that earned ghost town status when it went bust after the 1800s mining boom.
Drink: Mosey on over to Deerhammer Distillery for a cowboy classic: single-malt whiskey.

Season: Autumn

Whether you seek the bucolic romance of Colorado’s countryside or just want to see some cute animals, this agritourism-focused journey will deliver—with a side of fall foliage.

Photo courtesy of Cedar Ridge Ranch

Stop #1 Carbondale
Sleep: Carbondale/Crystal River KOA
Play: Farm tours and alpaca yoga await at family-owned Cedar Ridge Ranch.
Drink: Top off a hard day’s work with Carbondale Beer Works’ On A Whim IPA.

Stop #2 Craig
Sleep: Bears Ears Campground
Play: Learn the ins and outs of sheepherding at Villard Ranch, where you might get roped into fixing a fence after a horseback riding lesson.
Eat: Satiate your rancher-size appetite at the Seasoned Brisket, known for its sweet iced tea and namesake sandwiches.

Stop #3 Walden
Sleep: Granite Corner RV Park
Play: The body of water at the end of 0.8-mile (one way) Lake Agnes Trail in State Forest State Park reflects surrounding autumn leaves in a kaleidoscopic swirl.
See: Spy on birds like the cinnamon teal from the viewing blind at Fox Pond in the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge.

Stop #4 Berthoud
Sleep: Carter Lake South Shore Campground
Play: Make a reservation to pick produce, such as chard and berries, at Dart Farms.
Drink: Tour Blue Mountain Vineyards and the adjoining gardens before tasting Christie’s Blend, a portlike wine with notes of dark chocolate.

Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil is a Denver-based journalist and 5280's former digital senior associate editor.