The main reason to go on a Colorado road trip is to enjoy open spaces and extreme beauty.  Highlights include, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and the Garden of the Gods but with the freedom of your hire car you’ll discover much more.  Colorado is home to the highest city in the US, Leadville.  Additionally, drive along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway which is the highest paved road in the US at over 14,000 feet.  Colorado is also home to the highest suspension bridge in the world crossing the Royal Gorge.

How to Organise your Colorado Road Trip?

KAYAK gives you the ability to compare hundreds of travel websites at the click of a button.  Travel websites cover not only car rental but also hotels and flights.  For this reason, you’ll find the best choice for your road trip.  Once you find the best booking option, all you do is click through and reserve.  Bookings can be completed within seconds.

Finding a Hire Car

Choosing the right car is the most important part of your trip.  Therefore, you must get this part right to enjoy your Colorado road trip to the max.  Kayak searches hundreds of different car options at once.  When you search I’m sure you’ll find options you didn’t know existed and hire cars much better value than you imagined.  On finding your perfect choice, you can guarantee your reservation online within seconds.

Finding a Hotel

As you’re on a Colorado road trip, I recommend you don’t have a specific plan.  If you have to be at a certain place at a certain time this may cause you to rush when you discover any hidden beauty spots.  For this reason, I recommend you download the KAYAK app on your phone and search by location during your road trip.  Alternatively, if you’re incredibly organised with your bookings or know where you’ll be on a certain date go ahead and book you hotel in advance through KAYAK.

Colorado Road Trip Inspiration

Colorado Road Trip Inspiration from KAYAK

The KAYAK team discovered a Colorado road trip from Denver to Steam Boat Springs with a little detour to Dillon Reservoir.  This route also takes you through the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park.  No doubt you found a comfortable hire car to cruise through Colorado and enjoy the views in.

More Colorado Road Trip Ideas

Colorado Road Trip Ideas

I recommend you drive along Highway 82 and over Independence Pass.  At over 12,000 feet there’s an area to park up and take in the views.  What’s more, Independence Pass marks the continental divide.  Finally, when you take in the surrounding views be sure to look east for Mount Elbert.  Mount Elbert is the second highest mountain the contiguous United States.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Road Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the US.  I recommend you take the Trail Ridge Road through the park which has been described as a scenic wonder road of the world.  The park is home to several lakes which offer stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains.  Lastly, it’s highly likely you’ll see elk as you drive through the park.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado Road Trip

Mesa Verde National Park is famous for its ancient cliff dwellings.  These cliff dwellings were in fact home of the Pueblo people from 600-1300.  Mesa Top Loop Road is the easiest way to explore the park by hire car.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Road Trip

Garden of the Gods is located on the outskirts of Colorado Springs which makes a good stop on your Colorado road trip.  Walk through the Garden of the Gods in awe at the giant sandstone rock formations.  For some, these unique formations make this is a top Instagram spot in Colorado.  Finally, one prominent mountain visible from the Garden of the Gods is Pikes Peak.

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak, Colorado Road Trip

Drive up Pikes Peak Highway to the summit of Pikes Peak.  This windy toll road takes you to an altitude of over 14,000 feet.  From the top you can enjoy views of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods as well as beautiful panoramas.  Alternatively, try Pike’s Peak Railway, the world’s highest cog railroad if you don’t wish to drive on these windy roads.

Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs, Colorado Road Trip

Glenwood Springs is home to the worlds largest mineral hot springs pool.  Use the Kayak app to find the best prices at the historic Hotel Colorado which is adjacent to the pool.  This hotel was used regularly by former president Teddy Roosevelt.

Doc Holliday’s Grave

Doc Holliday's Grave, Colorado

Glenwood Springs is home to the Linwood Cemetery where you’ll find Doc Holliday’s grave.  Doc Holliday was a gambler, dentist, gentleman, and gunfighter of the American West.

Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake, Colorado

Hanging Lake is a travertine geological formation in Glenwood Canyon.  For its beauty alone, it’s worth visiting Hanging Lake.  Lastly, it’s a short uphill walk from the parking area to reach the lake itself.

Black Canyon

Black Canyon, Colorado Road Trip

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a must for any Colorado road trip.  There are 3 different routes through the park with the South Rim Road offering the best viewpoints of the canyon.  Additionally, try the East Portal Road which has steeps slopes and tight curves.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, Colorado Road Trip

The last thing you’d expect to see in between mountain peaks are the tallest sand dunes in North America.  As a matter of fact, at over 750 feet Star Dune is the tallest sand dune in North America.  High Dune on First Ridge offers a view of the whole dune field with the mountains as a backdrop.


Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is an upmarket ski resort town in Colorado.  I first heard of this town as it was the final destination in the movie Dumb and Dumber.  As you walk the streets of Aspen there are many historic buildings to discover.  For me, the Elks Building stood out as the most stunning.


Denver, Colorado

Denver makes a good place to start your Colorado road trip.  It’s the State Capital and also the states most populated city.  What’s more it’s worth spending a couple of nights here at the start or end of your Colorado road trip.  An interesting fact about Denver is that the 13th step of the state capital building is exactly one mile high above sea level.  In addition, Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the US.  Finally, try the Coors Brewery Tour at the largest single site brewery in the world

Royal George Bridge and Park

Royal George Bridge and Park, Colorado Road Trip

Royal Gorge is home to the highest suspension bridge in the world.  The bridge is over 950 feet above the water and features 4100 steel cables as well as 1257 wooden planks.  Unfortunately you cannot drive over the bridge, you must park up and walk it.  However, this gives you the chance to take in the enormity of it all.

Enjoy Your Colorado Road Trip

Colorado is a stunning state with lots of open space.  No doubt you’ll discover much more than the Colorado points of interest I’ve written about.  In conclusion, without a doubt the best way to explore Colorado is to hire a car.  This gives you the freedom to visit exactly where you want and to spend as much time as you choose at each destination.

Read about a California Road Trip, Arizona Road Trip and a USA Road Trip.