Colorado is an ideal state for road tripping. If you’ve got a car, you can easily get across the state, from Kansas to Utah, in just seven hours. Or, make the north/south drive from Wyoming to New Mexico in just under five hours. No matter which way you drive, this Colorado road trip guide will help you choose your route.
Of course, all these destinations are home to dispensaries and weed-friendly hotels.
Colorado Road Trip Ideas
One of the best parts of taking a road trip through Colorado is that you can get your fill of both urban and rural attractions. Head out for a hike in the morning, take a cannabis tour in the afternoon and go dancing at night. Colorado is also known for its music and movie festivals, perfect skiing conditions and jaw-dropping scenery.
Planning for Your Colorado Road Trip
Before you hit the open road, you’re going to need some provisions. Make sure to download an app for gas, mark your map for pit stops and research any scenic stops. You also might want to head to one of Colorado’s over 500 dispensaries.
Getting to Colorado by Airplane
Other major airports include the Telluride Regional Airport and Colorado Springs Airport. All three of these cities are the perfect places to start your journey.
You might want to mark some dispensaries along your route on your map. As long as you don’t indulge in cannabis before or while driving, you’re good to go.
Colorado Road Trip #1: Denver
Denver’s central location and access to commercial airports make it the perfect spot to start your road trip. It’s also a major cultural hub in Colorado. Check out some of our popular restaurants and bars, street art or a massage before heading out on the road the following day.
From Denver, you can easily get to Telluride in a little over six hours or to Boulder in about 45 minutes.
Colorado Road Trip #2: Telluride
Telluride is known for its skiing and for hosting the Telluride Film Festival each year. It was once a mining town back in the 1800s and there’s still plenty of history to explore here. Should you need a little extra entertainment, you can always take the gondola to the neighboring town of Mountain Village.
Colorado Road Trip #3: Boulder
Situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder lives up to its name. This city is known for its art galleries, boutiques and restaurants — as well as its hiking and rock formations.
Plan to pass through Boulder on the weekend if you’re into brunching and farmers markets. Check out both headlining musical acts and indie bands at the Boulder Theater. Nearby outdoor attractions include the Flatiron sandstone rock formations and Chautauqua Park.
Colorado Road Trip #4: Colorado Parks
Less than an hour drive from Colorado’s capital lies hiking, fishing and camping. Colorado is known just as well for its state parks as it is for its four — count them, four — national parks.
What better way to enjoy the day than to take a few hits off your vape pen and get out into nature? Just some of our state parks include:
- Golden Gate Canyon State Park
- Eldorado Canyon State Park
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park
- Eleven Mile State Park
Our national parks include Rocky Mountain Park, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Note: it is illegal to indulge in cannabis in a national park — even if that national park is located in a state where weed is legal.
Colorado Road Trip #5: Ski Trips
The idea of driving around Colorado in the winter isn’t ideal; luckily, our ski season generally lasts until the first week of June! Meaning you can enjoy fresh powder and ideal driving conditions.
Some of our most popular ski resorts include:
- Vail Ski Resort
- Winter Park Resort
- Copper Mountain
- Aspen Highlands
Just double-check to make sure the ski resort you’re heading to is open late in the season. Don’t want to ski from April to June? You could always take an alternate mode of transportation to the ski resorts.
Colorado Road Trip #6: Ghost Towns
One of the best parts of a road trip is checking out weird stuff on the drive. Luckily, Colorado has tons of character — and over 1,500 ghost towns.
Are these towns full of ghosts? Maybe. Are they cool and random places to explore deserted mining towns? Totally.
Some of the most famous ghost towns include Gilman, one of the most well-preserved ghost towns; Alta, which offers stunning views of local scenery and St. Elmo, a ghost town which is still home to a few residents.