Discover hot springs, ruins and the Old West on this 1,375-mile road trip.
There are few road trips that take you to the base of 14,000-foot peaks, the heart of red-rock canyons, the front door of ancient ruins, the rim of the Grand Canyon and the rejuventating waters of Colorado’s hot springs like this one.
Start in Denver to sample the Mile High City’s thriving food and art scene. Then head west to Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Silverton. Farther south explore ancient ruins and artifacts in the Mesa Verde National Park area.
Cross into Arizona, stopping at Tuba City for a glimpse into modern-day Navajo life. Continue to Flagstaff, a university town, and then the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
On your way back, visit Durango, take a dip in Pagosa’s hot springs and explore Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Road Trip Itinerary
Start: Denver, Colo.
Along the Way: 6 Hot Springs Soaks Between Denver and the Grand Canyon
Colorado is dotted with incredible hot springs and steamy pools. Dip into some of the state’s best on your road trip from Denver to the Grand Canyon.
Stop 2: Montrose, Colo. and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Just 13 miles from the heart of downtown, canyon walls plunge an awe-inspiring 2,700 feet to the Gunnison River below and create a haven for fishing and boating.
Stop 3: Mesa Verde National Park and 3 Nearby Hidden Gems
Explore ancient cliffside communities inside the park. Then venture out to the surrounding archaeological sites, farm-to-table restaurants, and vineyards.
Stop 4: Monument Valley
Located on the Arizona-Utah border near the Four Corners region, lies sandstone buttes on an iconic stretch of land in the Navajo Indian Nation. Stay at The View Hotel for a room overlooking the Mitten Buttes.
Stop 5: Navajo History in Tuba City and Window Rock
See an intimate glimpse into Navajo history and modern-day life at the Explkore Navajo Interactive Museum or visit Navajo headquarters in a large hogan.
Stop 6: Grand Canyon South Rim
Open 365 days a year, the South Rim offers plenty of activities, restaurants and, of course, gorgeous views.
Stop 7: Farmington, N.M.
Ancient history, a local brewery and an overnight in a cave make Farmington a great stop on your way back from the Grand Canyon.
Stop 8: All Aboard the Train from Durango to Silverton, Colo.
The heart of these two Colorado mountain towns is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Take the round trip or opt for the shorter Skyway Tour.