Summer Colorado Family Vacation Itinerary

We love to travel every August for a 2 week vacation and this Colorado adventure was worth the wait! We planned it in 2019 and were supposed to go August 2020. We ended up cancelling and rescheduling for this August and I am so happy that we finally got to go. It far exceeded our expectations and ended up being one of our all-time favorite trips. It helped too that we lucked out with perfect weather – I had been nervous about rain and made us pack umbrellas and rain jackets but we didn’t need any of that. It was warm and dry every day!

For previous vacations

San Francisco/Yosemite/Lake Tahoe
Paris/South of France/Barcelona

Day 1

Flew from NY to DEN -landed at 9:30am and after we got our rental car, we drove straight to Devil’s Thumb Ranch and just hung out at the pool and relaxed. Wad dinner at their restaurant (Heck’s) and walked around the beautiful grounds. Such a relaxing start to the trip!!

Day 2

We were up early and took the mountain bikes out around the property to explore a little bit. Then we made our way to Steamboat Springs where we spent the afternoon at the Olde Town Hot Springs– my daughters loved this place. The slides were fun and they have 2 outdoor rock climbing walls and an indoor rock climbing room.

After dinner we did the Fish Creek Falls hike which was beautiful!!

Day 3

We headed to Aspen and checked into our hotel – The Tyrolean Lodge which was such a gem! So close to downtown and wonderful price point. I am so happy we stayed here and not in Snowmass. We explored town- got some food at White House Tavern (excellent!!). There were several brass / instrumental groups playing around town which was so fun to hear. After dinner we did the Grotto’s Trail which was beautiful!! And hardly anyone else was there so we got some nice photos.

Day 4

I had parking reservations so we got at Maroon Bells around 7am and did the scenic loop trail. There was still some haze/smoke from the wildfires but the scenery is still amazing. And there was hardly anyone else there until about 930/10am. We saw a fox on our hike and got a great photo!
We got back to town and there was a lovely farmer’s market so we got some treats to eat. We borrowed bikes from the hotel and did the Rio Grande trail and then drove to do a meadow hike (not sure what it was called but we parked in a lot on the Independence Pass). Overall- loved Aspen!!

Day 5

Drove to Telluride and stayed at the Mountain Lodge which we LOVED!! I wish we could have stayed here longer. We spent the afternoon at the pool – beautiful views from the pool!! Then took the gondola into town and did the Bear Creek Falls Hike. This hike was HARD!! We almost turned around a couple of times but are glad that we finished it. The altitude is no joke- we found ourselves very easily winded on hikes that would otherwise be pretty easy for us.

Day 6

Took the gondola to town and did the Jud Wiebe Trail – this was also really HARD for us but gorgeous views and glad we did it! After lunch we took the gondola back up and spent some more time at the pool to recover from our exercise! Overall we loved the town on Telluride and glad that we stayed at Mountain Village. The gondola rides were a big hit and we met some nice people on each ride too!

Day 7

We booked a private jeep tour (2-6pm) from Alpine Scenic Tours in Ouray
This was one of the highlights of our trip for sure!! Our guide Sam was amazing!! We went to Silver Basin and Governor’s Basin and another waterfall near Silver Basin. The scenery was out of this world and we would have never gone to these places on our own.

Day 8

We did the Box Canyon Falls in Ouray – beautiful!!
Then we went to the Baby Bathtubs Hike nearby – very pretty hike
We were exhausted by this point so spent the rest of the day at the hot springs in Ouray. The kids loved this place – water slides were a big hit!!

Day 9

We drove to Crested Butte and on the way stopped at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (amazing!!!) We stayed there for about 1.5 hours just in awe of the views at each look out point.
Then we continued on for about another hour until we got to the magical town of Crested Butte!!! The scenery is just unlike anywhere else! That afternoon we did the Judd Falls hike and there was nobody else on the trail. We felt like we were on the set of the Sound of Music! We ate at the Last Steep for dinner which was so good. Loved the downtown of CB- so charming and fun. We were so happy with our Airbnb here as well- very spacious for our family of 4 and the kids loved having a pool!

This is Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Day 10

We did the Woods Walk hike which was a pretty easy walk with gorgeous views
Had some pool time at our airbnb and then did a family photo shoot – Snodgrass (gorgeous) and Rustler’s Gulch (wow!!! One of the most amazing places EVER!) I can’t wait to see the photos!!!

Day 11

We rented Paddle Boards from Float Shack and took them out at Lake Irwin which was gorgeous
Then we did horseback riding at Harmel’s. We had a great time on the trail!!
We ate at Secret Stash for dinner- best pizza on the trip!

Day 12

We sadly had to leave CB (stopped at farmers market first for breakfast) to drive back to Denver (about 4.5 hours) to return our rental car

Day 13

We flew home!

We will definitely be back to Colorado!!!

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Christie Adams Photography

Bergen County NJ baby children & family photographer