Dreaming of vacation and warmer weather – me too! Here are four great road trips to take this Spring from Denver. Spring is weird in Colorado, skiing is essentially over, trails are either covered in snow or totally muddy from runoff and you’re just ready for fun in the sun. But the weather is crazy 70º and sunny one day, dumping snow the next. So you gotta go off the beaten path to find some great spring destinations!
COVID – Colorado is kind of kicking ass on COVID and soon all of us will be vaccinated! yay! Remember to wear your mask, social distance, and check with local ordinances before traveling.
While only a few hours from Denver and at a rather high altitude Salida surprisingly doesn’t get much snow. Surrounded by the collegiate peaks Salida sits in the Arkansaw river basin so there is plenty of early-season rafting and fly fishing. Stay at the Amigo Motor Lodge or the newly remodeled Manhattan Hotel.
Distance – Denver to Salida ~4 hours
Temperatures – April 60° / 28° Rain ~ 3 days May 70° / 36° Rain ~3 days
BV is just down the road too – check out my BV guide here.
If you are ready for a real change of scenery and want to drive a little less than 4 hours then you gotta go to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Spring is the perfect time to visit – before the sand gets too hot to walk on barefoot. Get all the details on where to camp and what to pack for Great Sand Dunes National Park here.
Distance – Denver to Sand Dunes ~4 hours
Temperatures – April 58° / 30°Rain ~ 4 days May 68° / 39° Rain ~ 4 days
Great Sand Dunes is a change of scenery and hard to believe it exists in Colorado but Moab is like going to mars! In the dessert it gets way warmer in the Spring but still pretty chilly at night – layers, water, and sunscreen are key. I highly recommend booking a guided adventure like canyoneering while in the area.
Distance – Denver to Moab ~5+ hours
Temperatures – April 73° / 42° Rain ~ 3 days May 83° / 50° Rain ~ 3 days
Craving Culture? I know when I travel it’s not only a change of scenery but experience a different culture that makes it feel like a real adventure – Taos, New Mexico gives you that and only about 5 hours from Denver. Plenty of outdoor activities but visiting the Taos Pueblo is a must.
Distance – Denver to Taos ~5 Hour drive
Temperatures – April 62° / 30° Rain ~3 days May 72° / 38° Rain ~4 days