What to Expect on Your Road Trips from Denver
Located just a short drive from the Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado is surrounded by plenty of awe-inspiring destinations. This incredible city gives you access to hundreds of magical tourist locations that can keep you busy for days.
If you are in search of adventurous landscapes, embark on some of the best road trips in any direction from Texas to South Dakota to Las Vegas to Florida. Whether you want to experience spires or white mountain views, the U.S. is filled with any destination you’re looking for.
Our travel guide will help you plan your trip for more fun. Let’s take a look at the most stunning tourist places near Mile High City.
If you want to explore top tourist destinations near Denver without adding miles to your vehicle, get 7-seater luxury SUVs from Airport Van Rentals at an affordable price.
20 Road Trips from Denver, Colorado
If you want to make the most out of your Colorado trip, here is a list of 20 awesome places that you can explore.
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone, one of the most popular National Parks in the U.S., is 509 miles from Denver and takes nearly 8 hours and 20 minutes. Some of the highlights include lush landscapes, an alpine river, hot springs, and gigantic canyons.
Most of Yellowstone National Park is situated in Wyoming, though huge square miles are also spread over the areas of Idaho and Montana. Travelers from all over the country come here to enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting in nearby locations.
Snowy Range Scenic Byway, WY
If you want an alternative to Interstate 80, the Snowy Range Scenic Byway is a spectacular option. Enjoy the pastoral meadows, sparkling mountain views, and emerald glacial lakes throughout the drive which gives you a majestic view of the Snowy Range Mountains.
The total distance from Denver to Snowy Range Byway is 164 miles, and you can reach there in just 3 hours.
Hot Springs State Park, WY
If you are planning a long road trip from Denver, the Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming can be an ideal destination. Drive 408 miles in 6 hours and 16 mins to get the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs.
Enjoy a free bath at 104 degrees, take a stroll on the popular mineral terrace, and watch bison up close while sitting in your vehicle. Take some time for Bridger Gondola to view the flat valley of Jackson Hole.
Looking for a 15-seater car rental for an adventurous family ride, Airport Van Rentals is the place to go.
Zion National Park, UT
The direct drive to Zion National Park in Utah is 636 miles from Denver and takes 9 hours and 19 minutes. If you are traveling around this North American location with friends, consider renting an SUV for a more comfortable drive.
Located near the city of Springdale, Zion National Park is like a movie set covered with dramatic surroundings. With canyoneering routes and hiking trails, Zion adds some adrenaline to your vacation.
Arches National Park, UT
Get ready for a 350.5-mile-long drive to Arches National Park in Utah that takes 5 hours and 25 minutes via I-70W. The best time to visit the park is April through May and mid-September through October. Arches National Park gives you a hundred reasons to admire the natural beauty of Mother Earth.
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Canyonlands, located 32 miles from Moab and 362 from Denver, is the largest national park in Utah. The park is popular for camping, and you can drive 20 miles of paved roads to enjoy the amazing views. Rent a 4WD to journey down the Shafer Trail and explore White Rim during your day trip. You can even drive down the Lathrop Canyon to the Colorado River.
Salt Lake City, UT
As the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City gives you access to exhilarating tourist spots. The total drive time via I-80 W will take 7 hours and 57 minutes to cover approximately 500 miles from Denver. Consider renting a car to explore the Big Cottonwood Canyon, Red Butte Garden, Natural History Museum, Temple Square, or other breathtaking destinations.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
Ever thought of sand skiing? Well, if you are new to this adventurous activity, the Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado are a great place to start. The 750-foot tall dunes are where you can use your snowboards to unveil the escapade. The 236 miles from Denver will take 3 hours and 39 minutes, and you’ll have all day to enjoy sandboarding and sand sledding.
Get an 8-seater minivan to enjoy your family tour with all the comfort you deserve.
Pikes Peak, CO
If you want to go on a day-long road trip, Pikes Peak is just 81.3 miles via Interstate-25 S. from Denver. The fastest route is just over an hour drive.
Make sure to reserve your time slot for an enjoyable and hassle-free experience. Booking a slot at the glacier-carved Pikes Peak will ensure a parking space so that you won’t face any problem finding space for your rental car.
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
With three million people visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park each year, it is considered one of the most visited national parks in the US. Denver to Estes Park, the base for Rocky Mountain National Park, takes 68.8 miles if you travel via US-36 West Denver Boulder Turnpike and US-36 W.
Explore the breathtaking views of the mountains through the most notable Trail Ridge Road. And don’t forget to pay a visit to Aspen, the ski-resort town with boutiques and landmarks known for year-round outdoor activities.
Colorado Springs, CO
At an elevation of 6035 feet, Colorado Springs is a city getaway in Colorado situated at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. The 71-mile route from Denver to Colorado Springs via I-25 S will take 1 hour and 20 minutes and makes it a perfect weekend destination.
The destination is known as the Garden of the Gods, sprawling outward from the grasslands atop the mountains. Stroll around to explore the wineries, art galleries, and more. Stop into Steamboat Springs, another ski resort, to relax during your weekend away.
Glenwood Springs, CO
If you are looking for a marvelous ride to one of the most exciting weekend destinations, Glenwood Springs is the place to go. The 157-mile journey of 2 hours and 34 minutes from Denver will allow you to unveil the adventure of a family-friendly atmosphere.
Enjoy kayaking in the hanging lake that is formed by travertine deposition or experience one-of-a-kind dining experiences. If you plan to spend a day or two near Glenwood Springs, take time to visit Telluride to enjoy free Gondola rides.
Santa Fe, NM
Apart from historic tourist destinations and diverse cultures, the oldest capital city in the US gives you a glimpse of contemporary art and Pueblo architecture. The best time to visit the New Mexico capital is September to November as the weather is pleasant and you can spot plenty of balloon events throughout the city.
Starting from Denver, it takes 6 hours to cover the 390 miles to Santa Fe. Once there, the beaches of Santa Fe allow water sports such as rafting, boating, kayaking, and more.
White Sands National Monument, NM
Denver to White Sand National Monument in New Mexico is a lengthy 9-hour and 46-minute drive. This national park offers an experience unlike any other. Tourists can enjoy camping, bicycling, hiking, and — a visitor favorite — sledding down the stunning white sand dunes. You’ll want to spend some time exploring all this striking park has to offer.
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
The 657-mile ride to Grand Canyon National Park can be a bit exhausting as you need to drive for 10 hours and 21 minutes, but it’s well worth the journey. Book a 5-seater car rental to visit the Grand Canyon without putting endless miles on your own vehicle. The journey through the park is full of tourist attractions, and you can pull your car over to explore the untapped spots.
Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ
Expect to spend roughly 11 hours in the car during your 706.2-mile adventure from Denver to Sedona, Arizona to visit the Red Rocks. The red rock formation is the byproduct of a natural process that leads to the chemical weathering of minerals. You may also want to visit Uptown Sedona, Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts village, and other nearby spots, or explore the hiking trails, mountain biking, jeep tours, and biking trails in the nearby Grand Canyon.
Monument Valley, AZ/UT
Monument Valley is situated on the Utah-Arizona border as part of the Colorado Plateau. The not-so-popular destination grabbed attention after it was featured in famous movies such as Rio Grande, Stagecoach, Forrest Gump, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, to name a few. Snowboarding, hiking, and biking are some of the fun things you can enjoy in the Monument Valley.
Las Vegas, NV
If you are planning to embark on a cross-state holiday trip from Denver, Las Vegas boasts real adventure and fun activities 11 hours away. Some of the top tourist destinations include the High Roller Observation Wheel, Caesar’s Palace and the Colosseum, The Mob Museum, Mandalay Bay and the Shark Reef Aquarium, Neon Museum, and more.
Mount Rushmore, SD
The center attraction of Mount Rushmore is the colossal sculptures of the faces of four famous presidents carved on granite by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum. The sculptures feature George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, who are the first, third, twenty-sixth, and sixteenth presidents (respectively) of the United States. This historical location sits just six hours from Denver, CO.
Big Bend National Park, TX
Located in Southwest Texas, Big Bend National Park is popular for recreational activities, natural resources, and cultural history. Though this park sits 13 hours from Denver, it’s more than worth this long journey.
The months of June, July, and August are probably the best months to visit Big Bend. Don’t forget to carry plenty of drinking water so that you can enjoy the hiking trails quite comfortably.
Still looking for more places to discover? Consider visiting our honorary mentions:
Embark on Your Next Journey with Airport Van Rental
Planning a Denver road trip to Arizona, Utah, Nevada, or any other state? Get a discount on your car rental and enjoy your journey to the fullest with Airport Van Rental.
Contact Airport Van Rentals and get a rental van at your doorstep. Enjoy your adventure!