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One Week in Colorado: Campervan Itinerary

Plan your campervan adventure around the beautiful Centennial State.

Feb 09, 2022 | Travel

Every year Colorado welcomes visitors from across the globe. In one year alone, the state saw a combined total of 86.9 million visitors. One trip to the state makes it easy to see why. From the stunning jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the laid-back vibe of the city's small towns, there is something for everyone in the Centennial State.

If you are planning a trip out West, we’ve put together a week-long campervan itinerary touching on some of the state’s best and most notable sights. While there is never a bad time to visit Colorado, our week-long itinerary is ideally suited to fall when autumn colors create a spectacular scenic route.

Mountainside around Fort Collins, CO

Day 1: A Visit to Fort Collins and Colorado’s Only Nationally Designated “Wild & Scenic” River

Starting at the top of the state and located less than 50 miles from the Wyoming border is the vibrant city of Fort Collins. Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is a great place to kick off your Colorado journey. Tour one of the 20+ craft breweries and walk the quaint streets of Old Town.

From Fort Collins, you’ll head west out of town to explore the Cache la Poudre River, Colorado's only nationally designated “Wild & Scenic” River. Stunning cliffs, majestic rock formations, and scenic hikes throughout the canyon make this a great place to spend the day outdoors.

End your day at the Mishawaka Amphitheater, a legendary music venue, restaurant, and bar to catch a local band and to enjoy a bite to eat along the water.

Where to Stay

When you're ready to lay down your head, Mountain Park Campground in the Poudre Canyon offers camping along the rolling river.

Mountains and lake in Estes Park

Day 2: Estes Park and a Day of Hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park

From the Poudre Canyon, you’ll point your campervan south and head to Estes Park. Acting as the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes is home to an array of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

After stretching your legs and eating some legendary Laura’s fudge, head into the national park for some of the country’s most stunning views. Whether you tackle a short hike or simply drive the scenic byways, you’ll find out why this park is ranked as one of the best in the nation.

Where to Stay

There are countless camping options in the Rocky Mountain National Park, but Moraine Park Campground, nestled in a peak-surrounded valley, is the perfect place to watch elk and wildlife as evening sets.

Day 3: Drive the Peak to Peak Highway to Central City

Leaving the Estes Park area, you’ll head further south along the acclaimed Peak to Peak Highway. Beautiful year-round, the Peak to Peak is best known for its stunning views of the state’s fall colors. From Estes, the Peak to Peak Highway is about a three-hour drive, with ample stops for photo ops along the way.

After the peaks, you will find Blackhawk, Colorado, home to 18 casinos. Adjacent to Blackhawk is Central City, where another six casinos give you the chance to see if Lady Luck is on your side.

Where to Stay

For a good night’s sleep, bring your campervan into the Denver West/Central City KOA and wake up to stunning morning views.

Bridge in Leadville, CO

Day 4: Stay in Leadville and Take a Ride Through History

Next, it's time to head back in time to the home of the original gold seekers. Located at 10,152 feet above sea level, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. Settled in 1859 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, Leadville has a rich and unique history.

Hop on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Train to take in breath-taking panoramas and learn more about Leadville’s colorful past.

Finish the day by walking through the historic downtown and stop in for a drink and bite to eat at the Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon.

Where to Stay

When you’re ready to settle down for the day, pull into the Molly Brown Campground on Turquoise Lake.

Day 5: Buena Vista to Soak in the Hot Springs

After a stunning drive, you’ll arrive on day five in Buena Vista. Take the time to enjoy a hike in the Sawatch mountain range, home to more 14ers than any other range in the state. After a strenuous hike, soak away your aches and pains in one of the local hot springs.

Where to Stay

One of the most notable features of Buena Vista is its location on the Arkansas River. To enjoy the beauty of the rushing waters, stay at the Arkansas River Rim Campground.

Day 6: Camping with the Aliens at the UFO Watchtower

As you wind your way to the southernmost portion of the state, it's time to tap into the otherworldly. The San Luis Valley has long been known for paranormal activity and sightings, which is what inspired the area’s unique roadside attraction — the UFO Watchtower.

Extraterrestrial seekers and those who simply enjoy a stunning night sky are invited to use this tower to enjoy an unfiltered view of the skies.

Where to Stay

No visit to the UFO Watchtower would be complete without spending the night scanning the heavens. Camping is only $15 and requires no reservation.

People walking around Sand Dunes National Park

Day 7: Great Sand Dunes National Park for Sandboarding

For the end of your journey, head to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Hike the dune fields and test out your balance sandboarding. At the base of the dunes is Medano Creek, the perfect place to splash and wade after a hot day hiking in the sand.

Where to Stay

The National Park’s Pinon Flats Campground is ideally located to allow you to enjoy everything the park has to offer. In the summer and fall, Rangers host free events in the evening aimed at increasing your understanding of the area’s unique environment.

Kick Off Your Colorado Adventure with a New Campervan

If you are ready to journey across the majestic state of Colorado while taking in stunning views, testing your legs on the rugged terrain, and sipping craft beers along the way, there is no better way to do so than in an Antero Adventure Motors campervan. Our campervans are designed to allow you to enjoy the comforts of home while you explore the beauty of the country. Whether you spend one week traversing through the mountains, or you extend your trip to enjoy multiple seasons in Colorado’s finest locations, our campervans are a perfect fit for the road. Find a dealer near you today.

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Cannon beach shoreline

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Fall leaves over a lake

Leave No Trace: Dispersed Camping Etiquette

Man picking up trash in a field
A person doing yoga on the top of an Antero Adventure Van The bedding of an Antero Adventure Van An Antero Adventure Van driving on a dirt road with a beach in the background A person sitting on a bed in the back of an Antero Adventure Van An Antero Adventure Van from a high vantage point overlooking a red rock canyon
A person doing yoga on the top of an Antero Adventure Van The bedding of an Antero Adventure Van An Antero Adventure Van driving on a dirt road with a beach in the background A person sitting on a bed in the back of an Antero Adventure Van An Antero Adventure Van from a high vantage point overlooking a red rock canyon