15 Awesome Weekend Trips from Denver

Looking for the perfect weekend trips from Denver? Here are over 10 ideas to explore for your next opportunity. We’ve been to just about all of them and they have been among our favorites to explore.

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Each place is family-friendly and makes the perfect little trip. See some great waterfalls, choose a national monument, play in the sand, or visit another town with their own fun things to do.

So pick which you’d like and fun on your next fun getaway from Denver.

pinnable image wtih a 4 picture collage of waterfall, mount rushmore, sidewalk full of flowers, and aspen grove.  Text reads 15 great weekend getaways from Denver

This list is organized geographically, starting with weekend trips west from Denver:

Weekend Trips from Denver- WEST

Gondola cars high up with yellow green grasses below, clouds above

1. Breckenridge

1-1/2 hours

Breckenridge is one of our favorite weekend getaways from Denver since it’s not too far but takes you to a whole other element.

Breckenridge is a ski town filled with winter skiing and summer hiking.

One great attraction is seeing the giant wooden, woodland troll just a short walk away.

Check out the great trails in the area, ride the gondola, go down the mountain coaster, and enjoy time in the town.

turquoise lake with 3 waterfalls, Hanging lake is a great things to see on your weekend trips from Denver

2. Glenwood Springs

2-1/2 hours

Glenwood Springs is another quick weekend trip from Denver at under 3 hours away. The town is best known for their hot springs as it’s the largest hot springs pool in the world.

The hot springs are a great relief after taking on Hanging Lake, the most beautiful hike in Colorado.

Beyond that, you could spend the weekend at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for some thrills and caves, or stop in at the vapor caves for a relaxing, invigorating experience.

in front of 3 waterfalls dropping down a mountain side with lush green at the bottom

3. Rifle

3-1/2 hours

Rifle doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It’s a great outdoorsy adventure spot a little further west than Glenwood Springs.

Rifle is home to two state parks: Rifle Gap State Park and Rifle Falls State Park. It’s a great place for camping and a quick outdoor weekend.

Rifle Gap provides trails and a huge lake, while Rifle Falls treats you to a gorgeous set of waterfalls and caves.

rich colors in a red rock canyon with mesas surrounding in Colorado National Monument, making a beautiful weekend trip from Denver

4. Grand Junction

4 hours

Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado, but it’s not the city that makes this one of the greatest weekend trips from Denver.

Grand Junction is home to Colorado National Monument, a lesser known outdoors area filled with stunning panoramas and formations across the park. You can hike through the area or drive and make stops along the way.

Kids will love the Eureka! math and science museum, or Museum of the West.

Adults will love the vineyards in Grand Junction and especially in the neighboring town of Palisade.

looking down a small town street with tall white steeple straight ahead, talk mountains behind

5. Leadville

1 hour 45 minutes

Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America (though often this is argued against Alma, Colorado).

Leadville is an outdoor playground, giving you hiking, biking, mining history, and the beautiful Twin Lakes.

Half of the fun of staying in Leadville are the cool rentals. Many places have renovated and converted old buildings.

So, you could stay in an old train depot. Or perhaps a renovated pink chapel (they actually are really cool on the inside!)


6. Aspen

3-1/2 hours

Aspen is a great getaway for those looking for fine dining, hotels, and some outdoor adventure.

Aspen’s most popular attraction is Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountains in America. These stunning peaks sit right behind a lake in perfect harmony.

Weekenders will love hanging out in the ski village area, hiking one of the many gorgeous trails, or checking out nearby Snowmass Village.

gorgeous lake with mountain scenery, girl paddle boarding

7. Crested Butte

4 hours 15 minutes

Crested Butte is one of the most gorgeous, scenic places in Colorado I’ve been.

Spend the weekend hiking to a waterfall, visiting the children’s museum, paddling on the lake, checking out some of the most scenic parks you’ll ever go to, or hiking among the flowers.

Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado, so if you visit in June, you’re in for a treat!

While both Aspen and Crested Butte are beautiful, they have a different feel to them. Either is a great choice for a great weekend getaway from Denver.

two people sitting on a paddle board in the distance on a lake, steep mountain peak in the background

8. Steamboat Springs

3 hours (northwest)

Steamboat Springs is our most frequented weekend getaway from Denver, so I can recommend this whole-heartedly.

Steamboat is a great in-between town. It has everything you would need (a Walmart, for instance) while still retaining that mountain-charm feel.

Spend the weekend hiking in the great outdoors, ice skating at the rink, having a blast down the alpine slide, or shopping in town. Take a walk down the riverside trail and enjoy plenty of events all year long.

Top it off with a visit to some of the most beautiful, natural looking hot springs.

If you’re up for a little drive, head to Steamboat Lake State Park to enjoy an incredibly scenic day on the beach.

Weekend Getaways from Denver- South

Garden of the Gods red rock formations blue skies things to do in colorado springs

9. Colorado Springs

1 hour 15 minutes

Colorado Springs is a huge city (by area), and therefore has a truly diverse array of things to do.

If it’s outdoor adventure you seek, head to the famous Garden of the Gods for easy strolls through incredible formations. Or try hiking at other nearby areas.

Relax and get pampered at the Broadmoor, where you can also see a cascade of many waterfalls at Seven Falls.

For city fun, check out the Olympic Training Center or the Olympic Museum where you can virtually race Olympians and take a peek at past torches.

One of Colorado Springs featured attractions is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which was ranked by USA Today as the #4 zoo in America.

Great Sand Dunes National Park view

10. Great Sand Dunes

4 hours

The Great Sand Dunes are the highest sand dunes in North America.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is just straight up fun. It’s one of the most unique national parks to bring kids to that the whole family will have a blast at.

While the dunes are 4 hours from Denver, you’ll want to stay in nearby Alamosa for the bst lodging options.

Then rent a sled in town and drive over to the sand dunes for a day of fun in the sun and sand.

When you’ve worn yourself out walking up and down the dunes, head out for a fun, easy hike at Zapata Falls. It’s located on the way out for the park, making it nice and easy to add on.

tall, large waterfall coming down brown rock mountain side, viewed from higher observation point

11. Creede

4-1/2 hours

Creede is a lesser-visited area of Colorado to visit. If you have time for the 4-1/2 hour drive during you Denver weekend getaway, then it’s worth a stop to see a less-touched area.

Creede is one of the many mining towns in the state. Visiting Last Chance Mine will give you an idea of mining life in the late 1800’s, as well as the Underground Mining Museum.

Waterfall chasers can get treated at North Clear Creek Falls, a huge waterfall viewed from an overlook.

After checking out the waterfalls, head to the Wheeler geologic area where you’ll be amazed by unique formations.

deep gorge with river at bottom

12. Taos, NM

4 hours 40 minutes

Another longer drive is great for those who can leave earlier on Friday to enjoy this weekend trip from Denver. You’ll actually leave the state and head south to New Mexico to the town of Taos. So pack your bag and grab some snacks for the longer drive.

This cultural and artsy town is full of fun for everyone.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a sight and heart-thumping kind of bridge, being that it is the 2nd highest suspension bridge in the nation (second to Royal Gorge up closer to Colorado Springs).

Taos also has the Taos Pueblo, an active Native American site with inhabitants throughout the adobe structure. Taos Pueblo has been around for over 1,000 years and has been marked a UNESCO site and National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take guided tours of the community.

Beyond that, you can fill the weekend with museums, churches, lakes, and all kinds of fun.

🤩 See the Gorge, Pueblo, and More on this organized Tour

Weekend Trips from Denver- NORTH

colorful flower landscape in middle of a pedestrian outdoor mall with trees along walkways on Pearl Street in Boulder

13. Boulder

40 minutes

Boulder is a town with a chill, loving vibe. Find great food and great trails and outdoorsy things to do when you visit.

And at such a short drive away, Boulder is perfect for those getting off work Friday night and going back Monday. It’s a really quick getaway.

Make sure to hike the Flatirons, explore Eldorado Canyon, and hang out on Pearl Street.

brick campus building with white pillars at entrance, gazebo in front, colorful flowerbed in front of gazebo

14. Fort Collins

1 hour 10 minutes

The perfect weekend trips from Denver can be close and fun. Fort Collins is a college town, yes, but also a town with lots of locals with plenty of fun.

Fort Collins is a great town known for its breweries, local reservoir, and scenic backdrops. It’s not quite in the mountains, but has plenty of mountain views.

Cool down in the summer rafting down the Cache la Poudre River or Grab your SUP and enjoy a fun lake day at Horsetooth Reservoir, a local favorite.

Then make the the short (2 miles) easy hike to Horsetooth Falls.

If you’d like to stay dry, hang out in downtown Fort Collins. This charming town has shops, restaurants, and even a splash pad for the kids. Then stroll through giant beds of color at the Annual Flower Trial Garden.

Spend your nights eating while taking part in a murder mystery, or at one of the many craft breweries. It is, after all, the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado.

4 faces carved into a mountain

15. Keystone, SD

6 hours

Heading to Keystone makes a great, longer weekend trip from Denver for those that maybe have a long weekend.

At 6 hours away, it’s not a bad drive for as much punch as it packs.

The main feature here is to see Mount Rushmore, the famous presidents carved into the mountainside. They’re free to see, though you have to pay to park.

Beyond that, spend a great weekend driving through Wildlife Loop to spot bison, donkeys, and more. Stop at Sylvan Lake, a gorgeous lake (that’s made its way into the National Treasure 2 movie) with a beach area.

Check out nearby Jewel Cave, drive up to the Reptile Gardens, or drive over to Badlands National Park for a day.

There is a lot to see in South Dakota, and it’s an easy drive for that weekend getaway from Denver.

🤩 See Mt Rushmore, Sylvan Lake, Crazy Horse, and MORE in One Tour

Best Weekend Getaways from Denver

As you can see, there are plenty of great weekend trips from Denver to choose from. Next time you have a free weekend, decide if you’d rather hit the sand dunes, jump in the hot springs in Steamboat, or expand a little into New Mexico or South Dakota.

pinnable image wtih a 4 picture collage of waterfall, mount rushmore, sidewalk full of flowers, and aspen grove. Text reads 15 great weekend getaways from Denver

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