Top 5 Colorado Road Trip Destinations | Budget Car Rental

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The beautiful state of Colorado is packed with prime travel destinations, making it the perfect place for a road trip. From sprawling national parks to remarkable monuments, this state has no shortage of fun and fascinating places to visit. To experience all that Colorado has to offer, follow our road trip travel guide below.

For a trip of this nature, we suggest you reserve a car rental that has plenty of space for your passengers, luggage, and snack-packed coolers. Check out our selection of roomy minivans, spacious SUVs, and one-way car rentals for the perfect road trip transport.

 

#1. Vail

Website: https://www.vail.com/

Map: Vail, CO 81657

Vail is a popular travel destination for tourists and road trip enthusiasts alike. This charming little town sits at the base of Vail Mountain and is nestled within the White River National Forest- less than two hours away from Denver, CO.

This destination is best known for the gigantic ski resort that provides a near-unbeatable experience for winter sports, but it’s also a fabulous summer destination complete with festivals and ample opportunities to hike, fish, and golf. Vail is perfect for anyone who enjoys winter and summer activities in the great outdoors.

 

#2. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Website: https://www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/directions.htm

Map: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Ohio City, CO 81237

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is well worth the five-hour drive from Denver International Airport. This road trip destination offers breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. The Black Canyon is a geological wonder that has been sculpted by the elements for millions of years, resulting in a chasm that drops more than 2,500 feet between the rising cliff sides on either side.

Whether you and your road trip companions prefer a calm nature walk along the rim or a thrilling experience for the advanced hikers, you’ll find both at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

 

#3. Mesa Verde National Park

Website: https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm

Map: Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde, CO

Mesa Verde National Park provides visitors with a truly unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else. This remarkable travel destination is best known for the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings that have been unbelievably preserved over the course of hundreds of years.

You can visit this archaeological site in southwest Colorado and explore around 600 miraculous Native American cliff dwellings and rock carvings. In total, the massive Mesa Verde National Park holds more than 5,000 different archeological sites scattered across 80 miles of Colorado terrain.

 

#4. Colorado National Monument

Website: https://www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm

Map: Rimrock Dr, Fruita, CO 81521

A Colorado road trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the state’s national monument. This national park service area is conveniently seated near the city of Grand Junction and is riddled with fascinating rock formations. Take your Budget car rental on the trails that wind through the red rock cliffs and juniper forests, hike to incredible viewpoints, and behold the looming monoliths.

This is one of the best places to visit during your Colorado road trip, and will surely entertain those with wanderlust.

 

#5. Hanging Lake

Website: https://www.colorado.com/articles/hiking-hanging-lake-colorado

Map: Glenwood Canyon, Colorado 81601

The hike to Hanging Lake is one of Colorado’s most beloved outdoor adventures and is well worth every step. The jade green waters of this breathtaking site are surrounded by sparkling waterfalls, steep cliffs, and the lush forests that overtake Glenwood Canyon.

Keep in mind that the hike to Hanging Lake is no mellow nature walk, but it’s barely more than a mile from the trailhead, so lace up your best hiking boots and prepare for an unforgettable experience!

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Make the most of your outdoor adventures in Colorado by booking a sedan, SUV, truck, or van rental from Budget. You’ll love the flexibility and freedom that comes with a car rental.