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Chicago to Denver drive

2 travelers   /   driving   /   4 days



Chicago to Denver road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Chicago to Denver. If you're planning a road trip to Denver, you can research locations to stop along the way. Find the best restaurants, hotels, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in Chicago
drive for about 2.5 hours

12:33 pm  Madison
eat at The Old Fashioned
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 1:33 pm
drive for about 1 hour

2:41 pm  Wisconsin Dells
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:41 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

5:17 pm  La Crosse (Wisconsin)
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 6:17 pm
drive for about 8 minutes

6:25 pm  La Crescent
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 5.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

10:00 am  leave from La Crescent
drive for about 1 hour

11:02 am  Rochester (Minnesota)
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 12:02 pm
drive for about 5.5 hours

5:26 pm  Mitchell Corn Palace
stay overnight and leave the next day around 11:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 6.5 hours

 Day 3

11:00 am  leave from Mitchell Corn Palace
drive for about 5.5 hours

4:37 pm  Deadwood
stay overnight and leave the next day around 9:00 am

day 3 driving ≈ 5.5 hours

 Day 4

9:00 am  leave from Deadwood
drive for about 2 hours

10:56 am  Badlands National Park
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 11:56 am
drive for about 7.5 hours

7:16 pm  arrive in Denver
eat at Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
stay at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver

day 4 driving ≈ 9.5 hours

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Chicago to Denver questions

 Dinesh Weerapurage from Knoxville asked:
Driving from Chicago to Denver on I-90, what are sites to see on the way?  (7 answers)




Where does my trip begin?

Your starting point is Chicago, Illinois.

You can enter an exact street address if you want to get precise directions, but this is optional.




How many cars do we need?

Since there are only 2 travelers, we assume you're driving 1 car. You can adjust the number of people traveling at the top. We assume a maximum of 4 passengers per car, but you can change the number of cars to fit your situation.




Where should I stop along the way?

Madison  (23 answers)
    Wisconsin State Capitol  (3 mentions)
    restaurants around Madison:
        The Old Fashioned
        Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co
        L'Etoile
        Ha Long Bay
    questions about Madison:
        What is your favorite restaurant in Madison?
        Family-friendly campsites near Madison for large groups
        Where is there a good Japanese restaurant?
        One day trip, looking for a good time under $100
        Catholic Easter Vigil Mass with good music in Madison?
Wisconsin Dells  (11 answers)
    Noah's Ark  (3 mentions)
    questions about Wisconsin Dells:
        Best free things to do in Wisconsin Dells?
La Crosse (Wisconsin)  (3 answers)
La Crescent
Rochester (Minnesota)  (2 answers)
Mitchell Corn Palace  (2 mentions)
Deadwood  (9 answers)
Badlands National Park  (27 mentions)




Where does my trip end?

Your final destination is Denver, Colorado.

You can enter the exact street address of your destination, but this is optional.




Where's the best place to stay in Denver?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in Denver.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, which was mentioned 5 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

The Crawford Hotel  (3 mentions)
Hotel Teatro  (2 mentions)

Want to research more popular hotels in Denver? Click the blue button below.






Where's the best place to eat in Denver?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, which was mentioned 14 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Rioja  (9 mentions)
Acorn  (9 mentions)
Root Down  (7 mentions)
Bistro Vendome  (7 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Denver? Click the blue button below.






What are some things to do in Denver?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Denver Botanic Gardens  (12 mentions)
Denver Art Museum  (11 mentions)
LoDo  (11 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Denver. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

 Tatum Nansen from New Jersey asked:
Short, scenic drives from Denver?  (11 answers)

 Drew Corwin from Ojai asked:
Best resort for advanced skier?  (10 answers)

 Barbara Delutis from Cambridge (Massachusetts) asked:
Activites to do with children ages 7-11  (8 answers)

 Rebecca Sidpara from asked:
Top 5 must see attractions in Denver?  (7 answers)

 Trevor Morrow from Los Angeles asked:
Restaurant for dinner near Coors Field?  (7 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Denver.






Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Denver to Chicago drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Chicago to Denver. Or get a full Chicago to Denver flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Chicago well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Chicago!






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At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,004 miles
driving time of 15 hours, 31 minutes
Denver is 1 hour behind Chicago
260 Chicago travel answers
23 Madison travel answers
11 Wisconsin Dells travel answers
3 La Crosse (Wisconsin) travel answers
1 La Crescent travel answer
2 Rochester (Minnesota) travel answers
9 Deadwood travel answers
149 Denver travel answers





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