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San Diego to Denver drive

(tap on any row to expand for more details)

  San Diego
 Barstow
 Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas
 Zion National Park
 Torrey
 Arches National Park
 Grand Junction (Colorado)
 Vail
driving   /   3 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

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San Diego to Denver road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from San Diego to Denver. If you're planning a road trip to Denver, you can research locations to stop along the way. Traveling with a dog or cat? View pet-friendly stops between San Diego and Denver. Camping along the way? View RV campgrounds between San Diego and Denver. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in San Diego
drive for about 3 hours

12:52 pm  Barstow
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:52 pm
drive for about 2 hours

4:02 pm  Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas
stay overnight and leave the next day around 8:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 5 hours

 Day 2

8:00 am  leave from Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas
drive for about 3.5 hours

11:30 am  Zion National Park
stay for about 2 hours
and leave at 1:30 pm
drive for about 3.5 hours

5:14 pm  Torrey
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 6:14 pm
drive for about 3 hours

9:20 pm  Arches National Park
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 10.5 hours

 Day 3

10:00 am  leave from Arches National Park
drive for about 2 hours

12:14 pm  Grand Junction (Colorado)
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:14 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

3:35 pm  Vail
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 4:35 pm
drive for about 2 hours

6:22 pm  arrive in Denver
eat at Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
stay at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver

day 3 driving ≈ 6.5 hours

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Where should I stop along the way?

Barstow  (13 answers)
    restaurants around Barstow:
        Del Taco
    questions about Barstow:
        What's the best neighborhood in Barstow for a first time visitor?
        Where to sleep RV trailer

Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas  (3 mentions)

Zion National Park  (82 mentions)
    questions about Zion National Park:
        When is the best time to visit/hike Zion national park?
        Canyoneer boots, Keen sandals, or old tennis shoes for Narrows hike?
        What's the best time of year to hike in Zion?
        Poisonous plants/ Venomous animals in Zion Canyon
        Are hiking boots necessary now if I hike Angels Landing

Torrey  (2 answers)

Arches National Park  (43 mentions)

Grand Junction (Colorado)  (16 answers)

Vail  (53 answers)
    restaurants around Vail:
        Minturn Saloon
    questions about Vail:
        Outlet for ski clothing?
        Summer Restaurants in Vail


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!

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

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

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

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

profile  Trevor 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 San Diego 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 San Diego to Denver. Or get a full San Diego 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 San Diego well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about San Diego!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,078 miles
driving time of 15 hours, 43 minutes
Denver is 1 hour ahead of San Diego
256 San Diego travel answers
13 Barstow travel answers
2 Torrey travel answers
16 Grand Junction (Colorado) travel answers
53 Vail travel answers
188 Denver travel answers





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