2018: Historic Train Journey (8630)
9 days from Denver to Denver
Discover Colorado's breathtaking scenery, beautiful national parks, and historic trains on this Colorado trains tour. In Colorado Springs, take the cog railway, the world's highest cog railway, up to the summit of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak for amazing views as far as the eyes can see. As you ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad through the Colorado Rockies, witness stunning scenery, marvel at the steep canyon walls, and keep an eye out for wildlife such as eagles and big horn sheep. Cross the Colorado-New Mexico border 11 times as you ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, an authentic steam railroad that will take you through unspoiled beauty. Finally, ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a legendary coal-fired, steam-powered train that hugs deep canyon walls and offers magnificent beauty traveling through San Juan National Forest. Step back in time as you visit Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see how the Ancestral Pueblo people lived in cliff dwellings from 600 to 1300 AD. On this Colorado trains tour, you'll also visit Rocky Mountain National Park, where a stop at 12,183 feet provides stunning alpine views, and Colorado National Monument, with towering monoliths and red-rock canyons. Walk along the Royal Gorge Bridge, the world's highest suspension bridge, and marvel at the rugged rock walls that plunge more than 1,000 feet down to the Arkansas River. Fun train rides, gorgeous scenery, and more await you on this Colorado trains tour designed for value-minded travelers. Just be sure to bring your camera!
DENVER Holiday Inn Denver - Cherry Creek (F)COLORADO SPRINGS Best Western Executive Inn & Suites (ST)ALAMOSA Super 8 Alamosa (T)DURANGO Quality Inn Durango (ST)GRAND JUNCTION Grand Vista Hotel (F)VAIL AREA Comfort Inn Vail/Beaver Creek (ST)
|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
|Day 1||Denver||Welcome to Denver, the 'Mile High City,' capital of Colorado and gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.|
|Day 2||Colorado Springs||This morning, travel south to the town of Colorado Springs, located on the plains at the foot of Pikes Peak. The view from the top of nearby Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose America the Beautiful more than 100 years ago. Visit the GARDEN OF THE GODS, a registered National Natural Landmark with towering red-rock formations. Next is a fabulous train ride on the PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY, the world's first diesel-electric cog locomotive and highest cog railroad. Travel along Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon. The track follows a cascading stream through dense stands of Englemann spruce, Colorado blue spruce, and Ponderosa pine trees. It's at Four Mile Switch where you'll get your first glimpse of Pikes Peak. The grade gets steep on the last three miles of the trip as you continue to climb and reach the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.|
|Day 3||Alamosa||This morning, all aboard the ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD. Travel on a diesel locomotive following the most spectacular section of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad through the gorge on tracks laid more than 120 years ago. Riders often spot wildlife such as eagles and Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. The views are breathtaking, so bring your camera. Afterward, experience the ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE & PARK. The adventure begins at one of the highest and most famous suspension bridges in North America. While standing 956 feet above the wild Arkansas River, take in Colorado's iconic natural beauty. Time to explore the park on your own. Brave the aerial gondola and glide 2,200 feet across the gorge, and 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River, while basking in 360 views. If you prefer to stay on the ground, check out the surrounding scenery from the visitor center, or view original artifacts and historic photos that illustrate the construction of the bridge at the Historical Expo. Stay overnight in Alamosa, surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo range to the east and the San Juan Mountains to the west.|
|Day 4||Durango||Today, you travel on the CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD, America's most authentic steam railroad, built more than 120 years ago. Travel through the beautiful San Juan Mountains on tracks that tamed the West, while crossing the Colorado-New Mexico border 11 times. Disembark the train at Cumbres Pass and continue by motorcoach to Chama. Later, arrive in Durango, a town born in the gold-rush and silver-mining era and at times run by gunslingers. (B)|
|Day 5||Gauge Railroad||Board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD this morning for a scenic 3.5-hour journey through San Juan National Forest to the historic mining town of Silverton. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks that miners, cowboys, and settlers of the Old West took more than a century ago. This historic train has been in continuous operation for more than 125 years, and the locomotives used to pull today's train are 1923-1925 vintage. The train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through the Rio de las Animas Canyon, with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Free time in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner, 'We have no gold, but silver by the ton!' Return to Durango by motorcoach, where the evening is free for independent exploring. (B)|
|Day 6||Grand Junction||This morning, MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you'll walk in the footsteps of Ancestral Puebloans and see their mysterious, centuries-old cliff dwellings. Spend time at the park's museum and visitor center, depicting the story of these people who mysteriously disappeared almost 700 years ago. Continue on to Telluride, a former Victorian mining town in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, at the base of a popular ski resort. Time on your own allows you to explore the 12 blocks along the town's main street, a National Historic Landmark District where you'll see the sights, such as the Old Town Jail, the Rio Grande Southern Railway Depot, and the Appaloosa Trading Company (the site where notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in 1889). Overnight in the town of Grand Junction. (B)|
|Day 7||Vail||This morning, visit COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama. Experience sheer-walled, red-rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, where you may spy bighorn sheep and soaring eagles. Your journey continues through 12 miles of beautiful Glenwood Canyon with walls that climb as high as 1,300 feet above the Colorado River. Continue to the Vail Valley area, one of America's most popular mountain resorts. Time to walk the cobblestone pedestrian village before making our way to the hotel.|
|Day 8||Denver||See Colorado's largest natural lake, Grand Lake, before crossing the Continental Divide and behold vistas of lush meadows, alpine glaciers, and thundering waterfalls. Take scenic Trail Ridge Road over magnificent mountain terrain, which attracted the likes of Kit Carson and his group of trappers to ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK. A break at 12,183 feet provides fantastic alpine scenery. A short stop in Estes Park, nestled in a high mountain valley at just above 7,000 feet, before returning to Denver. (B)NOTE: The drive through Rocky Mountain National Park is subject to favorable road and weather conditions.|
|Day 9||Denver||The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Denver International Airport.|
|US$ Price Details|
Gratuities for Tour Director and driver are available for pre-purchase.Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.Single Room Supplement:$630Triple Room Reduction per person:$145
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