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Join us for a journey through the heart of Rocky Mountain territory and discover vibrant fall foliage and rich Western history. Experience the splendor of the region’s natural beauty, including historical landmarks, ancient archaeological sites, magnificent mountains and steep gorges carved by mighty rivers. Traveling from Colorado Springs to Denver by motor coach and aboard four historic railroads, you’ll journey through some of the highest points and most rugged landscapes in the Rocky Mountain chain, catching glimpses of wildlife and frontier towns along the way.
Begin in Colorado Springs where you'll board the Pike's Peak Cog Railway. This amazing journey takes you 14,100 feet above sea level to the top of Pike's Peak, providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Then enjoy a different perspective aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, which parallels the Arkansas River through the stunning Royal Gorge. Journey aboard the 1880 Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, considered the finest remaining example of a once vast network of narrow gauge lines that linked together the Rocky Mountain Mining Camps. Then "all aboard" the vintage Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the last such railroads operating in the U.S. Keep your camera handy as you travel through rugged peaks, alpine meadows and past sparkling mountain lakes.
You'll also explore historic and scenic venues along the way. Visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, where cottonwoods and aspens look like rivers of gold winding through the park. In Mesa Verde National Park, see the ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings and learn about their significance from a local expert guide. Enjoy time exploring Durango, an Old West mining town that now boasts an eclectic mix of art galleries, museums and restaurants. See the fantastic red sandstone canyons and spires of Colorado National Monument. Conclude your rail adventure with a visit to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, where you can browse exhibits of railroad equipment, artifacts and photographs.
• 7 nights hotel accommodations: 2 nights in Colorado Springs, 1 night in Alamosa, 2 nights in Durango, 1 night in Grand Junction and 1 night in Denver
• Daily breakfast, 3 lunches and 5 dinners, including outdoor cookout at Flying W Ranch
• Luxury motor coach transportation and services of a professional tour guide
• Rail journeys aboard Pike’s Peak Cog Railway, Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad and Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
• Tours of: U.S. Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado National Monument and Colorado Railroad Museum
• All admission fees as per itinerary
• Round-trip airport/hotel transfers
Note: Pre-tour and post-tour hotel nights are available. Inquire at time of booking.
Day 1 - Arrive in Denver / Colorado Springs
Arrive at the Denver Airport by 1:00pm in order to take the group transfer to your hotel. After a brief check-in with your tour director, enjoy your first taste of the adventures to come as you board the motor coach and travel south to Colorado Springs. En route, take a tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Situated in the shadow of the mountains and overlooking the open spaces of the western plains, the academy is famous for its architecturally unique chapel. Arrive in Colorado Springs and check-in to your hotel. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your guide and fellow travelers at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Drury Inn - 2 nights
Day 2 - Pike Peaks Country
Today is devoted to sightseeing around Colorado Springs. First, ride on the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway which climbs to the top of Pikes Peak. Looking at this famous peak, rising 14,110 feet above sea level, you will understand the meaning of "Rocky Mountain High!" Next, continue to the Garden of the Gods Trading Post and enjoy a sumptuous lunch and some time to shop. This afternoon, continue sightseeing and tour Garden of the Gods. An abundance of plant and animal life can be found throughout its 1,340 acres, as well as magnificent red sandstone rock formations for which the Garden is best known. Return to your hotel with some time to freshen up, and then be our guests for a special evening of Western hospitality and entertainment at the famous Flying W Ranch outdoor cookout.
Day 3 - Royal Gorge / Alamosa
This morning board the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a vintage train ride along the legendary Arkansas River deep within the gorge. Upon arrival at Royal Gorge Park & Bridge, where the world's highest suspension bridge towers 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River, leave the train behind and ride the country’s steepest incline railway 1,500 feet up to the canyon rim. Here you will have time to walk out on the bridge and explore other sights in the park. Next, travel to the historic rail town of Salida for a delicious home-style lunch. This afternoon visit Great Sand Dunes National Park for sightseeing and then arrive in Alamosa.
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express - 1 night
Day 4 - Cumbres / Toltec Scenic Railway
This morning, "all aboard" the 1880 Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, considered the finest remaining example of a once vast network of narrow gauge lines linking together the Rocky Mountain Mining Camps. This unique railroad has been called by author Lucius Beebe, "the most awesomely spectacular example of mountain railroading in North America." Leave Antonito, Colorado and travel to Osier where you’ll disembark and enjoy lunch. Then re-board your motor coach and travel to the old west mining town of Durango, Colorado.
Accommodation: Best Western Rio Grande Inn - 2 nights
Day 5 - Mesa Verde National Park
After breakfast, travel to nearby Mesa Verde National Park for a day of exploration. Visit cliff dwellings where the mysterious Anasazi once lived. Known as the "Ancient Ones" to the Navajo, the Anasazi lived in the Four Corners area almost a thousand years ago then suddenly disappeared, leaving their incredibly well-preserved dwellings to intrigue and challenge modern man. This is the nation’s largest archeological preserve with 4,000 sites including 600 cliff dwellings. A local expert will guide you through the most famous ruin sites with a stop at the Spruce Tree House Restaurant for lunch on your own. After a fascinating tour of the park, return to Durango where the rest of the day is free to explore this fun Western town.
Day 6 - Durango Silverton Railroad / Silverton / Grand Junction
This morning, ride the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the last such railroads operating in the United States. The rugged peaks, alpine meadows and crystal lakes take you back to the early days of the West when mountain men searched this untouched land for traces of bear and mountain lion. Upon arrival in Silverton, enjoy some free time to explore the many shops and have lunch on your own. Meet the motor coach for a scenic drive north to Grand Junction. This evening see the fantastic monoliths of Colorado National Monument. Over the centuries, wind and water have carved sheer, walled canyons, spires, and gorges from the brilliant orange and red sandstone. Enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel.
Accommodation: Grand Vista Hotel - 1 night
Day 7 - Grand Junction / Denver
Depart and travel east for a ride through the heart of the Rockies, enjoying vistas of rugged canyons, pristine wilderness and deep gorges. Cross the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass as we travel east, descending once again into the "Mile High City" of Denver. Here, we’ll stop at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. This museum’s mission is to acquire, preserve and exhibit railroad equipment, artifacts and photographs emphasizing Rocky Mountain area railroads. You’ll learn about the history of this region from the 1860s to present. This afternoon, check into your hotel and freshen up for a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodation: Renaissance Denver Hotel - 1 night
Day 8 - Depart Denver
Today, say farewell to Denver and the Rocky Mountains. A morning transfer to the airport has been arranged for your journey home.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.