Trains in Colorado – September 15th – 22nd 2018

Colorado’s historic railroads each have a unique history and charm. Lovingly restored and expertly maintained tracks and trains, and the ever-changing vistas they provide access to, will bring you to the edge of your seat. Marvel at the narrow ledges as they nimbly wind around and the view of the precipitous drops to the deep canyons below. Riding these railroads is akin to eating potato chips — one is never enough.

Click here for a flyer – Trains in Colorado

Day 1 – Saturday September 15th – Home to Colorado Springs
Welcome to Colorado… we’ll make our way to Colorado Springs. When it comes to magnificent scenery and natural beauty Colorado Springs has it all! First stop… enjoy a tour of the US Air Force Academy… it started in 1954 when Congress authorized the establishment and chose this 18,000-acre site. 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. We’ll check into our home for the next two nights the Drury Inn & Suites… you’ll have time to get cozy in your room and enjoy Happy Hour before our welcome dinner. Drury Inn & Suites Colorado Springs (D)

Day 2 – Sunday September 16th – Colorado Springs Local touring
After a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel we’ll head to Pikes Peak where we’ll board the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway… Enjoy the views as we climb to 12,110 feet above sea level. This is “America’s Mountain”… upon ascending Pikes Peak in 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to “America the Beautiful”; the lyrics, “purple mountains’ majesty” refer to the vistas around Colorado Springs. Known as Little London in its early days, pioneers used to paint their wagons, “Pikes Peak or Bust”. Next, we’ll head to the Garden of the Gods… An abundance of plant and animal life can be found throughout its 1,340 acres, as well as the magnificent red sandstone rock formations, for which the Garden is best known. In the early 1920’s Charles Strausenback built a Trading Post to resemble the homes of the Pueblo Indians. Since that time, the Trading Post has expanded six times to become Colorado’s largest art gallery and gift shop. Drury Inn & Suites Colorado Springs (B, L)

Day 3– Monday September 17th – Colorado Springs to Alamosa
We’ll depart Colorado Springs this morning with great memories… our next adventure is aboard the Royal Gorge Railroad. Enjoy a vintage train ride along the legendary Arkansas River deep within the Gorge. Next, visit Royal Gorge Park for a view of the canyon from above. The Royal Gorge Bridge spans the gorge and is one of the world’s highest suspension bridges. Built in 1929, it stretches 1,270 feet across and soars 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Those who wish to cross it can do so on foot, where you can peer over the bridge to see the rafters below. New attractions added to the park in 2015 include a new aerial gondola that gently whisks you from one side of the canyon to the other and a Cloudscraper Zip Line that also flies you above the Arkansas. Enjoy some free time to explore the park and have a bite to eat. We’ll continue through beautiful scenery as we pass through the historic rail town of Salida on your way to Alamosa our home for the night. Holiday Inn Express Alamoso (B, D)

Day 4 – Tuesday September 18th Alamosa to Durango
“All Aboard” the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, considered the finest remaining example of a once vast network of narrow gauge lines linking 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.”  We’ll depart from Antonito and travel to Osier where you are on your own to enjoy lunch. We’ll re-board our coach and make our way to Durango… it’s situated in Southwest Colorado. Durango is flanked by diverse and dramatic landscapes, from the Animas River Valley’s sandstone bluffs to the San Juan Mountain’s jagged peaks. Our home for the next two nights is the Holiday Inn Durango located within walking distance to old town. Holiday Inn Durango (B, L)

Day 5 – Wednesday September 19th – Durango – Local Touring
After breakfast, we’ll explore Mesa Verde National Park… where we’ll find 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 sights including 600 cliff dwellings. Enjoy some time in the Visitors Center with its large collection of ancient artifacts before our local guide takes us through the most famous ruins with a stop at the Spruce Tree House Restaurant for lunch on your own. We’ll make our way back to Durango where your afternoon and evening are free to explore this fun western town. Holiday Inn Durango (B)

Day 6 – Thursday September 20th – Durango to Grand Junction
This morning, ride the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the last such railroads operating in the United States. “All aboard!” for a delightful trip through the Colorado Rockies between Durango and Silverton. 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. Afterward we’ll meet our coach… enjoy the scenery as we wind our way through magnificent scenery to Grand Junction. This evening we’ll take in 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. Welcome to our home for the night the Doubletree Grand Junction… You’ll have time to get cozy in your room before dinner at the hotel. Doubletree Grand Junction (B, D)

Day 7 – Friday September 21st – Grand Junction to Denver
We’ll travel east through the Heart of the Rockies this morning enjoying vistas of rugged canyons, pristine wilderness, and deep gorges. We’ll cross the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass as we travel east descending once again into the “Mile High City”… Denver. First stop the Colorado Railroad Museum…  The 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 1860’s to present. After a brief driving city tour, we’ll check into our downtown hotel. The evening is free to explore Denver’s famous 16th Street Mall. Free shuttle buses, dubbed the MallRide, travel up and down the 16th Street Mall, stopping on every corner. Hop on and hop off as the shuttles come and go every few minutes and make everything downtown easy to reach. There are 42 outdoor cafes along the Mall, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or have a drink. Denver Pavilions, near the south end of the Mall, is a shopping and dining complex with 12 movie theaters and more than two dozen shops and restaurants. After dark, horse-drawn carriages and pedi-cabs carry people up and down the Mall, while nearly a million lights twinkle above in the more than 200 trees that line the promenade. Sheraton Downtown Denver (B)

Day 8 – Saturday September 22nd – Denver to Home
This morning we’ll say goodbye Denver “the Queen City of the Plains” and end this fantastic journey on a “Rocky Mountain High”. Join us for a scenic and adventurous tour in Colorado (B)

 

$3,138 Double $3,658 Single

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