Grand Circle of the American West
Discover a magical world of spectacular red rock sandstone formations, deep canyons and towering mesas in the 'Four Corners' region - home to the most glorious National Parks of the American West.
16 days from
per person, for 2 people
Based on departing 22/09/2017 from London Heathrow AirportView Dates
Fly to Denver where you will transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Depart Denver this morning for Grand Junction, visiting the pretty alpine resort of Vail en route. Continue through the massive, craggy gorges of Glenwood Canyon to the awe-inspiring red rock landscape of Grand Junction, Colorado's wine country. Includes Breakfast
First stop this morning is Colorado National Monument, offering one of the grandest landscapes of the American West. Admire the rusty coloured monoliths, canyons and plateaux before travelling to Arches National Park, which features over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and interesting rock formations. Catch a glimpse of the world famous Delicate Arch, known as 'The Chaps' from a designated viewpoint. The evening is free in Moab, a small town on the Colorado River.
The day begins with a trip to magnificent Canyonlands National Park, a colourful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado and Green Rivers which divide the park into three districts. Next, visit Dead Horse Point State Park to learn about the legend behind the name. Stroll along the Rim Walk to the mesa of Dead Horse Point which affords breathtaking views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. The rest of the evening is free.
Enjoy a scenic drive along Capitol Reef National Park, one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the United States and the Grand Staircase to Bryce Canyon National Park, where slow erosion has created fantastically sculptured rock formations which glow with different light depending on the time of day.
Today, descend into Zion National Park. Once a refuge for Mormon Pioneers, its striking landscape of steep canyons and stone towers were carved out by rushing streams over millions of years. There is time to admire the beauty of the park, before heading to Page.
First stop this morning is the Wupatki National Monument, a site preserving the pueblos of ancient peoples. Continue to Sunset Crater Volcano. Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape. Later, arrive in Williams where the evening is free to explore this picturesque mountain town with one of the best preserved sections of Route 66, featuring vintage neon signs and shops selling memorabilia. Includes Breakfast
Travel to the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The day is free to enjoy the park at leisure. Wander along the canyon rim and experience spine-tingling views of its flame-coloured walls or for the thrill of a lifetime, take an optional 'flightseeing' helicopter trip.
To experience the American West that has been immortalised on the silver screen, journey across the Navajo Nation to Monument Valley. On the Arizona-Utah border, the valley's scenic desert vistas and iconic buttes have appeared in countless classic Western films. Take a memorable four-wheel drive tour before enjoying a Navajo cookout with entertainment. Overnight in Kayenta.
Begin the day with a visit to the famed 'Four Corners' monument, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all converge and where a person can stand in four states at the same time. Next, travel to Mesa Verde National Park, an area protecting over 4,000 archaeological sites. After exploring the mysterious cliff dwellings, arrive at Durango, nestled in the Animas River Valley. Founded in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, this charming town was once run by gunslingers. Tonight, why not explore the historic downtown?
Board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad this morning for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Enjoy the experience of travelling by a coal-fired steam-powered vintage locomotive on the same tracks miners, cowboys and settlers of the old west took over a century ago. The legendary steam train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through vistas of snow-capped peaks. The locomotives are 1923-25 vintage and are maintained in their original condition. This historic train has been in continuous operation for over 125 years. Enjoy free time in Silverton, once a major mining town, which owes its name to the bragging statement of an early miner who said "We have no gold, but silver by the ton!"
Journey northwards through the San Juan Mountains, stopping at Ouray, a small community nestled amongst some of the most rugged peaks of the Rockies. Then on to one of America's newest national parks, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Featuring sheer cliffs of up to 2,250 feet and a canyon floor which is at its narrowest only 40 feet wide, it is very dramatic.
Travel through beautiful Buena Vista, a picture-postcard town nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, which has retained its Wild West charm. Continue to Colorado Springs where the view from the top of nearby Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose 'America the Beautiful'. Visit the Garden of the Gods, featuring outstanding geological sandstone and limestone formations including the Kissing Camels and the Cathedral Spires. Includes Breakfast
Conclude the journey with a train ride on the fabulous Pike's Peak Cog Railway, the world's highest cog railroad. Travel along Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon, then over Four Mile Switch for a first glimpse of Pikes Peak. At about the five mile point, the grade steepens as you climb above the timber line and reach the 14,110 feet summit of Pikes Peak. Return to Denver in the late afternoon where the evening is free.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Las Vegas. Includes Breakfast
Maximum elevation on this tour is 14,114 ft.
NOTE: Colorado, Utah and Arizona are blessed with exquisite mountain scenery and extraordinary outdoor attractions. Visiting and participating in activities in these locations is subject to favourable weather and/or road conditions.
Why not extend your tour with a seven night Alaska Cruise on Holland America Line?
After your tour, fly to Seattle for an overnight stay before embarking MS Eurodam to discover the stunning Alaskan scenery and wildlife. The cruise itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Seattle to embark
Day 2: Scenic Cruising
Day 3: Juneau
Day 4: Glacier Bay
Day 5: Sitka
Day 6: Ketchikan
Day 7: Victoria
Day 8: Seattle to disembark
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Although we had visited Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon before, this trip took us to some outstanding and interesting places that we had never heard of before - Durango and Pikes Peak in particular, as well as some of the ancient places and pueblos....
Although we had visited Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon before, this trip took us to some outstanding and interesting places that we had never heard of before - Durango and Pikes Peak in particular, as well as some of the ancient places and pueblos. The tour director on this trip was excellent, with a good knowledge of the geology and history of the places we visited.
We had a fantastic holiday, seen lots of fabulous national parks and our driver Jose and guide Niles were always there to make our holiday special.
A great holiday visiting the less well known canyons etc. A fantastic holiday, as we had already experienced the National Parks and Canyons holiday.
An outstanding holiday with so to see and do. In fact, much more than was shown on the original itinerary. We were blown away by all that we saw.
The brochure didn't do this holiday justice. From beginning in Denver all the way round was brilliant. We saw far more than we thought we were going to do.<br/>Airport at Denver however was not good. They changed the allocations of seats, and I fo...
The brochure didn't do this holiday justice. From beginning in Denver all the way round was brilliant. We saw far more than we thought we were going to do.<br/>Airport at Denver however was not good. They changed the allocations of seats, and I found myself sitting away from my husband ( they only seemed to have changed Archers seating, and we were not the only ones that were seperated). Fortunately a nice young man changed with my husband and I was lucky, the other people were not so lucky. This needs to be addressed.
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