Book a 2018 holiday before 14 August and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 1 lunch,
Fly to Denver where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Begin the day with a visit to the Colorado Railroad Museum. This unmissable site for rail enthusiasts, features over 70 historic narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars. Then travel to the town of Colorado Springs, located on the plains at the foot of Pikes Peak. Afterwards visit the 'Garden of the Gods', a 'city park' that is a garden of towering red rock formations. Next is a fabulous train ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which will take you to the 14,110 feet summit of Pikes Peak. The first third of the 8.9 mile long journey is along Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon. The middle third is on a gentler grade, before passing over the Four Mile Switch and your first glimpse of Pikes Peak! At about the 5 mile point, the grade steepens and you climb above the timberline where the views become more expansive.
This morning, journey to Canon City and the Royal Gorge to travel on the Royal Gorge Railroad. The actual rail tracks were laid over 120 years ago by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad through a steep-walled gorge over a thousand feet deep. The views from the train are breathtaking, and it's not unusual to spot wildlife in the area like eagles and Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. This is truly a 'once in a lifetime' experience, so don't forget your camera. Afterwards, experience the Royal Gorge Park and Bridge - at a quarter of a mile across and 1,053 feet high, it is the world's highest suspension bridge and boasts panoramic vistas. Next, see spectacular views of the Arkansas River, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Bridge itself, on an Aerial Tram ride across the Gorge. Overnight in Alamosa where the high plains and flat valley expand 722 square miles, surrounded by mountain ranges to the east and west.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was built in the 1880's to serve miners in the area and has changed very little since. The railroad is the most authentic steam era line in North America. Jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, the 64-mile line connects Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico via the San Juan Mountains and the 10,015-feet high Cumbres Pass. The line is an archetypal remnant of the Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad system that once stretched hundreds of miles throughout the Rocky Mountains. You'll cross the Colorado-New Mexico border eleven times. The train stops in Osier, Colorado for lunch. We then disembark at Cumbres Pass and continue by coach to Chama. Later we arrive in Durango, a town born in the gold rush and silver mining era.
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 Rio de las Animas Canyon with 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. 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!"
Today we visit the ruins of ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See Spruce Tree House, which dates from 1200 AD and is tucked away under a sandstone cliff face. Spend time at the park's museum, depicting the story of these people who mysteriously disappeared almost 700 years ago. Later we arrive in Moab, a small town on the Colorado River surrounded by red sandstone formations.
This morning we visit Arches National Park where over two thousand natural sandstone arches are preserved. You will see the world famous 'Delicate Arch', 'Balanced Rock' and 'Park Avenue'. Later, we cross back into Colorado and journey through the massive 1,800-feet walls of Glenwood Canyon and then continue to the Vail Valley area, one of America's most popular mountain resorts. Stroll through the pedestrian village and experience the unique shopping opportunities or let one of the world-class chefs prepare a meal to delight your taste buds.
See Colorado's largest natural lake, Grand Lake. Cross the Continental Divide and behold incomparable vistas of lush meadows, alpine glaciers, and thundering waterfalls. Take the scenic Trail Ridge Road over magnificent mountainous terrain, which attracted the likes of Kit Carson to the area. A break at 12,000 feet provides fantastic alpine scenery. Next is the town of Estes Park. Nestled in a high mountain valley at just above 7,500 feet elevation, Estes Park features hundreds of unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Free time this evening will allow you to enjoy one of America's fastest growing cities, and its bustling area centred around a mile-long pedestrian promenade is lined with outdoor cafés and flower baskets. A horse drawn carriage ride could be the perfect end to the day.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Las Vegas or San Francisco.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating unforgettable holidays since 1994. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.