National Parks of Colorado

From 14,000-foot-high mountain peaks to beautiful hidden valleys and, from historic trains to Ancestral Pueblo ruins, Colorado is full of opportunities to explore and engage your sense of adventure. Starting in the metropolitan areas of Denver and Colorado Springs, this tour travels through the Rocky Mountains to the Western Range, where you’ll explore this area through a myriad of activities.

Enjoy a visit to the Royal Gorge and other attractions near Colorado Springs. Travel back to your youth with the opportunity to slide down gigantic sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Enjoy the experience of historic rail travel on the Cumbres & Toltec and the Durango & Silverton Railroads. Explore the ruins of the vast Ancestral Puebloan civilization that inhabited Mesa Verde for thousands of years. Drive the Million Dollar Highway, then end your day enjoying the beauty of the Colorado National Monument. Visit Glenwood Springs with its Adventure Park, Fairy Cave, and an opportunity to enjoy whitewater rafting down the Colorado River. In the evening enjoy soaking in one of the many hot springs. Finish the tour with the grand finale by visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and explore Trail Ridge Road to its 12,000-foot summit for a grand view of the many mountain peaks and grand valleys below.

Tour Highlights:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Colorado National Monument
  • Million Dollar Highway
  • Royal Gorge Railroad along the Arkansas River Gorge
  • Cumbres & Toltec Historic Railroad Ride over the Continental Divide
  • Durango & Silverton Railroad Ride along the Animas River Gorge
  • Glenwood Springs Adventure Park, rafting (when water levels are adequate) and gondola ride
  • Royal Gorge Park and Bridge
  • Grand Lake
  • Estes Park
  • Photographic opportunities
  • Wildlife watching opportunities

Inclusions:

  • Services of a Southwest Adventure Tours tour director – a professional tour guide
  • Comfortable transportation
  • 7 nights hotel accommodations
  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • Fees for the following:
    • Royal Gorge Route Railroad
    • Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
    • Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
    • Durango & Silverton Railroad
    • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
    • Whitewater Rafting
  • Park entrance fees
  • Gratuities for included meals and activities
  • Luggage handling (one suitcase per person)
  • Applicable taxes and fees

Daily Breakdown:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Denver, travel to Colorado Springs
  • Day 2: Royal Gorge – Great Sand Dunes N.P. – Alamosa
  • Day 3: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad trip, travel to Durango
  • Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park
  • Day 5: Durango & Silverton Railroad – Million Dollar Hwy – Colorado National Monument
  • Day 6: Glenwood Springs – whitewater rafting on Colorado River
  • Day 7: Rocky Mountain National Park, travel to Westminster
  • Day 8: Journey Home

Itinerary:

  • Arrive in Denver by 1:00 pm Mountain Time. Meet your tour director and travel south to Colorado Springs for a tour of Garden of the Gods. Check into your hotel and join the group for a welcome dinner.

    Drury Inn & Suites, Colorado Springs, CO | Meals: D

  • Begin your day with a historic and scenic ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a vintage train ride along the beautiful Arkansas River deep within Royal Gorge. Next visit Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, where the world's highest suspension bridge towers 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River. Here you will have time to walk out on the bridge, have lunch on your own and explore other sights in the park. In the afternoon, travel to Great Sand Dunes National Park for sightseeing of the tallest dunes in North America, which are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. After a wonderful day in the heart of Colorado, arrive in Alamosa for dinner and overnight.

    Comfort Inn & Suites, Alamosa, CO | Meals: B, D

  • Enjoy the scenery of the Colorado Rockies as you take a vintage train ride on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. This well-preserved railroad has been called by author Lucius Beebe, "the most awesomely spectacular example of mountain railroading in North America." From the train, see ever changing landscapes as you make your way into the mountain peaks. Arrive at Osier where you will disembark the train and enjoy lunch. After lunch, the train continues over Cumbres Pass. Our van will pick you up at the end of the line, then you’ll travel to the old west mining town of Durango for a two-night stay. Evening free on own.

    Holiday Inn & Suites, Durango, CO | Meals: B, L

  • Today will be dedicated to exploring Mesa Verde National Park. Visit cliff dwellings built by the Ancestral Pueblo / Anasazi culture that once thrived in the Four Corners region but suddenly disappeared leaving a mystery of what happened to this ancient culture. Mesa Verde is the nation’s largest archeological preserve with 4,000 sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Start with the Visitors Center which contains a large collection of ancient artifacts. Then a local expert will guide you through the more famous ruins including a stop for lunch on your own. After a wonderful tour of Mesa Verde, return to Durango with the rest of the day free to explore this fun western town on your own.

    Holiday Inn & Suites, Durango, CO | Meals: B

  • This morning, ride the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the last such railroads operating in the United States. Sit back and watch alpine meadows, the beautiful Animas River and the high peaks of the San Juan Mountains, a significant mountain range in the Rocky Mountains, go by. After a wonderful ride, set foot in Silverton with free time to explore the many shops and have lunch on your own. In the afternoon, take a scenic drive over the Million Dollar Highway and pass by old mining ruins and wonder if the mountains you see are really orange-colored, then finally wind your way down the mountainside to Ouray, another historic town. Continue north to Grand Junction for sightseeing in Colorado National Monument. Over the centuries, the elements have created beautiful steep canyons, monolithic spires and gorges all carved from the colorful sandstone. Overnight in Grand Junction and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

    Hampton Inn Downtown, Grand Junction, CO | Meals: B, D

  • After breakfast, travel east to Glenwood Springs and arrive at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for a scenic gondola ride up the mountain with incredible views of the Roaring Fork Valley, Mt. Sopris and the Colorado River. Enjoy a guided tour of historic Fairy Cave followed by an included lunch. Then descend back down the mountain and, providing water levels are adequate, join the group for some thrilling whitewater rafting!  You will be rafting through spectacular Glenwood Canyon, a beautiful, pristine stretch of water with unbelievable Rocky Mountain scenery and a perfect mix of calm water and whitewater. This trip includes Class II-IV whitewater and the Shoshone Class III-IV rapids, which offer the whitewater enthusiast a two-mile stretch of exciting but not intimidating rapids. A guide favorite with interesting geology, gorgeous scenery, and some fun whitewater! The evening is free to visit the town’s namesake, Glenwood Hot Springs, for an optional soak in the mineral springs, as well as exploring its streets and having dinner on your own.

    Hampton Inn, Glenwood Springs, CO | Meals: B, L

  • Depart Glenwood Springs for a scenic drive through the heart of the Colorado Rockies, passing through the towns of Vail and Silverthorne on your way to Grand Lake Lodge for lunch on your own with an amazing view.  Then enter Rocky Mountain National Park for sightseeing along the famed Trail Ridge Road which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds. It will be an afternoon of mountain roads, wildlife and breathtaking views. A true Colorado Rocky Mountain High! Explore some hiking trails at the guide’s discretion. In the late afternoon, return to the valleys of the Front Range with some free time to explore Estes Park. Then pass through the fun town of Boulder on your way to Westminster for the night. This evening, join the group for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant as you share your experiences from the past week in Colorado.

    Drury Inn & Suites, Westminster, CO | Meals: B, D

  • Say farewell to Colorado as you head over to the Denver Airport for your flight home.

    Meals: B

Tour Details:

Not Included:

  • Items of a personal nature (alcohol, room service, etc.)
  • Meals (other than listed in the itinerary)
  • Optional activities
  • Airfare
  • Gratuities for the tour director

Arrival / Departure Info:

  • Arrival Location: Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Arrival Time: By 1 PM Mountain Time on Sunday (day 1)
  • Departure Location: Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Departure Time: Any time on the last day (day 8)

Physical Requirements:

  • Clients should be comfortable walking on uneven terrain for an average of 1 to 3 miles at a time.
  • Elevation gain and loss averages between 50 to 300 ft over the course of the areas visited during this tour.
  • Touring and overnight locations are above 6,000 to 8,000 ft above sea level
  • Deboard and board van each time at a viewpoint – a portable step will be available
  • Please let us know if you have any other physical/health limitations or requirements

Other Details:

  • Comfortable transportation in Mercedes Sprinter vans or similar
  • Accommodations: Double Occupancy Hotel, 3 Star Hotels

Pricing:

  • $3,199.00 Per Person Double Occupancy
  • $3,645.00 Per person Single Occupancy
  • $2,940.00 Per person Triple Occupancy 
  • $2,899.00 Per person Quad Occupancy 

 

2022 Departure Dates:

June 19 July 3
July 17 July 31
August 14 August 28
September 11 September 25
October 2  

 

Similar Tours:

From the Blog