National Parks of Colorado

From 14,000-foot-high mountain peaks to stunning deep gorges, from whitewater thrills 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 and San Juan Mountains, where you’ll explore this area through a myriad of activities. 

Enjoy a visit atop Pikes Peak 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. Explore the ruins of the vast Ancestral Puebloan civilization that inhabited Mesa Verde for thousands of years, as well as Chimney Rock National Monument. Experience the spectacular mountain vistas from the Million Dollar Highway, peer into the depths of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then end your day enjoying the beauty of the Colorado National Monument. Feel the thrills of whitewater rafting down the rapids of the Colorado River. 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
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Chimney Rock National Monument
  • Colorado National Monument
  • Pikes Peak Cog Railway
  • Million Dollar Highway
  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
  • Grand Lake
  • Estes Park
  • Excellent photographic opportunities
  • Wildlife watching opportunities


  • Services of a Southwest Adventure Tours tour director – a professional tour guide
  • Comfortable transportation in a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van
  • 7 nights lodging
  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Airport transfers
  • Entrance Fees to National Parks and Monuments
  • Pikes Peak Cog Railway
  • Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • 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: Pikes Peak Cog Railway – Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
  • Day 3: Great Sand Dunes N.P. – Chimney Rock N.M.
  • Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park – Explore Durango
  • Day 5: Million Dollar Hwy – Black Canyon of the Gunnison – Colorado National Monument
  • Day 6: Glenwood Springs – whitewater rafting on Colorado River
  • Day 7: Rocky Mountain National Park – travel back to Denver area
  • Day 8: Journey Home


  • Meet your tour director this afternoon at 1:00 PM at Denver Airport and travel south to Colorado Springs for the first taste of this amazing state! You will tour and explore the Garden of the Gods. Visit its many unique formations as you walk and hike throughout the park. Once finished you will return to Colorado Springs, check into your hotel and enjoy your evening.

    Drury Inn & Suites, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Begin the day by elevating your experience of the Colorado Rockies with a historic and scenic ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Travel from 6,300 feet to just over 14,000 feet above sea level. Experience the sweeping 360-degree views, vistas, and natural beauty of the Pikes Peak region that has drawn generations of explorers and travelers. 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. Once finished, you will travel into the heart of Colorado for dinner and your overnight stay.

    Hampton Inn, Alamosa, CO | Meals: B, D

  • Begin your morning exploring 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. Once finished, you will get to experience the scenery of the Colorado Rockies as you travel over scenic Wolf Creek Pass before arriving in Pagosa Springs. Soon after, you will explore Chimney Rock National Monument and learn about this hidden gem of Ancestral Puebloan history and join in the fascination of how these Native Americans used the two rock monoliths (Chimney Rock) to chart the moon and recorded the Lunar Standstill that occurs every 18.6 years. End your day with yet another scenic drive that will lead to historic Durango, CO.

    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 you will travel over the Million Dollar Highway from Durango to the town of Ouray, known as Little Switzerland of America. 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. There will be stops for scenic overlooks and hikes along the way.  After passing by the old mining ruins near Red Mountain Pass, with its majestic views of the 14’ers, you will finally wind your way down the mountainside to Ouray, another historic town, for a visit to Box Canyon Falls and other areas. Continue north to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This park consists of a deep, steep-walled chasm, carved through Precambrian rock by the Gunnison River. Roads and trails along the north rim have views of the Black Canyon's dramatic drops and the striated cliff walls from Painted Wall Viewpoint. Once finished, you will continue to Grand Junction where you will enjoy a picnic dinner in Colorado National Monument for the evening.

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

  • Begin the day traveling east to Glenwood Springs where you will experience 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. This section is one of our favorites, with interesting geology, gorgeous scenery, views of the marvelous engineering resulting in the most expensive portion of interstate highway built (Interstate 70) and, of course, some fun whitewater! You will have a few hours of free time for lunch and an opportunity to soak in the mineral hot springs, the reason for the founding of Glenwood Springs, if you are interested. Then continue through the Colorado Rockies as you travel to Silverthorne to overnight. Evening free for dinner on your own.

    Hampton Inn, Silverthorne, CO | Meals: B

  • Depart Silverthorne for a scenic drive on your way to Grand Lake and the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. You will enjoy some hiking and sightseeing along the national park’s 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 and join the group for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant as you share your experiences from the past week in Colorado. After dinner you will travel to your hotel near the airport.

    Fairfield Inn & Suites DIA, Denver, CO | Meals: B, L, D

  • Say farewell to Colorado as you head over to Denver International Airport for your flight home. Transfers on your own using the hotel airport shuttle as needed.

    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 10,000 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

2024 Departure Dates:

June 16 July 14
August 4 August 18
September 15  


2025 Departure Dates:

June 15 July 20
August 3 September 7



  • $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 

Similar Tours:

From the Blog