Independent Amtrak Tours
Escorted Amtrak Tours
New England and Autumn Tours
Winter Escapes on Amtrak
There is a fantasy of stone and sky in the southwest United States. Between the eye and the horizon lies a panorama of plateaus, buttes and stone monoliths of startling shapes and sizes. The national and state parks display geology and beauty both unique and grand.
Call 877-929-7245 for air and rail fares and schedules from your city to and from Denver.
On this escorted Amtrak tour participants experience Amtrak's magnificent California Zephyr route from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado. You will travel through multicolored deep canyons into the heart of the Rocky Mountains on Amtrak's very best double-decker Superliner equipment. You return to Denver from Winslow, Arizona, using the Southwest Chief to Trinidad and then private motorcoach service to Denver. These are two of the most beautiful train trips in North America. Also included are a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway in the new Vista Dome Car First Class and a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad out of Clarkdale, Arizona in the First Class Parlor Car with luncheon on board.
A spectacular evening cruise aboard the "Moab Queen" takes you up the mighty Colorado River as the majestic canyon walls come to life with an illuminated sound and light presentation. Dancing shadows are gracefully choreographed to the rhythm of a magical music score. New this year is a wonderful two-night stay in spectacular Westwater Canyon at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge. A jeep tour with a Navajo guide takes you through scenic Monument Valley to see ancient Native American ruins and carved petroglyphs on rock walls. Included is a night in Grand Canyon National Park to allow for additional sightseeing.
The parks you will explore include Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. Native American legends, history and geologic wonders abound throughout your adventure in this red rock wonderland.
- Experience Amtrak's magnificent California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief, two of the most beautiful rail trips in North America.
- Explore seven National Parks including Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.
- Ride on the Grand Canyon Railway in the new Vista Dome Car First Class.
- Take the Verde Canyon Railroad out of Clarkdale, Arizona in the First Class Parlor Car with luncheon.
- Jeep tour with a Navajo guide through scenic Monument Valley to see ancient Native American ruins.
- Spectacular evening cruise aboard the "Moab Queen" up the mighty Colorado River.
- Wonderful two-night stay in spectacular Westwater Canyon at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge.
- Roundtrip Rail and Coach fares from Denver
- 11 Nights Lodging
- Sightseeing Passes
- 17 Meals
- Services of a Professional Tour Director
- All Transfers during the Escorted Portion of the Tour
- Luggage Handling during the Escorted Portion of the Tour
Day 1: Arrive Denver
Independent arrivals into Denver today. Participants arrive in Denver, for a pre-tour night included at the Comfort Inn Downtown, attached by a sky bridge to the famous Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. Enjoy all the amenities of the Brown Palace while at the Comfort Inn.
Day Two: Colorado Rockies (CB)
Aboard California Zephyr to Grand Junction, CO. Transfer from the hotel to the Amtrak station to board the California Zephyr, riding in leg-rest reclining seat coaches. Lunches can be purchased in the mid-train dining car; and you also can enjoy all-around viewing, snacks and beverages in the glass-topped Superliner Lounge-café car. The California Zephyr follows the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad line now operated by the Union Pacific. The route evokes Teddy Roosevelt's comment that a rail journey through the Rockies is the "trip that bankrupts the English language!"
In Winter Park, the tracks begin to follow the waters of the Fraser River through the forested Fraser Canyon. At Granby, the Fraser joins the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. For the next 200 miles, the tracks closely follow the Colorado through a succession of unique and ever more spectacular gorges. In sequence the line traverses the Byers, Gore, Red, Glenwood [Note the really cool panorama on this site], and Palisade Canyons. Each offers a different vista. The Gore is gray spires and narrow defiles, while the Red Canyon offers unique “pagoda” sandstone terraces. The Glenwood Canyon is over 4,000 feet deep. Its awesome spectacle of soaring cliffs, waterfalls, rapids and great rock monoliths inspired the invention of the glass-topped vista-dome car.
Arrive in late afternoon in Grand Junction and meet the motorcoach. Travel to Moab, Utah, to the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge for a relaxing two-night stay.
Day Three: Arches National Park (Brunch, D)
Arches National Park - Dead Horse Point - Canyonlands by Night boat cruise. You begin your southwest sojourn at Arches National Park adjacent to the Moab Valley and Colorado River. Here you experience time and silence in the sculptured rock scenery resulting from 100 million years of erosion, extreme temperatures, water, ice, and underground salt movement. This park boasts the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Travel to Dead Horse Point State Park, a 2,000-foot overlook above the Colorado River, on the boundary of the wilderness of Canyonlands N.P. Return to Moab to end your evening with a barbeque Dutch oven dinner before boarding the "Canyonlands by Night" sunset cruise on the "Moab Queen" up the Colorado River.
Day Four: Edge of the Cedars Park (B, L, D)
Edge of the Cedars Park - Anasazi Indian village and museum - Goosenecks. "Anasazi", a Navajo word meaning "ancient ones," describes the culture that existed circa AD 1 to 1300 in the Four Corners plateau region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. This morning journey to Edge of Cedars State Park to tour an Anasazi village site and museum. Lunch is at Old Tymer's Restaurant before a drive to the amazing canyon vista at the Goosenecks of the San Juan. Your hotel is in Monument Valley at panoramic Goulding's Lodge, known for its past as a trading post and as the housing for several John Ford/John Wayne Hollywood westerns.
Day Five: Monument Valley by Jeep - Capitol Reef National Park(B, L)
Monument Valley by jeep - Capitol Reef N.P. On your tour this morning, you are guided through Monument Valley in open-air jeeps. With its many arches, buttes, Anasazi ruins, brilliant colors and the famous "mittens", this is a superb area for photography. Monument Valley is a place of haunting beauty that frequently has been seen in Hollywood films including the John Ford/John Wayne classics "Fort Apache", "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", and "Rio Grande". A stop is included to visit an authentic Navajo hogan and see Navajo rug weaving. With an included box lunch, we drive to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, making a stop at the Hite Crossing marina and continuing through Capitol Reef National Park, with sightseeing stops en route. The hotel tonight is the Best Western Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey UT.
Day Six: Bryce Canyon National Park (L)
You drive to the Bryce Canyon area, crossing soaring Boulder Mountain at over 9,000 feet enroute. Later traverse the new Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument and cross the amazing Devil’s Backbone on a razor-ridge road. After an included lunch at Bryce Canyon Lodge, we complete our ascent of the “Escalante Staircase” into a mountainous region of quaking aspen and towering peaks. At more than 8,000 feet in elevation, you reach scenery resembling the backdrop for a science fiction film set on "an incredible planet unlike anything on earth."
Bryce Canyon is nestled in twelve huge bowls sinking nearly 1,000 feet into the earth of southern Utah, cutting through layers of colorful stone formations. It is noted for thousands of freestanding stone columns and monoliths. You make the Rim Drive with a step-on guide, followed by free time for individual exploring. Your hotel for the next two nights is the new Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Kanab, UT.
Day Seven: Zion National Park (B, L)
Zion National Park. The bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion National Park! Today at Zion you see the outcome of what began as a relatively flat basin near sea level 240 million years ago. The colorful sediment layers of sand, soil and minerals have left a geologic showcase for our observation. Here you are in a deep canyon setting with the flowing waters of the Virgin River contrasted with the towering cliffs of the gorge. After lunch at the Zion Park Lodge, return to your hotel in Mount Carmel.
Day Eight: Grand Canyon National Park (B, L)
Into Grand Canyon National Park. This morning you drive to the town of Marble Canyon, Arizona for an included luncheon at Lees Ferry Lodge. The scenic route takes you along the edge of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and across the mighty Colorado River before turning south and then west into Grand Canyon N.P. A step-on guide joins you at the Visitor's Center, taking you on the Desert-view Tour as you enter the Park. You spend the night inside the park at the North Maswik Lodge. The hotel is just a quarter-mile stroll to the rim!
Day Nine: Grand Canyon National Park - Grand Canyon Railway (L)
This morning provides free time for you to enjoy the Canyon on your own. There are level paths along the crest of the gorge and a free shuttle service to even more stupendous West Rim vistas. The Park Service Museums also beckon. You have a wonderful included luncheon at the famed El Tovar Hotel, which sits directly on the rim, followed by more free time before boarding the Grand Canyon Railway in mid-afternoon for the run to Williams, Arizona on this former Santa Fe branch. You travel in the upgraded dome-class on this scenic journey, which takes you from the forested rim to the vastness of the high desert. For the next two nights you stay at the beautiful Little America Hotel in Flagstaff AZ.
Day Ten: Verde Canyon Railroad (B, L)
This morning you depart on our motorcoach for Clarkdale. A buffet lunch is included on the Verde Canyon Railroad while riding in First Class. Along the way you may see bald and golden eagles and native wildlife. Sinagua Indian ruins are located along the route, which also passes through a 680-foot tunnel and along the upper Verde River. This former Santa Fe Railway branch line traverses a deep canyon with soaring cliffs of red and bronze sandstone setting off the sparkling waters of the Verde River. Your Farewell Dinner is at your hotel this evening.
Day Eleven: Santa Fe Trail (Coffee/tea)
Board Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to Raton, Colorado. This morning there is an early departure on the Southwest Chief from the Flagstaff Station. The scenic route parallels the old Santa Fe Trail as you retrace the steps of Native Americans and pioneers. Through pine forests of Arizona and the red sandstone cliffs and black lava flows of New Mexico, you traverse canyons only seen from these narrow rail passages. Your view is enhanced as we gaze through the wrap-around windows of the Sightseer Lounge Car. Breakfast and lunch can be purchased in the mid-train diner from an extensive and reasonably priced menu. You arrive at Raton in late afternoon and transfer to your hotel for the night, the award-winning Holiday Inn Express Hotel.
Day Twelve: Return to Denver (CB)
To Denver - tour ends. The private motorcoach takes you to Denver, where this colorful tour ends with mid-day drop offs at the Amtrak station and Denver International Airport for independent departures on trains/flights departing after 2:30 p.m.
Be the first to be notified when 2011 dates and rates become available for this extremely popular tour.