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America’s National Parks, The Rocky Mountaineer & Las Vegas

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Discover the unmatched beauty of the American West on this tour that features time in Arches, Canyonlands and Grand Canyon National Parks and transportation on America’s only luxury rail line, the acclaimed Rocky Mountaineer.

11 days From $4,595 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2022 Tour code: GR-CLJA-22

About the tour

From the summit of Pikes Peak to the great depths of the Grand Canyon, the American West is a treasure trove of natural splendor. Experience these delights and so much on this tour through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Ride aboard two scenic railroads-the Pikes Peak Cog Railway and the Grand Canyon Railway-and enjoy a two-day trip on America's newest luxury rail line, Rocky Mountaineer. The journey begins in Denver with visits to Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods. From here, we travel from the Colorado Rockies into the red rock formations of Utah while relishing the upscale amenities of Rocky Mountaineer. In Utah, spend time in the otherworldly surroundings of Arches and Canyonlands National Park, with red sandstone rock formations and desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. The tour continues into Arizona, where we visit Navajo Nation, immersing ourselves in the culture and scenery in places like Monument Valley and Walnut Canyon National Monument. A pinnacle of the tour comes as we enter Grand Canyon National Park by heritage rail. After a day exploring the South Rim, we hit historic Route 66, whose throwback towns guide us to Las Vegas, where glitz and glamour reign supreme. 

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Denver

As you arrive in Denver, make your way to the hotel to meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. The remainder of the evening is yours to get acquainted with the Mile High City. Denver is renowned for its culinary scene, which features myriad award-winning chefs and eclectic restaurants featuring everything from local to international cuisine. Overnight Denver. 

Day 2 - Pikes Peak Cog Railway/Garden of the Gods

This morning, join a motorcoach for a trip into the Colorado Rockies' foothills with Pikes Peak as our destination. Here, we join the Pikes Peak Cog Railway and experience the fantastic views of Engelmann Canyon, Ruxton Creek, Minnehaha Falls and stunning mountainscapes as the train follows its 9-mile journey to the top. This is the highest railroad in the United States, finally reaching a maximum altitude of 14,115 feet at the summit. You have ample time to soak in the scenery - which can include up to five different states on a clear day and two separate mountain ranges - before the return journey to the bottom.

From Pikes Peak, we continue the day's adventure with a journey to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The park is registered as a National Historic Landmark, thanks to its incredible array of unique sandstone formations, some that reach over 300 feet tall. In all, there are over 1,300 acres to explore. We make a stop at the Visitor's Center for a brief introduction to the park and its history, and then we enjoy a tour of the park with the help of a step-on guide. This guide, a trained Colorado naturalist, joins us aboard our motorcoach as we drive to some of the park's most notable sights. Overnight Denver.

Day 3 - Rocky Mountaineer to Glenwood Springs

Our expedition on the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer commences as we walk from our hotel to Denver's train station. Settle into your seat, surrounded by the domed windows of the train car, and watch the amazing scenery unfold while you enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast and a hot drink at your seat. As Denver's urban skyline minimizes into the background, views of the Gross Reservoir Dam come into sight. Not long after, sparkling wine is served by a Rocky Mountaineer host to celebrate the crossing of the Continental Divide. The train continues through the 6-mile Moffat Tunnel, along the Colorado River and past dramatic canyon scenery, including that of the Byers and Gore Canyons. Savor a locally inspired three-course lunch while the train meanders along its course. We arrive in Glenwood Springs later this afternoon and transfer to our conveniently located hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to explore Glenwood Springs. Downtown is brimming with charming boutiques and wonderful eateries, many of which reside in historical buildings. Overnight Glenwood Springs. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 - Rocky Mountaineer to Moab

Enjoy a leisurely morning in Glenwood Springs. Perhaps visit the Glenwood Springs Pool, public mineral baths offering relaxation since the 1880s, or seek out Doc Holliday's gravesite. We transfer to the train station by coach late this morning, and day two of our epic journey from the Rockies to the Red Rocks begins. A multi-course breakfast is served as our route begins. Enjoy this tasty meal while surrounded by vistas of Parachute Creek, Mount Logan and Debeque Canyon. Rocky Mountaineer winds further through canyons and harsh, rocky landscapes past the Book Cliffs and their highest peak, Mount Garfield. This portion of the route is highlighted by views that cannot be seen by any other mode of transportation. Look upon the mighty Colorado River and Ruby Canyon, with its red sandstone walls. We are now in Utah and traveling along the route's final stretches. After crossing the Colorado-Utah border, gaze upon the La Sal Mountains and Mount Peale, its highest peak. Beautiful red sandstone terrain surrounds, and unique rock formations crop up on the horizon. Welcome to Moab, the Scarlet City.

We transfer from the train station to our hotel by coach, then the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Moab is a haven for outdoorsmen, with endless hiking opportunities, mountain biking, climbing and off-roading. You may wish to hit one of the trails by foot or bike. In town, there are numerous art galleries and microbreweries in which to spend your day. Overnight Moab.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Arches National Park

Some of the most instantly recognizable landscapes in Utah are found in Arches National Park - our destination for today. We travel to the park by coach, and on arrival, a guided tour introduces us to the arid scrublands, sandstone arches and distant mountain scenes for which Arches National Park is known. Our knowledgeable guide teaches us how these 65 million-year-old arches came to be and highlights some of the most impressive structures throughout the park, including Balanced Rock, Devil's Garden and Delicate Arch - a 52-foot-tall behemoth that is one of the most easily recognized of the 2,000 formations throughout the park. As we see during our tour, no two of the otherworldly creations are alike; some are merely a few feet tall while others stretch more than 300 feet overhead. After our excursion, we return to the hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Moab. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Canyonlands National Park

Another of the West's remarkable national parks lies ahead today as we visit Canyonlands National Park. A short drive takes us from our hotel to this desert spectacle. The park encompasses nearly 337,600 acres of spectacular scenery, including sandstone formations, plunging canyons, mesas, arches, columns and spires. All of these amazing sights were carved by the Colorado River millennia ago and stand proudly over the arid landscape beneath. We enjoy some free time in Canyonlands National Park, where there are many great ways to discover its offerings, including a hike along one of the well-maintained trails. Some of the park's most famous sections include the Island in the Sky, a region filled with scenic overlooks; the Needles, a more remote area accessible by 4x4 or hiking; and Horseshoe Canyon, home to ancient Native American cave paintings. Following our time at Canyonlands and a chance to grab lunch at leisure, we continue the day's journey to Kayenta, AZ, in Monument Valley. This town is in the heart of Navajo Nation and offers an ambiance reminiscent of the Old West. Take the evening to settle into this desert destination. Overnight Kayenta. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Monument Valley/Walnut Canyon National Monument

This morning we set out into Navajo Nation's Monument Valley, an enchanting region filled with mesas, buttes and great sandstone formations that reach up to 1,000 feet tall. A Navajo guide leads us through the scenic valley, highlighting some of the most notable sights, including John Ford Point, with its panoramic views, and the colorful sandscapes that make Monument Valley so beautiful. Our tour also includes a visit to a Navajo Hogan - a sacred home made from the land - for a traditional rug weaving demonstration.

Following this tour, we join our motorcoach and begin on the route toward Flagstaff. We pause in Tuba City, the largest Navajo community in the region. Here, grab some lunch independently and enjoy a glimpse at the Navajo and Hopi cultures. The motorcoach sets forth once more, stopping once we enter Walnut Canyon National Monument, which is home to incredible rock formations, stunning canyons and ancient pueblo homes of the region's earliest inhabitants, the Sinagua Tribe. Enjoy a chance to explore the Native history and unique geology of Walnut Canyon on your own before we proceed on our journey. We also visit the Native American ruins of Wupatki National Monument and make a stop at Sunset Crater Volcano, a red-rimmed cinder cone volcano with a massive crater atop it, before arriving in Williams this evening. Overnight Williams.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim

Set your sights on one of the seven natural wonders of the world today as we venture to the Grand Canyon aboard the iconic Grand Canyon Railway. Dating back to 1901, this vintage railway offers transit through the vast Arizona desert aboard fully restored carriages. Large picture windows surround the train cars, offering unmatched views of distant Humphrey's Peak and Kaibab National Forest before arriving at the Grand Canyon's South Rim. The Grand Canyon is simply magnificent, with its endless dramatic views, layer upon layer of colorful rock and millions of years of history. From its main viewing point, the vistas easily stretch for miles.

Take the day to explore the South Rim's offerings independently. You may wish to walk along the Rim Trail, which is mostly level, or to embark on a more challenging adventure, hiking down into the canyon. There are museums that showcase the Grand Canyon's fascinating geology and history and an informational Visitors Center. The iconic mule rides depart from the South Rim. Your options are limitless. After a day of exploration, join the Grand Canyon Railway once more and proceed to Flagstaff for a night at leisure. Overnight Flagstaff.

Day 9 - Route 66 Scenic Drive

The vintage towns and impressive scenery of Route 66 guide our expedition as we travel from Flagstaff to Las Vegas today. The first stop of the day comes in Seligman, AZ, hailed as the "Birthplace of Historic Route 66." Antique cars, gift shops and Route 66 memorabilia line the streets. There is a funky, eclectic vibe to Seligman that is difficult to replicate. Enjoy time to explore here before our journey continues. We make a stop for lunch in another Route 66 gem, then proceed to the amazing Hoover Dam for a photo op. Construction began on this engineering masterpiece in 1930, and it was completed in 1935. Since opening, the dam has controlled the flooding caused by the mighty Colorado River and offered hydro-electric power and water to the Southwest. The Mojave Desert, with its canyons, cinder cone volcanoes and sand dunes, frames the remainder of our journey to Sin City. With the lights of the Strip shining down upon us, we check into our hotel, the Park MGM, and enjoy an evening at leisure to enjoy all the amenities that only Las Vegas can offer. Overnight Las Vegas. 

Day 10 - Las Vegas

The day is yours to discover the vibrant surroundings of Las Vegas on your own terms. Of course, the city is known for its casinos, and there are options both big and small from which to choose. You may also wish to catch a show or visit the Adventuredome at Circus Circus. There are fantastic resorts and spas located throughout the city, if you desire a day of pampering. For a memorable vantage point over the city and its surroundings, ride the High Roller, the world's largest observation Ferris wheel. With museums, art galleries, fantastic restaurants and all the shopping one could hope for, there is no shortage of ways to indulge in Vegas. Overnight Las Vegas.

Day 11 - Tour Conclusion

Your tour concludes today with an included coach transfer to the airport.

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Union Station, Denver

Hilton Garden Inn Union Station, Denver

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Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

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MGM Park Hotel

MGM Park Hotel, Las Vegas

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Hampton Inn Kayenta Monument Valley

Hampton Inn Kayenta Monument Valley, Monument Valley

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Trains

Pike's Peak Cog Railway
Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer's Rockies to the Red Rocks

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Upgrades

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Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2022/23 Global Rail Adventures

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