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First Class Colorado Rail Adventure featuring Rocky Mountaineer

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4.2 stars(5 reviews)
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A first-class exploration through the Colorado and Utah landscapes, this unforgettable tour includes travel aboard five magnificent railways, including historic narrow-gauge gems, such as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and America’s new luxury train, Rocky Mountaineer.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
9 days From $4,799 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2022 Tour code: RM-FCHA-22

About the tour

Five remarkable railways, nine days brimming with glorious sights: This tour is your chance to get up close and personal with Colorado's varied topography. Recall the delights of yesteryear as you visit historic cities, stay in landmark hotels, ride aboard some of the most scenic rail lines in the country, explore amazing natural sites and bask in the unbeatable amenities of first-class train accommodations.

Denver is both the beginning and ending point for this expedition, and in between, we travel to destinations throughout the state and beyond by both train and deluxe motorcoach. Enjoy time in Colorado Springs to gaze upon Garden of the Gods' rock formations and to climb to the summit of Pikes Peak aboard the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway. From here, we make our way to Cañon City to ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and to southern Colorado for an unbelievably scenic excursion on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Durango, a town created by the railway, and its beloved Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are also on the itinerary before crossing the Colorado-Utah border and on to Moab. Our time here is highlighted by a visit to Arches National Park, a place so spectacular that you must see it to believe its grandeur. It is also in Moab that the pinnacle of our tour comes to a head as we board the luxurious, daylight-only Rocky Mountaineer. Watch as the scenery changes from the red rocks of Utah to the colorful hues of the Rocky Mountains as the route proceeds back toward Denver. Don't blink - each turn in the tracks offers something new on this first-class adventure.

Highlights

Activity level Keep it Going

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Less sitting, more walking. You don’t mind longer days of physical activity and sightseeing with some activities that go into the evening. Some rest periods are nice but only when necessary.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Denver

Arrive in Denver and make your way independently to the historic Brown Palace Hotel, a Denver institution since 1892. Meet your group and Tour Manager this evening for a short briefing on the adventures to come. Afterward, you are free to pamper yourself with the luxuries of the hotel, including its fully equipped spa that uses water from the hotel's artesian well, or venture out into the city to explore the various restaurants. Overnight Denver, CO. 

Day 2 - Colorado Rail Museum

Delve deep into the region's rail history at the Colorado Rail Museum. See the diversity of the museum's exhibits and the 15-acre railyard, home to a collection of over 100 pieces of railway history, including cabooses, steam and diesel engines, and passenger cars.

We continue the day aboard a deluxe motorcoach bound for Colorado Springs. The road trip takes just over an hour to complete. We arrive at our hotel, the Antlers, which is ideally situated in downtown Colorado Springs and offers brilliant views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. This evening enjoy dinner with your traveling companions. Overnight Colorado Springs, CO.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 3 - Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway/Garden of the Gods

One of the most notable summits in the country, America's Mountain, Pikes Peak, greets us this morning. Aboard the Manitou & Peak Cog Railway, we climb along a 9-mile course to the top. The freshly renovated railway includes brand-new railcars equipped with oversized windows for sweeping 360-degree views. Look upon Englemann Canyon - and Ruxton Creek that lies within it - and Minnehaha Falls. Before catching the first glimpses of the summit, beautiful views of Deer Park overtake the tracks. After an hour-long climb to the summit, you have plenty of time to soak in the scenery, which includes two mountain ranges, small mining towns from Colorado's past, and, on clear days, distant views of Denver. You may also learn about the mountain's history at the renovated Summit House before the cog railway makes its descent back down the mountainside.

Next, set your sights on awe-inspiring rock formations formed millions of years ago at Garden of the Gods. Over 1,360 acres of land comprise this National Natural Landmark, with hiking trails and scenic roadways weaving throughout the grounds to provide unbeatable perspectives on these amazing sandstone and limestone rocks. During our visit, look upon some of the most famous formations, some of which jut 300 feet or more into the sky. The evening is yours to enjoy one of the onsite restaurants or sightsee through the city. Overnight Colorado Springs, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Royal Gorge Route Railroad

We begin our day with a deluxe motorcoach journey to Cañon City. On arrival, we are introduced to the gorgeous surroundings of the Royal Gorge on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. What makes this journey so special is that it combines pristine scenery and outstanding cuisine, as we make the 2-hour trip in the train's Dining Car. This first-class restaurant on wheels is all plush seating, white linen-clad tables and large picture windows, the elements of which combine to create one noteworthy experience. As our excursion begins, look upon views of the rushing Arkansas River and 1,000-foot granite cliffs. We pass colorful rock formations and admire the contrast with the clear blue sky. Lunch is served as we travel, with each dish freshly prepared on the train by a highly trained staff. A selection of local wines and beers complement the cuisine. At any point during the journey, feel free to venture out to the open-air car to bask in the full glory of the Royal Gorge scenery, including the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge. When we arrive back at the station, we board our motorcoach once again to continue to Alamosa, where your evening is at leisure. Overnight Alamosa, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Views that cannot be seen by any other mode of transportation lie ahead on today's journey aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. This 3-foot narrow-gauge railway follows a 64-mile course between Antonito, CO, and Chama, NM, weaving back and forth across the state line 13 times. Along the way, enjoy impeccable views of the Southwest, including sprawling ranches, deep green aspen groves, colorful canyons, distant mountain ranges, expansive meadows, and wide-open skies. The train passes winding waterways and crosses the Cascade Creek Trestle. Charming mountain towns combine with deserted villages to add further dimension to the scenery. It is no wonder that this railway has been voted the "#1 Scenic Train" by USA Today 10 Best numerous times in the past five years. But the scenery is just part of the equation. The train itself is gorgeous, with its meticulously preserved cars featuring tin ceilings, period seating and panoramic windows. If the views from inside are not enough, step out onto the open-air gondola to get a better look. When we arrive in the town of Osier, a delicious home-cooked lunch awaits us. Back on board, the rail journey continues through the rugged landscape at a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour, arriving at our final destination after a memorable day of travel.

Our motorcoach is waiting when we arrive at the station, and our journey presses forth toward Durango, CO. We are staying at the historic Strater Hotel, dating back to 1887, in the heart of downtown. This unique hotel boasts 88 individually decorated rooms and an extensive collection of antiques that speak to the region's age. Feel free to explore your amenities or to venture to the boutique shops and restaurants downtown. Overnight Durango, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Gnarly volcanic rock formations, 14,000-foot mountain peaks and quintessential sights of the San Juan Forest are just some of the things you can look forward to on our trip aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad today. The route follows the Animas River from Durango to Silverton, embracing all the beauty of canyon country as the journey unfolds. Sometimes the train meanders alongside the river, while the tracks loom high above at other points. Take in all these vistas and more from our first-class seats in the Silver Vista Car, a glass-domed car brimming with amenities. Lounge on the plush leather seats while looking out the panoramic windows or venture out onto the closed vestibule with the largest viewing platform on the train. Narration by a knowledgeable guide and complimentary soft drinks and snacks further enhance the experience. We arrive in Silverton with ample time to grab lunch on your own and explore the sites of this mining boomtown. This evening, a deluxe motorcoach returns us to Durango, where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Durango, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Arches National Park

We depart Colorado this morning with our sights set upon the ruby red landscapes and sandstone formations of Utah. The drive takes us through forests, protected lands and vast expanses, with the landscape becoming decidedly more arid as we near Moab. On arrival, we get our first taste of this new terrain at Arches National Park. Home to over 2,000 breathtaking sandstone formations, this park is a delight to discover. As we make our way through the park, look upon balanced rocks, fin-shaped formations and pinnacles carved by the elements. Our tour includes highlights like the Delicate Arch, an iconic sight you will instantly recognize as Utah's state symbol, and Landscape Arch, which is the world's longest natural freestanding arch. Following our time here, we check in at our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Moab, UT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Rocky Mountaineer from Moab to Glenwood Springs

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and a morning to wander about through Moab. There are lovely art galleries to peruse, as well as plenty of places to purchase Southwest-inspired jewelry and crafts. A choice of restaurants offer everything from quick bites to fine dining.

This afternoon, we transfer to the train station to board America's premier luxury train, Rocky Mountaineer. Settle into your comfortable seat in our glass-domed train car and enjoy a drink as we depart the station and begin our scenic journey. Onboard hosts are always nearby to offer interesting commentary on the route, to refill your drink or to cater to any requests you may have. Dinner is served as the train passes Mount Garfield and negotiates Ruby Canyon. Rocky Mountaineer is renowned for its outstanding culinary experience, and this ride is no exception. Savor a chef-prepared meal created using only the freshest local ingredients. Keep watching as the train crosses the Utah-Colorado border and enters mountain country. The sun begins its descent behind the peaks as we near our destination for the night, Glenwood Springs, and disembark the train. After checking into our hotel, the evening is at leisure to explore this charming resort town. Meander through the downtown area, with its shops, bars and eateries, or - if time permits - soak in the hot springs. Overnight Glenwood Springs, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Rocky Mountaineer from Glenwood Springs to Denver

Well-rested and ready for another day of wondrous scenery, join the group in reboarding Rocky Mountaineer this morning. A two-course breakfast is served onboard the train as our journey along the Colorado River commences. Marvel at the array of colors that spring forth from the red-brown canyons, blue waters, and rich evergreens. Byers and Gore Canyons are just two highlights to look forward to; there is so much to see. Listen to the train hosts' stories and informational presentations about the region as you dine on a three-course lunch inspired by local cuisine. Later this afternoon, refreshments are served as we head into the 6-mile Moffatt Tunnel. The Continental Divide is coming up, and crossing it is always cause for celebration. As we emerge from the tunnel on the other side of the Divide, our destination, Denver, is approaching. Soak in the rapidly changing scenery and the luxurious atmosphere of the train for a bit longer as the train movies into downtown and nears the station for a scheduled arrival of 5:00 p.m.

On arrival in Denver, your Colorado rail adventure concludes. You are free to head into Denver on your own or make your way to the airport for your return flight home. Due to the arrival time of the train, flights should not be booked before 9:00PM.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch

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

Holiday Inn Express Alamosa, Alamosa

Holiday Inn Express Alamosa, Alamosa

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The Antlers by Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs

The Antlers by Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs

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The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

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Strater Hotel, Durango

Strater Hotel, Durango

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SpringHill Suites Moab

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Trains

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Pike's Peak Cog Railway
Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer's Rockies to the Red Rocks
Royal Gorge Railroad

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Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 5 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (1)
  2. 4 stars
    (4)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

David B, Scottsdale, AZ

4 stars

Submitted 19 Dec 2017

The locations were beautiful and fun, the tour manager was great as was the driver

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Annette T., Pasadena, TX

5 stars

Submitted 17 Dec 2017

The whole trip was amazing. What a way to see the country side. We throughly enjoyed it.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Charlotte H, Sunnyvale, CA

4 stars

Submitted 06 Nov 2017

Loved the whole experience..

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Carol L, Brentwood Bay, BC

4 stars

Submitted 05 Aug 2017

A wonderful way to see the spectacular scenery of Colorado and to enjoy touring by bus and rail.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Andrew P, Campbell, ACT, AU

4 stars

Submitted 26 Apr 2017

The itinerary was excellent. The organization was very good. However, the guide was perhaps the best I have ever encountered; her engagement with the participants, her knowledge and - well - her great personality and style, really made every part of the trip worthwhile and enjoyable. There was excellent teamwork with the driver, who was also a great fellow.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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