Heart Of The West
Experience the stunning landscape of America's West with up-close views of mesas, mountains, cliffs and canyons.
Embark on a rail adventure to America's beautiful west on this 8-day train tour. Your trip starts at Chicago's historic Union Station as you board Amtrak's renowned Southwest Chief en route to Flagstaff, Arizona, where you travel by motorcoach to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. Visit the Watchtower for spectacular views such at the Colorado River, the Painted Desert, and Kaibab National Forest.
After your exploration of the Grand Canyon, head a short distance to Monument Valley, an area often photographed and filmed for its stunning landscape of sandy deserts and isolated red mesas. After visiting Monument Valley, make your way to Durango where you stay for a few days. While in Durango, take a day excursion to Mesa Verde National Park. Home to some of the world's largest preserved cliff dwellings, there is plenty to do and explore during your time at this remarkable park.
After your stay in Durango, embark on one of the special highlights of the tour, a journey through the San Juan Forest aboard the legendary Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge. Travel along the Animas River through incredible mountain scenery before reaching your next destination of Silverton. A Wild West mining community, Silverton has several attractions such as the false-fronted buildings of Blair Street that embodies a typical Old West ambiance. Following your time in Silverton, board Amtrak's California Zephyr for your final leg of the trip back to Chicago.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip train transportation aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief and California Zephyr (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
- 16 meals
- Sightseeing per itinerary
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager,
- Baggage handling, taxes and tips
Day 1 - Southwest Chief to Arizona
Meet your tour manager and fellow travelers at Chicago's Union Station, board the famed Southwest Chief, and prepare for your 3:00 pm departure. As the train begins to travel through the cornfields of the Midwest, take the time to explore your surroundings including the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car, offering spectacular views of the passing scenery. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - En Route to Flagstaff
When you awake this morning, the Southwest Chief will be traveling into Colorado. Today you will experience the excitement of the Santa Fe Trail as we cross New Mexico and Arizona. You will have time for a trainside walk when we arrive in Albuquerque at mid-afternoon. Our arrival into Flagstaff, Arizona, is scheduled for 8:51 p.m. Upon arrival we’ll transfer the short distance to the Comfort Inn. (B, L, D).
Day 3 - The Grand Canyon
Travel by motorcoach this morning to the Grand Canyon, one of the Natural Wonders of the World. We'll have the opportunity to view the Canyon from several observation points including the Watchtower offering views of the Colorado River, the Canyon, the Painted Desert, and Kaibab National Forest. Later this afternoon, we travel 155 miles to Kayenta. Overnight Hampton Inn Monument Valley. (B, D)
Day 4 - Monument Valley
The highlight of today is a drive through nearby Monument Valley. This region provides the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by empty, sandy desert, have been filmed and photographed countless times over the years for movies and advertisements. The area lies entirely within the Navajo Indian Reservation on the Utah/Arizona border. Enjoy lunch on your own before continuing our travels to Durango, the commercial center for ranching and mining enterprises in southwest Colorado and gateway to the picturesque San Juan Mountains. Overnight DoubleTree Hotel. (B)
Day 5 - Mesa Verde National Park
This morning we travel west by coach to Mesa Verde National Park, one of the nation's major archeological preserves. Many large canyons seam the Mesa Verde area. In the shelter of the hundreds of caves eroded in the cliffs are some of the world's largest and best-preserved cliff dwellings, occupied around 1200 A.D. Ruins Road covers 12 miles and provides a view of about 40 cliff dwellings from canyon rim lookout points. Our group can enter some of the outstanding ruins. We'll return to the hotel mid-afternoon. Overnight Doubletree Hotel. (B, D)
Day 6 - Durango & Silverton Excursion
A high point of our tour occurs today when we board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for the journey through the remote wilderness of the San Juan National Forest, following the winding Animas River through the breathtaking mountain scenery. The 45-mile, 3 ½-hour rail journey ends in Silverton, a typical Wild West mining community with an infamous past. There will be time to walk along Blair Street with its false-fronted buildings typical of the Old West and have lunch on your own. Overnight DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Junction. (B, D)
Day 7 - Colorado Rockies
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll transfer to the Amtrak station in time for the 10:23 am departure of the California Zephyr bound for Chicago. Settle into your onboard accommodations and relax as the train whisks you through breathtaking scenery. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Tour Concludes in Chicago
The California Zephyr rolls across Iowa and enters Illinois, headed for a late afternoon arrival in Chicago where your tour comes to an end. (B, L)
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Click here to view testimonials for Heart Of The West.
First train trip and was impressed
The tour far exceeded our expectations. The Tour Director and the bus driver were OUTSTANDING. The tour director kept us posted daily on things to come, the hotels, the food, the souvenirs, time to be ready for the next day and I know she took care of potential problems that may occur such as the re-ticketing in Chicago since we were 13 hours late in arriving because of the unexpected train delays (multiple). On my Facebook page, some of my friends are inquiring about the trip and maybe interested in signing up for one. How about that!!!!!!!
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|9th June 2018||$2,495||Book Now|
|8th September 2018||$2,495||Book Now|
|9th June 2018||$3,140||Book Now|
|8th September 2018||$3,140||Book Now|
|9th June 2018||$3,890||Book Now|
|8th September 2018||$3,890||Book Now|
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Included Coach: Departs 9th June 2018 ($2,495), 8th September 2018 ($2,495)
Roomette Upgrade: Departs 9th June 2018 ($3,140), 8th September 2018 ($3,140)
Bedroom Upgrade: Departs 9th June 2018 ($3,890), 8th September 2018 ($3,890)
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