Cosmos

Circle the American West (8160) - 2015

15 Day Tour from Denver to Denver


Circle the American West
The strange shaped hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park
The strange shaped hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park
Monument Valley in southern Utah
Gorgeous Lake Powell in Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park
Lake Powell, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona
Mesa Verde features a number of ruins built by the ancient Pueblo people
Enjoy the spectacular views of Bryce Canyon
Mesa Verde National Park
Zion National Park located near Springdale, Utah
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview



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Experience stunning scenery on this tour through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Visit some of the West’s spectacular national parks, including Arches National Park, with its 2,000 preserved sandstone arches; Canyonlands National Park, with its canyons, mesas, and buttes; Capitol Reef National Park, with one of the most amazing, yet unknown, scenic drives in the U.S.; Grand Staircase National Monument; Bryce Canyon National Park, where slow erosion over the ages has created fantastically sculpted rock formations resembling castle towers and cathedral spires; Zion National Park, a spectacle of massive stone formations; breathtaking Grand Canyon National Park, where you can wander along the canyon rim for stunning views; Monument Valley, where you will see the massive formations on a 4-wheel-drive tour; Mesa Verde National Park, where you will marvel at the ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years—from 600 AD to 1300 AD; and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of the newest national parks, with its spectacular narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths.

Other tour highlights include a wine tasting in Colorado’s wine country and a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad through San Juan National Forest. Travel by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive that hugs steep canyon walls as it winds it ways through the canyon. Also, ride the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway, the world’s highest cog railroad. Amazing views await you at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak.

These are just a few of the many highlights of this amazing vacation. Be sure to pack your camera, so you can capture photos of this picturesque journey.

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Sightseeing:
Wine tasting in Grand Junction, Lake Powell cruise, 4-wheel-drive tour in Monument Valley, Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad, Ute Indian Museum, and Pike’s Peak Cog Railway.

Scenic Highlights:
Vail, Glenwood Canyon, Colorado National Monument, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Wupatki National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Four Corners, Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Garden of the Gods.

Guides:

Services of a professional Tour Director.

NOTE:

  • Colorado, Utah, and Arizona are blessed with exquisite mountain scenery and extraordinary outdoor attractions. Visiting and participating in activities in these locations is subject to favorable weather and/or road conditions.


Day 1Denver

Welcome to Denver, the “Mile High City,” capital of Colorado, and gateway to the Rocky Mountains. An attractive city with broad streets, a tree-lined pedestrian mall leads to the gold-domed State Capitol and Larimer Square in the city’s historic heart. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.

Day 2Denver–Vail–Glenwood Canyon–Grand Junction

Travel west into the Rocky Mountains and stop in Vail, one of America’s most popular mountain resorts. Your journey continues through the massive 1,800-foot-high walls of Glenwood Canyon before reaching the awe-inspiring natural beauty and dramatic red-rock landscape of Grand Junction. Colorado wines are making a big splash, and the heart of the Colorado wine industry is right here. Upon arrival, enjoy a WINE TASTING at one of the many wineries. (CB)

Day 3Grand Junction–Colorado National Monument–Arches National Park–Moab

This morning, visit COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT with its canyons that drop as much as 500 feet deep. On to ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, with over 2,000 preserved natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch. Overnight in Moab, with time to stroll through the downtown shops for a great selection of Southwestern art and jewelry.

Day 4Moab. Excursion to Canyonlands National Park & Dead Horse Point State Park

The day begins with magnificent CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado and Green Rivers. The remote Maze, the rugged Needles, and our destination today, “The Island in the Sky.” Continue on to DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK, where your Tour Director tells you the legend behind the name. Stroll along the Rim Walk, towering 2,000 feet directly above the Colorado River. Dead Horse Point Mesa provides breathtaking views of southeastern Utah’s canyon country and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park.

Day 5Moab–Capitol Reef National Park–Bryce Canyon National Park

Today’s route through CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK and Escalante is one of the most spectacular, yet unknown, scenic drives in the USA. The majesty of Capitol Reef will intrigue you with its twisting canyons, massive domes, monoliths, and spires of sandstone. Next, travel along GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT to BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, where slow erosion over the ages has created fantastically sculpted rock formations resembling castle towers and cathedral spires. The natural amphitheaters and canyons glow with different lights throughout the day.

Day 6Bryce Canyon National Park–Zion National Park–Page

Today, descend into half-mile-deep ZION NATIONAL PARK. “Zion” means a place of peace and refuge. Enjoy the colorful sandstone walls that rise thousands of feet above the lush greenery of the canyon floor. Afterward, head east into Page on the shores of Lake Powell and CRUISE the waters of America’s second-largest man-made reservoir.

Day 7Page–Flagstaff–Williams

First stop this morning is the WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT, one of several sites preserving pueblos (houses) of ancient peoples. Visit the visitor’s center and museum exhibits that feature the stories of people who have lived here through thousands of years. Take time to imagine the past before visiting one of the five largest prehistoric pueblos, the Wupatki Pueblo. An afternoon arrival in Flagstaff allows time to explore an eclectic mixture of big-city culture and charming downtown atmosphere. Our journey continues to Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as the Main Street and the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Enjoy one of the best preserved stretches of the Mother Road in America. Walk Main Street and you’ll find vintage neon on buildings that are preserved to their original character, and restaurants that have the character of the Route 66 heyday. (CB)

Day 8Williams. Excursion Into Grand Canyon National Park

Today, experience one of the Natural Wonders of the World and see the beauty and splendor of the GRAND CANYON. The day is free to enjoy the park at your leisure. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views. For a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, take an optional helicopter flightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon.

Day 9Williams–Monument Valley–Kayenta

To experience the American West that’s been immortalized on the silver screen, journey across the Navajo Nation to MONUMENT VALLEY. Situated on the Arizona/Utah border, the valley’s scenic desert vistas and iconic buttes have appeared in countless classic Western films. See the massive formations on a memorable 4-WHEEL-DRIVE TOUR.

Day 10Kayenta–Four Corners–Mesa Verde National Park–Durango

Today, continue through Utah to the “FOUR CORNERS” region, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico converge, and you can stand in four states at the same time. Next, wondrous MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you walk in the footsteps of Ancestral Puebloans and see their mysterious, centuries-old cliff dwellings. Afterward, head to Durango in the Animas River Valley, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. Tonight, maybe explore the historic downtown or stroll along the Animas River.

Day 11Durango. Excursion On The Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad

Board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD this morning for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks that miners, cowboys, and settlers of the Old West took more than a century ago. This historic train has been in continuous operation for more than 125 years, and the locomotives used to pull today’s train are 1923-1925 vintage. The train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through the Rio de las Animas Canyon, with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Free time in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner, “We have no gold, but silver by the ton!”

Day 12Durango–Ouray–Montrose–Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park–Gunnison

Travel north through the San Juan Mountains, stopping in Ouray, a small community nestled in some of the Rockies’ most rugged and towering peaks. Visit the UTE INDIAN MUSEUM in Montrose and explore one of the most complete collections of Ute Indian artifacts in the nation. This afternoon, visit one of America’s newest national parks: BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK. The unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths that you will see here.

Day 13Gunnison–Buena Vista–Colorado Springs

Our journey continues through beautiful Buena Vista, a picture postcard town that has retained a Wild West charm and is nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Continue to Colorado Springs, where the view from the top of nearby Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose America the Beautiful more than 100 years ago. Visit the GARDEN OF THE GODS, a city park that is a garden of towering red rock formations. (CB)

Day 14Colorado Springs–Pikes Peak Cog Railway–Denver

Conclude your journey with a fabulous train ride on the PIKE’S PEAK COG RAILWAY, the world’s highest cog railroad. Travel along Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon, then over Four Mile Switch for your first glimpse of Pikes Peak. At about the 5-mile point, the grade gets steep as you climb above the timberline and reach the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. Return to Denver in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure. (CB)

Day 15Denver

The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Denver International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Denver further with a variety of exciting optional activities. (CB)

Transportation:
Two scenic train journeys; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.


DENVER Comfort Inn Downtown Denver (ST)
GRAND JUNCTION Doubletree by Hilton Grand Junction (F)
MOAB Big Horn Lodge (ST)
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK Best Western Ruby’s Inn (ST)
PAGE Quality Inn Lake Powell (ST)
WILLIAMS Ramada-Williams (F)
KAYENTA Kayenta Monument Valley (MF)
DURANGO Durango Downtown Inn (MF)
GUNNISON Comfort Inn Gunnison (ST)
COLORADO SPRINGS Comfort Inn South Colorado Springs (ST)

5 continental breakfasts


With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

ANDREW MORAN

Years of Experience: 10 years

Born in Salisbury, England, I left England at the age of nine and ended up in Los Angeles. Some of my hobbies include travel, flying (I have my license to fly small, single-engine planes), gardening (growing my own fruits and veggies is awesome), and landscaping (it gives me a chance to learn about different trees and plants). My advice to travelers is to come with an open mind and look forward to learning new things. What makes other places so special is that they're not home!

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As recommended by Budget Travel