Circle the American West (8160)

15 Day Tour from Denver to Denver

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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 to explore the massive formations on a 4-wheel-drive tour; Mesa Verde National Park to marvel at the ruins of the Ancestral Puebloans who made it their home from 600 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 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 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.
800.276.1241

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
Lake Powell cruise, 4-wheel-drive tour in Monument Valley, Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad, and Pike’s Peak Cog Railway. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

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, Route 66, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Four Corners, Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Garden of the Gods.

NOTES:
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.
Enjoy the spectacular colors of the West on our special fall foliage departure: September 23 (if Mother Nature permits).

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

6 continental breakfasts

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Denver

Welcome to Denver! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.

Day 2 Denver–Vail–Glenwood Canyon–Grand Junction

Travel west into the Rockies and stop in Vail, one of America’s most popular mountain resorts. Continue 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

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

This morning, visit National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT with its canyons that drop as much as 500 feet deep. On to National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 4 Moab. Excursion to Canyonlands National Park & Dead Horse Point State Park

The day begins with magnificent National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 5 Moab–Capitol Reef National Park–Bryce Canyon National Park

Today’s route through National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 6 Bryce Canyon National Park–Zion National Park–Page

Today, descend into half-mile-deep National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 and CRUISE the waters of Lake Powell, America’s second-largest man-made reservoir.

Day 7 Page–Flagstaff–Williams

First stop this morning is the National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT, one of several sites preserving pueblos (villages) of ancient peoples. 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 8 Williams. Excursion into Grand Canyon National Park

Today, experience one of the Natural Wonders of the World and see the beauty and splendor of National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 9 Williams–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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 10 Kayenta–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 National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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.

Day 11 Durango. 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 12 Durango–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. This afternoon, visit one of America’s newest national parks: National Parks FoundationNational Parks Foundation 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 13 Gunnison–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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 14 Colorado 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.

Day 15 Denver

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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

 Tour Director

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.

BRUCE FRITZGES

Years of Experience: 6

I believe the path to becoming a Tour Director started for me as a young teenager when our family loaded up the car and embarked upon a cross-country road trip from Virginia to California and back. We did our own "vacation" long before the Griswolds came along! Born, raised and educated in Virginia, I have slowly but surely made my way west with each career opportunity and job transfer, rediscovering many of America's most beautiful National Parks, forests and recreation areas that I first fell in love with on that family road trip back in the day. The chance for a career change came in 2010, when I became a Tour Director, and now reside in Denver, Colorado. This area provides great proximity to National Parks such as Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Bryce Canyon. Having become very familiar with this beautiful part of our country, I look forward to sharing it with you on a tour of America's spectacular National Parks and Canyons.

Tour Director - BRUCE FRITZGES

 Accommodations

DENVER Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown (ST)
GRAND JUNCTION Doubletree by Hilton Grand Junction (F)
MOAB Big Horn Lodge (ST)
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn (ST)
PAGE Quality Inn at Lake Powell (ST)
WILLIAMS Days Inn Williams (F)
KAYENTA Kayenta Monument Valley Inn (MF)
DURANGO Durango Downtown Inn (MF)
GUNNISON Comfort Inn Gunnison (ST)
COLORADO SPRINGS Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center (F)

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Moab
Page
Grand Canyon National Park
Durango

Moab

CanyonlandsByNight

Canyonlands By Night

After an hour of the Cowboy-style Dutch Oven Dinner, guests will load the flat bottomed boat and head up river with a knowledgeable guide at the front of the boat pointing out things of interest and igniting imaginations. Once dark, the formal part of the evening begins with 40,000 watts of natural light illuminating the canyon wall. Using lights, shadows, music and narration, stories about the formations, creation and history of the area based on the early settlers of the area. The Catholic Conquistadores, Native Americans and Mormon Pioneers come to life on the canyon walls. The old time Sound and Light Show is a unique experience and a great end to your day! (Approximately 2.5 hours)

Approximate value: $76 USD per person

Page

AntelopeCanyonSlotTour

Antelope Canyon Slot Tour

Come with your guide to a spectacular petrified sand dune, created by wind, water and sand, presenting a sculptured masterpiece. Nothing can describe this work of Mother Nature. Experiencing this beauty will leave you breathless. Trips are approximately one and a half hours long and you will travel in a 4-wheel drive vehicle to the Canyon entrance. From there you will walk into the Canyon, you will be at the bottom of the Canyon looking up 130 feet to the top. There is no hiking or climbing involved, only easy walking on the Canyon floor which is level for the most part. Your experienced Navajo guide will show you great places to take photographs as you explore this awe-inspiring wonder.

Approximate value: $40 USD per person

OvertheRainbowandLakePowell25-30-MinuteFlight

Over the Rainbow and Lake Powell 25-30-Minute Flight

During one of our Rainbow Bridge tours you will discover that the remote regions of northern Arizona hold one of the world's largest natural wonders. Tucked among the rugged and isolated canyons, and spanning over 275 feet wide and 290 feet high, the Rainbow Bridge is an attraction no visitor can miss. Accessibility to the Bridge is limited to hiking, by permit only, a 13-mile trail or a two-hour boat ride from Lake Powell. A place for prayer and worship in the Navajo culture, the Bridge signifies good fortune and is considered a sacred place for tribal members. Rainbow Bridge was not discovered by outsiders until 1909 by two parties who joined together in search of the towering sandstone formation. President Howard Taft declared it a national monument in 1910. (30-35 minutes)

Approximate value: $163 USD per person

TowerButteHelicopterTour

Tower Butte Helicopter Tour

Rising 5,000 feet above sea level, Tower Butte is one of Mother Nature's most unique formations, providing the perfect setting for your Helicopter Landing adventure! After boarding your state-of-the-art helicopter, you will fly eastward over Antelope Canyon, Land of the Navajo Nation and Lake Powell as your Helicopter ascends Tower Butte. You won't believe your eyes when you touch down and disembark. The 360-degree panoramic view is absolutely breathtaking - see Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, the Kaiparowitz Plateau, the Grand Staircase and the Vermillion Cliffs. Enjoy approximately 20 minutes on the Butte for sensational photo opportunities and interpretive information about the Navajo culture and the ties to their Land. Only accessible by Helicopter, this helicopter adventure offers incredible memories, spectacular photographs and bragging rights to an exclusive view of the American Southwest and Land of the Navajo Nation.

Approximate value: $249 USD per person

Grand Canyon National Park

GrandCanyonHelicopterFlightseeing-NorthCanyonTour

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flightseeing - North Canyon Tour

Explore impressive Dragon Corridor, the deepest and widest part of the Canyon, and one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Grand Canyon. The Tower of Ra, a 6,076-foot butte named in the 1800s after the Egyptian sun god, comes into view, as do other fanciful rock formations resembling temples and shrines. Fly in a comfortable, climate controlled helicopter with specially designed windows for optimum viewing. (25-30 minute) Subject to favorable weather conditions.

Approximate value: $200 USD per person

GrandCanyonImax

Grand Canyon Imax

Fly like a condor over the rim and into the Canyon, be drenched in the power of the raging Colorado River without ever leaving your seat at the Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center. And relive the history and mystery of one of the most storied natural wonders of the world. From the mysterious Anasazi who inhabited the Canyon 4,000 years ago, viewers at The National Geographic Visitor Center will travel through Grand Canyon history to join Major John Wesley Powell as he challenges the unexplored Canyon and raging Colorado River in 1869. (40 minute multimedia presentation)

Approximate value: $14 USD per person

ImperialonEcoStar

Imperial on EcoStar

The Imperial Air Tour with EcoStar helicopter features awe-inspiring views of the beautiful Eastern gorge of the Grand Canyon aboard our environmentally friendly, EcoStar EC130 aircraft. With forward-facing stadium seating and a nearly 180 degree field of view, you'll enjoy unobstructed sights of the eastern portion of Grand Canyon, the Little Colorado confluence, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Dragon Corridor. These areas, the widest and deepest of the Grand Canyon, offer guests the most comprehensive views and experiences only available from the air! (45-50 minutes) This excursion is subject to favorable weather conditions.

Approximate value: $294 USD per person

Durango

BarDChuckwagonSupper

Bar D Chuckwagon Supper

The Bar D Wranglers perform their Famous Stage Show after supper with songs of cowboys and the old west, comedy, and lively instrumentals to please the whole family. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Approximate value: $26 USD per person

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).