Tour of Utah, Arizona & Colorado - Cosmos® Affordable Travel

Circle the American West (8160)

15 Day Tour from Denver to Denver

2017 Tour Details

Mother Nature has loaded the West with stunning scenery, and on this National Parks tour, you’ll witness some of nature’s finest. From red-rock formations and breathtaking canyons to free-flowing rivers and alpine landscapes, you’ll marvel at magnificent scenery throughout this tour.

This National Parks tour features Colorado National Monument, with its towering monoliths and canyons; Arches National Park, with its 2,000 preserved sandstone arches; Canyonlands National Park, with its canyons, mesas, and buttes; Dead Horse Point State Park, where massive vertical cliffs intersect with canyons carved by ice and water; Capitol Reef National Park, with one of the most scenic drives in the U.S.; Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with its spectacular cliffs and terraces; Bryce Canyon National Park, where slow erosion over the ages has created fantastically sculpted rock formations; Zion National Park, a spectacle of massive stone formations; breathtaking Grand Canyon National Park; Monument Valley, where you’ll see the massive formations on a 4-wheel-drive tour; and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with its spectacular narrow opening and sheer walls.

Step back in time as you visit Wupatki National Monument, where the pueblos (villages) that existed 900 years ago have been preserved, and Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll see the cliff dwellings that Ancestral Puebloans called home from 600 to 1300 AD. Just imagine what life was like living there! Other tour highlights include a scenic ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad through San Juan National Forest and a cruise on Lake Powell. 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 value-minded, picturesque vacation!
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 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.

Guides:

Services of a professional Tour Director.

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, Sunset Crater Volcano, 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 fall colors of the West on our special fall foliage departure: September 22 (if Mother Nature permits).

Transportation:

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

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

2 breakfasts, 2 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.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 Grand 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 more than 2,000 preserved natural sandstone arches. Once inside the national park, get a glimpse at the world-famous Delicate Arch, known as “The Chaps,” from the designated viewpoint. 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 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. Return to Moab, where the afternoon is free for independent activities.

Day 5 Moab–Capitol Reef National Park–Escalante National Monument–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 6 Bryce 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 and CRUISE the waters of America’s second-largest man-made reservoir.

Day 7 Page–Wupatki National Monument–Williams

First stop this morning is the 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. Afterward, Sunset Crater Volcano! Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape, forever changing the lives of people, plants, and animals. 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 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.

Day 9 Williams–Monument Valley–Kayenta

To experience the American West 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. Then, on to Kayenta or join the optional Navajo cookout for dinner and Navajo entertainment surrounded by red-rock canyons.

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 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: 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-perfect 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.

Breakfast 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 Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Downtown - Convention Center (MF)
GRAND JUNCTION Grand Vista Hotel (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 La Quinta Inn & Suites (MF)
KAYENTA Kayenta Monument Valley Inn (MF)
DURANGO Durango Downtown Inn (MF)
GUNNISON Comfort Inn Gunnison (ST)
COLORADO SPRINGS Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center (F)

 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).

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