Circle the American West (8160)

15 Day Tour from Denver to Denver

2019 Tour Details

Mother Nature has loaded the West with stunning scenery, and on this National Parks tour, you’ll witness some of natures 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 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 visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where you can trace the footsteps of some of our nation's most respected leaders.

These are just a few of the many highlights of this value-minded, picturesque vacation!

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 Tour Highlights

GRAND JUNCTION
Visit Colorado National Monument
MOAB
Visit Arches National Park; Canyonlands National Park; and Dead Horse Point State Park
CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
Scenic drive
ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT
Scenic drive
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Sightseeing
ZION NATIONAL PARK
Sightseeing
NAVAJO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Visit the ancient cliff dwellings
SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Visit the site
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Sightseeing
WILLIAMS
Historic Route 66
MONUMENT VALLEY
4-wheel-drive excursion with Navajo guide
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
See the cliff dwellings and visit the museum
DURANGO
Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton
BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
Sightseeing
COLORADO SPRINGS
Visit Garden of the Gods; Seven Falls; US Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy

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

  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park

Transportation:

Transportation:
Journey on the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad; private, deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoach while touring with free Wi-Fi.

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

1 breakfast, 4 continental breakfasts

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

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.

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. Overnight in Moab.

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. The Mesa provides breathtaking views of southeastern Utah’s canyon country and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park. The afternoon is free for independent activities.

Day 5 MOAB–CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK–ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT–BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Today’s route past 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. Later travel to the shores of Lake Powell, and join the optional cruise on the waters of America’s second-largest man-made reservoir. Overnight in the northern Arizona town of Page, located on the southern shores of magnificent Lake Powell.

Day 7 PAGE–WILLIAMS

Visit NAVAJO NATIONAL MONUMENT, located within the Navajo Nation, and established to preserve three prehistoric cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan People. After lunch, SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT! Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape. Afterward 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.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

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, surrounded by red-rock canyons.

BreakfastContinental Breakfast

Day 10 KAYENTA–MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK–DURANGO

First stop this morning is 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. Spend time at the park’s museum and visitor center, depicting the story of these people who mysteriously disappeared almost 700 years ago. 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–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–SEVEN FALLS–US OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER–U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY–DENVER

Visit SEVEN FALLS and discover why it has earned a spot on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls. At the OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER enjoy a guided tour of the flagship training facility where the USA Swimming and Shooting teams have their national headquarters on complex. Conclude your vacation with a visit to the U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY and trace the footsteps of some of our nation’s most revered leaders. Return to Denver in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 15 DENVER

Your vacation ends this morning. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Denver further with a variety of exciting optional activities.

 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

Escorting tours for more than 5 years

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
Grand Junction
Moab
Bryce Canyon National Park
Page
Williams
Kayenta
Durango
Gunnison
Colorado Springs

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyCosmos site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Moab
Page
Williams
Kayenta

Moab

Canyonlands By Night Cruise & Dinner

Canyonlands By Night Cruise & Dinner

This open air cruise along the Colorado River offers a unique experience for visitors. Natural light illuminating the canyon walls forms the back drop for this show of light, shadow, music combined with narration and brings the history of the canyon and the region's settlers to life.

Price Range: $$

Page

Flightseeing

Flightseeing

Exploring this region by air really allows visitors to understand this vast, rugged area of the Southwest. Choose from several different flightseeing tours.

Price Range: $$$$

Upper Antelope Canyon Slot Tour

Upper Antelope Canyon Slot Tour

Along with a Navajo guide, you'll discover The Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, the spectacular petrified sand dune, created by wind, water and sand, presenting a sculptured masterpiece.

Price Range: $

Williams

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flightseeing

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flightseeing

There may be no better way to uncover the sheer splendor of the incredible Grand Canyon than from the air! Choose from two helicopter tours with awe-inspiring views, a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Price Range: $$$$

Kayenta

Navajo Cookout

Navajo Cookout

Enjoy a unique dinnerand exclusive evening outside amongst the beautiful red rock canyons.

Price Range: $$

 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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