Experience the majesty of the Colorado Rockies, Colorado national parks and two historic trains that celebrate the can-do spirit of the Old West with the Colorado Rockies Featuring National Parks & Historic Trains vacation package by AAA Vacations.
On your trip you will marvel at the diversity and splendor of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, discover the ancient culture of the Anasazi Indians at Mesa Verde National Park and have the chance to relish cowboy culture in an evening of authentic dining and entertainment. Train day trips like scaling Pike’s Peak on the world’s highest cog railway and climbing aboard an 1881 steam train for a journey through the San Juan Mountains round out the trip.
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Whether you are booking with AAA Vacations or planning a trip on your own, the following places and experiences are considered tour highlights.
Welcome to Denver
Your tour opens in the “Mile High City” of Denver, home to the famous 16th Street Mall.
Denver – Rocky Mountain National Park – Grand Junction
Travel to Rocky Mountain National Park to discover the true meaning of “panoramic.” Among the most celebrated of Colorado national parks and one of the largest in the United States, it offers views of massive peaks and rugged canyons. On the way to Grand Junction, enjoy a glorious ride past Vail, Breckenridge and other famous ski areas in Colorado.
Grand Junction – Arches – Canyonlands – Grand Junction
One amazing park visit follows another. In Arches National Park, see the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches as well as an astounding variety of geological formations. Next, arrive at Canyonlands National Park and travel to the Island in the Sky mesa, which rests on sheer sandstone cliffs over 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain.
Grand Junction – Colorado National Monument – Grand Junction
Visit one of the grand landscapes of the American West – Colorado National Monument. Travel along the Rim Rock to see a colorful panorama of deep, sheer-sided canyons and high rock towers. Later on you’ll journey to Colorado’s wine country to learn about one of the region’s up-and-coming vineyards. At family-owned vineyard, a family member will take you on a private tour to see the process up-close. Then sit down to a winemaker’s dinner to hear stories of the vineyard, the wine they produce and the life of a winemaker.
Grand Junction – Silverton – Durango
Drive south to the small mining town of Silverton, a National Historic Landmark. Hidden high in the San Juan Mountains, this town blends spectacular scenery, Victorian charm and historic architecture. Then it’s “all aboard” the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This 1881 coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive was built to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but it is the view that is truly precious.
Durango – Mesa Verde National Park – Durango
An incredible day waits at Mesa Verde National Park, best known as the home of the ancient and mysterious Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Visit the fascinating Spruce Tree Cliff Dwelling to see one of the largest and best preserved cliff dwellings built between 1211-1278 by this fascinating Native American culture.
Durango – Colorado Springs
Enjoy a relaxing ride to Colorado Springs. En route, marvel at the scenery as you depart the San Juan National Forest and pass through the beautiful Rio Grande National Forest, a vast expanse of wilderness.
Colorado Springs – Manitou Springs – Colorado Springs
Depart for Manitou Springs, home of Pikes Peak – the legendary symbol of the 1859 Gold Rush. Embark on one of the most memorable train day trips you’ll ever go on aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the world’s highest cog railroad. During the journey you will see magnificent views and perhaps animals in their native habitat. Later, travel to the Garden of the Gods, on the National Register for Historic Places, to see the towering sandstone formations and enjoy a wonderful view of Pikes Peak.
Colorado national parks with AAA Vacations
AAA Vacations offers vacation options that fit your travel style. Choose guided or independent itineraries, let a local host show you the way, or take AAA’s suggestions for ocean and river cruises. Packages include meals, guided tours, nightly accommodations, baggage handling and round trip airport transportation. And AAA members save even more.
Learn more about this exciting trip.