Red Rock & Western Railroads
Best of the American Southwest
8 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
Combining Colorado & Utah must-see attractions. You follow the route of the California Zephyr for 250 miles over the Continental Divide, cruise the Colorado River south through Utah, enjoy a Jeep Tour in Monument Valley, a visit with the Ancients at Mesa Verde, cross New Mexico on the Cumbres Toltec and climb to the top of Pikes Peak. This is an epic adventure.
We are happy to accommodate Groups who want to add a night or two, or further customize their trip.
StarrGroups Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Starr Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, StarrGroups will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Denver, CO
Today, arrive in Denver, CO for an overnight stay. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Day 2 – Amtrak’s California Zephyr – Denver to Grand Junction, CO
This morning board Amtrak’s California Zephyr at 8:00am in Denver for an all-day excursion to Grand Junction, CO. Travel over the Rocky Mountains on the only rail line through Colorado, you travel beside tumbling rivers, between red rock cliffs, over aspen covered hillsides and green forested mountains. Then at 4:00pm you arrive in the town of Grand Junction where more awe-inspiring natural beauty, and your motorcoach are waiting. The California Zephyr runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Check into your hotel for an overnight stay. Dinner is included at the Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery. From the heart of downtown Grand Junction, the Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery has been the Grand Valley’s premiere micro-brewery for over 20 years. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious burger with one of their famous pints or a sizzling steak with a glass of wine, it’s all right here at the SLIDE. (B,D)
Day 3 – Moab, UT – Arches National Park – Sunset Jet Boat & Sound and Light Show
This morning we feature a scenic 100 mile drive to Moab, on the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, the last 50 miles of this route parallels the Colorado River and several rapids. On arrival in Moab, UT you visit the dramatically weathered red rock formations of picturesque Arches National Park. This vast park includes more than 2,000 natural stone arches in addition to scores of soaring spires, pinnacles, massive fins, and gravity-defying balanced rocks. You can see many of the beautiful structures right from the bus windows.
Then check into your local hotel for the night. Your evening is filled with excitement beginning with a cowboy-style dinner and slow-moving evening boat ride on a calm part of the Colorado River. Watch an incredible sound and light show which describes the story of the canyon’s creation projected onto the rock face above the river. (B,D)
Day 4 – Monument Valley Tribal Park – Navajo Jeep Tour – Goulding’s Lodge – Dinner & Movie
After breakfast, travel to Monument Valley Tribal Park one of the most majestic – and most photographed – points on earth. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.
Then enjoy a jeep tour through Monument Valley. Journey through the restricted region of Lower Monument Valley discovering for yourself the untouched splendor of Navajo Land. Traverse the desert landscape visiting the world’s largest Elephant Butte, and the Three Sisters spires at John Ford’s Point. Later, divert into the backcountry and see up close the valley’s famous Big Chief Monument, and Sleeping Dragon Rock. Further into the restricted area venture underneath Sun’s Eye arch, the valley’s second largest arch and find some of the valley’s oldest Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs. Hike the sand dunes at Ear of the Wind arch and walk inside the Big Hogan; Monument Valley’s largest amphitheatre.
Following the tour check into Goulding’s Lodge (as available) for the night. The magnificent landscape and abounding Navajo culture embody all the best the American Southwest has to offer. Goulding’s Lodge offers a quiet, peaceful home base that is in line with the nature and atmosphere of the surrounding area.
Enjoy dinner nestled in the hillside above the lodge, the Stagecoach Restaurant offers panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs, mesas and teetering structures of Monument Valley. After dinner, enjoy a famous John Wayne feature film in the Earth Spirit Theatre. (B,D)
Day 5 – Mesa Verde National Park – Pagosa Springs, CO
This morning depart Monument Valley and travel to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde, “Green Table” in Spanish, National Park offers an unparalleled opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. Including more than 4,000 known archeological sites dating back to A.D. 550, this national treasure protects the cliff dwellings and mesa top sites of pit houses, pueblos, masonry towers, and farming structures of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples who lived here for more than 700 years. This national park gives us a glimpse into the places and stories of America’s diverse cultural heritage.
Travel this afternoon takes you to Pagosa Springs, CO for the night. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B)
Day 6 – Cumbres & Toltec Railroad w/lunch – Alamosa, CO
Early this morning you travel to Chama, NM for a ride on The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. Perhaps the most beautiful ride in America, it is rugged, narrow gauge, coal-fired, steam powered mountain railroad traversing 64 miles of unparalleled scenery. You climb through an unspoiled landscape, past historic railroad structures dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. You enjoy the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains as this sure-footed locomotives rolls through tunnels, above deep gorges and over Cumbres Pass. A stop is made for lunch at the lonely Osier Dining Hall near the halfway point. Then you ride across the border back into Colorado at Antonito.
You spend the night in Alamosa with dinner this evening included at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Pikes Peak Railway – Colorado Springs, CO – Flying W Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner
Departing Alamosa this morning, travel to Manitou Springs, CO to ride the new and improved Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Your train ride takes you 9 miles up to the summit of Pikes Peak. Enter Pike National Forest, travel along Ruxton Creek, by Diamond Rock, within the steep, rocky walls of Englemann Canyon, past stacked boulder formations, a striking waterfall, and through Deer Park.
Move up Son of a Gun Hill, through the Icebox (a cool shaded canyon), past the remains of Halfway House Hotel, eventually moving above timberline, where the views get more expansive. And with each turn or climb, hear the stories of historical points and significant people who shaped the region along the way. Then you reach the summit described as the “gateway to heaven” where you can explore the newly constructed re-designed Summit House visitor center.
Arriving in Colorado Springs, CO check into your local hotel for the night. Dinner this evening will be at the Flying W Ranch. Enjoy a real Chuckwagon Dinner and be entertained by the Flying W Wranglers. The Wranglers specialize in beautiful 3-part vocal harmonies about the romantic American Cowboy. (B,D)
Day 8 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)