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All aboard! Travel back to the Old West and the days of the “Iron Horse” set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. You’ll journey on four vintage trains over high mountain passages and through breathtaking gorges. Along the way, see history come to life with stops at an old stagecoach town (where you’ll explore the last coal tipple in the country), a mining camp, and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Plus, spend free time exploring the renowned Vail Mountain Resort. A “must-do” epic adventure for nostalgia and train buffs alike!
- Scenic mountain rail adventures on Royal Gorge, Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge, and Georgetown Loop Railroads
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park Option
- Visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy
- Guided tour of Garden of the Gods
- Pioneer and Native American tales by Leon Joseph Littlebird
- Meet local family farmers Bob & Alida Helmer of Alida’s Fruits
- Free time in the resort town of Vail
DAY 1–“ALL ABOARD” THE RAIL ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!
It was the Iron Horse that helped tame the Old West, bringing an entire continent together and leading to the historic expansion of the United States. Relive the thrill and excitement of that historic era starting today, when meeting our fellow rail travelers for a welcome reception.
DAY 2–AIR FORCE ACADEMY/GARDEN OF THE GODS/OLYMPIC TRAINING FACILITY
Today starts at the Air Force Academy where you’ll see its iconic chapel and terrazzo, and learn about the cadet experience. Then visit the stunning Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. This 1,367-acre park at the base of Pikes Peak is where the Great Plains meet the Rockies—and is like a little piece of heaven! You’ll be amazed by the abundance of plant and animal life here, as well as the magnificent red sandstone formations. We will then get a guided tour of the flagship training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center programs. The complex, located in Colorado Springs, also provides housing, dining, training facilities, recreational facilities and other services for more than 500 athletes and coaches at one time. Go behind the scenes and see how it all works! B, L.
DAY 3–ROYAL GORGE RAILROAD/GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
Today, ride “North America’s most scenic railroad”—the world-famous Royal Gorge Route! From the comfort of your enclosed coach seat or open-air observation car, enjoy fabulous scenery and wildlife. This classic, old-time diesel engine chugs along the Arkansas River and winds its way through the steep granite cliffs of the gorge, passing under the Royal Gorge Bridge, suspended more than 1,000 feet above the tracks. Marvel at N. America’s tallest dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. B, L.
DAY 4–CUMBRES & TOLTEC RAILROAD
Return to the exciting days of the Frontier West aboard this stately steam engine the moment it blows its horn! Relax in your comfortable coach or open-air observation car during an unforgettable journey from Antonito to the old stagecoach town of Chama, New Mexico, home to one of the last coal tipples in the country. Mid-way enjoy a delicious lunch stop in the small mining town of Osier. B, L.
DAY 5–DURANGO YOUR WAY
Enjoy a leisurely day in the western town of Durango, which was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. You may choose to explore this historic downtown on a walking tour, stroll the Animas River trail, browse the shops or take an exciting optional excursion. B.
DAY 6–DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD
Immerse yourself in yesteryear with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum’s memorabilia, including full-size locomotives, maps, photos and artwork. Then the 1880s-era coal-fired, steam powered locomotives to travel the same track miners, cowboys and settlers did over a century ago. Gaze in awe while chugging through portions of the magnificent two million acres of remote wilderness that make up the San Juan National Forest! B, D.
DAY 7–ALIDA’S FRUITS/VAIL FREE TIME
The junction of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers formed the fertile soils around Grand Junction. This morning, visit farmers Bob & Alida Helmer at Alida’s Fruits in this lush valley. Later, enjoy the world-famous Vail Mountain Resort. There are countless things to do in this quaint, historic, European-influenced town nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains. En route to Dillon, travel the engineering marvel that is I-70, considered by many the most scenic highway in the U.S. B, D.
DAY 8–FRONTIER MINING TOWN/TALES OF YORE/GEORGETOWN LOOP R.R.
Your day begins in charming Georgetown, which started as a mining camp in 1859 and still maintains much of its 19th century architecture. After a bountiful breakfast, storyteller Leon Joseph Littlebird will perform tales of mountain life and indigenous music. Afterward, experience your final rail adventure aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a narrow gauge line that forms a grand loop high in the Rocky Mountains. Then you’ll say good-bye to new friends and take home happy railroading memories! B.
Night #1 - Hilton Garden Inn Denver Airport
Night #2 – Hotel Elegante, Colorado Springs
Night #3 – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Alamosa
Nights #4 & #5 – Best Western Rio Grande Inn, Durango
Night #6 – Grand Vista Hotel, Grand Junction
Night #7 – Comfort Suites, Dillon
Jul 7-14, 2019
Aug 4-11, 2019
Sep 1-8, 2019
Price Per Person:
Double $1,877, Single $2,395
Pre-/Post-Tour Hotel: $158/night
DAY #5 - Mesa Verde National Park: Travel deep into Mesa Verde National Park to learn about Anasazi Indians. Lunch included with this
Price: $55 per person.
Temperatures vary greatly on this tour, as elevation changes dramatically (we go from 5,000 feet to over 10,000 feet above sea level). Expect highs in the 90’s (or warmer) in Denver, and lows down to the mid-50’s (or colder) in some of the higher mountain elevations at night.
Schedule flights that arrive into Denver by 5:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Schedule flights that depart Denver after 3:30 p.m. on Day 8.
Complimentary shuttle service is offered for travelers between Denver International Airport and our starting hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn – Denver Airport.
Free parking is offered during the tour at the Hilton Garden Inn – Denver Airport.
Moderate walking at a leisurely pace is required to fully enjoy this tour. Also, many of the trains are not ADA accessible due to being historic in nature and require approximately 3-6 steep stairs to board/de-train.
United States Dollar.
Hair dryers, TV/cable, telephone services available at most hotels.
This tour reaches an elevation of over 10,000 feet at certain points; those who have severe breathing or heart problems should consult a physician before booking a high-elevation tour.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further information approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at www.CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/CRX.
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