National Parks Explorer and Rocky Mountaineer
Denver | Rocky Mountaineer | Glenwood Springs | Moab | Bryce Canyon | Zion National Park | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Monument Valley | Durango | Moab
Explore the world famous national parks of Zion and Bryce Canyon and marvel at the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Enjoy the crystal blue waters of Lake Powel and the red spires and monoliths of Monument Valley. See the gold mining town of Durango and explore historic Moab, gateway to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. And take a scenic journey on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Rockies to the Red Rocks Route between Moab and the mile high city of Denver.
Departs Mondays and Fridays 15 April to 24 October
National Parks Explorer and Rocky Mountaineer
Day 1 : UK - Denver
On arrival in Denver make your way to your downtown hotel for a two night stay.
Day 2 : Denver
A free day to acclimatise and explore the Mile High City of Denver.
Day 3 : Rocky Mountaineer Denver to Glenwood Springs
Begin your two day journey of extraordinary landscapes as you travel in SilverLeaf service through highlights best enjoyed from the comfort of your seat. Departing from Denver you’ll cross the Continental Divide as you take in the spectacular views of rugged canyons and the Colorado River before arriving at the resort town of Glenwood Springs. Overnight in Glenwood Springs. Breakfast and lunch are served onboard the train.
Day 4 : Glenwood Springs to Moab
Back onboard the Rocky Mountaineer this morning. Cross the Colorado-Utah border with stunning mountain views in the background. Red sandstone landscapes emerge as you approach Moab, the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. On arrival in Moab make your way to your downtown hotel for a 2 night stay and collect your rental car this afternoon. Breakfast is served onboard the train today.
Day 5 : Moab
Moab is surrounded by some of the most stunning red rock landscapes on Earth. Moab’s unique combination of small resort town hospitality, southwestern charm, beautiful scenery and the cool waters of the Colorado River has made it one of the most sought after destinations in the American Southwest with a great collection of restaurants, microbreweries, shops, and galleries. Moab’s diverse cuisine will please any palate, from regional southwestern fare to world-class gourmet. Stroll through the downtown shops for a great selection of southwestern arts and jewellery, souvenirs, t-shirts and much more.
If you want to start your national parks adventures today then it’s only a short drive to Canyonlands national park, the largest in Utah. The easiest way to see the park is with a visit to the Island in the Sky district, only 32 miles from Moab with spectacular views along the paved scenic drive. The Island in the Sky sits atop a massive 1500 foot mesa, quite literally an Island in the Sky. Twenty miles of paved roads lead to many of the most spectacular views in Canyon Country. From these lofty viewpoints you can often see over 100 miles in any direction, resulting in panoramic views that encompass thousands of square miles of canyon country.
Alternatively, you might want to visit Dead Horse Point State Park, where the view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands’ sculpted pinnacles and buttes. Millions of years of geologic activity created the spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park. Deposition of sediments by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams and windblown sand dunes created the rock layers of canyon country. Igneous activity formed the high mountains that rise like cool blue islands from the desert below.
Day 6 : Moab – Bryce Canyon
Your journey continues through the Fishlake National Forest, an area of pristine lakes, vast aspen forests, carved canyons and high mountain peaks as you head to the red rock pillars and sandstone cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park. Be sure to take a leisurely walk along Sunset Point to view the sunset and the great amphitheatres of odd-shaped monoliths known as hoodoos.
Day 7 : Bryce Canyon - Zion National Park
Make sure to view the dazzling display of colour and light of the sunrise at Bryce Point this morning. The sun rising above the canyon ignites the red rock spires turning them into an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour. Continue south through Utah to the lush cliff-and-canyon landscape of Zion National Park, where you’ll find towering cream, pink and red cliffs and amazing canyons.
Day 8 : Zion – Lake Powell / Page
Travel east, passing through the charming western town of Kanab where many cowboy films have been made. Later, arrive in Page and visit the Glen Canyon Dam and magnificent Lake Powell with its crystal blue waters. In the afternoon or evening you may want to take a cruise on Lake Powell.
Day 9 : Lake Powell/Page – Grand Canyon (108 miles)
This morning, you may want to take the time to take a guided tour of the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon before heading to the Grand Canyon. These canyons are known for their varying colour of sandstone and are a photographer’s dream. It is a short drive to the Grand Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world. Spend your time walking along the rim of the canyon, participating in a ranger led talk or maybe take a helicopter flight above the canyon.
Day 10 : Grand Canyon
A full day at the Grand Canyon to explore at your own pace. The visitors centre is the perfect place to start the day where experienced Park Rangers can suggest hikes, viewpoints and activities.
Day 11 : Grand Canyon – Monument Valley
Drive along to the incredible Monument Valley. This is Navajo Country here a classic Wild West landscape of stark sandstone buttes and forbidding pinnacles of rock, poking from an endless expanse of drifting red sands. Only when you arrive at Monument Valley will you come to realize how much your perception of the West has in fact been shaped by this one spot.
Day 12 : Monument Valley – Mesa Verde - Durango
Today you visit the ruins of Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of exceptional archaeological relevance. Protecting thousands of archaeological sites built by the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited Mesa Verde for more than 700 years (550 A.D. to 1300 A.D.). including hundreds of cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde National Park is perched high in Southwest Colorado where the air is thin, the history is rich and the views spectacular. Continue to the old gold-mining town of Durango.
Day 13 : Durango - Moab
Head north today, perhaps stopping in Monticello for lunch as you make your way to Moab for your final night.
Day 14-15 : Moab - UK
Drop your rental car at the airport today and take your return flight to the UK.