Wondrous National Parks With Silverton Train
Arizona, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Flagstaff, Lake Powell, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, West Yellowstone, Rapid City, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Cody, Jackson Hole, Bryce Canyon National Park, Durango - Silverton Narrow Gauge Train, Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Mount Rushmore, Rocky Mountain National Park, Wounded Knee Museum, Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park
Prices Per Person
(2 Rooms)Sgl & Dbl
(2 Rooms)2 Dbls
Your Tour Package Includes
17 Nights Hotel Accommodation as detailed in the Day by Day Itinerary as described below. All Hotel Taxes and Service Charges. 17 Days Hertz Compact Rental Car, Including Unlimited Mileage, Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS), Taxes, Surcharges & Fees. An Explorer Kit containing Maps, Information, Driving Instructions, Mileage, Sights to See and Detailed Directions to your Hotels.
(B) Compact 2 or 4 dr. - Ford Focus or Similar CCAR / CDAR
- 2 Adults, 2 Children
- 1 Large Suitcase,2 Small Suitcases
- Air Conditioning
- Duel Airbags
- Standard for parties of 1 and 2
Rental Car Upgrades. Chose from a Convertible, Luxury Cars and from a Range of Vehicles with Off-Road Capability. Hertz Neverlost In-Car Navigation System. Extra Hotel Nights before and after your Tour, and en-route.
Fuel and Parking Charges. Admissions to Parks and Attractions unless otherwise stated.
Day 1 | Arrive in Denver, CO
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Arrive at the airport, pick-up your rental car and proceed to your hotel. Denver has the urban charms of an industrious city, combined with all of the mystery and romance of the old West. Located at just over five thousand feet above sea level, the “Mile High City” was one of the first settlements to not be centrally located to a navigable body of water or a functioning railway. A speck of gold was discovered here and led many eager fortune seekers to make camp. Although no major gold discovery was ever had, William H. Larimer arrived in 1859 and laid out a plan for the city. Today, Denver is a thriving center of commerce and finance with a lingering twinkle of its rugged beginnings.
Accommodations: (STD) DoubleTree, Curtis Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(SUP) Warwick Denver Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 2 | Denver, CO
0.00 miles / 0 km*
Today you can explore Denver at leisure. Walking in the Downtown area is ideal. It is bursting with greenery in its parks, pedestrian areas and tree-lined boulevards. Shops, restaurants and nightspots are all around. Top attractions like the US Mint, modeled on the Palazzo Riccardi in Florence, Denver Art Museum, and the Colorado History Museum are located in this area also.
Rocky Mountains Ntl. Park
Day 3 | Denver – Rocky Mountains National Park – Cheyenne, WY
194.00 miles / 312.21 km*
This morning depart Denver and begin driving toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Here the Rocky Mountains keep a watchful eye on the dramatic landscape below. There are forests of pine and fir and fields of wildflowers which make for spectacular vistas. Rocky Mountain National Park is unique because of its diverse terrain caused in large part by the extremes of elevation that exist within it. A prime wildlife-viewing area, the park is home to elk, mule deer, beavers, coyotes, river otters, moose, bighorn sheep, and an abundance of songbirds. Trail Ridge Road, which cuts west through the middle of the park, is rated among the most scenic highways in America. It was designated an All-American Road in 1996, one of the first six in the nation. Climbing to 12,187 feet near Fall River Pass, Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the United States. Exhibits at the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass, 11,800 feet above sea level, explain life on the alpine tundra. Continue on to Cheyenne for an overnight stay.
Accommodations: (STD) Holiday Inn Cheyenne or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Nagle Warren Mansion or similar (1 night)
Day 4 | Cheyenne – Mount Rushmore – Rapid City, SD
318.00 miles / 511.77 km*
Today, drive toward Rapid City via the four figures carved in stone at Mount Rushmore. They represent the first 150 years of American History. Images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are captured in stone as the visionaries who individually contributed to the foundation of the United States. In addition to the carved granite faces, here you will find an amphitheater, museum/theater complex, Visitor Orientation Center, Presidential Trail, gift shop, bookstore, and dining facilities. To complete your Rushmore experience, view the evening lighting ceremony. You might also consider a visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial, home of the world’s largest mountain sculpture in progress. It tells the story in granite of the great and patriotic Native American hero, Crazy Horse, who died in 1877. The Memorial''s visitor complex includes the 40,000 square foot Welcome Center and theaters, the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, the sculptor’s log home, studio, and workshop, indoor and outdoor galleries, museum gift shop, restaurant and snack bar areas and an expansive viewing veranda. Enjoy a two-night stay in Rapid City.
Accommodations: (STD) Best Western Ramkota Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(SUP) Adoba Eco Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 5 | Rapid City – Badlands National Park – Rapid City, SD
161.00 miles / 259.1 km*
Depart rapid City this morning for a round trip that will take you through the Badlands National Park and the neighboring city of Wall for a visit to the Wounded Knee Museum. Millions of years of wind, water and erosion have created the chiseled spires, deep canyons and jagged buttes of Badlands National Park. Covering 244,000 acres, Badlands National Park is one of the largest protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States. The park is home to many species of wildlife including bighorn sheep, bison, the swift fox and the endangered black-footed ferret. Antelope and deer are commonly seen roaming near roadways and picnic areas. Take the first hour to watch the Park’s informational video and tour the exhibit at the Visitor Center; then, drive the 240 Loop Road (approximately 60min.) making stops as needed for picture taking. Depart the Badlands via I-90 to the historic town of Wall for a visit to the Wounded Knee Museum. Have lunch at Wollies, a local favorite on the way in. At the Wounded Knee Museum exhibits and photographs provide a vivid picture of what really happened at the famous battle of Wounded Knee. This narrative museum offers an authentic recount of the story behind the legendary massacre. Allow at least 2 hours to enjoy this experience before returning to Rapid City.
Day 6 | Rapid City – Devil’s Tower – Cody, WY
426.00 miles / 685.58 km*
From Rapid City, continue on to Devil’s Tower National Monument. The nearly vertical monolith known as Devils Tower rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Known by several northern plains tribes as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site of worship for many American Indians. Continue on to Cody for an overnight stay. Visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This unique place is actually five museums in one building offering an intimate look at the history of the west. The Whitney Gallery of Western Art presents an outstanding collection of masterworks of the American West. Here you will find original paintings, sculptures, and prints depicting artistic interpretations of the West from the early 19th century to today. The Plains Indian Museum features one of the country''s largest and finest collections of Plains Indian art and artifacts. The Cody Firearms Museum contains the world''s most comprehensive assemblage of American arms, as well as European arms dating to the 16th century. The Research Library houses collections which include printed and electronic library materials and resources, original archives and manuscripts, photographs, microfilm, subject vertical files, and sound and video recordings. Billing itself as “Rodeo Capital of the World,” Cody provides a unique opportunity to capture the excitement of a real rodeo in a dramatic western setting. Seasonally, the Cody Night Rodeo is a fantastic way to become part of the west.
Accommodations: (STD) Buffalo Bill Cabin Village or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Holiday Inn Buffalo Inn or similar (1 night)
Yellowstone Ntl. Park
Day 7 | Cody – West Yellowstone National Park, MT
134.00 miles / 215.65 km*
Today, depart Cody to explore Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, the example on which parks everywhere are modeled. One of the most famous park features is Old Faithful. This famous geyser got its name because of its punctuality and predictability. Eruptions at Old Faithful last anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, and spray water and steam up to 184 ft vertically. Yellowstone also has freely roaming herds of buffalo. It also includes the nation''s largest wildlife preserve, an enormous lake, the Continental Divide, some 10,000 hydrothermal features, and over 1,000 miles of trails. Its diversity of attractions is a match for any location on the planet. Explore the interesting park locations and the hydrothermal features by strolling the boardwalks built over them. Yellowstone''s wildlife is as spectacular as the hydrothermal features. Because of the park''s remote location, and because of its large size, animals roam freely and are able to live in a natural way much as their kind has lived for centuries. Moose, elk and buffalo are among the most populous of inhabitants.
Accommodations: (STD & SUP) Yellowstone Lodging* or similar (2 nights)
(* 2 nights in-park accommodations are offered on a first-come, first served basis depending on availability.
Early booking is essential; otherwise, similar accommodations near the park will be provided)
Riding the Trail
Day 8 | Yellowstone National Park, WY
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There are many wonderful ways to see all of Yellowstone National Park. Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities to enjoy when visiting. Everything from 2-hour trail rides to all-day backcountry treks are offered. Also popular at Yellowstone are the many waterways and lakes open to public access. A variety of rentals are available, including kayaks. There are numerous trails suitable for day hiking. Begin your hike by stopping at a ranger station or visitor center for information.
Grand Teton Ntl. Park
Day 9 | West Yellowstone – Grand Teton – Jackson Hole, WY
120.00 miles / 193.12 km*
Drive through Yellowstone National Park and pass the Grand Teton Mountains on the way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Teton Range is forty miles long and experiences and average snowfall of 191 inches. Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet (4,197m) is the tallest peak in this range. The views of the often snow-capped mountains are spectacular. Stop at one of the many vistas for an excellent photograph. Continue on to Jackson Hole. Cowboys come to life in this town that was once a fur trading post. Saloons dot the corners and authentic artwork of the west can be found in the many galleries. Visit a local ranch for a delicious cookout and Wild West Show. Guided tours of the area are available by horseback or even hot air balloon!
Accommodations: (STD) Painted Buffalo Inn or similar (1 night)
(SUP)The Wort Hotel or similar (1 night)
Day 10 | Jackson Hole – Salt Lake City, UT
305.00 miles / 490.85 km*
Depart the Wild West and drive toward Salt Lake City and the famous Mormon Temple Square. The city was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers led by their prophet, Brigham Young, who fled hostility and violence in the Midwest. Free tours are offered of Temple Square where you will see the Tabernacle and other historic Mormon sites. Salt Lake City is the capital and most inhabited city in Utah. The first transcontinental railroad brought the city much economic growth and lead to the nickname “Crossroads of the West”. Today, the mining industry is booming and the city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. You can visit the vast local copper mines or see Olympic Park. You might also want to visit the Great Salt Lake. A remnant of the massive ancient Lake Bonneville, the lake is now landlocked and its waters are salty. It is the largest lake between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean, and is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Enjoy an overnight stay in Salt Lake City.
Accommodations: (STD) Red Lion Salt Lake Downtown or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Peery Hotel or similar (1 night)
Day 11 | Salt Lake City – Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
270.00 miles / 434.52 km*
This morning depart Salt Lake City and drive toward Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce contains “amphitheatres” of colorful eroded rock formations. These spires of rock are called hoodoos. It is their uniqueness that sets Bryce apart from anywhere else. Light reflecting on the hoodoos at different times of day change the colorful scene of the park. Consider a drive to Rainbow Point where from some of the overlooks you can see more than 100 miles on a clear day. There are a variety of walking trails in the park. Horseback riding is another popular way to see the highlights here. An overnight stay has been arranged in this area.
Accommodations: (STD) Bryce View Lodge or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon or similar (1 night)
Zion National Park
Day 12 | Bryce Canyon – Zion National Park – Page/Lake Powell, AZ
248.00 miles / 399.12 km*
Depart Bryce Canyon this morning and drive toward Zion National Park. You will be greeted by gigantic sandstone monoliths and hear the soft rush of the Virgin River. The Narrows are Zion’s famous slot canyons. These are narrow stone crevices formed with colorful stripes caused by years of water, wind and erosion; the result is a hiker’s paradise. In the park and along the river there are a variety of trails and paved pathways for explorers of all skill levels. In addition, there is a complimentary shuttle system that runs throughout the park. By utilizing this, you can visit Zion’s other major attractions such as the Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock and Angels Landing. Stop at the Visitor Center for information on guided tours and park history. Continue on to the Lake Powell area for an overnight stay.
Accommodations: (STD) Travelodge or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Lake Powell Resort or similar (1 night)
Day 13 | Page/Lake Powell – Grand Canyon National Park – Flagstaff, AZ
229.00 miles / 368.54 km*
This morning, explore Lake Powell, a body of deep blue water surrounded by red cliff walls. You may wish to visit the magnificent Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world. One of the natural wonders of the world, the bridge has been formed by erosion of the sandstone by water flowing from Navajo Mountain towards the Colorado River. Continue on to the Grand Canyon. The overwhelming size and brilliant colors of the Grand Canyon easily make it one of the natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon was carved out by natural elements including the Colorado River over vast geological spans of time. The South Rim has an assortment of viewing areas that can be reached by shuttle or car. There are many paved and unpaved walkways along the rim. Visit Bright Angel Lodge for an excellent vantage point. The lodge is a historic landmark and also offers a gallery, restaurant, exhibits and great views. Guided hikes also leave from the lodge and informative talks are often offered by the park rangers. For the adventurous, hiking trails and guided mule rides will take you down to the Colorado River. Rafting trips along the river are also a spectacular way to enjoy the canyon. An overnight stay has been arranged here.
Accommodations: (STD) Quality Inn Flagstaff or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Doubletree Hotel Flagstaff or similar (1 night)
Day 14 | Flagstaff – Canyon De Chelly – Monument Valley, UT
366.00 miles / 589.02 km*
Make an early start and drive through the Painted Dessert and visit Canyon de Chelly National Monument. See a spectacular geologic feature, Spider Rock, a sandstone spire that rises 800 feet from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. Spider Rock can be seen from South Rim Drive. It has served as the scene of a number of television commercials. Continue on to Monument Valley, which has been the setting for more Western movies than any other site in the United States. Unique sandstone formations punctuate the sometimes barren landscape and spires rise into strange formations that have inspired names such as “Three Sisters” and “The Thumb”. At dawn and dusk, the park comes to life when the sun transforms this area into a bright canvas, painting the monoliths with light and color. Located on the north and central parts of the Navajo Reservation, some of these native people still inhabit this land. While it is not as grand as some other landmarks of Arizona and Utah, it has vertical walls rising up to 1,000 feet with many scenic overlooks and well-preserved Anasazi ruins. Peer into the present day life of the Navajo who still inhabit and cultivate the valley floor. Overnight in Monument Valley.
Accommodations: (STD) Kayenta Monument Valley Inn or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Goulding’s Lodge or similar (1 night)
Mesa Verde Ntl. Park
Day 15 | Monument Valley – Mesa Verde National Park – Durango, CO
168.00 miles / 270.37 km*
Depart Monument Valley for Mesa Verde National Park. The park protects over 4,000 archeological sites and includes 600 cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. Stop at the Far View Visitor Center and find valuable park information and exhibits on Native American pottery and jewelry. Take a ranger-guided tour of one of the dwellings, such as Cliff Palace. Continue driving toward Durango for an overnight stay. Durango was born as a railroad town and still retains much of its old west feel. Pick up complimentary copies of several walking tour brochures from the visitor center. Along Main Avenue you''ll see the handsome Strater Hotel, the building that housed the region''s first bank, and the sites of saloons and other businesses of the late 1800s. Consider a tasty meal and a live Western stage show at one of the local ranches.
Accommodations: (STD) Durango Downtown Inn or similar (2 nights)
(SUP) Historic Strater Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 16 | Durango –Silverton Train Experience
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Today you will have an unforgettable experience onboard the Durango – Silverton Train. Depart by bus sharply at 09:30 hrs from the Durango Train Station to Silverton. Enjoy the first leg of your Silverton Journey onboard a motorcoach as you travel along 52 miles of the San Juan Scenic Byway. This option offers you a different perspective of the majestic mountains and reduces your travel time by up to two hours. Arrive in Silverton at approximately 11:00 hrs, which allows you a 3-hour window to see this town before the train departs at 14:00 hrs back to Durango. While in Silverton a must visit is the Mining Heritage Center, which includes the Silverton Museum and the County Jail build in 1902. Exactly at 14:00 hrs the train departs from the Silverton Depot, starting your unforgettable journey along the spectacular Animas River to Durango. The Animas River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the entire western United States. The Train will cross the river five times on its journey to Durango, offering spectacular views from both side of the train. It will also pass fertile farmlands, old stagecoach roads, the breathtaking “Highline”, old mining camps, and be in the shadow of peaks reaching over 14,000 feet. The journey ends at 17:30 hrs back at the Durango Train Station. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Durango at leisure.
Garden of the Gods
Day 17 | Durango – Colorado Springs, CO
314.00 miles / 505.33 km*
Drive toward Colorado Springs and visit Manitou Springs from which fresh carbonated bubbles burst forth having passed through limestone. Hike Pike’s Peak, the state’s most famous mountain with a summit of 14,110 feet. Visit “Seven Falls”; this waterfall cascades 181 feet, in seven distinct steps, down a solid cliff of Pikes Peak granite. Crystal clear water has carved this uncommon scenic work of art in an easily accessed location. Next to the falls, a 224-step stairway leads to a system of trails that will take you to “Midnight Falls” and then onto “Inspiration Point” with a breath-taking view of Colorado Springs and the great plains beyond. Visit the “Garden of the Gods” in Colorado Springs. It is a city ark known for its dramatic red sandstone pillars and cliffs sculpted through time by wind and weather.
Accommodations: (STD) Quality Inn Garden of the Gods or similar (1 night)
(SUP) Cheyenne Mountain Resort or similar (1 night)
Day 18 | Colorado Springs – Denver, CO
85.00 miles / 136.79 km*
Depart at leisure for the Denver International Airport. Drop-off rental car.