TRAINS OF THE
SEPTEMBER 14-21, 2019
Join Champlain Tours for this truly unique 8-day tour. Ride back in time on Colorado’s scenic and historic railroads, some of which traverse still-wild terrain that can’t be easily experienced by any other form of transit. In the early 1900s, it was the railroads that transformed the tiny western town of Denver into the largest city between San Francisco and Chicago following the Gold Rush. The Mile High City is home to Union Station and many commuter train lines, but the Denver area is also home to historic locomotives, steam trains and cog trains that are still in operation today. Don’t miss out on the scenic train rides of Colorado, you’ll experience the journey of a lifetime you might not find on the highway.
Mid-September to witness the golden aspens!
DAY 1 - Fly to Denver, Co. Tour the US Air Force Academy (Saturday)
Arrive in Denver - Colorado Springs. After a brief check-in with your tour director, enjoy your first taste of adventures to come as you board our motorcoach and travel south to Colorado Springs. Enjoy touring of the US Air Force Academy. Situated in the shadow of the mountains and overlooking the open spaces of the western plains, the academy is famous for its architecturally unique chapel. Next, check into your hotel for a two-night stay. Tonight join the group for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Drury Inn & Suites, Colorado Springs, CO (D)
DAY 2 - Colorado Springs (Sunday)
Today is devoted to exploring the area around Colorado Springs. After a leisurely morning, take a short drive to Garden of the Gods for sightseeing. An abundance of plant and animal life can be found throughout its 1,340 acres, as well as the magnificent red sandstone rock formations, for which the Garden is best known. After an included lunch at the Trading Post, visit the US Olympic Training Center for a guided tour and a look at what it takes to be an Olympic Athlete. The recently renovated Visitors Center provides an upgraded experience while honoring the rich heritage and enduring legacies of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes. An interactive, digitally reimagined rotunda powered by five HD projection screens, features stirring video highlights and rotating exhibits showcasing Team USA athletes who live and train at the facility. Next visit a landmark of Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor.
Enjoy some free time to wander the beautiful grounds, browse through the shops and to visit the Penrose Heritage Museum which features history of the area, a collection that contains 31 horse-drawn carriages including two presidential carriages and a new section with 4,000 sq. ft. of artifacts and memorabilia from the history of The Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Return to your hotel with some time to freshen up, and then be our guests for an evening of western hospitality at a local restaurant.
Drury Inn & Suites, Colorado Springs, CO (B,L,D)
DAY 3 - Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Great Sand Dunes National Park (Monday)
Pack up your bags, partner, because today you're off! This morning board the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a vintage train ride along the legendary Arkansas River deep within the Gorge. Next, travel to the historic rail town of Salida for a delicious home style lunch. This afternoon visit Great Sand Dunes National Park for sightseeing, then arrive in Alamosa for a one night stay. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Durango (Tuesday)
This morning, "all aboard" the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, considered the finest remaining example of a once vast network of narrow gauge lines linking together the Rocky Mountain Mining Camps. This unique railroad has been called by author Lucius Beebe, "the most awesomely spectacular example of mountain railroading in North America." Leave Antonito, Colorado and travel to Osier where you’ll disembark and enjoy lunch; then re-board your motor coach and travel to the old west mining town of Durango for a two night stay. (CB,L)
DAY 5 - Mesa Verde National Park (Wednesday)
After breakfast, travel to nearby Mesa Verde National Park for a day of exploration. Here you will visit cliff dwellings where the mysterious Anasazi once lived. Known as the "Ancient Ones" to the Navajo, the Anasazi lived in the Four Corners area almost a thousand years ago, then suddenly disappeared - leaving their incredibly well-preserved dwellings to intrigue and challenge modern man. This is the nation’s largest archeological preserve with 4,000 sights including 600 cliff dwellings. Spend some time in the Visitors Center with its large collection of ancient artifacts for an introduction to the ancient culture. A local expert will guide you through the most famous ruin sites with a stop at the Spruce Tree House Restaurant for lunch on own. After a fascinating tour of the park, return to Durango with the rest of the day free to explore this fun western town on your own. (B)
DAY 6 - Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Siverton, Colorado National Monument (Thursday)
This morning, ride the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the last such railroads operating in the United States. "All aboard!" for a delightful trip through the Colorado Rockies between Durango and Silverton. The rugged peaks, alpine meadows, and crystal lakes take you back to the early days of the West when mountain men searched this untouched land for traces of bear and mountain lion. Upon arrival in Silverton, enjoy some free time to explore the many shops and have lunch on your own. Meet our motor coach for a scenic drive north to Grand Junction. This evening see the fantastic monoliths of Colorado National Monument. Over the centuries, wind and water have carved sheer, walled canyons, spires, and gorges from the brilliant orange and red sandstone. Overnight in Grand Junction and enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel. (B,D)
DAY 7 - Grand Junction, Continental Divide, Colorado Railroad Museum (Friday)
Depart and travel east for a ride through the Heart of the Rockies enjoying vistas of rugged canyons, pristine wilderness, and deep gorges. Cross the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass as we travel east descending once again into the "Mile High City" of Denver. Before checking into our hotel, we’ll stop at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. This museum’s mission is to acquire, preserve and exhibit railroad equipment, artifacts, and photographs emphasizing Rocky Mountain area railroads. You’ll learn about the history of this region from the 1860’s to present. What a great end to our Colorado Train Vacation. This afternoon, check into your hotel and freshen up but don't wander too far because tonight you will rejoin your fellow passengers for a farewell dinner. (B,D)
DAY 8 - Fly Home (Saturday)
Say farewell to Denver and the Rocky Mountains. A morning transfer to the airport has been arranged for our flight home. (B)
PRICING PER PERSON
(group of two)
(group of three)
*20% deposit at booking. Balance due June 14, 2019