14 Nights National Parks & Monuments

 

An amazing tour taking in the best that Colorado has to offer showcasing its National Parks and National Monuments.
 
Days 1 & 2: Denver, CO
Welcome to the “Mile High City,” gateway to the spectacular Rocky Mountains! Denver is a vibrant city with 300 days of annual sunshine and the breathtaking Rocky Mountains in their backyard. See the Colorado State Capitol, modelled after the U.S. Capitol, with a step that is exactly one mile above sea level and spectacular views from the rotunda. The Denver Art Museum is itself a piece of sculpture. Nearby, the Colorado History Museum tells the colourful story of the gold miners, cowboys, sod busters, railroaders, soldiers and explorers who have called Colorado home. A block from the park is the U.S. Mint. This is the second largest storehouse of gold bullion in the U.S. and the spot where 10 billion coins are made each year. Stroll 16th Street Mall, with its outdoor cafes, shops, fountains, open plazas and parks.
2 nights Denver
Standard: Comfort Inn Downtown Denver
Select: Curtis Hotel, a Doubletree boutique property
 
Day 3 & 4: To Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (70 miles)
The drive from Denver to Estes Park takes approx 90 mins however you may want to take a slight detour and head out on highway 119 north along the foothills of the Rockies mountains to the town of Boulder one of only three remaining Chautauqua’s in the United States, it first opened in 1898. You can experience this national historic landmark by hiking the area, attending musical performances, or participating in arts and cultural programming—and make sure to eat at the historic dining hall. For a more radical view of Boulder, hike the Flatirons. If you want a relaxed Boulder experience, shop unique stores and try the fantastic restaurants on Pearl Street.
Approx 30 miles on from Boulder, you reach Estes Park at 7,522 feet and surrounded by mountain peaks, Estes Park is a complete destination village at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.   This alpine town is a sea of green in the spring and summer months. Autumn is equally stunning, transforming the area with a blitz of golden leaves. Take a walk down Elkhorn Avenue any time of year, and hop from shop to shop to find treasures to take home. Visit Estes Park in the fall for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can observe hundreds of bull elk descend among this quiet mountain town, bugling as they vie for the attention of the females. 
Rocky Mountain National park - Be sure to stop by the ranger station for maps and additional information. Elk, mule deer, black bear, foxes and a wealth of other critters are also inhabitants of the park. Visitors may even see Colorado’s state mammal, the bighorn sheep—especially during the fall mating season. The park itself is the most visited in the state and takes you through the serrated granite cliffs of the dramatic Rockies and high-altitude tundra, where low-lying scrub brush and lichen-covered rocks are the most common sights.
Grand Lake - The Town of Grand Lake awaits you at the western portal to Rocky Mountain National Park. The town is aptly named, as it sits near a large, high-altitude lake. Grand Lake is a popular waypoint for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. 
Each summer, the town hosts the Grand Lake Regatta and Lipton Cup Races, where local yachtsmen take to their crafts for one of the highest altitude regattas in the United States. 
Situated approx 40 miles north east of Estes Park and tucked between the plains and the mountains is Fort Collins, the last city on Interstate 25 north before you hit the Wyoming border and has plenty to offer on its own. 
Though there was a fort here in the 1860s, it was more of a trading post where American Indians and traders met on the banks of the Cache la Poudre River (French for "hide the powder"), for the most part in friendly fashion. While its name suggests otherwise, there's never really been a strong military presence here.  Be sure to visit the Old Town Historic District, with its fine bookstores, galleries and shops. Other historic must-sees include the Fort Collins Museum and Avery House a stately Victorian home, as well as a self-guided historic walking tour of downtown. You can even ride an old trolley. 
Because Fort Collins is also home to Colorado State University it has all the liveliness and bustle of a college town. Good restaurants, brewpubs, nightlife and culture abound. There's always something going on. 
Anheuser-Busch has a major Budweiser beer brewing operation here, with free tours (and samples) for guests and a peek at the world-famous Clydesdale horses. Fort Collins is also one of Colorado's major craft-brewing hubs, featuring New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company and Fort Collins Brewery, all of which offer tours of their operations.
2 nights Estes Park, CO
Standard: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn
Select: Holiday Inn of the Rockies
 
 
Day 5: To Vail, CO (163 miles)
America's biggest ski resort, big in nature and big in scope. Not just lots of slopes, but slopes split into different areas. There are the tree-lined pistes and valley views of the front face, the sweeping intermediate powder fun of the Back Bowls over the ridge and then, farther on, the mostly ungroomed, wooded excitement of Blue Sky Basin. The latter is designed to give the thrills of backcountry skiing, while never being far from a restaurant — and it manages that. You can quickly go from skiing alone through steep, tree-lined chutes to lunching in the vast, rustic Two Elk Lodge, but at the farthest point you're seven miles from the village. Vail is equally as stunning in the spring, summer and fall as it is in the winter, explore the stunning view from the mountain slopes, hike or bike down. Unique upscale shopping, world class restaurants and exciting nightlife can be found in picturesque Vail village.
1 night Vail, CO
Standard: Evergreen Lodge
Select: Evergreen Lodge
 
Days 6 & 7: Grand Junction, CO (148 miles)
A delightful town with an historic main street in the far west of the state, stroll along lush tree lined streets with outdoor sculptures, historic buildings and fountains this town is home to delightfull shops, restaurants  and galleries. Grand Junction is a great place to stay for visiting Colorado National Monument, a massive sandstone rock landscape. Sitting in fertile Grand Valley, Grand Junction is surrounded by 17 wineries, all offering tastings, as well as farms and orchards growing peaches, cherries and apples. The Grand Mesa is "an island in the sky," with forests, lakes and slopes. The Museum of Western Colorado features everything from dinosaur relics to historic fruit farms. New to the area is Tammy Allen's car museum at Allen Unique Autos which has an amazing collection of classic, rare and unique cars that have been lovingly restored. For a birds eye view why not take a flight over Western Colorado & Utah with Getaway Canyons Airtours offering scenic airtours or if you are feeling really adventurous take a skydive or heliski trip.  This whole region really does have something for everyone the amazing setting beckons enthusiasts to explore the outdoors in anyway you wish - hike, bike, fish, hunt, ski, snowboard, play golf, Raft, float along the mighty Colorado river or just simply head for the wide open spaces grab a picnic and enjoy the scenery with a nice glass of local wine in hand.
2 nights Grand Junction, CO
Standard: Grand Vista
Select: Wine Country Inn
 
Days 8 & 9: Montrose, CO (62 miles)
Montrose is your gateway city to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the Curecanti National Recreation Area, including the vast Blue Mesa Reservoir. 
There isn’t much you can't do in the park, from hiking to fishing, boating of all kinds, rafting, camping and more. But that's not the only reason to choose this as your overnight stop. You can orient yourself by visiting the Ute Indian Museum or the Montrose County Historical Museum, located in the old train depot. Take a self-guided historical walking tour, or catch one of its many town celebrations. An American Indian Lifeways festival honors the town's American Indian heritage each fall. 
There's also always a concert, play or other happening at the Montrose Pavilion, and visitors are as welcome as locals. 
Montrose is home to premium wineries, which are contributing to the steadily growing Colorado wine industry.
2 nights Montrose, CO
Standard: Holiday inn Express
Select: Holiday inn Express
 
Days 10 & 11: Mesa Verde National Park, CO (135 miles)
Mesa Verde National Park is America’s premier archaeological wonder. Fourteen centuries of history are displayed there. Established by congress in 1906, Mesa Verde is the first national park set aside to preserve the works of humankind. Mesa Verde is a World Heritage Site, a designation granted by UNESCO to preserve and protect the cultural and national heritage of certain international sites. Mesa Verde has also been selected the No. 1 historic monument in the world by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and was chosen by National Geographic Traveleras one of the 50 Places of a Lifetime – The World's Greatest Destinations. 
Mesa Verde offers an excellent opportunity to see and experience the life of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Spectacular cliff dwellings and mesa-top villages were built between A.D. 450 and 1300, when people migrated to the area. The park is split into a series of sub-mesas all bearing different names. There are thousands of archaeological sites across the park as well as excellent interpretive loops and scenic pullouts. 
The most famous sites for visitors are the cliff dwellings. Ticketed ranger-guided tours are available to Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House on a seasonal schedule. It is best to check at the park entrance or at the visitor center for availability. Spruce Tree House is open year-round and may be visited without a ticket. Other sites located within the park are also available for individual exploration. Due to the fragile nature of the archaeological sites in the park, hiking is limited. However, there are several excellent hikes available, including one to a fascinating petroglyph panel. Interpretative tours are also offered in the park with concessionaire guides.
2 nights Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Standard: Far View Lodge (Standard Room)
Select: Far View Lodge (Kiva Room)
 
Day 12 & 13 : Alamosa, CO (184 miles)
Set in the center of the vast San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, Alamosa serves as the region's hub for tourism. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad brought commerce here in the 1870s, but today the main attraction is the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
The park, a 20-minute drive from town, is a unique geological juxtaposition — the nation's highest sand dunes (topping out at 750 feet) against a backdrop of 13,000-foot mountain peaks. 
Visitors come to hike, sled and even ski the dunes, and also to camp, picnic and explore the trails and wildlife preserve that are part of this national park. Deer, bears, mountain lions, foxes and coyotes make their homes here, along with some rare species of insects. 
Alamosa ("cottonwood grove" in Spanish) is more a farm/ranch community than a tourist town, but it offers plenty of lodging and local eateries for visitors. 
Visitors should also check out the 18-hole golf course and other nearby attractions, such as the Colorado Gator Farm in  Mosca or the Zapter Falls waterfall. The Alamosa/Monte Vista National Wildlfe refuge is a bird-watcher's paradise, especially in spring. 
2 nights Alamosa, CO
Standard: Holiday Inn Express
Select: Holiday Inn Express
 
Day 14: Colorado Springs, CO (164 miles)
Colorado's second-biggest city, yet a place which has kept the small-town feel of the 1880s when it was a leading resort known as Little London, catering to its international clientele. It is intimate and sophisticated, with the ornate Broadmoor the ultimate in historic elegance, and 14,110 ft (4,300 m) Pikes Peak looming over everything. Smart restaurants and stylish cafés abound. Nearby Manitou Springs, a spa and artists' colony, with its galleries and shops, is also a delight, and the place where you board the nation's highest cog railway that ratchets up Pikes Peak. Visit the 18,000-acre campus of the US Air Force Academy (and its Cadet Chapel with 17 sharp spires) north of Colorado Springs and head farther downtown to the US Olympic Complex (where the likes of swimmers and fencers train) — both are free. And discover wilder places: Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the jagged red rocks of the Garden of the Gods and the huge Cave of the Winds.
1 night Colorado Springs, CO
Standard: Hyatt Place
Select: Cheyenne Mountain Lodge
 
Day 15: Denver, CO (70 miles)
 
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Pre, post or extra nights: Pre, post & extra nights within the itinerary can be added to this tour, please let us know at time of booking if you would like to extend your stay anywhere and we will be happy to quote the extra nights.
 
Documentation/joining instructions: A prepaid voucher for your first hotel stay will be issued to you prior to travel, your self-drive guidebook with all other documents, driving directions & maps etc will then be waiting for your collection on check in at the first hotel.
 
Included in the tour:
Accommodation
All hotel taxes
Driving Directions
 
Not included in this tour:
Meals
Overnight parking charges if applicable
Flights – Please contact us to arrange flights direct into Denver with our airline partner British Airways.
Car Hire - Please contact us to arrange car hire with our rental partner Alamo rent a car at very competitive rates.
 
Prices:
All rates quoted below are per adult per package in Great British Pounds and include all taxes.
Up to two children under 11 can stay free when sharing the same room with two adults.
Accommodations are offered on two quality levels: “standard” indicates good, moderate accommodation with several facilities, possibly a dining room and sometimes a swimming pool. “Select” indicates a more superior accommodation in great locations, with extended facilities including a dining room and usually a swimming pool. All rooms on both level offer en-suite private facilities.
 
Standard Hotels
 
Tour departs everyday
Single
Double
Triple
Quad
01 Jun – 01 Oct 2018
£1,532
£783
£564
£452
 
Select Hotels
 
Tour departs everyday
Single
Double
Triple
Quad
01 Jun – 01 Oct 2018
£1,879
£946
£680
£543
 
To book this tour along with flights, car hire and extra nights or if you have any questions please call us on 0844 80 444 80 we are open 7 days a week until late.




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