Past & Present Cultures

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Denver Arrival

Arrive in Denver, pick up your rental car, and transfer independently to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, enjoy a visit to the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, or the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Day 2

Denver – Colorado Springs / driving distance: 80 mi / 129 km

This morning continue south to Colorado Springs and take a free tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy or perhaps take the Cog Railway to the summit of Pikes Peak (14,110 ft./4,300 m.). Tour the majestic Garden of the Gods Park then shop in the National Historic Districts of Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. Hike nearby waterfalls and caves. Complete the evening with a real chuck-wagon dinner and western stage show at the Flying W Ranch.

Day 3

Colorado Springs – Cripple Creek & Victor – Colorado Springs / driving distance: 34 mi / 54 km

Enjoy this full day trip with an optional jeep tour on the back roads to the historic gold mining towns of Cripple Creek & Victor. Activities abound: take a scenic ride on the Narrow Gauge Railroad, tour the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, stroll historic streets, try your hand at gambling, visit the Historic District Mining Museum, take a Ghost Walk Tour or visit the new Heritage Center.

Day 4

Colorado Springs – Cañon City – Alamosa / driving distance: 201 mi / 324 km

Travel southwest to Cañon City, home of the spectacular Royal Gorge Canyon of the Arkansas River. Spanning a quarter mile across the Gorge is the World’s Highest Suspension Bridge. Option of white water rafting or riding the historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad before heading south to Alamosa which is surrounded by the scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and its National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Day 5

Alamosa – Taos / driving distance: 120 mi / 193 km

Today visit a treasure of visual, geological, and biological surprises: the Great Sand Dunes National Park–a high mountain valley flanked by some of the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. In the afternoon, travel to Taos, New Mexico. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark which has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. Artists produce handcrafted wares using techniques passed down through generations, including buckskin moccasins and drums, sculptures, paintings, jewellery and pottery. Stroll the historic Plaza in the evening.

Day 6

Taos – Santa Fe / driving distance: 176 mi / 283 km

Continue south along the historic Santa Fe Trail. Between 1821 and 1880, the trail was a commercial highway between Missouri and Santa Fe, an international highway used by Mexican and American traders, and a national road connecting the United States to its new territories. A short distance away, Pecos National Historical Park preserves 12,000 years of history including the ancient pueblo of Pecos, two Spanish Colonial Missions, Santa Fe Trail sites, the 20th century ranch history of Forked Lightning Ranch, and the site of a Civil War Battle. Afterward, follow the trail to New Mexico’s historic and cultural capital, Santa Fe.

Day 7

Santa Fe

Enjoy a leisurely day starting at the Plaza downtown. See Saint Francis Cathedral, the Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Art, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Loretto Chapel, and San Miguel Mission, the nation’s oldest church. Visit fascinating galleries, shops and restaurants.

Day 8

Santa Fe – Northern Pueblos – Albuquerque / driving distance: 75 mi / 121 km

Travel southwest to Albuquerque. Between Santa Fe and Albuquerque along the Rio Grande River, visit one of the seven Indian Pueblos. Believed to be descendants of the Ancestral Puebloan people (Anasazi), these Pueblos include Tesuque, Pojoaque, Nambe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, San Juan and Picuris. In the afternoon, visit Petroglyph National Monument, featuring images carved by Rio Grande peoples for more than 12,000 years. In the evening, enjoy the heart of Albuquerque’s heritage at Old Town. Some of the old homes are still standing and many have been renovated into businesses.

Day 9

Albuquerque – Chaco Culture National Park – Farmington / driving distance: 220 mi / 354 km

Leaving Albuquerque, embark northwest on a spiritual journey through the Four Corners area. Our first stop is Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings and its distinctive architecture. It was a hub of ceremony, and trade for the prehistoric Four Corners area. Late afternoon, visit Aztec Ruins National Monument. The Monument preserves structures and artifacts of Ancestral Pueblo people from the 1100s through the 1200s.

Day 10

Farmington – Mesa Verde – Monument Valley / driving distance: 241 mi / 288 km

Continue north and explore Mesa Verde National Park. These past cultures reflect more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300, people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area. The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde. Afterward, visit Four Corners Monument located on the Navajo Nation. Four Corners is the only place in the United States where four states – Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado – intersect at a single point.

Day 11

Monument Valley – Navajo Tribal Park – Arches – Moab / driving distance: 155 mi / 249 km

This morning, tour Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Sacred to the Navajo, Monument Valley boasts sandstone masterpieces towering 400 to 1,000 feet high. Early this afternoon, visit Goosenecks State Park and Sand Island Recreation Area. Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player of ancient Pueblo mythology, is represented by several figures in the petroglyphs.

Day 12

Moab – Grand Junction / driving distance: 113 mi / 182 km

Leave Moab, and follow the spectacular canyons of the Colorado River to Grand Junction. Overlooking the Colorado River, Colorado National Monument features sheer-walled canyons, towering monoliths, and colorful formations. Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of breathtaking panoramic views and numerous overlooks. Then tour Colorado’s Wine Country; the fertile soils and moderate climate of the Grand Valley provide the perfect environment for growing fruit and grapes.

Day 13

Grand Junction – Glenwood Springs – Vail – Denver / driving distance: 243 mi / 391 km

Take a leisurely drive east to Denver through the colorful vistas of Glenwood Canyon. Later, enjoy the afternoon at Glenwood Hot Springs or take in the natural underground steam baths of the Yampah Vapor Caves. Take a tour of Glenwood Caverns, or enjoy a whitewater raft trip on the Colorado River. As an option, take an afternoon trip to the resort town of Aspen. Stop at the quaint mountain town of Vail or visit the Factory Outlet Shops in Silverthorne before driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Day 14

Denver Departure

Return the car at the Denver airport before your departure.

Prices, Dates, Hotels & Conditions


‎€ ‎£ $ A$ ¥ C$

The final price you will pay for this tour is that displayed in USD. Prices converted in other
currencies are for guidance purposes only and are approximate.

April 777
May, June, July, August, September, October 889

1 Denver Hotel VQ AT Mile High
2-3 Colorado Springs Quality Inn & Suites Garden of the Gods
4 Alamosa Best Western Alamosa Inn
5 Taos Quality Inn Taos
6-7 Santa Fe La Quinta Inn
8 Albuquerque Best Western Rio Grande Inn
9 Farmington La Quinta Farmington
10 Monument Valley Kayenta Monument Valley Inn
11 Moab River Canyon Lodge
12 Grand Junction Grand Vista Hotel
13 Denver Hotel VQ AT Mile High

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