Mother Nature has loaded the West with stunning scenery, and on this National Parks tour, you’ll witness some of nature’s finest. From red-rock formations and breathtaking canyons to free-flowing rivers and alpine landscapes, you’ll marvel at magnificent scenery throughout this tour.
This National Parks tour features Colorado National Monument, with its towering monoliths and canyons; Arches National Park, with its 2,000 preserved sandstone arches; Canyonlands National Park, with its canyons, mesas, and buttes; Dead Horse Point State Park, where massive vertical cliffs intersect with canyons carved by ice and water; Capitol Reef National Park, with one of the most scenic drives in the U.S.; Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with its spectacular cliffs and terraces; Bryce Canyon National Park, where slow erosion over the ages has created fantastically sculpted rock formations; Zion National Park, a spectacle of massive stone formations; breathtaking Grand Canyon National Park; Monument Valley, where you’ll see the massive formations on a 4-wheel-drive tour; and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with its spectacular narrow opening and sheer walls.
Step back in time as you visit Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll see the cliff dwellings that Ancestral Puebloans called home from 600 to 1300 AD. Just imagine what life was like living there! Other tour highlights include a scenic ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad through San Juan National Forest and a visit to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where you can trace the footsteps of some of our nation's most respected leaders. These are just a few of the many highlights of this value-minded, picturesque holiday!
- National Parks
- Grand Canyon
- North America
- Cosmos escorted tours
- Rail experience
Day 1: UK - Denver
Fly to Denver where you will transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.Welcome to Denver! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Day 2: Denver - Vail - Glenwood Canyon - Grand Junction
Travel west into the Rockies and stop in Vail, one of America’s most popular mountain resorts. Continue through the massive 1,800-foot-high walls of Glenwood Canyon before reaching the awe-inspiring natural beauty and dramatic red-rock landscape of Grand Junction.
Day 3: Grand Junction - Colorado National Monument - Arches National Park - Moab
This morning, visit COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT with its canyons that drop as much as 500 feet deep. On to ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, with more than 2,000 preserved natural sandstone arches. Overnight in Moab.
Day 4: Moab. Excursion to Canyonlands National Park & Dead Horse Point State Park
The day begins with magnificent CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, a colourful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado and Green Rivers. The remote Maze, the rugged Needles, and our destination today, the “Island in the Sky.” Continue on to DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK, where your Tour Director tells you the legend behind the name. Stroll along the Rim Walk, towering 2,000 feet directly above the Colorado River. The Mesa provides breathtaking views of southeastern Utah’s canyon country and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park. The afternoon is free for independent activities.
Day 5: Moab – Capitol Reef National Park – Escalante National Monument – Bryce Canyon National Park
Today’s route past Capitol Reef National Park and Escalante is one of the most spectacular, yet unknown, scenic drives in the USA. The majesty of Capitol Reef will intrigue you with its twisting canyons, massive domes, monoliths, and spires of sandstone. Next, travel along Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, where slow erosion over the ages has created fantastically sculpted rock formations resembling castle towers and cathedral spires. The natural amphitheatres and canyons glow with different lights throughout the day.
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park - Zion National Park - Page
Today, descend into half-mile-deep ZION NATIONAL PARK. “Zion” means a place of peace and refuge. Enjoy the colourful sandstone walls that rise thousands of feet above the lush greenery of the canyon floor. Later travel to the shores of Lake Powell, and join the optional cruise on the waters of America’s second-largest man-made reservoir. Overnight in the northern Arizona town of Page, located on the southern shores of magnificent Lake Powell.
Day 7: Page - Williams
Visit NAVAJO NATIONAL MONUMENT, located within the Navajo Nation, and established to preserve three prehistoric cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan People. After lunch, SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT! Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape. Afterwards, our journey continues to Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as the Main Street and the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Enjoy one of the best-preserved stretches of the Mother Road in America. Walk Main Street and you’ll find vintage neon on buildings that are preserved to their original character, and restaurants that have the character of the Route 66 heyday.
Day 8: Williams. Excursion into Grand Canyon National Park
Today, experience one of the Natural Wonders of the World and see the beauty and splendour of GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. The day is free to enjoy the park at your leisure. Wander along the canyon rim for breathtaking views. For a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, take an optional helicopter flightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon.
Day 9: Williams – Monument Valley – Kayenta
To experience the American West immortalized on the silver screen, journey across the Navajo Nation to MONUMENT VALLEY. Situated on the Arizona/Utah border, the valley’s scenic desert vistas and iconic buttes have appeared in countless classic Western films. See the massive formations on a memorable 4-WHEEL-DRIVE TOUR. Then, on to Kayenta, or join the optional Navajo cookout for dinner, surrounded by red-rock canyons.
Day 10: Kayenta – Four Corners – Mesa Verde National Park – Durango
First stop this morning is MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you walk in the footsteps of Ancestral Puebloans and see their mysterious, centuries-old cliff dwellings. Spend time at the park’s museum and visitor centre, depicting the story of these people who mysteriously disappeared almost 700 years ago. Afterwards, head to Durango in the Animas River Valley, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. Tonight, maybe explore the historic downtown.
Day 11: Durango. Excursion on The Durango & Silverton Narrow - Gauge Railroad
Board the DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD this morning for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks that miners, cowboys, and settlers of the Old West took more than a century ago. This historic train has been in continuous operation for more than 125 years, and the locomotives used to pull today’s train are 1923-1925 vintage. The train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through the Rio de las Animas Canyon, with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Free time in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner, “We have no gold, but silver by the ton!”
Day 12: Durango - Ouray - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Gunnison
Travel north through the San Juan Mountains, stopping in Ouray, a small community nestled in some of the Rockies’ most rugged and towering peaks. This afternoon, visit one of America’s newest national parks: BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK. The unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths that you will see here.
Day 13: Gunnison - Buena Vista - Colorado Springs
Our journey continues through beautiful Buena Vista, a picture-perfect town that has retained a Wild West charm and is nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Continue to Colorado Springs, where the view from the top of nearby Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose America the Beautiful more than 100 years ago. Visit the GARDEN OF THE GODS, a city park that is a garden of towering redrock formations.
Day 14: Colorado Springs – Seven Falls – US Olympic Training Center – U.S. Air Force Academy – Denver
Visit SEVEN FALLS and discover why it has earned a spot on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls. At the OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER enjoy a guided tour of the flagship training facility where the USA Swimming and Shooting teams have their national headquarters on the complex. Conclude your vacation with a visit to the U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY and trace the footsteps of some of our nation’s most revered leaders. Return to Denver in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure.
Day 15: Denver - UK
Your holiday ends this morning. You can extend your holiday with extra nights and explore Denver further with a variety of exciting optional activities.Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Day 16: Home landing in the UK
Touring with Cosmos
A forward-thinking young Italian named Antonio Mantegazza started it all back in 1928, when he purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Big things come from small beginnings and as Antonio grew his business their sister company Globus was born, and from that came Cosmos in 1961.
Across the decades there were some questionable brochure covers as well as fashion choices, but most of all it was fantastic holidays at great prices. And while they’ve ditched the flares and polo necks, they’re still determined to give you superb holidays at the best prices.
They want to take you on your best holidays, full of memorable experiences and pinch-yourself moments in thrilling destinations around the world. Whether you’re cruising down a jungle river in Thailand, standing on a lava field in Iceland, or stargazing in the deserts of Western USA, they want to place you in these perfect settings.>
Cosmos offer a huge selection of tours, from classic, platinum or small group escorted tours, to private groups and single centre tours. Travel with like-minded people and get the best access to the must-see sights, and the local favourites you might have missed. Touring is a great way to see the world: they'll take away the admin and organisation headaches of your holiday, and all you have to do is soak up all the history, culture and experiences.