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Ride Colorado's Historic Railroads

Program Number: 4345RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/23/2012 - 10/1/2012; 6/12/2015 - 6/20/2015; 7/17/2015 - 7/25/2015; 9/13/2015 - 9/21/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/28/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/5/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Denver, Colorado
Price starting at: $2,472.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks; On the Road Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 23; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    

Ride the historic trains of Colorado and traverse the rugged Rocky Mountains to relive the glory days of train travel. Through interactive lectures, museum visits and railroad rides, trace the parallel development of the railroads and of Colorado’s settlement.




Highlights

• View the top of America from atop Pikes Peak and relive historic railroad wars in the depths of the Royal Gorge.
• Ride steam trains along the Cumbres & Toltec and Durango & Silverton narrow-gauge railways.
• Experience the engineering marvel Georgetown Loop and journey by 4x4 through the spectacular San Juan Mountains.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one-half mile; Some stairs and uneven terrain. Climbing on/off motorcoach and railroad cars. Elevations of 5,000-14,100 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Denver, 1 night; coach and train to Colorado Springs, 2 nights; coach and train to Alamosa, 1 night; coach and train to Durango, 1 night; coach and train to Ouray, 2 nights; coach and train to Denver, 1 night; departure.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Colorado Springs

At an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs is situated near the base of one of the most famous American peaks, Pikes Peak, on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The second largest city in the state boasts many scenic, cultural and recreational opportunities.



Ouray

The Victorian mining town of Ouray is surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the most rugged range in the Rockies. Named after a famous Ute chief, Ouray — on the scenic San Juan Skyway — has been a popular destination of travelers for over a century.



Alamosa

The small city of Alamosa lies at the heart of Colorado’s dramatic San Luis Valley. It has been a railroad town since its founding in 1877, when it was built by and became an important center for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Alamosa is located near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, home to North America’s tallest dunes.



Denver

Settled by gold prospectors in 1858, mile-high Denver today is the capital of Colorado and hub of the Rocky Mountain region. It has gone through booms and busts to become home to skiing, tourism and a thriving multi-cultural community.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotels.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Al Dunton

For more than four decades, Al Dunton has been sharing his knowledge and passion for railroads with thousands of eager rail students and enthusiasts. He has lectured for Colorado State University (CSU) history classes, the CSU American West Lecture Series, and CSU continuing education courses. Al is the owner and managing editor of Centennial Publications, specializing in U.S. railroads, Colorado and western history. Al and his wife, Lynne, live in Fort Collins in their restored 1878 building.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Inn - DIA
  Denver, CO 1 night
   Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs
  Colorado Springs, CO 2 nights
   Inn of the Rio Grande
  Alamosa, CO 1 night
   Best Western Inn and Suites
  Durango, CO 1 night
   Ouray Chalet Inn
  Ouray, CO 2 nights
   Hilton Garden Inn - DIA
  Denver, CO 1 night
 Hilton Garden Inn - DIA
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hilton Garden Inn Denver Airport hotel is a premiere boutique style hotel at the Gateway Business Park in Aurora, Colorado. The Hilton Garden Inn Denver Airport hotel serves Denver International Airport and is located off Colorado Interstate I-70 and Pena Boulevard, Colorado's main east-west highway and offers access to I-225, I-25 and E-470.
  Contact info: 16475 E. 40th Circle
Aurora, CO 80011 USA
phone: 303-371-9393
  Room amenities: Complimentary cabled and wireless High Speed Internet access, Hilton Smart Clock with MP3 plug, Refrigerator, Microwave Ovens, Hair Dryer, Curved Shower Curtain Rods, Herman Miller chair and working desk, Coffeemakers, and Iron/Ironing Board.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary 24-hour shuttle service to and from Denver International Airport • Complimentary guest parking • Walking distance to numerous restaurants and businesses • Complimentary 24-hour business center • Fitness center, heated indoor spa and pool • Valet and coin operated laundry
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: As quoted by hotel Participants can contact hotel and make individual arrangements.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: As quoted by hotel Participants can contact hotel and make individual arrangements.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs hotel, with its spectacular views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains Front Range, is conveniently located off Interstate 25 at exit 151. This Colorado Springs, Colorado hotel's location puts you within minutes of the U.S. Air Force Academy, historic downtown Colorado Springs and many area attractions. The Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs, CO hotel is directly across the street from The Promenade Shops at Briargate, with its many fine shops and restaurants.
  Contact info: 1810 Briargate Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80920 USA
phone: 719-598-6866
  Room amenities: Microwaves, refrigerators, cable TV, coffeemakers, hairdryers, iron and boards in all guest rooms
  Facility amenities: Great American Grill® serves breakfast, dinner, evening room service and on-site catering 24-hour Pavilion Pantry® convenience mart Pavilion Lounge Complimentary wireless high-speed Internet in rooms, lobby and restaurant with *secure* PrinterOn remote printing Complimentary 24-hour business center Complimentary USA Today® Heated indoor pool/whirlpool and fitness center
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Inn of the Rio Grande
Type: Motel
  Contact info: 333 Santa Fe Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101 USA
phone: 719-589-5833
  Facility amenities: Complimentary admission to indoor water park
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Best Western Inn and Suites
Type: Motel
  Contact info: 21382 US Highway 160 W
Durango, CO 81303 USA
phone: 970-247-3251
  Facility amenities: Swimming Pool, hot tub
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Ouray Chalet Inn
Type: Motel
  Contact info: 510 Main
Ouray, CO 81427 USA
phone: 970-325-4331
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrive and check-in by 4:00 pm. Required orientation at 5:00 pm. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn - DIA that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Room check-out is 10:00 am. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn - DIA the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk-Liability Waiver Form
  Parking availability:
Participants can park their car without charge at Hotel for the duration of the program (license plate information is required)
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Denver, CO
  Nearest highway: I25 and I70
  Nearest airport:  Denver International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Denver, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Denver Amtrak Station

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

   

AMTRAK arrives/departs at Union Station. No shuttle services operate to/from Denver Union Station, taxi is only service.

 

Denver International (DEN)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
see below
phone: 303-371-9393

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

24 hour free airport transportation from DIA to hotel. Phone # for Hilton is 303-371-9393

 
Driving Directions
  From Denver International Airport Take Pena Blvd South and Exit on 40th Avenue West/right. Take 40th Avenue to the first intersection (stop light) take a right. Applebees restaurant at the corner. Turn left onto 40th Circle.
  From I-225 Northbound Take Exit 12B to I-70. Go East onto I-70. Travel on I-70 approximately ½ mile. Take Exit 283/ Chambers Rd and go up the ramp to the stoplight. Turn left/north onto Chambers Road. Stay in the right hand lane. Go approximately 350 yards north to 40th Avenue. Turn right/east onto 40th Avenue. Go approximately 1 mile. Just after the Applebees restaurant turn right onto 40th Circle. The hotel is approximately 100 yards ahead on the right.
  From I-70 Eastbound Take Exit 283/Chambers Rd and go up the ramp to the stoplight. Turn left/North onto Chambers Road. Stay in the right hand lane. Go approximately 350 yards North to 40th Avenue. Turn right/east onto 40th Avenue. Go approximately 1 mile. Just after the Applebees restaurant turn right onto 40th Circle. The hotel is approximately 100 yards ahead on the right.
  From I-70 Westbound Take exit 285/Airport Blvd. Go North on Airport Blvd for approximately ¼ mile to 40th Avenue. Turn left onto 40th ave. Go approximately 500 yards to 40th Circle. This will be the second intersection with Applebees restaurant at the corner. Turn left onto 40th circle. The hotel is approximately 100 yards ahead on the right.
Elevation Note: Altitude from 5,200 to 14,110 feet on Pikes Peak; stairs on & off trains, bus, hotels, attractions

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Introductions
(Sunday, September 23)
   
 Dinner: Catered by Hotel
 Evening: Required program orientation; introductions and lecture on railroads of Colorado
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn - DIA
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Colorado Railroad Museum/Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Railroad; Air Force Academy
(Monday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Colorado Railroad Museum
 Lunch: Restaurant meal
 Afternoon: Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Railroad; stop at Air Force Academy, visit academic complex, chapel and Visitor's Center
 Dinner: Giuseppe's Old Depot Restaurant 10 S. Sierra Madre St
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Garden of the Gods Park/Glen Eyrie Castle and Grounds
(Tuesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak, 14,110 feet high, Visit Garden of the Gods Park
 Lunch: Garden of The Gods Visitor's Center
 Afternoon: Field trip through founder of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, General William Palmer's estate, Glen Eyrie.
 Dinner: Catered by hotel
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Royal Gorge Railroad and Historic Incline; Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
(Wednesday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: This morning take an unforgettable 24-mile train ride through the amazing Royal Gorge. After traveling to the end of the line and back into the canyon, our group will be treated to a special disembarkation from the train and a ride on the historic Royal Gorge Incline to the top of the Gorge.
 Lunch: Lunch voucher for restaurants at the Royal Gorge Park
 Afternoon: Time to explore the many features of the Royal Gorge Bridge, cable car and Park's other attractions. Then depart for a scenic coach ride through the San Luis Valley via Poncha Pass and along the spectacular Sangre de Christo mountains to Alamosa.
 Dinner: Catered by Hotel
 Evening: Free for relaxation or enjoy the hotel's swimming pool and spa.
   
Accommodations: Inn of the Rio Grande
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad
(Thursday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Board in Antonito the Cumbres & Toltec Historic Railroad. This is truly a step back in time as the steam engine starts it's winding journey to the top of Cumbres Pass.
 Lunch: Buffet Lunch at Osier Station, change trains to continue afternoon ride
 Afternoon: Depart train at top of pass and travel by motorcoach to Durango
 Dinner: Restaurant meal
   
Accommodations: Best Western Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad/Ouray
(Friday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel
 Morning: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
 Lunch: Restaurant meal in Silverton CO
 Afternoon: Destination town of Ouray via scenic "Million Dollar Highway"
 Dinner: Restaurant meal
   
Accommodations: Ouray Chalet Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: San Juan Mountains/Ridgeway Historic Rail Museum
(Saturday, September 29)
   
 Breakfast: Restaurant meal
 Morning: 4x4 Jeep tour of San Juan Mountains
 Lunch: Restaurant meal
 Afternoon: Ridgeway Historic Rail Museum, optional Ouray Hot Springs
 Dinner: Restaurant meal
   
Accommodations: Ouray Chalet Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, West Elk Mountains, Redstone Inn, Glenwood Canyon
(Sunday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Restaurant meal
 Morning: Motorcoach tour of Black Canyon National Park, several historic stops along way traveling through West Elk Mountains and Redstone, returning to Denver
 Lunch: Restaurant meal
 Afternoon: Continue to Denver via scenic Glenwood Canyon
 Dinner: Restaurant meal
 Evening: Return to Denver by Motorcoach
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn - DIA
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departures
(Monday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Independent departures after breakfast
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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