Rocky Mountaineer Rockies to the Red Rocks
Rocky Mountaineer Rockies to the Red Rocks
Moab & The Canyonlands, Utah
Moab & The Canyonlands, Utah
Monument Valley & Capitol Reef National Park
Monument Valley & Capitol Reef National Park
Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon
Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon
Onboard Rocky Mountaineer
Onboard Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer Rockies to the Red Rocks - Burns Eagle County & Byers Canyon
Rocky Mountaineer Rockies to the Red Rocks - Burns Eagle County & Byers Canyon
Union Station in Denver
Union Station in Denver

Self-Drive Utah Mighty Five plus Rockies to the Red Rocks by Rail

13 nights from £2,849 per person Including Flights

Overview

New in Summer 2021, the famous Rocky Mountaineer launched a fourth new rail route through the American Rockies between Denver Colorado and Moab Utah. Many of us have enjoyed the two-day Rocky Mountaineer rail experience through the Canadian Rockies – travelling sedately by pristine forests, soaring peaks and glistening lakes, spotting wildlife and enjoying the commentary along the way, and we can’t wait to experience Rockies to the Red Rocks route. We’ve created this holiday, combining the rail journey from Denver to the Colorado spa resort of Glenwood Springs and then over the Continental Divide and onwards to Moab in Utah. Its then time to pick up a hire car to explore the “Mighty Five” national parks of Utah – each with its own amazing geological wonders.

Utah has truly been blessed with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. You will start with the two national parks on the doorstep of Moab – Arches with its 2,000 natural sandstone arches and Canyonlands – a dramatic desert landscape carved by the Colorado River and filled with sculpted pinnacles and buttes. It’s not just national parks, you’ll also visit the beautiful Kodachrome Basin State Park and iconic Monument Valley – the backdrop of so many Westerns.

Zion is Utah’s first national park, and here its best to abandon the car and explore the beautiful trails on foot through the valley into the canyons. Capitol Reef is just 20 miles wide but runs 100 miles along the “Waterpocket Fold” – an incredible S-shaped warp in the earth’s crust. Last but not least is Bryce with its astonishing spire-shaped rock formations – a lovely place to take a late afternoon hike to Sunset Point.
On this holiday you can do as much or as little as you like. You may just want a short stroll to find that perfect view. You maybe want an adrenalin rush and enjoy some white-water rafting. We can tailormake the itinerary to help you get the most out of your Utah adventure. (RMR / TM)
 

Highlights

  • Take a two day rail journey onboard Rocky Mountaineer through the canyons of the Rockies and across the Continental Divide
  • Visit all of the Utah Mighty Five National Parks
  • Discover the ancient Navajo Nation in Monument Valley
  • Drive the loop of the Natural Bridges National Monument to see these stunning rock formations and marvel at the colours and beauty of the Kodachrome Basin State Park


Itinerary Overview

Fly into Denver 1 night – Board the Rocky Mountaineer train to Glenwood Springs 1 night – Rocky Mountaineer train to Moab Utah 3 nights – Pick up hire car & explore Canyonlands and Arches National Parks – Drive through Canyonlands Needles District & Natural Bridges National Monument to Bluff 1 night – Monument Valley 1 night – Drive to Lake Powell then Kanab 1 night – Zion National Park 2 nights – Bryce Canyon National Park 1 night – Drive to Kodachome Basin State Park then Capitol Reef National Park 1 night – Drive to Salt Lake City 1 night – Fly home

Our holidays include
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
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  • No amendment fees
  • Low deposits
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Day 1

Fly to Denver

Arrive in Denver and take the A Line train to Union Station where your overnight hotel is located. Here you’ll find some lovely cafes and restaurants for a relaxing evening before you start your adventure.

Overnight: Kimpton Hotel Born (or similar)

Day 2

Denver – Glenwood Springs

Check out of your hotel and board Rocky Mountaineer for a spectacular rail journey through the Rockies. Sit back and enjoy the views of rugged canyons and the Colorado River. You’ll be served lunch Listen to the interesting and entertaining commentary whilst you enjoy lunch and drinks. The train travels a “Kodak Speed” allowing you plenty of opportunities to photograph the landscapes. Mid afternoon you’ll arrive into the charming resort town of Glenwood Springs where it’s just a short walk to your overnight hotel - your luggage will be transported for you.

Day 3

Glenwood Springs – Moab – Arches National Park - Moab

Depart Glenwood Springs onboard Rocky Mountaineer and enjoy breakfast as you continue ayour rail trip. Cross the Colorado-Utah border with panoramic mountain views which merge into red sandstone landscapes as you approach Moab around midday. Take a taxi to the car hire depot to pick up your rental car, then drive into Moab to get your bearings. We’re suggesting a three night stay here as there is so much to do in this area with two amazing national parks on the doorstep – Arches and Canyonlands. So this afternoon head to the Tourist Information Centre in Moab to work out whether you want to hike, bike, or book a white-water rafting trip. There are also some amazing off-road guided tours which get you off the beaten track and exploring the deep into the rugged terrain. Then check-in to your chosen hotel for your three night stay.

Overnight: Big Horn Lodge or upgrade to the Hilton Hoodoo Curio, Homewood Suites or Hyatt Place

Day 4

Moab

Perhaps today you explore Arches National Park and discover some of the 2,000 natural sandstone arches found in this magical place. One of the most famous is the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch and other geological formations to discover include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape.

Day 5

Moab

A day to discover the beautiful Canyonlands National Park, just 30 miles from Moab. En route it’s highly recommended you visit Dead Horse Point State Park - from here you will have the most astonishing view of Canyonlands sculpted pinnacles and buttes. Drive into Canyonlands and you will find a dramatic desert landscape carved by the mighty Colorado River. Island in the Sky is a huge, flat-topped mesa with panoramic views, the Needles are towering rock pinnacles and you will enjoy the short hike to iconic Mesa Arch.

Day 6

Moab - Natural Bridges National Monument - Bluff (180 miles)

Today you’re going to be heading to the southeastern corner of Utah. After an hour and a half you’ll leave the US-191 and travel west to the Natural Bridges National Monument. Stop off at the visitor centre to pick up information and then drive the loop where there are three main stops at the natural bridges – at each of these you can pick up hiking trails of varying length. If you have time you can also visit Horse Collar Ruin, which is a well preserved ancestral Puebloan site, inhabited over 700 years ago. Continue onto Bluff which will be your base for the night.

Overnight: Desert Rose Resort & Cabins

Day 7

Bluff – Monument Valley (45 miles)

It’s just a short drive to Monument Valley so you might want to take a short detour en route to Goosenecks State Park, which gives superb views of an “entrenched meander” of the San Juan River as it winds its way through the desert 1000 feet below. Continue to Monument Valley where you will marvel at the iconic sight of the towering sandstone buttes.

Overnight: Gouldings Monument Valley Lodge

Day 8

Monument Valley – Lake Powell – Kanab (196 miles)

If you want to enjoy some great watersports on Lake Powell then it’s worth an early start to get there mid morning. You can rent boats, kayaks, paddle boards and have a great day out on this beautiful lake. Continue onto Kanab on the Utah/Arizona border for your overnight stay.

Overnight: Best Western Red Hills (or similar)

Day 9

Kanab – Zion National Park (43 miles)

It’s just a short drive today and we’re suggesting a two night stay near Zion to give you time to relax and enjoy this stunningly beautiful place.

Overnight: La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham at Zion Park or upgrade to Cliffrose Springdale Curio Collection by Hilton.

Day 10

Zion National Park

You have a full day to explore this most stunning of national parks – Zion. Take the shuttle through the centre of the canyon leading to forest trails surrounded by the towering canyon walls. It’s a big park at 230 square miles so as you can imagine there are some gorgeous walking trails giving many different perspectives of the park, so perhaps do several short walks such as Canyon Overlook and Riverside Walk.

Day 11

Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park (87 miles)

It’s just a couple of hours drive to Bryce Canyon, so set off straight after breakfast so that you can enjoy a good few hours exploration of the fourth of your Utah Mighty Five parks! All of the parks have their different iconic features and Bryce Canyon is characterised by its crimson coloured “hoodoos” – spire-shaped rock formations. As with all the great Utah national parks, there are extensive walking trails which take you to the best viewing points and iconic sights. You an take the Rim Trail and perhaps late afternoon walk to Sunset Point.

Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or upgrade to Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn or Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel

Day 12

Bryce Canyon – Kodachrome Basin State Park – Capitol Reef National Park (110 miles)

It’s just a 40 minutes drive to the Kodachrome Basin State Park – named after the popular colour film by a 1948 National Geographic Society expedition due to the colour and beauty of the park, with its red rock formations and blue blue skies.

Then drive for approximately 2 hours along All-America Scenic Byway 12 to the last national park of your trip -  Capitol Reef National Park. The iconic feature of this park is the 100 mile “Waterpocket Fold” – also known as a geologic monocline or a wrinkle on the earth! Another park with wonderful trails to discover the natural stone domes, bridges, canyons and cliffs. After a great afternoon drive to your overnight hotel in nearby Torrey.

Overnight: Days in by Wyndham Torrey Capitol Reef or upgrade to Capitol Reef Resort

Day 13

Torrey – Salt Lake City (218 miles)

It’s the final leg of your journey today and you’re heading north through Utah to Salt Lake City. On the way, a nice place for a stroll is the Fishlake National Forest and then you might want to stop for lunch in Provo which has a great choice of restaurants in the downtown area. Or if you want to do some outlet shopping before you return home, then you can visit the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi which is directly off the I15.

Our suggested hotel is in downtown Salt Lake City so that you can explore on foot to see the impressive buildings of Temple Square and the Utah State Capitol Building, and perhaps do some shopping. But if cities aren’t your thing, then we can always book you a convenient hotel at the airport for your flight the next day and you can explore Antelope Island State Park – a beautiful area with free-roaming bison.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City Downtown or upgrade to Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Day 14

Fly home

It’s time to drive to the airport and fly home. Or if you have another four or five days, you could continue north through Wyoming to visit the stunning national parks of Yellowstone and Grand Teton – just let us know and we’ll tailormake a holiday for you.
 

  • Return transatlantic flights
  • Two-day rail journey onboard Rocky Mountaineer with two breakfasts and one lunch
  • Hotel accommodation for 13 nights as described above or similar on a room only basis
  • Fully comprehensive car hire
  • Electronic roadbook


What’s not included

  • National Park fees – you can purchase a pass at the first park you visit for $80pp which will give you unlimited access
  • Activities and excursions
  • Hotel car parking and resort fees where applicable

Holly Reid
Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday

01342 331798 Call us 9am-8pn Mon-Fri / 9am-5pm Sat-Sun

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