September 7-24, 2016 Majestic Mountains, Colorful Canyons, National Parks and Historic Trains
Your eyes won’t believe the spectacle of nature that has brought millions of visitors annually to the National Parks of the Southwest. Radiant cliffs, rugged mountains, national parks, monuments and forests are all part of this majestic tour through Americas Southwest. In 2016, we've added Historic Trains as part of this magnificent adventure! Join us on this 17 day tour through the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. We'll save a seat for you!
$ 3249 Per Person Double $ 2799 Per Person Triple $ 2599 Per Person Quad $4599 Single Occupancy
This Eighteen Day National Parks & Historic Trains Includes: DELUXE MOTORCOACH TRANSPORTATION from Northeast, Central, and Southern Minnesota: Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Eveleth, Duluth, Sartell, Rice, Baxter, Little Falls, Burnsville and Owatonna 17 NIGHTS LODGING: Omaha, NE; Longmont, CO (2 Nights); Winter Park, CO; Colorado Springs, CO (2 Nights) ; Durango, CO; Cortez, CO; Moab, UT (2 Nights) ; Kanab, UT (2 Nights); Williams, AZ (2 Nights); Albuquerque, NM; Oklahoma City, OK; Des Moines, IA NATIONAL PARKS, MONUMENTS, NATIONAL FORESTS, ISLAND IN THE SKY CRUISE: Rocky Mountain National Park (Trail Ridge Road); Garden of the Gods; Pike's Peak; Royal Gorge; Mesa Verde National Park; Canyonlands National Park; Arches National Park; Bryce Canyon National Park; Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park Gunnison National Forest; Fish Lake National Forest; Mani-La Sal National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Pike National Forest; Arapaho National Forest and the Cibola National Forest. CRUISE: Canyonlands by Night "Island in the Sky" on the Colorado River(Sound & Light Show Cruise) TRAINS: Pikes Peak Cog RR and the Royal Gorge RR (1st Class Dome) in Colorado Springs Durango Silverton RR to Silverton (1st Class) From Durango to Silverton Grand Canyon RR (1st Class Dome) - From Williams to the South Rim 22 MEALS: 17 Breakfasts- 2 Dinners and 3 Lunches (Plus: 4 Drury Inn Evening Cocktail Welcome Reception and Dinner Buffets) Long Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival in Estes Park, Colorado (Rocky Mountain NP) LUGGAGE HANDLING – MOST TIPS – FULLY GUIDED
Deposits/ Payments: $175 per person is due with registration and refundable with cancellations made by April 1, 2016. Final payment is due July 1, 2016. Payment may be made with personal check, money orders, bank drafts or credit cards. Cancellations: Cancellations between April 1 - July 1, 2016 are contingent to what Happy Trails Tours receives from hotels, tour companies, restaurants, charters, etc… There are no refunds with cancellations made after July 1, 2016. Trip Cancellation Insurance: Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended. It can offer financial security as well as peace of mind. Pre-existing are waived when insurance is purchased within 12 days of your initial deposit paid. We'll be happy to send you a brochure. Call us with questions. Download a printable registration form!
National Parks & Historic Trains September 7-24, 2016
Sept 7th - Day 1: Begin our journey southwest to Omaha, Nebraska. Various early morning departures will begin from the Northeast, Central and Southern parts of Minnesota. You’ll find the first day to include time to relax and get to know fellow travelers while riding along. Stops will be made every 2 ½ - 3 hours. We’ll arrive to the lovely Hampton Inn in Omaha, Nebraska. (540 Miles) around 6:30 pm tonight.
Sept 8th - Day 2: After breakfast travel west across the state of Nebraska to just outside the east entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado . We’ll make a brief stop at the North Platte River Road Archway Monument just outside Kearney before continuing our journey. Our lodging tonight is the Holiday Inn Express in Longmont, Colorado. We are here two nights. Many restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel. (550 Miles)
Sept 9th - Day 3: After breakfast travel about 30 miles to the east entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. We have Estes Park in our sites! We are on our way to enjoy their annual Long Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival. Get ready for a great time of music, food, shopping and all things Scottish related! We'll return to the Holiday Inn Express for our 2nd night.
Sept 10th - Day 4: After breakfast, we'll check out of our hotel and travel through Rocky Mountain National Park. We'll enter in to the park with stops along the way at visitors center, for photos and lunch. Our day will be dedicated to this spectacular drive through America’s ‘grandest” of mountain scenery along the Trail Ridge Road. This park includes 265,769 acres and climbs as high as 14, 255 feet in some areas. Our lodging tonight will be at the Holiday Inn in Fraser (Winter Park), Colorado. Many restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel. (125 Miles)
Sept 11th - Day 5: After breakfast, we'll begin an early morning journey along Interstate 40 South to Interstate 25 South to Colorado Springs for a morning visit to the Garden of the Gods. This is a 1,367 acre park at the base of Pikes’ Peak, where the Great Plains meet the Rockies. We'll begin with a stop at the visitor's center and see a film before beginning our one-hour drive through this amazing park. Our lunch will be at this stop as well. Afterwards, we'll board our coach and travel to Manitou Springs (about 20 minutes away). Get ready to take the Pikes Peak Cog RR up 14,115 feet up the mountain. This 2 1/2 hour round trip up the side of the mountain will be exhilarating to say the least! We'll spend two nights in Colorado Springs at the lovely Drury Inn. They serve a hot & cold buffet dinner for their guests. Enjoy the rest of your evening as per your own agenda. (135 Miles) Sept 12th - Day 6: After breakfast we've dedicated our day to a trip to Canon City, Colorado (about 45 minutes away). We'll board the Royal Gorge Railroad today and begin our train ride into the depth of the Royal Gorge! We'll climb aboard Colorado's most scenic train for a journey through the spectacular Royal Gorge. Since 1879, these tracks have followed the winding, tumbling Arkansas River deep within the soaring, 1,000-foot granite cliffs of Colorado's Royal Gorge. Have your cameras ready! We've included your lunch today. Later in the afternoon we'll return to the lovely Drury Inn where cocktails, dinner and a social time away us!
Sept 13th - Day 7: After breakfast we'll begin our day with a drive through on Interstate 25 South through south central Colorado to Interstate 160 West. We'll travel through the San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forests to Durango, Colorado. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company formed Durango along the banks of the Animas River in September 1880 to serve the San Juan mining district. Lots of silver (and later, even more of gold) was being discovered in the mountains ever since gold fever struck in 1872 and resulted in the settlement of mining towns like Silverton, 50 miles north. Our lodging (The Best Western Rio Grande Inn) will be our home tonight. It is located right in the historic downtown area where you can walk to restaurants and shops. Be sure to stroll the boardwalk to the historic Strater Hotel and Saloon. The evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Sept 14th - Day 8: After breakfast, think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Now….think TRAIN. Yes, we’ll take the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge RR all the way to Silverton! This is the same train Hollywood used when filming Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They’ll even show us the site where they jumped off the train (in the movie) and all the money scattered about! In the 1880’s narrow gauge line was strung along the Animas River, a twisting river gorge, to connect Silverton and Durango. Authentic coal fired steam engine will pull its passengers in narrow gauge cars on an incredible scenic journey over the San Juan Mountains. Once we arrive to Silverton, around lunch time, folks will get to spend the afternoon exploring this prosperous 1871 silver mine community (9,032 feet). Later in the afternoon, we’ll board our bus, which traveled to Silverton while we rode the train. We’ll continue north to Cortez about 1 1/2 hours away. We’ll stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Cortez, CO tonight. The remainder of the evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda. (300 Miles)
Sept 15th - Day 9: After our breakfast, we'll make a short 10 mile ride to Mesa Verde National Park. Repeatedly cited as one of the world’s top cultural attractions, Mesa Verde was home to Ancestral Puebloans for more than 700 years. Many of the best-preserved dwellings were built high on cliff walls in alcoves, well-protected from the elements. Complete homes and entire villages have survived with many artifacts amazingly intact. We’ll explore some of the dwellings with a park naturalist. Part of our day includes traveling along the “Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway” today. By early afternoon, we'll continue our journey along Interstate #491 Northwest to Monticello, Utah north on Interstate 191 through the Manti-La Sal National Forest to Moab. We'll check into the Holiday Inn Express in Moab, Utah. We'll be here 2 nights. Later we've included a nice Buffet Dinner followed by a wonderful “Canyonlands Island in the Sky Sound & Lazer Light Show". (115 Miles) Sept 16th - Day 10: A nice breakfast is included this morning before we set out with a local guide to visit Arches National Park, the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. Although there are over 2000 arches located within the 76,518 acres, the park also contains an astounding variety of other geological formations. We'll visit Park Avenue, Balancing Rock, Windows and Delicate Arch. The rest of our day will include a visit to Canyonlands National Park to include a drive along the Island of the Sky and Grand View Point. Later in the day we'll return to the Holiday Inn Express for our 2nd night stay in Moab.
Sept 17th - Day 11: After breakfast, we'll make our way to Kanab, Utah via Interstate #70 West through the amazing Rocky Mountain Ranges and Fishlake National Forest. Next we'll take Highway 72 and begin heading south to scenic highway#112 through the Dixieland National Forest and the Anasazi Mountains to Kanab. This is a spectacular drive through Bryce Canyon Country so you may not want to close your eyes on this drive. We'll arrive to the Holiday Inn Express Kanab, Utah in late afternoon. We'll be here two nights. The hotel is located in the heart of the downtown district with many restaurants nearby that you can walk to. (400 Miles)
Sept 18th - Day 12: After breakfast, we'll make our way to Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. Bryce Canyon NP is framed by pine and aspen trees with lush greenery ends abruptly at the rim of Bryce Canyon, exposing a dramatic 8,000 foot drop-off into a spectacularly beautiful wide and colorful canyon below. After lunch, we’ll continue to our next spectacular park, Zion National Park. Zion National Park is the oldest and most visited National Park in Utah. It exhibits some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere on earth. Deep sandstone canyons, striking rock towers, and high mesas and plateaus characterize this magnificent landscape. After a full day of touring, we'll return to the Best Western where we'll enjoy the rest of the day as per your own agenda.
Sept 19th - Day 13: Today after breakfast, we'll travel 265 miles to Williams, Arizona. Here you'll find the Old West is alive and well!!! First we'll check into the lovely Grand Canyon RR Hotel and settle in for a 2 night stay. This property is located in the historic downtown area where you can stroll the boardwalks and visit shops, train depot, restaurants and more. Evening at your leisure. (265 Miles)
Sept 20th - Day 14: This morning don't miss the excitement of the gun flight that takes place before your train departs for the Grand Canyon. Settle in to your first-class reservations in the Dome Car as we embark on our excursion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The train ride will take you right into the park where you’ll transfer to one of the park coaches for a narrated tour of the canyon. This is not just an ordinary train ride but one of most unforgettable railway rides anywhere in our nation ~ complete vintage train cars, snacks, drinks, and entertainment along the way. Once there, we’ll take a guided tour exploring the canyon on a narrated bus tour (and lunch included) before taking the train back to Williams. When we return to Williams tonight, we've included dinner at the Grand Depot Restaurant.
Sept 21st - Day 15: We'll depart Williams bright and early this morning (after breakfast) and journey eastward to New Mexico along route I-40. We’ll cross over the Cibola National Forest to beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico. There’s a full day of travel ahead but again, set your seats back and enjoy the company of fellow travelers and the rugged scenery as we go along. Our lodging is the lovely Santa Fe Drury Inn, where a cocktail reception and dinner is served from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. (400 Miles)
Sept 22nd - Day 16: Breakfast is served before our departure. We'll travel along Interstate #40 crossing the border into the Lone Star State of Texas! Lunch will be included today at the Big Texan Steak House. After our meal, we'll continue along I-40 straight east to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma before calling it a day. Our home away from home is the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City, OK. (550 Miles)
Sept 23rd - Day 17: Our day will begin shortly after breakfast, traveling along I-35 north to the state of Iowa. We’ll make Des Moines, Iowa, our last night on the road. Our lodging tonight is the Drury Inn. This property is in a great location of fun shops and restaurants. So enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Cocktails and dinner is served between 5:30 – 7 pm. Help yourself! (545 Miles)
Sept 24th - Day 18: We’ll travel home today in a northward direction to Northeast Minnesota! We’ll be up bright and early today as we have 600 miles to travel. Stops will be made as the day goes along. Hopefully you’ve left a little room in your luggage to pack all the memories you’ve made on this National Parks and Historic Trains Tour. (250 Miles to the Twin Cities) Estimated Arrival Home: 12 pm to Burnsville; 4 pm to Duluth/Cloquet; 5:30 - 7:30 pm to Iron Range Cities and 8:30 pm to Grand Rapids Estimated Arrival Home: 2:00 pm to Sartell/St Cloud; 2:15 pm to Rice; 2:45 pm to Little Falls; 3:30 pm to Baxter/Brainerd. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How to Pack & Luggage: The tour is completely casual. Wear good walking shoes and be sure to have along a lined fall jacket. Folks may bring one suitcase (and a carry on bag) per person. Many properties offer guest laundry facilities. Many also offer indoor pools.
The Coach: The coach is equipped with a restroom, reclining seats, TV and DVD players, sound system and best of all….GREAT DRIVERS! There's also limited WiFi on board and electrical outlets to charge your devices or camera batteries.
Tipping: This tour includes most tips. Tips are included for luggage handling each night, included meals for wait staff and tips of step on guides for area tours throughout the 17 days. Tips are not included for your on-board travel host or driver.
Special Needs: This tour is manageable for folks with limited walking or special needs. There are very limited long distances to walk. It does not include hiking, though there may be short walks to some of the overlooks in the national parks. It may be challenging if you need a wheel chair or scooter. Ask you doctor if your health can manage traveling in high mountain elevations.
We reserve the right to adjust the schedule for the benefit of all travelling. Happy Trails Tours, INC has no control over theaters, hotels, restaurants, attractions associated with this tour. If a change occurs, we’ll try to replace with something of equal value and will let you know of any major changes as they occur. Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability what-so-ever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Travel protection insurance comes highly recommended, which is why some of our tours have a group policy in place. Kindly contact our office for more information on the travel protection insurance and what it includes.