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Best of Colorado

9 Day Colorado Tour to Denver, Grand Junction

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AARP Members Save on select departures
SAVE UP TO $257
From $1,888
WAS $2,145
Find this price
9 Days
1 Country

United States

12 Cities

Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Vail, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Colorado National Monument, Durango, Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park Preserve, Alamosa, Garden of the God, Colorado Springs

6 Meals

1 Iconic Breakfast, 5 Breakfasts

Active

Faster paced with mix of 1 and 2-night stays in each destination. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size average 48-52
Tour brand Costsaver

Costsaver

Costsaver trips are great if you are looking for a budget friendly, semi-independent vacation that is designed with just the basics in mind. Unlike classic tours, Costsaver includes just the essentials including 3-star accommodation (not always centrally located, but close to public transportation for easy access to the center of town), airconditioned motorcoach transportation, an expert Travel Director and Driver. With a basic orientation included in major cities, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the destination at your own pace, or tailor your days on trip with Choice Optional Experiences unique to each itinerary and arranged by your Travel Director. 

View all CostSaver Tours

National Parks Tours

Explore the breathtaking beauty of the National Parks in the USA. See the wonders of Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and more with local experts who provide insights into the park's history, geology, and wildlife. From magnific geysers to breathtaking vistas, these guided tours offer an unforgettable experience in the heart of America's natural treasures.

View all National Parks Tours

Indulge your spirit of adventure on this Colorado trip across red-rock, prairie and plains-filled landscapes including Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado National Monument, then go back in time in Durango and Ouray. Wild West railroads and Gold Rush towns dot this fun-filled journey through landscapes only found in Colorado.   

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average 48-52
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Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Denver

Fill your lungs with that crisp Rocky Mountain air on this Colorado trip! You’ve arrived in Denver, the ‘Mile High City’, which has more than a hundred breweries and tap rooms, giving you a chance to find your new favorite pale ale, pilsner or stout. Later you'll meet up with your Travel Director then choose to spend the rest of the evening relaxing or discovering the best of Denver your way.     

Skyline Denver, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Doubletree By Hilton Denver Cherry Creek

Day 2

Rocky Mountain National Park

You’ll feel like you can touch the sky during your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, a sky-high showcase of 60 epic peaks. This Colorado highlight is a wilderness of luscious landscape unfolding throughout the day. You’re in for an amazing treat as you travel along Trail Ridge Road to the roof of the Rockies where the views are breathtaking, making you feel energized and excited for the next leg of your thrilling Colorado adventure.  

Sunset Rocky Mountain National Park
Accommodation Doubletree By Hilton Denver Cherry Creek

Day 3

Denver to Grand Junction

Today starts at the picture-perfect village of Vail where you'll stroll along the pedestrian village offering a unique mix of shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes. Next up is the historic Glenwood Springs, where you’ll find the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, before continuing to Palisade. We’ll stop at Talbott Farms, a sixth-generation family owned and operated farm where you’ll tour the orchards (seasonal). After, make your way to Grand Junction, known as the ‘River City’, a short hop away from where we kick back for the night.

Landscape of vineyard in Palisade, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Tru by Hilton Grand Junction Downtown

Day 4

Grand Junction to Durango

Enjoy your Iconic Breakfast with a view at the Colorado National Monument, totally immersed in beautiful nature. Next stop: Ouray, the ‘Switzerland of America’ in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, before the Wild West calls. Durango, a former mining town and rail center, is today’s last stop where you can explore this historic town and have an al fresco dinner.   

Independence Monument rock in Colorado National Monument, USA
Accommodation Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Downtown
Included Meals Iconic Breakfast
Optional Experiences Take guided food tour around Portland, Oregon, USA
11th Street Food Truck Station

When a couple of Durango locals wanted to create great food centered around a great environment, 11th Street Station was born in 2015. A permanent ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 5

Durango at Leisure

You’ll have the whole day to ride, hike, explore and even get your feet wet during our Choice Optional Experience rafting adventure on the Animas River. Or, if you prefer a more relaxed Optional Experience, visit Mesa Verde National Park’s breath-taking cliff dwellings with your Tour Director. The park features some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the US.

Mesa verde National Park, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Downtown
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences Take a Mountain Waters Rafting trip through Durango, USA
Mountain Waters Rafting 2 Hours

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rafting adventure on this professionally guided, 3-hour excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp wa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park, USA
Mesa Verde National Park Sightseeing Visit

Opt to visit to fascinating Mesa Verde National Park. Established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 Mesa Verde National Park protects some of the best-pre...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 6

Durango to Alamosa

We leave the railroad town of Durango to Alamosa with a stop in Pagosa Springs to admire the stunning views overlooking the San Juan River. Once in Alamosa, there’s time for lunch before letting loose your inner child at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve. Then it’s back to Alamosa, with its night skies providing a staggering starscape.   

Great sand dune national park, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Hampton Inn by Hilton Alamosa
Included Meals Breakfast

Day 7

Alamosa to Colorado Springs

The sightseeing loop brings you for two nights to Colorado Springs, where the foothills of the Rockies provide a stunning backdrop, but it’s the 14,115-foot (4302 meters) Pikes Peak that will make your jaw drop. Part scenic park and part nature center, Garden of the Gods is known for incredible formations of massive red rocks rising straight out of the ground. Here, you will enjoy a guided tour exploring human history that dates back 3,000 years and uncovering the secrets of its five different ecosystems. At night you can explore the hip hidden bar scene, a nod to its notorious prohibition past.

Garden of the Gods, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Woodmen Inn
Included Meals Breakfast

Day 8

Colorado Springs Sightseeing

It’s your final day in Colorado, so make every second count; whether you tackle one of the endless outdoor activities or explore the city’s vibrant culture. Or hop on one of our epic Choice Optional Experiences – you can do both in one day! Visit the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge and Park for a unique experience suspended 995 ft (303.27 m) above ground. Or, choose to visit the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum before bidding farewell to your fellow travelers.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Accommodation Woodmen Inn
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences Visit the United States Olympics and Paralympics Museum in Colorado Springs, USA
US Olympic and Paralympic Museum

You are invited to take part in a 60-minute storytelling experience led by a tour guide. The tour highlights origins of the ancient and modern Olym...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Tour

The iconic Royal Gorge features a view of the Arkansas River from above while standing on the Royal Gorge Bridge. The bridge was pioneered by Chief...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 9

Colorado Springs to Denver

The beauty of Colorado and all you’ve seen and experienced the past few days will linger long after you leave Denver, where our wonderful Colorado trip comes to an end. It’s time to say goodbye to new friends as you prepare to return home or surrender to Denver’s irresistible charm and extend your stay. There’s a complimentary transfer to Denver International Airport with an approximate arrival time of 10:00 am.   

Sunset over Denver cityscape, Colorado, USA
Included Meals Breakfast

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Special Departure

Special Departure

About this trip

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Many meals included
Audio Headsets provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries
Extensive variety of Choice Experiences
On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

Optional Experiences

Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.

Optional Experience
11th Street Food Truck Station

When a couple of Durango locals wanted to create great food centered around a great environment, 11th Street Station was born in 2015. A permanent ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Mountain Waters Rafting 2 Hours

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rafting adventure on this professionally guided, 3-hour excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp wa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Mesa Verde National Park Sightseeing Visit

Opt to visit to fascinating Mesa Verde National Park. Established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 Mesa Verde National Park protects some of the best-pre...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
US Olympic and Paralympic Museum

You are invited to take part in a 60-minute storytelling experience led by a tour guide. The tour highlights origins of the ancient and modern Olym...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Tour

The iconic Royal Gorge features a view of the Arkansas River from above while standing on the Royal Gorge Bridge. The bridge was pioneered by Chief...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

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USA National Parks

The National Park system was launched when Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Wyoming and Montana. Since this preceded statehood for both territories, they were placed under federal management within the Department of the Interior. Today, the National Park System administers 419 parks! Here are some quick facts about our top national parks in the USA. 

If you're planning to go on a tour of the USA's national parks, there are several important things to know to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some key tips:

Pack Appropriately:

  • Depending on the time of year and location, weather conditions can vary greatly. Pack layers, waterproof gear, and appropriate footwear for hiking.
  • Don't forget essentials like water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.

Stay on Marked Trails:

  • Follow marked trails and paths to protect fragile ecosystems and your own safety.
  • Venturing off marked paths can harm plants, disturb wildlife, and increase the risk of accidents.

Wildlife Safety:

  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to observe animals from a distance.
  • Never feed wild animals, as it can alter their natural behaviors and potentially lead to dangerous encounters.

Leave No Trace:

  • Follow the principles of "Leave No Trace" by packing out all trash, minimizing your impact on the environment, and respecting the natural beauty of the parks.

Photography Etiquette:

  • Take photos responsibly and without disturbing the environment or other visitors.
  • Avoid climbing on delicate formations for the sake of a photo.

Cultural and Historic Sites:

  • Respect cultural and historical sites within the parks. Do not touch or disturb artifacts or structures.

The climate and weather in the USA's national parks can vary significantly due to their diverse geographical locations and elevations. It's important to note that the weather can be unpredictable in many national parks, so it's wise to be prepared for changing conditions. Always check the weather forecast before your trip, especially if you plan to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking or camping. Additionally, higher elevations tend to have cooler temperatures, and conditions can change rapidly, so be sure to pack accordingly and follow park guidelines for safety.

Here's a general overview of the climate and weather considerations for some of the top-visited national parks:

Yellowstone National Park:

  • Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
  • Summers are short and cool, while winters are cold with heavy snowfall.
  • Weather can change rapidly, even within a single day.
  • Snow can be present even in summer at higher elevations.

Grand Canyon National Park:

  • Located in Arizona.
  • Summers are hot on the canyon floor, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations.
  • Winters can be mild at the bottom but cold at the rim. Snow is possible at the rim.

Yosemite National Park:

  • Located in California.
  • Mild temperatures in the valley during summer, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations.
  • Winters can bring snow to the valley floor and heavy snowfall at higher elevations.

Rocky Mountain National Park:

  • Located in Colorado.
  • Summers are pleasant, but temperatures can drop at night due to high elevation.
  • Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, especially at higher elevations.

Zion National Park:

  • Located in Utah.
  • Summers are hot, particularly in the narrow canyons.
  • Winters are mild in the lower elevations but can be snowy at higher elevations.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Located in Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • Experiences a temperate climate with hot and humid summers and mild winters.
  • Rainfall is common, contributing to the lush vegetation.

Glacier National Park:

  • Located in Montana.
  • Short, cool summers with temperatures varying significantly depending on elevation.
  • Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, and many areas remain inaccessible due to snow.

Bryce Canyon National Park:

  • Located in Utah.
  • Summers are warm during the day and cool at night.
  • Winters are cold with significant snowfall, creating a unique snowy landscape.

Acadia National Park:

  • Located in Maine.
  • Summers are mild and pleasant, but fog can be expected along the coast.
  • Winters are cold, and snowfall is possible.

On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits

Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb

Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”

  • *Please note: A "carry-on bag" on a tour coach is not the same as a "carry-on" for a flight. Because our coaches have large windows to enjoy the view, there is minimal space to store large items securely overhead or under the seats. A "carry-on bag" may be a soft-sided daypack, purse, backpack, tote bag, or the like. Because we value our guests' safety, small rolling suitcases or bags with telescopic handles are not permitted. In order to guarantee a smooth trip, guests are not permitted to store an additional "carry-on" bag beneath the coach with the luggage. 

So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances. 

Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.

Packing Tips for Your Tour

Packing for a trip to Alaska will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Still, it requires careful consideration due to the diverse climate and activities you might encounter. Here's a comprehensive list of packing tips to ensure you're well-prepared:

Clothing:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: Sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes or boots with good traction are essential for exploring park trails.
  • Layering is key: Bring a variety of lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
  • A warm jacket: A waterproof and insulated jacket will be essential for colder days.
  • Rain gear: Bring a waterproof jacket, pants, and even a rain cover for your backpack/camera to stay dry during unexpected rain showers.
  • Fleece or sweaters: These provide extra warmth and can be worn over base layers.
  • Quick-dry pants: Opt for comfortable pants that dry quickly if they get wet.
  • Gloves and mittens: Pack lightweight gloves or heavy mittens for colder days.
  • Hats: A warm beanie and a sun hat with a wide brim for sun protection.
  • Polarized sunglasses for glare reduction and eye protection.

Sun Protection:

  • Sunscreen with high SPF. If you're visiting any coastal areas, bring "Reef-Safe" sunscreen formulated without harmful chemicals known to be damaging to coral reefs and marine life. Traditional sunscreens often contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been found to contribute to coral bleaching and negatively impact marine ecosystems. Look for sunscreens with certifications such as "Reef Safe," "Coral Safe," or "Ocean-Friendly" to ensure they are environmentally friendly.

Medications and First Aid:

  • Any prescription medications you need. (See more below under Health & Wellness)
  • Basic first aid kit with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, etc.

Toiletries:

  • Travel-sized toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste.
  • Travel towel (quick-drying and compact).
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
  • A washcloth and carry bag (often not available in hotels abroad).

Electronics:

  • A camera: You’re traveling to see extraordinary scenery and sites. So that you don't miss a single moment, bring a trustworthy camera. Check out our travel photography tips for capturing the best photos of your trips. If you feel comfortable, you can also try the camera on your phone. However, if you want to zoom in or capture moving objects, a camera might be your best bet.
  • Mobile phone.
  • Chargers for each electronic you bring.
  • Portable power bank for charging devices on the go.
  • Small travel hair dryer (make sure you have the correct converter and adapter).

Miscellaneous:

  • A travel-friendly daypack or bag is useful for carrying essentials like water, snacks, a camera, and any extra clothing layers during excursions.
  • Insect repellent can be essential, especially in parks with dense foliage or during warmer months.
  • Reusable water bottle. At GET, we’re all about caring for our planet, and with that in mind, we always recommend that you pack a reusable water bottle for your trip. Bringing your own reusable water bottle or asking for tap water at restaurants means you can make a difference by reducing your vacation plastic waste.
  • If you have a National Park Pass or any tour-related documents, keep them easily accessible.
  • Carry a copy of your ID, passport, or driver's license, especially if you're staying in lodges within the park.
  • A small travel alarm.
  • A travel iron if you like your clothes to be pressed.
  • A travel pillow.

Optional:

  • Light sleepwear.
  • A new, blank journal to document your trip. Don't know your travel journal style? Find out here!
  • Ziplock bags (storing snacks, toiletries, and keeping things organized).

Remember that the specific items you pack may vary based on the park you're visiting and the activities planned during your guided tour.

Since you are traveling within the USA, you won't need to worry about voltage and plug type differences. Just pack your electronic devices as you would for any domestic trip, and you'll be all set to enjoy your guided tour in the United States!

It's important to keep in mind that the focus of national park lodges is often on providing a comfortable and immersive experience that aligns with the natural surroundings. Depending on the lodge's location and the park's preservation priorities, the amenities offered might differ from what you'd find in a typical hotel. As well, the availability of amenities such as air conditioning and hair dryers in national park lodges can vary widely based on the specific lodge and park you're visiting. 

Here's a general idea of what to expect:

Electricity

  • Voltage and Plug Type: As an American traveler, you won't need a voltage converter or plug adapter for your electronic devices within the country.
  • Compatibility: Since you are traveling within the USA, your electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and camera chargers, should be compatible with the standard voltage and plug type used in the country. You can use your regular chargers and power cords without any issues.
  • Hotels and Accommodations: Most hotels and accommodations in the USA provide electrical outlets compatible with American plugs. You won't need to worry about adaptors or converters within the country.
  • Airports and Public Places: Airports, train stations, and other public places in the USA will have outlets that match the American standard, so you can quickly charge your devices while on the go.
  • On the Go: We highly suggest bringing a portable power bank for charging devices on the go. You can charge it each night and pack it for your excursions during the day. There's nothing like missing that photo when your camera dies!

Air Conditioning:

  • Many national park lodges are located in areas with cooler temperatures or higher elevations, where air conditioning is not as commonly needed.
  • However, some lodges in warmer regions or lower elevations might offer air conditioning, especially if the climate calls for it.

Hair Dryers:

  • National park lodges often prioritize preserving the natural environment and minimizing their ecological footprint, so some lodges might not provide hair dryers in rooms.
  • However, larger lodges or those near more developed areas might offer hair dryers as part of their room amenities.
  • If having a hair dryer is essential, check with the lodge in advance or consider bringing a compact, travel-sized hair dryer.

Traveling by coach

Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are not included or available on tours that operate in the United States. Guests will be provided local transfer options after booking so they can make their travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.

So that you can personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. Optional programs are designed to help you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping anything included in an itinerary.

The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.

Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.

Traveling on a guided tour can be an exciting and enriching experience. However, it's essential to prioritize your health and safety while exploring new territories. Staying informed, prepared, and cautious will go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience. Always stay in touch with your Travel Director and always follow their recommendations.

Here are some health advice and recommendations for travelers:

Visit the Doctor: Before embarking on your trip, schedule a visit with a medicine specialist or your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized health advice based on your medical history and current health status.

Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, and trip cancellations.

First Aid Kit: Carry a basic kit with essential items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, and any prescribed medications.  

Stay Hydrated: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day, and rest in air-conditioned or shaded areas.

In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medications and carry them in their original packaging, along with a copy of your prescription. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.

Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these. 

When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.

Local Specialists

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of $1.00-$2.00 USD per person/half day. You can always ask your Travel Director if there will be any need to bring cash along to tip someone that day. 

Your Coach Driver and Travel Director

The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/day is listed in your travel documents.

Hotel services

It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.

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