Exploring Colorado & the Rocky Mountains

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Best time to go: May to October

15 Nights | from £9,180pp

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1 7 K

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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  • Sample the magnificent craft brews in Denver, the Mile High city
  • Enjoy fly-fishing in pristine mountain lakes or take a hike. Enjoy horseback rides on scenic mountain trails
  • Experience two of Americans finest National Parks
  • Lose yourself in an authentic ghost town
  • Take in Aspen’s summer festivals, musical performances, art fairs and farmers markets

Day 1 – 2 Denver
Welcome to the Mile High city, collect your car and head into the city to explore! The rest of the day is yours to acclimate or enjoy walks in the eclectic lower downtown area.
On your morning tour, your local guide will immerse you on Denver's historical, cultural and recreational highlights that make the Colorado capital such an interesting city to visit. You’ll wander through the vibrant Capitol Hill neighbourhood, with its historic mansions and thriving urban culture. Then explore Denver's downtown, with its dense concentration of cultural institutions, paying particular attention to the Lower Downtown district, Denver's original city settlement. If you're a fan of craft beers, your guide will share a pint with you at one of the city's popular micro-breweries. Your afternoon is then free to explore on your own not before your guide fills you in on the best places to explore!
Ritz Carlton, Denver | Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 – 4 The Ranch at Emerald Valley
After a relaxing morning in Denver with a spot of lunch, drive an hour to the Broadmoor Hotel to check in to its Ranch at Emerald Valley in the mountains overlooking the hotel. The Ranch at Emerald Valley includes ten 1, 2 and 3-bedroom log cabins and a central lodge, all built to the 5-Star Broadmoor standards. Enjoy activities including fly-fishing in pristine mountain lakes or hikes and horseback rides on scenic mountain trails. Soak in the hot tub, curl up with a good book, or sip a fine wine while enjoying the Colorado sunset. You can access the Broadmoor pools and spa, a short drive away, at any time you wish.
Enjoy a full day of activities and relaxation at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. You can take a short ride to the nearby Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to view the international wildlife conservation work being done there.
The Ranch at Emerald Valley | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - 6 Great Sand Dunes National Park / Durango
After breakfast (fully equipped with a pack lunch from the ranch to enjoy in the field later on) drive 3 hours on scenic roads to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The park features the tallest sand dunes in North America at 750-feet, pressed hard against 14,000-foot peaks of the Rocky Mountains. A wetland with migratory and resident birds completes this unique habitat. A guide will join you for a three-hour private tour including a hike on the dunes, a walk on the boardwalk for bird viewing and a visit to the neighbouring Zapata Ranch to view the herd of bison there. In the mid-afternoon, continue 3 hours to the historic town of Durango.
After breakfast a private guide will meet you at your hotel for a morning walking tour of central Durango focused on the historic downtown commercial buildings and the Victorian homes in the surrounding neighbourhood. In the afternoon, enjoy your choice of activities, including river rafting on the Animas River, a Jeep or 4-wheel drive trip to ghost mining settlements, or a guided hike in the surrounding mountains. Have dinner in one of Durango’s fine restaurants tucked into an historic building.
Durango’s historic Strater Hotel | Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 - 8 Mesa Verde National Park / Dunton Hot Springs
After breakfast, drive 45 minutes to meet your private guide at Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde National Park is a World Heritage Site that protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the United States. Your guide will take you to some of the best cliff dwelling sites and immerse you the culture and daily life of the Ancestral Puebloan people. In the mid-afternoon, continue to your overnight lodging at Dutton Hot Springs. 
Dunton Hot Springs Resort is a romantic ghost town, set in an extraordinary alpine valley. The guest cabins are built in a circle around the Saloon and Dance Hall and a few steps from the bath house. At the other end of town is an historic open air chapel and waterfall. Each of Dunton’s authentically restored log cabins are hand-built, tastefully decorated with unique Rocky Mountain artefacts and furnishings, and offer magnificent views of the mountains and surrounding meadows.
Choose from a variety of activities today in Dutton’s extraordinary mountain setting, including fly fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking. Or relax and take in the clean air and mountain scenery. 
Dunton Hot Springs | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – 10 Gateway Canyons
After breakfast enjoy the four-hour dramatic Western Rockies drive from Dutton Hot Springs to Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa. Gateway Canyons is nestled in a valley near the pioneer town of Gateway, Colorado. It offers a unique blend of western-style activities including mountain hiking, horseback riding and fly fishing, combined with a focus on motor sports, including 4-wheel drive tours into the surrounding mountains, a classic car museum, and a chance to drive classic cars on the open roads near the resort. Choose among these activities during your time, or relax at the pools and spa.
Gateways Canyons | Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 – 12 Aspen
Enjoy a morning of relaxation or activity at Gateway Canyons. Then take the 3-hour drive to the famed ski resort at Aspen in the heart of the Rockies. Check into The St. Regis Aspen Resort, nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain.
Aspen is one of America’s top ski destinations and has now become a year-round destination. You can recreate in the surrounding mountains, accessing the high peaks on the ski gondola. Or enjoy Aspen’s summer festivals, musical performances, art fairs and farmers markets. Visit in September and October to see the remarkable fall colours fill the landscape. Aspen offers some of the finest shopping in the heart of the historic downtown plaza. And foodies will delight in the variety of fine restaurants.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort | Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 Rocky Mountain National Park
Drive three hours to the West entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park to meet your private guide for an afternoon tour on the main park road, with stops for hikes to key vista points. View the prolific wildlife here, including black bear, moose, mule deer and herds of elk. Continue out the east entrance of the park to your overnight lodging at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
The Historic Stanley Hotel | Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Return to Denver
Relax this morning at the hotel. You may want to return to Rocky Mountain National Park on your own today for more hiking and wildlife viewing. In the afternoon drive 1.5 hours to Denver, return your hire car downtown and proceed by taxi to your hotel for final dinner and overnight.
Ritz Carlton, Denver | Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 Depart Denver
You will have part of the day today for final touring and shopping in Denver. A private car will meet you at the hotel for the transfer to the Denver Airport to meet your homebound flight.

At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 16 day suggested holiday will cost from £9,180 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights.

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Useful info


Best time to be there

At 38 times the size of the UK, there is always a part of the country having great weather. The peak season is from June to September.

Fly to

British Airways fly to all the major cities in the States.

Flying time

7-12 hours

Time difference

From -5 to -10 hours behind GMT


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