Welcome to the Mile High City. Collect your car and head into town to explore. The rest of the day is yours to acclimate or browse the Lower Downtown district, Denver’s original city settlement. The following morning, your local guide will immerse you in Denver’s historical, cultural and recreational highlights. You’ll visit Downtown Denver and vibrant Capitol Hill, with its historic mansions and thriving urban culture. Later, enjoy a pint or two at one of the city’s popular microbreweries.
Enjoy lunch in Denver, then drive an hour to the Broadmoor Hotel and check in to its Ranch at Emerald Valley. Tucked into the mountains overlooking the hotel, the ranch includes log cabins and a central lodge, built to exacting standards. Go horse riding along scenic trails or fly-fishing in a mountain lake. Back at the ranch, soak in the hot tub before curling up with a good book. End the day sipping a fine wine while enjoying the sunset.
After breakfast (with a packed lunch from the ranch to enjoy later on), begin the three-hour scenic drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Featuring the tallest sand dunes in North America, the park also encompasses a wetland with migratory and resident birds. You’ll enjoy a private tour including a dunes hike and bison viewing. Continue on to historic Durango, where activities include a jeep or 4x4 drive to ghost mining settlements. Later, dine in one of Durango's fine restaurants.
Drive 45 minutes to meet your guide at Mesa Verde National Park. This World Heritage site protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the USA. View the most impressive cliff dwellings while your guide brings the culture of the Ancestral Puebloans to life. Later, continue to Dunton Hot Springs. Set in an 1800s ghost town, the guest cabins are built around the Saloon and Dance Hall. Choose from various activities, or relax in the fresh mountain air.
Settle in for a drive through the Western Rockies to the Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa. Gateway Canyon sits in a valley near the pioneer town of Gateway. Try horseriding, fly-fishing and hiking, or take a classic car for a spin on the mountain roads. You can also visit a classic car museum or head into the countryside in a 4x4. There’ll be plenty of time to relax at the resort’s pools and spa.
Your next stop is the famed ski resort of Aspen in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. After a three-hour drive from Gateway Canyons, you’ll check in to the St. Regis Aspen Resort at the base of Aspen Mountain. With Aspen now a year-round destination, your recreation possibilities are endless. Access the high peaks by ski gondola, or enjoy various summer festivals, musical performances, art fairs and farmers’ markets. Visit in September and October to witness the remarkable fall colours.
It’s a three-hour drive to the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Here you’ll meet your private guide for an afternoon tour with stops for hikes to key viewpoints. Keep an eye out for the park’s prolific wildlife, including black bear, moose, mule deer and herds of elk. Continue out through the east entrance of the park to your overnight lodging at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
The morning is free to relax at the Stanley Hotel. Alternatively, return to Rocky Mountain National Park on your own for more hiking and wildlife viewing. In the afternoon, it’s a 90-minute drive to Denver. You’ll return your hire car and proceed by taxi to your hotel for a final dinner and overnight stay.
Today you will have part of the day for some final sightseeing and shopping in Denver. A private car will meet you at the hotel and take you to Denver Airport for your homeward flight.