Sep 15 – 24, 2016
All Aboard for the Golden Aspens
Nostalgic rides on trains from Yester Year! Beautiful Golds of the Aspens! Majestic Mountains! As the Locomotive blows it’s “all aboard” whistle, echoing the sounds down the valley and over the mountain top, prepare for breathtaking adventures as you travel through rugged Mountain Passes with awesome panoramas of the Colorado Mountains. The scenery is spectacular! We will also drive over the Rocky Mountain National Park on the Trail Ridge Road that crests at 12,000 feet, visit the Royal Gorge Bridge and marvel at the Garden of the Gods. Talk about Making Memories! This tour will provide enough memories for a lifetime.
The first day of this unbelievable tour is a day of travel. On our way to Salina, Kansas, you will have time to get acquainted with your new traveling friends. Making Memories Tours will treat you to a Welcome Dinner this evening. (D)
Our day begins with a short trip to Victoria, Kansas to visit the Basilica of St. Fidelis, known better as the Cathedral of the Plains. It is a 1908-1911 Romanesque-Style Roman Catholic Parish containing 48 stained glass windows imported from Germany. We continue on to Stapleton (Denver) for our overnight. (B)
Beginning at mile-high Denver, we continue upwards as we travel through Boulder, Colorado to Estes Park. You will have free time to explore the charming town, and with an elevation of 7522 ft., there will be plenty of gorgeous views! There are also many shops to help you locate that special souvenir. If shopping is not your thing, you may wish to check out the 100- year-old Stanley Hotel. Although you cannot tour the entire hotel, the lobby, gift shop and bar are available for you to enjoy. Stephen King’s movie The Shining was filmed here. There is also a River Walk and a small museum. We depart Estes Park, and you are going to feel like you’re on top of the world as we travel over Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road, cresting at over 12,000 feet. There are plenty of overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine world. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on Top! We begin the descent down the mountain with plenty of picture stops along the way. We will stop at Winter Park Ski Resort for a ride on the Zephyr Express chair lift up 10,600 feet to the lodge at Sunspot for yet even more great photo opportunities. Then, we will take the chair lifts back down to our bus for a very short drive to Georgetown and a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railway. The ride on the Georgetown Loop Railway is only about one hour and 15 minutes long, but it is exciting. It boasts three hairpin turns, four bridges (or trestles) and a 30 degree horseshoe curve. Our overnight will be in Dillon, Colorado. (B)
Today there is excitement at every turn! We begin with a driving tour on the Rim Rock Drive of the Colorado National Monument. You are about to experience one of the grandest scenic drives in the American West. Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of twists and turns above sheer-walled, red rock canyons. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama, containing nimble bighorn sheep that you may be able to glimpse along the drive. We depart this exhilarating experience and travel to Montrose, Colorado for our overnight. Dinner will be included at our hotel. (B.D)
What a thrilling day we have in store for you. Today, we begin our travel on the Million Dollar Highway through the Switzerland of the Rockies. Our first break will be at Ouray, Colorado. Once a rich mining town, Ouray is now a lovely little mountain village. Since most stores do not open until 10:00 AM, we will take you to Box Canyon Falls for a view of this 285 feet waterfall before returning downtown for our break. A short distance away is Silverton, Colorado.
Silverton, once a former mining camp, is now a National Historic Landmark District. After lunch and a little free time, we will board the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Society of American Travel Writers dubbed this train as one of the “Top ten most exciting train journeys in the world.” We can experience this for ourselves as we hear the conductor shout, “All Aboard” and begin our awesome journey through magnificent mountain scenery, clinging to the precipitous walls of the Animas River Gorge to Durango, Colorado. Our lodging for tonight will be in Durango where the lovely Animas River flows just behind your hotel. (B)
We are allowing extra time this morning for you to relax in your lovely hotel and explore the old west town of Durango. After having an early lunch, we board our coach for some more impressive scenery as we travel to Canon City, Colorado. (B)
We depart our hotel for the Royal Gorge Train Depot, and 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 feet granite cliffs of Colorado’s grandest canyon. Our train returns to the depot, and we again board our bus to ride to the top side of the Royal Gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the world. You can walk across the bridge and peer down some 956 feet to the river below and see the railroad tracks that you just crossed. Also, the amazing Gondola Ride is included in your package. You will need to have lunch while you are here and Making Memories will include lunch vouchers for your pleasure. After our thorough enjoyment of this National Historic Landmark and wonder at the incomparable scenes, we head for Colorado Springs, Colorado for two nights. (B.L)
In the past few days, we have rode trains through mountain passes, over 400 feet of trestles, and alongside deep, majestic rivers, but today we are riding one straight up the mountain. Since 1891, Pikes Peak Cog Railway has taken millions of people on an unforgettable trip past cascading streams and forests of Aspen and Pine to the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak. The world’s highest Cog Railroad reveals lovely panoramas that inspired the writing of America the Beautiful. After returning to the depot and having lunch on your own at Manitou Springs, we will enjoy a guided tour of the absolutely fascinating red rock formations in the Garden of the Gods before returning to our hotel for the night. (B)
Regretfully, we must turn our thoughts toward home today as we travel back through Colorado and Kansas to Salina, Kansas for our last night of this extraordinary tour. However, before we arrive at Salina, Making Memories Tours would like to treat you to a Farewell Lunch as our way of saying Thank You for traveling with us. (B.L)
It has been a grand tour, and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have enjoyed planning it just for you. You will have time to reminisce with your traveling companions about all the glorious nature that God prepared for us to see and experience. (B)