This unforgettable journey takes you through the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. It showcases some of the most epic landscapes in the United States from geothermic features to snow-capped peaks.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested route: 19 nights round-trip from Denver
Denver: 2 nights
Colorado Springs: 1 night
Alamosa: 1 night
Durango: 1 night
Grand Junction: 1 night
Moab: 1 night
Salt Lake City: 1 night
Jackson: 1 night
Yellowstone: 2 nights
Cody: 1 night
Sheridan: 1 night
Rapid City: 3 nights
Cheyenne: 1 night
Estes Park: 1 night
Denver: 1 night
About this independent tour
SELF DRIVE Rocky Mountain Trail is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 18 days car hire, accommodation for 19 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels and a personalised documentation pack. This itinerary can also be done in a motorhome.
DENVER Nick-named the ‘Mile High City’ due to its setting 1609 above sea level, Denver is the first stop on this suggested self-drive itinerary. Sitting where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains the Colorado state capital offers much in terms of culture, entertainment dining and drinking – there plenty of craft breweries and tap rooms in the city. You can experience the history of the Gold Rush in Lower Downtown, taking in the Victorian architecture and Confluence Park where gold prospectors first saw flecks of gold in the waters of Cherry Creek. Alternatively, you can enjoy the more modern side of the city with unique public art and performing arts centres of Downtown and the premium shops and restaurants in Cherry Creek.
COLORADO SPRINGS In just over an hour you’ll reach the state’s second largest city of Colorado Springs, a resort that’s surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. One of the region’s real highlights is the Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark where you can see incredible sandstone formations, which are particularly picturesque in the early morning and evening light.
GREAT SAND DUNES The next stop is the city of Alamosa, gateway to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. Sitting at the edge of the Rocky Mountain Range of Sangre de Cristo, the 30-square-mile, ever-changing dunes have a beautiful backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Activities include hiking, sand and body boarding, swimming in Medano Creek and star gazing.
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK Located close to the city of Moab, is one of Utah’s five National Parks – Arches National Park. The park has the highest concentration of sandstone arches in the world which are scattered across the red-desert landscape. A few of the most accessible of these rock formations include the iconic Delicate Arch, the fragile-looking Landscape Arch and Sand Dune Arch.
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK Some of the United States’ most spectacular and imposing landscapes can be seen in Wyoming’s lesser-visited park, Grand Teton. With rugged Rocky Mountain peaks of the Teton range, vast forests, mountain streams and sparkling alpine lakes this National Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK Undoubtedly the most famous national park visited in this self-drive, the UNESCO-listed Yellowstone is home to over half the world’s geothermal wonders including geysers, vibrantly-coloured mud pots and thermal springs. The region’s wildlife is also a major draw with species such as wolves, grizzly and black bears, bison and moose all found within the park’s boundaries.
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK & MOUNT RUSHMORE From Wyoming, cross the state line into South Dakota and visit Badlands National Park and the iconic Mount Rushmore. Badlands encompasses 381 square miles of geological deposits containing some of the world’s richest fossil beds, and the majority of the 100-mile long Badlands Wall, an other-worldly, rainbow-coloured rock formation. An hour and half away, close to Rapid City, is Mount Rushmore where you can see sculptures of four former presidents of the United States.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK The final leg of your journey takes you back to Colorado and the hugely popular Rocky Mountain National Park. Lofty mountain peaks – 78 of them over 3600 metres above sea level – glacier-carved valleys and scenic drives all await in the United States’ 4th-most visited park.
Tailor your tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own itinerary, duration and accommodation, add excursions, and extend your holiday.