Routes of the Old West with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (AUS) - 2014

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13 Day Tour from Denver to Denver

Routes of the Old West with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Moab, Utah, near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Moab, Utah, near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Enjoy New Mexico’s beautiful architecture
New Mexican architecture
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
Deadhorse Point in Moab
Mesa Verde National Park
Balanced Rock is one of the main features of Arches National Park
Fisher Towers in Moab
Mesa Verde features a number of ruins built by the ancient Pueblo people

Vacation Overview

Discover the spirit of the Old West on this incredible vacation. In Colorado, see spectacular scenery as you travel to Rocky Mountain National Park and Vail, one of the most popular ski resorts and summer destinations. Take a scenic ride through the San Juan National Forest on the Durango-Silverton train, a legendary steam train that hugs deep canyon walls and offers breathtaking beauty. Walk along the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world, and marvel at the rugged rock walls that plunge more than 1,000 feet down to the Arkansas River. In Colorado Springs, take the cog railway up to the summit of 14,110-foot Pikes Peak for amazing views. Admire the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park and see how the ancestral puebloans lived for over 700 years. In Moab, Utah, stay high on the banks of the Colorado River and enjoy a wine tasting and authentic outdoor Western barbecue. Visit nearby Arches National Park with its 2,000 natural sandstone arches and unusual rock formations. In New Mexico, learn about the history of 1,100-year-old Taos, visit Santuario de Chimayo, and spend time in charming Santa Fe. On selected departures (September 27 and October 4) you will also attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest ballooning event in the world and one of New Mexico’s most dazzling spectacles. As you travel to each destination, you’ll witness beautiful landscapes along the way. A remarkable vacation, indeed!

Similar Vacations that may interest you:

Sightseeing tour; farewell dinner

Sightseeing tour

Sightseeing along Rim Rock Drive

Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Wine tasting; visit Arches National Park; Canyonlands National Park; Dead Horse Point State Park

Visit cliff dwellings and museum

Ride the narrow-gauge railroad to Silverton

Orientation tour

Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Visit Santuario de Chimayo

Mass Ascension, Balloon Glow, and After-Glow Fireworks Show

Guided trolley tour; visit Loretto Chapel

Walk across the span

Ride the cog railroad up Pikes Peak; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a Native American presentation by WolfWalker


  • Enjoy spectacular fall colors on our special Fall Foliage departures: September 13-October 11 (if Mother Nature permits).

DAY 1Arrive in Denver

Welcome to colorful Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.


DAY 2Denver–Rocky Mountain National Park–Vail

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Denver this morning, then it’s on to the beautiful Colorado mountains. Travel to Estes Park, gateway to ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK. A break at almost 12,000 feet provides fantastic alpine scenery. Continue along scenic Trail Ridge Road, crossing the Continental Divide and passing Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural lake. Arrive in Vail, one of America’s most popular mountain resorts. (Breakfast)

Rocky Mountain National Park is subject to favorable road and weather conditions.

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado 

DAY 3Vail–Colorado National Monument–Moab

Travel through the massive 1,800-foot walls of Glenwood Canyon to the “western slope” of Colorado. Then, visit COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT, with sightseeing along panoramic Rim Rock Drive. Admire the majestic beauty of Independence Monument and Balanced Rock. Afterward, continue to Moab, Utah, arriving at Red Cliffs Lodge. Enjoy Local%20Favorite.eps WINE TASTING at your resort’s winery, then experience an authentic outdoor Western barbecue. (Breakfast, Dinner)

SPECIAL FEATURE: Your hotel in Moab is the Red Cliffs Lodge. Offering guests a ranch-like experience amid luxurious Western charm, Red Cliffs Lodge sits high on the banks of the Colorado River surrounded by cliffs and situated where Western favorites such as Wagon Master and Rio Grande were filmed.

Enjoy the resort town of Moab, Utah Fisher Towers in Moab Balanced Rock is one of the main features of Arches National Park Moab, Utah, near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks 

DAY 4Moab

This morning, visit ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, a wonderland of magnificent sandstone formations. The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms, and textures that is unlike any other in the world. We then travel to nearby CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK and DEADHORSE POINT STATE PARK, where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and mesmerizing views. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Relax, swim, play tennis, visit the winery, or explore the museum with its memorabilia from movies filmed at your resort’s spectacular location. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Arches National Park in Utah 

DAY 5Moab–Mesa Verde National Park–Durango

Head back to Colorado and travel to MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop at Spruce Tree House, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings. Also visit the museum that depicts the story of the people who once thrived on this 8,000-foot plateau, and stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings). Arrive in Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Mesa Verde National Park 
The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 6Durango. Rail Journey to Silverton

Board the narrow-gauge DURANGO-SILVERTON RAILROAD this morning for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. The legendary steam train hugs steep canyon walls winding its way through Rio de las Animas Canyon with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Free time in Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner: “We have no gold, but silver by the ton!” Return to Durango. (Breakfast)

The Silverton Railroad in Colorado 

DAY 7Durango–Albuquerque

Depart Durango and head to New Mexico. Arrive in Albuquerque in time for lunch and time to explore on your own. (Breakfast)

New Mexican architecture Enjoy New Mexico’s beautiful architecture 

DAY 8Albuquerque

This morning, experience the unforgettable MASS ASCENSION—where hundreds of hot air balloons take off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of colors, all of which are led by a balloon flying the American flag to the music of The Star Spangled Banner. What began as a gathering of 13 balloons 38 years ago has since turned into the largest ballooning event in the world, drawing entries from more than 28 different countries. This evening, catch the popular BALLOON GLOW, where all balloons fire up their burners and light up at the same time, and the AFTER-GLOW FIREWORKS SHOW. (Breakfast)

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 

DAY 9Albuquerque–Santa Fe

Travel to the charming city of Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the United States. Experience the city up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR of the many historic buildings, revealing the town’s Spanish, Indian, and American heritage. Main sights include the San Miguel Mission, the Palace of the Governors, the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, and Loretto Chapel’s “Miracle Stairway.” The remainder of your day is at leisure. (Breakfast)


DAY 10Santa Fe

This morning, visit the SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Continue to adobe town of Taos on the high-desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Enjoy time to explore the historic Plaza, visit the many art galleries, or perhaps shop for a favorite souvenir. (Breakfast, Dinner)


DAY 11Santa Fe–Royal Gorge–Colorado Springs

Leave Santa Fe and drive north to Colorado Springs, Colorado, stopping at the ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE en route. Walk across the world’s highest suspension bridge and marvel at the rugged rock walls that plunge more than 1,000 feet down to the Arkansas River. Continue to Colorado Springs, home to the U.S. Olympic Training Center. (Breakfast)


DAY 12Colorado Springs–Denver

Visit Manitou Springs and take the PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY up to the summit of 14,110-foot Pikes Peak, the place that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write America the Beautiful. We then explore GARDEN OF THE GODS, featuring 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. During lunch, enjoy a performance by Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WOLFWALKER, a Native American flute player and storyteller. Using music and stories, he weaves tales about traditional life and culture. This afternoon, head north to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)


DAY 13Denver

Bid farewell to your new friends as you transfer to Denver International Airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)


Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 4 three-course dinners including a Western barbecue in Moab and a farewell dinner in Denver

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Routes of the Old West with the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta:

  • Mesa Verde National Park