Stories of the South West

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    The American Southwest is famous for its magnificent landscapes – from red rock canyons to towering peaks, pine forests and swathes of desert. On this trip from Phoenix to Denver, we’ll travel via the scenic route as we explore some of the most picturesque areas the region has to offer.


    Day 1 – Phoenix, AZ to Flagstaff
    The gateway to the incredible desert landscapes of the Southwest, Phoenix is where our all-American adventure will begin. After meeting the group, we’ll kick off our journey and set a course for Flagstaff, with a stop at scenic Sedona on the way. (D)

    Day 2 – Flagstaff (Grand Canyon day trip)
    Delightfully pine-scented (the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest is just a stone’s throw away), Flagstaff is our base for exploring the Grand Canyon today. Iconic, ancient and otherworldly, this breathtaking site must be seen to be believed. (B)

    Day 3 – Flagstaff to Cortez, CO
    The sacred heartland of the Navajo people, the rugged Monument Valley has served as the backdrop to innumerable Western movies. Today we’ll lose ourselves in its magic as we take a jeep tour of the buttes and mesas with a local Navajo guide. Then: onwards to the desert oasis of Cortez for dinner.  (B, L, D)

    Day 4 – Cortez to Durango
    On our way to Durango we’ll stop off at Mesa Verde National Park, which is known for its fascinating Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, archaeological sites and panoramic canyon views. We’ll take some time to drink in our amazing surroundings before checking into our hotel for a group dinner.  (B, D)

    Day 5 – Durango
    Filled with Victorian saloons and tree-lined streets, Durango boasts old Western charm in abundance. Today we’ll step back in time with a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage railway that’s been in continuous operation since 1882. The beautiful wilderness we’ll travel through is inaccessible by any road – making our ride a truly unique experience. (B)

    Day 6 – Durango to Santa Fe
    Known as ‘the city different’, Santa Fe sits nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Today we’ll explore its many museums, adobe buildings and traditional Native American galleries before coming together to sample some authentic New Mexican cuisine.  (B, D)

    Day 7 – Santa Fe
    Another day to take in the sights, sounds and unique atmosphere of Santa Fe. We’ll tick off the city’s most famous landmarks (including the Palace of the Governors, the Loretto Chapel and the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi) on today’s walking tour.  (B)

    Day 8 – Santa Fe to Taos
    After a visit to the Bandelier National Monument, it’s onwards to our next stop: magical Taos. From the town’s soaring mountain backdrop to the staggering Rio Grande Gorge (not to mention the remarkable adobe pueblo), Taos has an otherworldly aura that’s especially evident when you see it at sunset. (B, D)

    Day 9 – Taos to Colorado Springs
    Framed by the towering eastern Rockies, Colorado Springs is a hub for outdoor recreational activities including hiking, biking and wildlife watching. It’s here that we’ll rest our heads for the night after making the scenic journey from Taos. (B)

    Day 10 – Colorado Springs
    The most famous park in an area renowned for its natural beauty, the captivating Garden of the Gods is up next. We’ll spend the last full day of our tour taking some time to walk its trails, explore its striking red rock formations and to breathe in the cool mountain air. Tonight, there’s a delicious farewell dinner to look forward to.  (B, D)

    Day 11 – Colorado Springs to Denver
    After breakfast we’ll say goodbye to Colorado Springs and hit the road to Denver, where our adventure will end.  (B)


    Images courtesy of BackroadsTouring