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  • Writer's pictureTania Wee

Rocky Mountaineer's Newest Route: Rockies to the Red Rocks

Experience the American Southwest on Rocky Mountaineer’s newest route, Rockies to the Red Rocks which travels between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Like their three Canadian rail routes, the two-day Rockies to the Red Rocks route is steeped in history and full of opportunities to explore the ever-changing scenery and iconic destinations of the region. Breathtaking plains, mountain vistas and chromatic deserts alongside towering canyons that have been carved away by the Colorado River and red sandstone mountains.

The Route

Rockies to the Red Rocks is filled with highlights best seen by train, including Ruby Canyon, Mount Garfield, and Moffat Tunnel and can be traveled East or Westbound.

Day 1: Denver to Glenwood Springs

Your journey starts in Denver. As you hear the whistle blow, board the train, take your seat, and get ready to start your journey alongside the Colorado River through a series of canyons and rugged landscapes. As you enjoy breakfast and a beverage, take in the scenic views of the Gross Reservoir dam. Built in 1954, it has a surface area of 440 acres with a spillway that sits at 7,225 feet in elevation.

The route slowly gains elevation before reaching the Continental Divide. Here you’ll pass through the historic Moffat Tunnel and emerge on the western side of the Continental Divide. This railway tunnel opened in 1928 and cuts through 6.3 miles of mountainous terrain.

Enjoy a three-course, regionally inspired lunch as onboard Hosts share stories about the region you’re traveling through. Make sure you keep your camera close as you travel along the Colorado River through a series of captivating canyons, including Byers Canyon and Gore Canyon. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as these canyons are the perfect place to spot pronghorns, deer, and eagles.

Today's journey ends in the historic town of Glenwood Springs. Enjoy your evening at your own leisure in this true Wild West town, before relaxing in your cozy hotel.

Day 2: Glenwood Springs to Moab

In the morning, you'll board the train for another day of incredible scenery as you head southwest past mountain vistas, desert cliffs, and vibrant sandstone mountains. Enjoy a two-course hot breakfast while passing Parachute Creek and Mount Logan towards De Beque Canyon, a 15-mile long narrow canyon with stair-step cliffs of sedimentary rock layers.

Continuing west, look out for Mount Garfield. At 6,765 feet, it’s the highest point of the Book Cliffs so it should be easy to spot! These sandstone mountains stretch nearly 200 miles from west to east.

The route continues to follow the Colorado River as you approach one of the most majestic and colorful canyons along the journey. Admire the stunning red sandstone cliffs of Ruby Canyon, accessible only by train or from the river. This canyon is 25 miles long and is appropriately named after the vibrant ruby-toned cliffs that line the canyon walls.

After crossing over the Colorado-Utah state line, look out for Mount Peale. It’s the highest point of the La Sal Mountains at 12,726 feet. Due to its immense height, these mountains are usually snow-capped until early summer.

As the train reaches Moab, you’ll be greeted by the brilliant sandstone mountains that the American Southwest is so famous for. You’ll also get your first glimpse of the iconic Arches National Park; a 73,234-acre wonderland of geological marvels. Depart the train and travel to downtown Moab via a motorcoach transfer. Welcome to the scarlet city!

The Onboard Experience

Like the three Canadian rail routes, the train only travels during the day and features oversized windows, so you won’t miss a moment of the ever-changing landscapes.

Everything is choreographed to make your journey feel special, effortless, and unforgettable. From the expansive glass-dome coaches that put you right in the heart of the stunning Southwest, to the impeccable service and storytelling from engaging Onboard Hosts, to the regionally-inspired cuisine, this will no doubt be a journey of a lifetime.

Be the First to Travel on Rocky Mountaineer’s Newest Route

Rockies to the Red Rocks is now available to book for both the 2022 and 2023 Rocky Mountaineer seasons. Book quickly as this rail route is sure to be popular.

Want to book other adventures with the train? Explore Rocky Mountaineer packages in both eastbound and westbound directions, add on extra nights or book specialized tours in the various regions—make this next vacation a trip of a lifetime!

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