This itinerary was developed for a "FAM tour" by the Grand Circle Association. Occasionally we invite journalists, photographers and tour operators to participate in tours to help educate them about attractions found here.
These ideas can be easily adapted for use by a family on vacation or by anyone interested in visiting this area.
This is a seven-day, six night itinerary
Welcome to Grand Junction, Colorado
Colorado Canyonlands and Wine Country
Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, near Grand Junction, Colorado
Monday: Arrival at Grand Junction Regional Airport
Pick up by Grand Vista Hotel Shuttle-Dinner and overnight at the Grand Vista Hotel
As a Destination Management Company and a Receptive Tour Operator, Southwest Adventure Tours provides individuals and groups with scenic, photography, and adventure tours throughout the Southwest. We offer a wide range of tour options and activities and can create customized itineraries to meet your needs.
Tuesday: Moab, Utah
7 AM Breakfast at the Grand Vista Hotel (breakfast buffet)
8 AM Depart Grand Junction-Take I-70 to 191 140 miles
Moab Area Travel Council
Where ADVENTURE Begins
11 AM Canyonlands National Park http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/index.htm
Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure.
1 PM Lunch at Dead Horse Point 40 miles
The Legend Of Dead Horse Point
Before the turn of the 19th century, mustang herds ran wild on the mesas near Dead Horse Point. The unique promontory provided a natural corral into which the horses were driven by cowboys. The only escape was through a narrow, 30-yard neck of land controlled by fencing. Mustangs were then roped and broken, with the better ones being kept for personal use or sold to eastern markets. Unwanted culls of "broomtails" were left behind to find their way off the Point.
3 PM Arches http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm
Visit Arches and discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.
5:30 PM Dinner at Pasta Jays
7 PM Check into Red Cliffs Lodge and Wine Tasting
Red Cliffs Lodge
Wednesday Monument Valley and Cortez, Colorado
7:30 AM Breakfast and tour at Red Cliffs Lodge
9:00 AM Depart for Monument Valley 165 miles
12:00 PM Arrive at Goulding’s Lodge in Monument Valley
Welcome to beautiful Monument Valley, and Goulding's Lodge & Trading Post Museum! Goulding's Lodge was established in 1923 by Mike and Harry Goulding. The historic backdrop of Monument Valley has been home to many motion pictures and countless television commercials. Goulding's has welcomed visitors from all over the world for over 100 years. We hope you feel welcome to this truly amazing scenery and enjoy the Native American culture here at Goulding's Lodge.
12-12:30 PM Enjoy the Gift Shop
12:30-1:15 PM Lunch
1:30-5 PM Tour
5:05 PM Depart Monument Valley for Cortez 130 miles
7:30 PM Check into hotel in Cortez
8 PM Dinner in Cortez
Thursday Cortez, Colorado to Sky Ute Casino
8 AM Breakfast in Cortez
9 AM Depart for Mesa Verde National Park for Mesa Top Guided Tour/Lunch 25 miles
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.
2 PM Depart for Ignacio 73 miles
3:30 PM Arrive at Sky Ute Casino http://www.skyutecasino.com/
Check-In: Get settled, relax or enjoy a work out in the hotel gym. Swim in our indoor heated pool with “lazy river” or hot tub.
The Sky Ute Casino Resort offers 140 luxury rooms including 8 suites. Rooms and suites are finely appointed withthe highest quality in furnishings, linens, and more. Whether you are looking out at the majestic San JuanMountains or have a view of the stunning Atrium below, all rooms offer an exquisite view. Guests are provided access to all the unique dining establishments, the swimming pool and sun deck, and all the other amenities that the Sky Ute Casino Resort has to offer.
Ute Dancers at Sky Ute Casino
4:30 PM Personal tour of the 54,000SF Southern Ute Cultural Center Museum and the beautiful gift shop compared to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
5:30 PM Tour the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s campus, new justice department, rodeo grounds, recreation center
7:00 PM Group Dinner at the ‘Willows Baja Grill’ Choices for Dinner are as follows:
- Marinated Steak & Tequila Lime
- Chicken Fajitas
- 10oz. Carne Asada New York Strip
- Camarones (shrimp) Del Cabo
8:00 PM Fun on the gaming floor, all guests will be provided $10 Sky Ute Loot
Friday Ignacio to Durango, Colorado
9 AM Group Breakfast in the Willows Restaurant
10 AM Depart for Durango
Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, centrally located between Mesa Verde National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument, Durango is a four-season adventure wonderland boasting outdoor recreation from skiing to rafting, hiking/biking to horseback riding, historic steam train to hot springs and everything in between. Durango is also home of the Durango & Silverton Narrow gauge Railroad, making it a must-see for history enthusiasts. Durango offers “a dozen vacations in one destination”. From old west experiences, ancient ruins, and art & culture to adventure sports, agritourism and special events, Durango has something to offer to all travelers.
DURANGO AREA TOURISM OFFICE
11 AM Check in to the Strater Hotel/Rochester Hotel
12 PM Lunch at Carver Brewing (order off of menu)
1:30 PM Quick stop at the Welcome Center. Opened in 2012, the Downtown Welcome Center offers tourists and locals everything they need to know about the area. It is the first visitor center of its kind in the region, offering ticket sales for the Community Concert Hall, plus information on Fort Lewis College, outdoor activities, entertainment venues, restaurants, local events and more.
2 PM Take a Walking Tour of Historic Downtown and Third Avenue Residential District. Along the way we will also visit some of our art galleries. Durango is quickly becoming a hub for fine art in the Southwest. From contemporary to western to Native American, Durango has a strong and eclectic presence of world-class art, much of which is created in the area.
4 PM Free time for shopping
6:30 PM Dinner at El Moro (order off of menu)
Saturday Silverton, Colorado to Delta, Colorado
to Grand Junction, Colorado
7 AM Breakfast at hotels
8:45 AM Depart on Durango Silverton Railroad
12:35 PM Arrive in Silverton
Lunch in Silverton
1:45 PM Depart Silverton to Ouray, Colorado, the Switzerland of the Rockies
Stop in Delta for wine tasting
6 PM Arrive into Grand Junction and check into Grand Vista Hotel
7 PM Dinner in downtown Grand Junction
Sunday Grand Junction
9AM Breakfast on the Colorado National Monument (Salmon, Omelets)
Colorado National Monument
Hiking in McInnis National Conservation Area
CO Wine Country and activities
Dinner (Il Bistro Italiano: family style or Rockslide Brew Pub: off menu)
Depart Grand Junction Airport