Imagine this: you're sitting in a luxurious train, sipping on fine wine, gazing out at the breathtaking American Rockies. You're traversing through the heart of the Southwest, passing by stunning red rock formations, epic canyons, towering mountains plunging into streams, all while indulging in gourmet cuisine. This is not just a daydream, but an experience called “Rockies to the Red Rocks” offered by the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train.
This blog post will be your ultimate guide to embarking on the unforgettable Rockies to the Red Rocks journey. We'll walk you through every detail, from the mesmerizing route that takes you through Moab, Utah, to the vibrant thermal pools in Glenwood Springs, and the grand finale in Denver's historic Union Station.
This adventure promises an immersive experience that marries luxury, nature, and culture in a way that will leave you enchanted.
A Journey of a Lifetime: Rockies to the Red Rocks
The “Rockies to the Red Rocks” rail route is Rocky Mountaineer's newest offering, inviting you to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the American Rockies and the vibrant red rock landscapes of the Southwest. Let's dive into the details of this exceptional journey.
The Route and Highlights
Our adventure begins in the iconic desert town of Moab, Utah, known for its stunning Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. You'll have the opportunity to explore these natural wonders, from the gravity-defying Delicate Arch to the rugged canyons carved by the Colorado River. But the adventure doesn't stop there – get ready for an exhilarating 4×4 ride in Moab that will leave you in awe of the landscape's grandeur.
As the journey continues, you'll make your way to Glenwood Springs, a picturesque town known for its soothing thermal pools. After a day of exploring, relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich waters, taking in the surrounding beauty.
The train ride then takes you to the bustling city of Denver, and we stayed right at Denver Union Station, an architectural marvel and a hub of history and modernity. Explore the city's vibrant culture, indulge in culinary delights, and soak in the energy of the Mile High City.
The Train Experience
Just like its Canadian counterpart, the Rockies to the Red Rocks journey offers two levels of service: SilverLeaf and SilverLeaf Plus. Choose SilverLeaf Plus for the ultimate luxury experience. You'll get additional seating, access to a lovely lounge car, and a viewing area outdoors. Imagine reclining in your comfortable seat all while enjoying panoramic views through the immaculate windows.
But the luxury doesn't stop at the seating. SilverLeaf Plus service treats you to gourmet meals prepared by talented chefs, with a menu that caters to every palate. There are also wine pairings and premium alcoholic beverages available at your seat or in the lounge car. You'll also get signature, hand-crafted cocktails while taking in the scenic views.
The routes to choose from are:
- First Passage to the West (Vancouver- Kamloops – Banff or Lake Louise)
- Journey through the Clouds (Vancouver – Kamloops – Jasper)
- Rainforest to Gold Rush (Vancouver -Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper)
- Rockies to the Red Rocks – Rocky Mountaineer's newest route and first (Our Route!) standalone route in the US (Moab – Glenwood Springs – Denver)
All routes can go in either direction, so you can choose what works best for you!
Rocky Mountaineer offers travelers a unique way to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, while enjoying comfortable seating and delicious meals. If you're looking for an adventure with a touch of luxury, Rocky Mountaineer is definitely the right choice!
Meals and Drinks on board Rocky Mountaineer
You'll dine at your seat where you can pull down your tray and look out the window while you eat. The seats are spacious and offer plenty of room for you to hop up and down.
With SilverLeaf Plus, you'll also have a lounge car – complete with a piano! It's an additional area to relax and unwind. There are snacks and signature cocktails as well as a selection of wine and beer.
Our journey on the train includes 2 breakfasts and one lunch. You'll receive a menu with locally sourced options like spinach and cheese frittata, lemon and herb roasted chicken, fresh salads, meats, and more. I loved the unique take on salmon. And, of course, dessert! As you journey, your host will point out history and stories from the surroundings. We also saw Bald Eagles!
You can do the 2 day journey on the train, or you can add on to truly experience the Southwest – which is what we did! Here's a sneak peek of your unforgettable journey:
- Day 1: Arrive in Moab
- Explore the area and have a fancy dinner at Radcliffe Moab
- Day 2: Arches National Park
- Explore Arches National Park – make sure your camera is charged!
- Guided Hummer adventure at sunset – Embark on an adrenaline-pumping Hummer ride through Moab's iconic landscapes
- Day 3: Moab to Glenwood Springs
- Explore Canyonlands National Park
- Board the Rocky Mountaineer train in Moab
- Admire the red rock vistas as you travel to Glenwood Springs
- Soak in the thermal pools for a relaxing evening
- Day 4: Glenwood Springs to Denver
- Continue your train journey to Denver
- Arrive at Denver Union Station and check-in to your unique accommodation
- Day 5: Explore Denver
- Immerse yourself in Denver's vibrant culture and attractions
Day 1: Beginnings in the Heart of Moab
Your journey kicks off in the charming town of Moab, Utah. Surrounded by the breathtaking Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure. As you explore these national treasures, you'll discover a world of red rock arches, towering mesas, and rugged canyons that have been sculpted by the forces of nature over millions of years.
We flew in from Dallas, Texas to Denver, then hopped on a short plane ride to Moab, Utah.
Day 2: Arches and Hummer Tour
We headed out to explore the beauty and unique landscape of Arches National park. The awe-inspiring Delicate Arch, seemingly defying gravity, stands as an icon of Arches National Park. This massive natural sandstone arch has become a symbol of the American Southwest, drawing visitors from around the globe.
We took multiple short, well paved hikes to lots of the beautiful arches in the area.
For those seeking a taste of adventure, the Hummer tour at sunset is amazing. Hop aboard a Hummer for an exhilarating ride through Moab's iconic landscapes. Feel the wind in your hair as you navigate through red rock canyons, sandy trails, and rugged terrain, immersing yourself in the true essence of the Southwest. This is perfect for photo opportunities!
Day 3: Canyonlands, Train Ride, and Glenwood Springs Oasis
Canyonlands National Park gives epic viewpoints and is easily accessible way to enjoy the beauty of the Southwest and the rugged landscape. The Canyonlands' carved landscapes showcase the power of the Colorado River as it has shaped the terrain over countless millennia.
All aboard!!! It's time to board Rocky Mountaineer. I always find this such a fun experience to board the train. Feels a bit like stepping back in time, but with all the comfort and modern convenience you could possibly need.
Leaving behind the red rock wonders of Moab, your journey continues as the Rocky Mountaineer train takes you to Glenwood Springs.
As you board the train, you'll be able to sit back and relax to watch the world go by. I loved how you can lean the seats back without going in to the seat behind you (unlike on an airplane)!
Here, you're served gourmet food, drinks, and epic views.
This picturesque town, nestled along the banks of the Colorado River, is renowned for its soothing thermal pools. After a day of adventure, there's no better way to unwind than by soaking in the mineral-rich waters, surrounded by the lush beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
As you indulge in the restorative powers of the thermal pools, you'll find your cares melting away and a sense of relaxation washing over you. The hot springs have been a draw for travelers for over a century, and now it's your turn to experience their magic.
Day 4: Denver's Grandeur and Unique Lodgings
Start your day on Rocky Mountaineer with beautiful views along the way. You'll traverse through amazing mountains-capes, towns, and stunning streams.
I recommend grabbing a cocktail and enjoying the serene surroundings while you glide on through the landscape.
The train's tracks lead you to the vibrant city of Denver, where the adventure takes on a new dimension. But what makes this experience truly remarkable is your accommodation: Denver Union Station. This historic transportation hub has been transformed into a luxury hotel, allowing you to stay within the very heart of the city's history.
Denver Union Station's architecture seamlessly combines the charm of the past with the conveniences of the present. As you stroll through the station's elegant corridors and platforms, you'll feel a palpable connection to the city's storied past and its vibrant present.
Day 5: Embracing Denver's Urban Energy
Your journey culminates in the dynamic city of Denver, affectionately known as the “Mile High City.” With its thriving arts scene, eclectic neighborhoods, and an abundance of culinary delights, Denver offers a perfect blend of urban excitement and natural beauty.
For art enthusiasts, the Denver Art Museum beckons with its diverse collection spanning centuries and cultures. From classic European masterpieces to contemporary American art, the museum's galleries are a testament to Denver's cultural richness.
Stroll through the historic Larimer Square, where charming boutiques, upscale restaurants, and chic cafes line the cobblestone streets. Explore the city's craft breweries and savor local flavors, showcasing Denver's status as a craft beer mecca.
The “Rockies to the Red Rocks” journey with Rocky Mountaineer offers a blend of adventure and luxury, taking you through the captivating landscapes of the American Southwest. From the natural wonders of Moab to the relaxation of Glenwood Springs' thermal pools, and the urban excitement of Denver, this trip is a feast for the senses. Whether you choose SilverLeaf or indulge in SilverLeaf Plus service, your journey will be marked by comfort, fine dining, and panoramic views that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Booking and Availability
The “Rockies to the Red Rocks” journey is available during the prime travel season, so plan your trip between mid-April and mid-October to experience this unforgettable adventure. Be sure to book in advance to secure your spot on this extraordinary train ride through the heart of the American Rockies.
Are you ready to embark on the Rockies to the Red Rocks journey? Start planning your adventure today for an experience that blends luxury, natural beauty, and boundless excitement!