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We are revisiting one of our most popular Backroads destinations: Colorado 

Colorado is a state of majestic landscapes, startling panoramas, and amazing topographical diversity. 

A land of uncompromising beauty: dominated by lofty, snowcapped peaks; divided by deep canyons and broad valleys that were formed by cold clear streams and rushing rivers; rimmed by distant horizons, mesas and buttes. Colorado is a land of extreme contrasts – arid deserts, verdant meadows, rural solitude, aspen woodlands, granite cliffs and deep blue lakes. The timeless landscape beyond the highway’s edge is filled with hidden places and undiscovered wonders. All this is connected by quiet, slow paced villages and folks who take the time to savor it. 


Day 1 – Home to York, Nebraska

Depart Minnesota for beautiful Colorado! We will travel the highways and bi-ways of Minnesota & Iowa before arriving in York, Nebraska for our first night’s stay at the Hampton Inn.

Hotel: Hampton Inn 


Day 2 – York to Colorado Springs

After breakfast we continue to Colorado, passing through Denver and traveling south to Colorado Springs. This stretch of interstate is some of the last freeway you’ll experience for the next week or so. This route itself is stunningly beautiful as we parallel the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Our welcome dinner is served at Mimi’s Cafe, then we’ll check into the Drury Inn, which offers panoramic views of the looming mountains to the west.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Drury Inn (2 Nights) 


Day 3 – Colorado Springs 

We will start our day with our step-on guide and visiting the Air Force Academy, located very near our hotel. The Air Force Academy graduated its first class 59 years ago. We will visit the impressive Chapel (the most visited man-made attraction in Colorado!) and the interesting Visitors Center before departing for the Garden of the Gods. Our guided drive through the awesome Garden of the Gods teaches us the history of these magnificent red rocks as we find out how this natural wonder came to be. Our lunch today will be at The Trading Post, located just outside the park. After lunch we will visit the Penrose Heritage Museum followed by a visit to the spectacular Broadmoor Seven Falls Park. We will ride a tram to view the falls, which tumble down 181 feet in seven distinct leaps. The falls have been a privately owned attraction since opening in the early 1880s. Later we won’t even need to leave the comfort of our hotel for dinner as the Drury’s “Kickback” Reception is sufficient for most or there are restaurant choices near the hotel. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception


Day 4 – Colorado Springs to Gunnison

The early morning journey along the Front Range to Canon City is refreshing. Excitement builds as we board the Royal Gorge Route Railway and enter our Vista Dome car for a spectacular rail journey along the Arkansas River through this wonder of nature. Afterwards we stop at the unique Whitewater Bar & Grill for an included noon lunch. Continuing west, make note of the rafters navigating their way on the whitewaters of the Arkansas River and the Rocky Mountain vistas surrounding us. We’re heading to Salida and an afternoon stop before making our way up Monarch Pass, providing us a spectacular view of Monarch Mountain. While at Monarch Pass, take time to ride the tram to the top to experience 360 degree panoramic views of the area. Then more picture perfect scenery greets us as we descend into the lush, high mountain valley and the ranch country of Gunnison, Colorado. Soon we pull into our home for the night, the Holiday Inn Express. This beautiful hotel on the edge of town offers an unspoiled view of the mountains that surround us. A great meal awaits at Palisades before we enjoy the crisp evening in the Rocky Mountains.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


Day 5 – Gunnison to Durango

After breakfast at the hotel we head off for a scenic day. What a drive as we travel along the Blue Mesa Reservoir, then head south on Highway 149, designated as the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. We make our way through mountain hamlets such as Lake City, historic Creede, Wagon Wheel Gap, and South Fork. The route traverses a spectacular, off-the-beaten-track part of Colorado, climbing over lofty Spring Creek and Slumgullion Passes. Our drive parallels the Rio Grande River below cliffed palisades thru the heart of the San Juan Mountians, Colorado’s largest mountain range, a tumble of peaks and canyons that cover an area the size of Vermont. Leaving South Fork we climb to famous Wolf Creek Pass and then descend to Durango, traveling Highway 160 through Pagosa Springs, Chimney Rock, and Bayfield. We are guests for the next two nights at The Historic Strater Hotel, build in 1887 as Durango’s premier landmark hotel! Tonight we are treated to dinner and live theatre right here at the Strater Hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: The Historic Strater Hotel (2 Nights) 


Day 6 – Durango/Silverton

Prepare for adventure today as you enjoy breakfast at The Historic Strater Hotel. We’ll soon be boarding the Durango & Silverton Railroad, whose station is conveniently located two blocks from our hotel, for a memorable journey. USA Today Reader’s Choice for 2016 rated the Durango & Silverton Railroad ride as 2nd Best Train Ride in the US! This spectacular train ride runs north 45 miles to Silverton, threading through the Animas River Gorge, taking us back in time to mining’s heyday. The unspoiled scenery that unfolds around us can only be witnessed from this train. Silverton, at an elevation of 9,320 feet, is surrounded by a wall of mountains. It is one of Colorado’s most isolated settlements. If you were going to farm here, you would need to find a crop that sprouts and is ready for harvest quickly. Its growing season is 12 days! Annual snowfall is over 300 inches! Silverton wears its colorful history well. It appears at first glance like a movie set, but in reality most of the town is preserved as a National Historic District, reflecting the mining heyday of more than a century ago. We will have ample time to explore and eat lunch on our own in a true “gold rush” setting. Then midafternoon our own motorcoach comes to return us to Durango for a free evening to relax and enjoy downtown Durango.

Included Meals: Breakfast 


Day 7 – Durango to Grand Junction

After our delicious warm breakfast in style at our hotel, we depart for another amazing day of Colorado countryside. The journey to Cortez is awesome. After our coffee stop a whole new landscape unfolds. Driving through desolate Disappointment Valley, past abandoned old uranium mines, which ceased operating in 1980, and into the unbelievable red rock canyonlands of the San Miguel & Delores Rivers. Lunch today is catered by wonderful ladies & gentlemen of the Rimrocker Historic Society in their Community Room, which is attached to the Rimrocker Museum. After lunch we’ll have time to explore the museum and visit personally with former Uravan residents. Uravan was a company town established by U.S. Vanadium Corporation in 1936 to extract the rich vanadium ore in the region. Departing, a photo stop at the Hanging Flume, a National Engineering Landmark, will surely fascinate. As we approach the very western edge of Colorado, out of nowhere we come upon the spectacular “Gateway Canyons” – truly an awesome sight to behold. This world class resort is the brainchild of the producer of the Discovery Channel, who not only built it but owns it. After a coffee break at the Gateway Convenience Store, more spectacular scenery unfolds as we traverse through the cliff-lined Unaweep Canyon, a geologic mystery of West Creek, before arriving at our destination, Grand Junction. Tonight’s dinner will be served at Rib City for “Real BBQ & Great Ribs.”

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express (2 Nights) 


Day 8 – Grand Junction

Breakfast is served at our hotel before we depart on our intriguing journey through the vineyards, orchards, and fruit stands of this garden valley. We’ll stop at an orchard farm, where we are treated to a guided tour and have the opportunity to buy delicious western Colorado products. Did you know that Palisade is the peach and wine capitol of Colorado? Enjoy a relaxing lunch at the Wine Country Inn, surrounded by the peacefulness of the vineyards of the Palisade Valley. After lunch, we have a truly unique Colorado experience: the Colorado National Monument. This 22 mile drive explores the sandstone rims and canyons bordering the Colorado River. Witness soaring cliffs, sharp spires, wildlife, and many photo opportunities from scenic overlooks. This rugged monument relates a spectacular lesson in geology. We return to our hotel in Grand Junction for a relaxing evening with dinner on your own.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 


Day 9 – Grand Junction to Denver

As we begin another day, we are leaving the backroads and taking Interstate 70 east to Denver. Along the interstate we will make a stop in Vail. Vail is to the U.S. what Gstaad is to Switzerland: paradise found for skiers. The town, which replicates a Tyrolean Alps village, was constructed in the early 1970s as a base camp for the massive Vail Mountain. Vail first achieved superstar status in that decade when President Gerald Ford vacationed here regularly with his family. Have lunch on your own in Vail before visiting the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens for a beautiful tour. The gardens boast waterfalls, gorgeous views and a wide variety of Alpine plants, all with markers. After leaving Vail we will continue east, going past several ski areas before our arrival in Denver for the evening.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


Day 10 – Denver to Ogallala, NE

Our morning will begin with a Denver city tour with a knowledgeable step-on guide. After our tour, we will start our journey east towards Minnesota. Our hotel for the night will be in Ogallala, NE with an included dinner at Front Street Steakhouse where we will have a surprise guest!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


Day 11 – Ogallala to Lincoln, NE

After breakfast at the hotel, we will continue east with a stop in Kearney, NE at The Archway Museum. The Archway is a museum of and monument to Nebraska’s and the Platte River Valley’s role in westward expansion. The Archway is directly over Interstate 80 three miles east of Kearney. We will thoroughly enjoy a tour and lunch at the museum, before we continue towards home, stopping in Lincoln for the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Country Inn and Suites 


Day 12 – Lincoln to Home

After breakfast at the hotel, we will continue back to Minnesota, recalling grand memories of our Colorado Backroads journey!

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,799
Single: $3,599
Triple: $2,599
Quad: $2,449

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $170
Single: $226

Travel Bucks

$40 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate to Extensive Walking at your own pace

Price Includes

22 Meals & 1 Manager’s Reception, Activities & Hotels as stated, Luxury Motorcoach

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 80°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Beautiful Backroads of Colorado
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Tour Map

Tour Highlights

The Historic Strater Hotel 2 Nights!
Air Force Academy & Broadmoor Seven Falls Park
Garden of the Gods
City Tour of Colorado Springs
The Royal Gorge by Vista Dome
Monarch Pass Tram Ride
Silver Thread Scenic Byway
The Endless, Awesome Scenic
Beauty of the Rocky Mountains and Lush Valleys
Durango/Silverton Railroad
Historic Mining Town of Silverton
Historic Durango
Colorado National Monument
Vineyard and Orchard Country of Palisade
Amazing Red Rock Canyons at the Delores River
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail
Archway Museum in Kearney, NE
Off the Beaten Path Experiences, Incomparable Scenery & Western Hospitality

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Beautiful Backroads of Colorado
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 80°
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