Rocky Mountaineer Launches Rockies to the Red Rocks, Colorado to Utah

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Rocky Mountaineer will soon be taking their luxury train journeys to the American Southwest. In 2021, the BC-based company will be launching their newest all-daylight route, Rockies to the Red Rocks running between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route will be available as a preview season with 40 departures from August to October 2021 and a full season schedule for 2022 and beyond.

Rockies to the Red Rocks with Rocky Mountaineer
Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

As it winds alongside rivers, through mountain ranges and past ancient rock canyons, the all-daylight journey will take passengers past highlights including Ruby Canyon, Mount Logan and the Continental Divide as onboard hosts entertain with stories and historic facts.

Here’s what to expect on the two-day excursion:

Day 1: Denver to Glenwood Springs 

The journey begins in Denver, then runs 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 elevation.

The route slowly gains elevation before reaching the Continental Divide where you’ll pass through 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.

Over a regionally-inspired lunch as onboard hosts share stories about the region, the train takes you through a series of picturesque canyons, including Byers Canyon and Gore Canyon where you might spot wildlife including bighorn sheep, bears, mountain lions, deer and marmots.

The first day’s journey ends in Glenwood Springs where you’ll enjoy the comfort of a cozy hotel room.  Travel to Wellness recently visited Glenwood Springs, and here’s our story.

Day 2: Glenwood Springs to Moab

After a relaxing morning in Glenwood Springs, you will board the train for another day of incredible scenery as the train heads south west past mountain vistas, desert cliffs, and striking rock formations. A two-course hot breakfast as the train passes by Parachute Creek and Mount Logan towards De Beque Canyon, a 15-mile long narrow canyon with stair-step cliffs of sedimentary rock layers.

Highlights along the way include the 6,600-foot Mount Garfield and the stunning red rock formations lining the cliffs in Ruby Canyon which is only accessible by train or from the river. This canyon is 25 miles long and takes its name from the red sandstone cliffs that line the canyon walls.

Over the Colorado-Utah state line, Mount Peale is the highest point of the La Sal Mountains at 12,726 feet.  As the Rocky Mountaineer reaches Moab, you’ll get your first glimpse of the iconic Arches National Park; a 73,234-acre wonderland of geological marvels. Depart the train and travel by motor coach to explore the eastern Utah city of Moab before heading back to Denver aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.

For more info you can sign up to get the latest updates on the new Rockies to the Red Rocks route.