History Tour of Colorado
Mesa Verde

Splendid Colorado

August 17-27, 2010 



 We had an amazing time on the third in our extremely popular “State Series;” itineraries that combine visits to a state’s best historic sites and museums with excursions to its most scenic National Parks.  We spent 11 days exploring the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado that features some of America’s most spectacular mountain scenery. This new tour featured historic mining towns, the Old Sante Fe Trail, and rides on the famous Durango-Silverton steam train and the cog train up Pike's Peak.  At Mesa Verde, we explored some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the southwest and we visited the poignant site of the Sand Creek Massacre. Join us in 2011 on our New Mexico trip!


THIS WAS OUR ITINERARY  (11 Days/10 Nights)


Tuesday, August 17   Join staff and fellow travelers for a welcome drink and dinner. Overnight Downtown Denver  (R,D)


Wednesday, August 18   

We'll begin our exploration of Colorado with an excursion to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We’ll drive the stunning Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the U.S.   Stops will include the towns of Estes Park and Boulder.     O/N  Downtown Denver  (B,L)


Thursday, August 19  A morning's tour of Denver will include the State Capitol building and the history museum. Following lunch, we'll depart Denver for Colorado Springs and tour the U.S. Air Force Academy.  O/N Courtyard Colorado Springs  (B,L)


Friday, August 20    This morning we'll ride a cog train to the top of Pikes Peak where Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write the poem America the Beautiful. Enjoy lunch at the historic Cliff House, which has hosted dignitaries including Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Dickens and Thomas Edison.  O/N La Junta Hampton Inn  (B,L)

Saturday, August 21  We will pay our respects at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre where on November 29, 1864, Colorado volunteer soldiers killed over 150 unarmed Arapaho & Cheyenne, mostly elderly men, women and children.  Continue to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, an 1840's adobe fur trading post on the Santé Fe Trail.  We'll follow a stretch of the Trail that winds through the Comanche National Grasslands to the town of Trinidad. O/N Trinidad Holiday Inn & Suites (B,L,D)

Sunday, August 22   Following a tour of the Trinidad History Museum we'll continue to Fort Garland where Kit Carson was in command in 1866.  This afternoon, we'll see Colorado's most spectacular geological feature at Great Sand Dunes National Park.  O/N  Alamosa (B,L,D)

 Monday, August 23  Today we'll drive over the beautiful San Juan Mountains to the historic town of Durango.  En route, we'll visit Creede, the rowdiest mining town in the Old West.  Notorious residents included Bob Ford, the man who killed Jesse James.     O/N Durango Doubletree Hotel   (B,L)

 Tuesday, August 24  We'll spend a full day exploring Mesa Verde National Park.  Home of some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the Southwest, it is the largest archaeological preserve in the U.S.  O/N Durango Doubletree Hotel  (B,L)


Wednesday, August 25    Today we'll ride the famous Durango- Silverton steam train that has been in continual operation since 1881.  After free time in Silverton, we’ll drive to Montrose to tour the Ute Indian Museum. If you still have some energy, we’ll offer an optional, late afternoon visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.                                                                       O/N Montrose Hampton Inn (B,L,D)


Thursday, August 26   Follow scenic Route 50 through the heart of the Rocky Mountains to Leadville.  During the Silver Boom, it was the second largest city in Colorado and was where the Unsinkable Molly Brown’s husband made his fortune.  

O/N Denver Airport Marriott Courtyard   (B,L,D)


Friday, August 27    Individual departures.  (B)



* Historian: Ed Bearss
* Tour Manager: Marty Gane
* 10 nights hotel accommodations
* one wine/beer welcome reception; 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 5 dinners
* all taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book


Double Occupancy:   $3,395 per person

Single Occupancy:  $3,895


  To enroll on this tour, print & complete the attached registration form and mail it with a $200 per person deposit check to:   South Mountain Expeditions, P.O. Box 204, Keedysville, MD, 21756.  Or call us at (301) 988-1852 or toll free at 1 (866) 914-1862. We accept VISA, Mastercard and American Express.

Maroon Bells Colorado