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Rocky Mountaineer U.S. Route

Rockies to the Red Rocks

Experience a magical journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, one of the most luxurious train rides in the U.S. Experience the breathtaking route from the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the vibrant red rock formations of Utah. Enjoy panoramic views from the dome cars, savor regional cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients, and explore the lounge car for a social atmosphere.

This two-day adventure, with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, showcases some of the most spectacular scenery North America has to offer, making it the perfect overland journey in the American Southwest.

Now, check out our recommendations featured in this episode and more!

What to do

Rocky Mountaineer Train Journey

Experience a two-day train journey through the stunning landscapes of Colorado and Utah aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. With panoramic views from the dome cars, this journey offers a unique and luxurious way to travel through the Rocky Mountains and the red rock formations of Utah.

  • Route: Denver to Glenwood Springs to Moab (or reverse)
  • Season: mid-April to mid-October
  • Travel Days: Varies, 2 -3 days, depending on departure city. 
  • Hours of travel: 10-12 hours on the Canadian routes and up to 8-9 hours on the US route
  • Cost: Starting at $1,250 per person (SilverLeaf Service)

HELPFUL NOTES

Glenwood Canyon

Historically, the dome train car model was specifically designed for passing through the breathtaking views of Glenwood Canyon. When you pass through on your journey, make sure to enjoy the views  from the comfort of your seat, but also get up and check it out from the vestibule. The fresh air and real-life views without the barrier of a glass window will offer another beautiful experience.

The canyon is known for its towering cliffs and the scenic Colorado River running alongside the tracks.

SilverLeaf Experience

  • Coaches: Custom-designed glass-dome coaches with large windows for panoramic views
  • Meals: Gourmet, regionally-inspired meals served at your seat
  • Beverages: Complimentary beverages
  • Hosts: Two friendly hosts and culinary team members
  • Other amenities: Outdoor viewing area, stories from the hosts, and complimentary baggage transfers

Silverleaf Plus

SilverLeaf Plus is an enhanced level of service on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Rockies to the Red Rocks route that includes access to a lounge car, premium beverages, and an elevated dining experience:
  • Lounge car: A newly-renovated space with indoor seating, an outdoor viewing area, and a bar serving signature cocktails and premium alcoholic beverages. The lounge car also has a dedicated host.
  • Dining: Meals are served regionally-inspired and paired with local wines.
  • Other benefits: SilverLeaf Plus also includes all the benefits of the SilverLeaf Service, such as gourmet breakfasts and lunches, friendly hosts, and complimentary baggage transfers.

Signature Drinks

Enjoy one of the signature drinks from the bar, crafted to enhance your journey with unique flavors and local ingredients. The bars are located in the lounge car, and drinks are available throughout the train journey. Cost of drinks are included with the SilverLeaf Plus service.

Where to stay

Glenwood Springs

Hotel Colorado (Glenwood Springs)

The historic Hotel Colorado offers a comfortable and charming overnight stay in Glenwood Springs. Enjoy the classic elegance and convenient location close to the train station.

  • Address: 526 Pine St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
  • Hours: Check-in from 3:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $200 per night
  • Website: Hotel Colorado

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is famous for its world’s largest hot springs pool. Guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations, relaxing hot springs, and a full-service spa.

  • Address: 415 E 6th St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
  • Hours: Check-in from 4:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $250 per night
  • Website: Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

The Hotel Denver

 The Hotel Denver combines historic charm with modern amenities, offering comfortable rooms and a convenient location near the train station and downtown attractions.

  • Address: 402 7th St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
  • Hours: Check-in from 3:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $180 per night
  • Website: The Hotel Denver

And there’s tons of other fabulous places to stay during your trip.

Check out the best accommodation deals below.

Moab

Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton

Located near Arches National Park, Hoodoo Moab offers luxury accommodations with modern amenities, including an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.

  • Address: 111 N 100 W, Moab, UT 84532
  • Hours: Check-in from 3:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $300 per night
  • Website: Hoodoo Moab

Red Cliffs Lodge

Situated along the Colorado River, Red Cliffs Lodge offers rustic elegance with stunning views, horseback riding, a winery, and a film museum.

  • Address: Milepost 14, UT-128, Moab, UT 84532
  • Hours: Check-in from 4:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $250 per night
  • Website: Red Cliffs Lodge

Moab Springs Ranch

Moab Springs Ranch provides a serene retreat with private bungalows, a spring-fed pond, and extensive gardens, offering a peaceful stay close to the adventure activities in Moab.

  • Address: 1266 N Main St, Moab, UT 84532
  • Hours: Check-in from 4:00 PM, Check-out by 10:00 AM
  • Cost: Bungalows starting at $350 per night
  • Website: Moab Springs Ranch

Denver

The Crawford Hotel

Located in Denver’s Union Station, The Crawford Hotel combines historic charm with modern luxury. It offers easy access to downtown attractions and dining.

  • Address: 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
  • Hours: Check-in from 4:00 PM, Check-out by 11:00 AM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $300 per night
  • Website: The Crawford Hotel

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection

An iconic Denver landmark, The Brown Palace offers luxurious accommodations, a full-service spa, and fine dining in a historic setting.

  • Address: 321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
  • Hours: Check-in from 4:00 PM, Check-out by 12:00 PM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $350 per night
  • Website: The Brown Palace Hotel

Kimpton Hotel Born

A modern, stylish hotel in the heart of Denver, Kimpton Hotel Born features luxurious rooms, a rooftop terrace, and easy access to LoDo (Lower Downtown) and Union Station.

  • Address: 1600 Wewatta St, Denver, CO 80202
  • Hours: Check-in from 3:00 PM, Check-out by 12:00 PM
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $250 per night
  • Website: Kimpton Hotel Born

Travel Tips

  • Best Time to Visit

    The Rocky Mountaineer train journey is a seasonal operation from mid-April to mid-October. During these months, the weather is generally mild and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. Spring offers blooming wildflowers and snow-capped peaks, while summer provides warm temperatures and lush greenery. Fall is particularly spectacular with its brilliant foliage, making the journey even more scenic.

  • Getting Around

    DENVER

    Public Transit: Denver’s RTD system includes buses, light rail, and commuter rail services. It’s a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.

    Car Rentals: Available at Denver International Airport and throughout the city for those who prefer to drive.

    Ride-Sharing Services: Uber and Lyft operate extensively in Denver.

    MOAB

    Shuttles and Tours: Many local companies offer shuttles and guided tours to popular attractions like Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

    Car Rentals: Available in Moab for exploring the area independently.

    Bicycles: Moab is renowned for its biking trails, and rental shops are plentiful.

  • Safety Tips

    Stay Hydrated: Both Colorado and Utah can have dry climates, especially during summer. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

    Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sun, especially at higher altitudes.

    Wildlife: If you encounter wildlife, maintain a safe distance and do not feed them.

    Altitude: Denver and the Rocky Mountains have higher altitudes. Take it easy on your first day to acclimate and avoid altitude sickness.

  • Helpful Notes

    Weather Variability: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in the mountains. Pack layers to adjust to varying temperatures throughout the day.

    Reservations: Popular attractions and accommodations can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. Make reservations well in advance.

    Plug/Adapter: The standard voltage is 120V, and the plug type is A/B. International travelers may need an adapter.

Packing list

Here’s our suggested items to pack for this destination. Please always consider the weather and activities you will be doing.

Clothing:

  • Layered Clothing: T-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and light jackets for varying temperatures.
  • Comfortable Pants: Jeans or travel pants for daytime comfort.
  • Outerwear: A warm jacket or fleece for cooler mornings and evenings, especially in the mountains.
  • Rain Gear: Lightweight rain jacket or poncho in case of rain.
  • Active Wear: If you plan on exploring Glenwood Springs or other stops, bring comfortable activewear.
  • Sleepwear: Comfortable pajamas for your overnight stay.
  • Footwear:
    • Comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.
    • Hiking boots if you plan on doing any hiking.
    • Casual shoes for onboard and evening outings.
  • Accessories:
    • Hats, scarves, and gloves (especially in spring or fall).
    • Sunglasses for sun protection.

Toiletries:

  • Personal Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and deodorant.
  • Skincare: Sunscreen, moisturizer, and lip balm (the air can be dry).
  • First Aid Kit: Band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any personal medications.

Travel Essentials:

  • Travel Documents: ID, tickets, reservation confirmations, and any necessary travel permits.
  • Money: Credit/debit cards, some cash in small denominations.
  • Electronics:
    • Phone and charger.
    • Camera and accessories for capturing the stunning scenery.
    • Portable power bank.
    • Adapter if coming from outside the US.
  • Daypack: Small backpack or tote for day trips and excursions.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially at high altitudes.

Onboard Comfort:

  • Entertainment: Books, magazines, or e-readers for leisurely reading.
  • Travel Pillow and Blanket: For added comfort on the train.
  • Snacks: Though meals are provided, pack some of your favorite snacks.

Optional:

  • Binoculars: For a closer look at the passing landscapes and wildlife.
  • Swimwear: If you plan to use the hot springs in Glenwood Springs.
  • Notebook and Pen: For jotting down memories or travel notes.

Get a full packing list and free downloadable template at Pack Better

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