It’s about the scenery…
It’s about the history…
It’s about the PEOPLE!
One Day Group Tour
Wilderness, Wildlife and Wonder
A day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park with Lively Tours and Talks begins and ends at your Denver-area location. Dave Lively–a certified tour guide and historian–will step on your motor coach/tour bus and immediately begin to engage passengers with fascinating history and entertaining stories that will continue throughout the journey over the Continental Divide to Grand Lake and through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Your full-day experience will begin by traveling west along the first railroad bed into the mountains where gold was first discovered in Colorado, and over the top of Berthoud Pass at 11,314 feet above sea level. A stop at the top for photos of the Continental Divide and surrounding majestic mountaintops is a must. We will descend the switchbacks into the ski town of Winter Park and its neighboring town of Fraser, home to the first automobile dealership established west of Denver. Along the way to the quaint town of Grand Lake you will enjoy vistas of pioneer ranches, stunning lakes and rugged mountains while hearing obscure stories about Charles Lindbergh, iceberg lettuce and log flumes.
For lunch, we can spend some time in Grand Lake exploring the boardwalk shops and strolling along the beach of Colorado’s largest natural lake. Or, we can pick up a picnic lunch to be enjoyed a few miles into Rocky Mountain National Park.
We will continue north on Trail Ridge Road, traveling through the Kawuneeche Valley into the scenic and breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll stop for a group photo at the entrance sign and take a short hike along the headwaters of the Colorado River to enjoy the majestic views of the Never Summer Mountain Range. As we ascend the highest continuous paved road in America we will make stops for more photos and to savor the stunning vistas and fresh alpine air.
As we say goodbye to Rocky Mountain National Park we will pass by the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park– made famous by Stephen King’s novel “The Shining”–and make our way back to Denver. On the return journey, you will hear the story of the “close friendship” between Isabella Bird and “Mountain Jim” Nugent back in 1873, and drive through Boulder to see the defining line between the Kansas and Nebraska territories which existed prior to the establishment of the State of Colorado.
When your passengers step off the bus at the end of the day they will be invigorated with all of the information gleaned from Dave Lively’s presentation about the wonderful state of Colorado and its most popular natural attraction, Rocky Mountain National Park. Even those who’ve visited these destinations in the past will be amazed by the landmarks and history they never knew about before this tour.
Multi-Day Group Tour
This is the Colorado you Imagine!
Day 1 – Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs
Your excursion starts in Fort Collins, within the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. We will head west through a spectacular narrow canyon along the Cache la Poudre North Park Scenic and Historic Byway and cross the Continental Divide at Cameron Pass. We’ll make stops for lunch in Walden, the Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado, and for exploring Steamboat Springs, where we’ll spend the night.
Day 2 – Steamboat Springs to Grand Lake
We’ll start the day following an old stagecoach route along the Colorado River to State Bridge Recreation Site, a beautiful canyon setting. Our journey will continue on the winding Colorado River Headwaters Scenic & Historic Byway to the town of Kremmling for lunch. Here we’ll spend the afternoon rafting the mighty Colorado River and end the day with dinner and lodging in the historic village of Grand Lake, the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Day 3 – Grand Lake
Today will involve a walking tour of the original Grand Lake City, a scenic boat ride on Colorado’s largest natural lake and a visit to the 1892 Kauffman House Museum. Free time can be spent shopping along the town’s authentic wooden boardwalk and enjoying an ice cream cone on the beach while gazing at the breathtaking mountain peaks of nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
Day 4 – Grand Lake to Estes Park
Today we’ll venture into Rocky Mountain National Park with box lunches for a scenic picnic along the way. We’ll cross the Continental Divide on Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in America (also called the “Highway to Heaven”) with various stops to stretch our legs and learn the stories of the influential people, places and events behind the park’s early history. You’ll see dizzying 75-mile vistas above timberline, hear about the first transcontinental water diversion project, experience potential wildlife sightings and enjoy many photo opportunities. We’ll also spend some time shopping at the Fall River Visitor Center before ending the day in the bustling town of Estes Park, home to the historic Stanley Hotel.
Day 5 – Estes Park to Fort Collins
Today we’ll travel along the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway to the quirky town of Nederland, home to the “Carousel of Happiness” and the “Frozen Dead Guy” festival before descending one of the state’s steepest paved roads into Boulder, CO, on our return route to Fort Collins.
Most mountain communities offer a number of similar activities like shopping, mini golf, museums, horseback riding, river rafting, hot springs, etc. that can be factored into each custom tour. Please contact us for more information about such options.
All communities offer multiple levels of lodging, a sampling is below:
- Steamboat Springs offers the Steamboat Grand near the base of the ski area
- Grand Lake offers The Grand Lake Lodge, The Gateway Inn or Western Riviera cabin rentals.
- Estes Park offers the Historic Stanley Hotel