Route / Itinerary
Rockies to the Red Rocks is filled with highlights best seen by train, including Ruby Canyon, Mount Logan, and the Continental Divide. While they’ve described the journey on this route heading west from Denver to Moab, you can also travel from Moab east to Denver, and Rocky Mountaineer offers plenty of package add-ons with Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, etc. to extend the adventure!
Day 1: Denver to Glenwood Springs
Your journey starts in Denver. As you hear the whistle blow, board the train, take your seat, and get ready to start your journey 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. Here 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.
Enjoy a three-course, regionally inspired lunch as the onboard Hosts share stories about the region you travel through. Make sure you keep your camera near by as you travel along the Colorado River through a series of picturesque canyons, including Byers Canyon and Gore Canyon. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as these canyons are the perfect place to spot bighorn sheep, bears, mountain lions, deer, and marmots.
As you near Glenwood Springs, you’re close to the end of today’s journey. Disembark from the train and reminisce about the sights you have seen from the comfort of your cozy hotel room and look forward to tomorrow’s adventure.
Day 2: Glenwood Springs to Moab
After a relaxing morning in Glenwood Springs, board the train for another day of incredible scenery as you head south west past mountain vistas, desert cliffs, and amazing rock formations. Enjoy a two-course hot breakfast as you pass by Parachute Creek and Mount Logan towards De Beque Canyon, a 15-mile long narrow canyon with stair-step cliffs of sedimentary rock layers.
As you continue west, look out for Mount Garfield. At 6,600 feet, it’s the highest point of the Book Cliffs so it should be easy to spot! These sandstone cliffs and mountains stretch nearly 200 miles from west to east – another great excuse to get your camera out!
The train continues to follow the Colorado River as you cross over the state line between Mack, Colorado, and Westwater, Utah. Take in 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.
After crossing over the Colorado-Utah state line, look out for Mount Peale. It’s the highest point of the La Sal Mountains at 12,726 feet. Due to it’s their immense height, these mountains are usually snow-capped until early summer.
As you reach Moab, you’ll be greeted by its brilliant red sandstone backdrop and 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 to downtown Moab via a motorcoach transfer. Welcome to the scarlet city!