12 Days of Outstanding Touring
This great western adventure highlights the very best that this area of our country has to offer. We’ve included all the top sights you’d expect to see, plus more! You will not find a more comprehensive Colorado Rockies tour anywhere. Read on & see why we believe you’ll say it was one of the best trips you’ve ever taken!
Two Train Rides, Vail, Pike’s Peak, Estes Park, Mesa Verde, Durango, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs & More!
A STUNNING Vacation Adventure All the Way Through!
DAY ONE: With excitement in the air and adventure in our spirits, we embark on a journey to our 8th largest state, which is known for its unrivaled beauty, Colorado! Today’s travels allow us time to get-acquainted with our TLC travel mates as we make our way to our overnight at Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL. Enjoy a delicious ‘Barn Dance Buffet’ in the lodge’s dining room. (D)
DAY TWO: On to the Amana Colonies amidst the Iowa prairie, listed as a National Historic Landmark, and a German settlement comprised of seven villages. You’ll see historical buildings dating back to the 1850’s, traditional German craftsmanship, and little stores with the tradition of quality products. Enjoy some free time to stroll around and also an included lunch at Ox Yoke Inn. On to tonight’s home in Lincoln, Nebraska. (B, L)
DAY THREE: Mostly a day of travel to finish our trek to the city of Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb to the west of Denver, boasting one of the best views of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Dinner this evening is at our hotel, our home for the next two nights. (B, D)
DAY FOUR: What a grand day ahead of us!! A wonderful, professional guide will join us and take us on a full day of outstanding touring in the Rocky Mountain National Park region. Some of the things we plan to see and do (conditions & time permitting) include Estes Park, Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, and just as much as we can possibly fit in. Have plenty of film in your camera as the sights will be majestic! Later, enjoy free time in Estes Park. (B)
DAY FIVE: Another day of exceptional sight-seeing! We begin by stepping into the “Old West” with a stop at Buffalo Bill’s Museum and Gravesite located in Lookout Mountain Park which overlooks the natural beauty of the Great Plains and the Rockies. See Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill’s show outfits, Indian artifacts and firearms, and much more! Back on the coach and away we go through the rugged, scenic Glenwood Canyon situated on the Colorado River in western Colorado. Its canyon walls climb as high as 1,300 ft. above the Colorado River and is the largest such canyon on the Upper Colorado. The views are spectacular – the sense of awe, beyond description! After we check in at the Grand Vista Hotel in Grand Junction and enjoy dinner at Oliver’s, we’ll take the gorgeous “Rim Rock Drive”, considered to be one of the most glorious scenic drives in the American West, through the red rocks of the Fruita Canyon out to see the Colorado National Monument. Along the way, keep watch for bighorn sheep and soaring eagles! Comprised of about 32 sq. miles, this monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Towering monoliths exist within an awesome, vast plateau-and-canyon panorama. You can experi-ence sheer-walled, red rock canyons in every direction – a spectacular vista on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau. (B, D)
DAY SIX: Traveling thru Utah through the “Arches’, we arrive at Mesa Verde National Park where we will pick up a professional step-on Guide and travel up the mountains into the park. This wild landscape of deep canyons and expansive vistas is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth. For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past. We’ll begin with lunch at the Visitor’s Center called Farview Terrace – enjoy the gorgeous views from your special vantage point. Then a grand adventure begins as we see Mesa Top Loop, Park Point, and Spruce Tree House Overlook and Museum. The Spruce Tree House was constructed in the 1200s by ancestors of the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest, is a World Heritage Site, and the best-preserved cliff dwelling in the park.
Later, sit back and relax as we travel to Durango, nestled in the Animas River Valley. Downtown Durango is a Nationally Registered Historic District and home to award-winning restaurants, laid-back brewpubs, and fabulous art galleries, museums, and shops. We give you the evening free to enjoy this historic town - Fun, fun! (B)
DAY SEVEN: What a spectacular day we’re about to have!! We board the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train for an unforgettable journey along the scenic Animas River. The route begins high in the San Juan Mountains and ends in a confluence with the San Juan River, boasting some of Colorado’s most spectacular canyon scenery. The train will cross the river five times on its journey, offering majestic views from both sides of the train. We’ll pass fertile farmlands, old stagecoach roads, the breathtaking “Highline”, old mining camps, and be in the shadow of peaks over 14,000 ft., often with year-round snow – AWESOME! In Silverton, we’ll be able to enjoy some free time in their famous ‘Old Town Square’ to peruse the little shops in this former “old west” silver mining town, and also get lunch. This afternoon our outstanding day continues as we travel the famous “Million Dollar Highway”. You will see some stunning ‘million-dollar views’ out your window as it follows old stagecoach routes and former pack trails thru the rugged and majestic landscape. Arriving in Montrose, we are guests for a “Cowboy BBQ Buffet” to top off a day of fabulous sight-seeing. (B, D)
DAY EIGHT: Journeying from Montrose to Canon City today, we will visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This canyon was formed by the Gunnison River as it flowed through hard ancient rocks at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains on its way to joining the Colorado River at Grand Junction. The canyon walls are composed of volcanic schist, predominantly black in color, reaching depths of over 2,000 feet while often being very narrow across, allowing sunlight to illuminate the walls only briefly, hence the name ‘Black Canyon’ – you will agree it’s amazing to see! In the afternoon, we arrive at the Canon City Train Station and board the Royal Gorge Train where we have special reserved seats for you in a glass-topped dome car! Established in 1879, the Royal Gorge Route combines Colorado history, breathtaking scenery, and a spectacular round-trip journey thru the unparalleled Royal Gorge. The historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad you will ride today is considered one of the most spectacular rail rides in the world. The Royal Gorge Canyon was nicknamed The Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River. It features the highest suspension bridge in the world, a unique combination of human achievement and scenic beauty that must be seen to be believed! Our overnight will be in Colorado Springs where you’ll have a free evening to rest up after a truly breathtaking, exciting day. (B)
DAY NINE: We begin our Colorado Springs Adventure today with a visit to the famous Garden of the Gods Park, a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This is the most-visited attraction in the region and known for its magnificent red sandstone formations – also home to one of the most famous rocks in the country, the Balanced Rock. Our next adventure is the Cog Railway Ride up to spectacular Pike’s Peak, the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Known as “America’s Mountain”, the journey along the way is full of show-stopping moments. You will never forget this 3.5-hour round-trip experience and your first breathtaking glimpse of the Summit. Enjoy sweeping 360-degree views from the far eastern plains to the Continental Divide along the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the west. On a clear day, you may even see the historic mining camp of Cripple Creek and the skyscrapers of downtown Denver – absolutely stunning! You’ll have around 30 minutes at the top which will include time to explore the new Summit Complex among other things. *Fun Fact: We owe the inspiration for the lyrics of the beloved song, “America the Beautiful” to the stunning vistas from the summit of Pikes Peak! ~ From here we travel to the Flying W Ranch, a living symbol of Western Heritage, embodying the romantic spirit of the Old West. A Chuckwagon spread of smoked meats with all the trimmings is followed by a western stage show performed by the world-renowned Flying W Wranglers, the second longest-running western performance band in the world. ~ An awesome day in the truest sense of the word! (B, D)
DAY TEN: We won’t want to, but it’s time to say good-bye to Colorado and begin our journey home by traveling to Junction City, Kansas. Sit back and take in the sights as our deluxe coach takes you to our home for tonight with a relaxing dinner included nearby. (B, D)
DAY ELEVEN: Away we go again, headed for Booneville, Missouri and Warm Springs Ranch where you’ll love this special visit to the 300-acre Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale breeding facility, home to more than 100 Clydesdales. You’ll meet stallions, mares, and foals in their natural environment. See a 1903 Studebaker-built beer wagon, a luxury transport trailer & more – really fun & interesting! Then it’s on to Effingham, Illinois for our overnight. (B, D)
DAY TWELVE: Today we finish our drive home with memories overflowing from an outstanding visit to the TRAINS & NATIONAL PARKS OF the MAGNIFICENT COLORADO ROCKIES!! B)
Includes: Round-trip motorcoach transportation, 11 nights’ accommodations, 19 meals (11 B, 1 L, 7 D), activities as listed, luggage handling and taxes.
* $2,835 per/person, double occupancy*
* $2,575 per/person, triple occupancy (no quads)*
* $3,685 single rate*
Please note: The following are TLC's general polices and procedures that cover all of our tours, so some of these may or may not be applicable to this particular tour.
On all overnight tours, we use a daily seat rotation. The first day of a trip, you choose your seat when you board, and rotate from there. We feel this is fair to all. If the coach is not full, a less formal rotation may be used at the Escort’s discretion. Persons traveling single or with uneven amounts in their group may need to sit with other like-travelers. We cannot guarantee that small groups will be seated together. We welcome single travelers, but the single rate does not include two seats on the coach. * We cannot accept doctor’s notes regarding requests to sit in the front seat/s. Please consider boarding at the first pickup location if your seat location is of concern. It is also recommended to see your doctor for motion sickness medication, if this should apply.
We make regular stops for restrooms and for the convenience of smokers; however, we have a NO SMOKING (or vaping) policy aboard all coaches. If someone violates the non-smoking policies of places we are staying or visiting while on tour, it is the sole responsibility of that person should there be any penalties and/or fines for not adhering to their rules and regulations. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted at any time on the coach.
All of our tours use beautiful modern, deluxe wide-body motorcoaches from Campbell Bus Lines. Campbell has received the highest possible rating with the Dept. of Transportation. The motorcoaches are equipped with air-conditioning, reclining seats, public address system, DVD player, outlets for each passenger, and emergency restrooms. Our intent is for all overnight tours to be professionally escorted. Upon occasion, in order to avoid canceling a trip with a low passenger count, our Driver may serve both positions of Driver and Escort, and all are professionally trained to do so. ~ Also, on air trips with low passenger counts, we will not be able to provide an Escort from our company. However, once you arrive at your destination, a guide from our connecting company will be with you throughout the entire tour.
Your lodging is included on all overnight tours. All hotels are AAA rated. We never use second rate hotels, restaurants, or activities on any tour, to the best of our ability to make that determination. If you need two beds in your room, please state this when making your reservation. Generally, some meals are included on overnight trips (see individual tour inclusions); however, we cannot guarantee any special dietary requirements.
As of June 2009, a Passport or Passport Card is required for border crossings. Either of these travel documents may be obtained through your local courthouse. The Passport Card is limited but is sufficient for Canadian border crossings and is good for 10 years – it is also very easy to apply for. Your Driver and/or Escort will be asking to see one of these documents before boarding the coach for trips with this requirement. We cannot be responsible if you are unable to travel due to failure on your part to obtain the proper documentation. Please begin the process early enough to ensure that you will have it in time for your tour’s departure. Click here for for more information.
One suitcase per person is included in the price of your tour. You are also permitted a carry-on, which is your responsibility. Additional luggage may be transported at the cost of $10.00 per bag, per day. It is wise to travel light. Luggage tags are provided and required for hotel identification and are sent with the final letter and phone numbers of your hotels.
Medical devices must be handled by you, the passenger. They are either to be stored under your seat (not protruding out into the person’s space behind or in front of you), or if too large for that accommodation, they must be placed under the coach by you, and taken off at each place it’s needed by you. It is not safe for a medical device to ride in an overhead compartment for multiple reasons, nor are our Drivers or hotel personnel allowed to handle it for safety and liability reasons. If it needs to ride under the coach, please have it in a quality container (as small as possible) to assure it rides safely.
All taxes and gratuities for included meals and activities are included, unless otherwise mentioned by the Escort. Driver and Escort gratuities are not included in the price of your tour. The suggested rate for a “job well done” is a minimum of $4.00-$4.50 per person/ per day for the Tour Escort, and a minimum of $4.00-$4.50per person/per day for the Driver. We request that you express this on an individual basis and let the quality of service received be your guide.
All prices listed are per/person rates. On one day tours, full payment must be made with the reservation. For overnight tours, see “How To Make A Reservation”. Balance of an overnight tour is due 45 days prior to departure (unless otherwise stated/notified). Confirmation will be sent after we receive your deposit. Please call as soon as possible if you should decide not to go.
FYI: About a week before your overnight trip departs, you will receive from our office a letter packet with updated itinerary, passenger list, departure and return times, luggage tags, hotel phone numbers, and other pertinent information.
1– Our intent is to have all our tours accompanied by one of our professional Escorts – However, occasionally a low passenger count may make it necessary to send that tour out as “Driver Only” in an effort to ensure that the trip you wanted to go on does not have to be cancelled. Please be assured our Tour Drivers are first-class professionals, capable of handling any trip we offer from beginning to end. You will be in great hands and have a wonderful time!
2- Please Note – We’re truly sorry if we’ve canceled a trip that you wanted to go on. Sometimes excellent trips with super itineraries are canceled when people wait ‘til the last minute to put in their reservation. OUR monies are usually due at least 45 days ahead on regular trips, and sometimes 90 on certain ones. If we don’t have enough signed up at that time, we have no choice but to cancel it. Then when you call later, it’s already too late… and disappointing for us all! Please help us and CALL EARLY – Thank you so much.
3- The information about trips on this website (funwithtlc.com) is complete. It contains the same information that a paper flyer has. However, if you prefer a paper flyer you can call for Fully Detailed Flyers for Most Trips of 3 Days or More. We’ll gladly send extras for you to pass along to your friends! We will also happily send a Tour Book to anyone you feel would enjoy receiving one.
Up to 45 days prior to departure date, a full refund will be made. *Air and cruise tours, and some longer tours, may be different—be sure to ask for details when making your reservation. Tours including tickets also generally have earlier non-refundable dates. There are no refunds for cancellations made within 45 days prior to your departure date. However, we will do our best to recover as much as we can, but cannot guarantee anything including prepaid reservations and other costs that are non-refundable to us. There will be a $25.00 per/person charge for this service. There will be no refund, for any reason, for a “no-show” on the day of the tour.
Please Note: Refunds will be made by the same method you paid us, e.g., if you paid by credit card, the refund will be put back on that credit card. No exceptions.
TLC Tours offers a “Refund Protection Plan” for overnight tours that is available at our office at a minimal cost. It needs to be purchased when you book your trip. This insures you a full refund in case of:
Call our office for full details about TLC’s RPP. We encourage you to take advantage of the protection plan, or secure insurance on your own if you prefer “cancel for any reason” coverage. Our Refund Protection Plan is not available for Day Trips, nor are there any refunds for Day Trips, with a few exceptions.
TLC Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour that has not reached a minimum number of reservations. We always avoid changes and cancellations, if at all possible, as we realize the inconvenience to you, our valued customer. We reserve the right to cancel or refuse service to anyone, in our sole discretion. Any person may be dismissed from a tour at any time by the Tour Escort or Driver should their conduct be problematic in any way. No refund will be made, nor will any further responsibility be assumed by TLC Tours or anyone in their employment.
TLC Tours, LLC is insured. Campbell Bus Lines is registered and insured with the ICC. TLC Tours acts only as an agent. We are not responsible to any person for any loss of time or money due to a change or delay beyond our control. Nor are we responsible for non-performance by those we have contracted with. We reserve the right to change tour prices, inclusions, and itinerary, if so, dictated by circumstances beyond our control. We are not responsible for pricing, typographical, or other errors. Any claims against TLC Tours must be made, in writing within 30 days of the trip.
HOW TLC IS ADDRESSING COVID/VARIANTS FOR 2023
We are so thankful that much of our country has ‘opened up’ and we are back to being able to travel freely, for those who desire to get out & about again. While rejoicing over such good news, there are still a few things we must remain aware of that are listed below. We believe these things are a very small price to pay to be “On the Road Again’! ~ Thank you for your gracious understanding and kind cooperation as we wisely embark on wonderful memory-making journeys together this year!
A- There are a few parts of the country that are still enforcing a mask mandate in their particular area. Please tuck a mask in your pocket just in case we should arrive somewhere and find out unexpectedly that we are required to wear one for entrance. We continue to pledge to be good neighbors and help these establishments stay open by cooperating with whatever they are required to ask of us, and to do it with a good, kind spirit. If you’re not in agreement with this, please refrain from traveling with us at this time.
B- At this writing, all the places we plan to visit are open for business. However, as mentioned above, that can change by the time we arrive. Should there be some place that is not able to take us, we will do our very best to substitute an activity or attraction of an equal quality. We just have to “go with the flow” again this year somewhat – but trust me, every single place we plan to visit WANTS to be open for us and will be doing everything they can to do so.
C- We ask that you take your own temperature before leaving home on the morning of Day One, and if you show any fever at all, please stay home. If you have additional/other symptoms that suggest Covid-19 or a variant, we ask that you please stay home. If you have been around someone with Covid-19/variant, or highly suspected Covid-19/variant, we ask that you please follow the CDC guidelines according to their timeline, and possibly stay home. Any of these methods are somewhat dependent on the “honor system”. We trust that our upstanding TLC customers will “do the right thing” and not put anyone else at risk for contracting Covid or a variant on a TLC tour.
D- Should someone come down with Covid during or after their tour, we assume no responsibility or liability. We cannot control every minute of everyone’s day, nor can we control how people handle themselves when off the coach. We have done our very best to secure accommodations and venues that state the highest sanitation protocols to the best of their ability. If on tour you should come down with Covid-19 or a variant, or strongly suspect it, you would be responsible to quarantine yourself and arrange for transportation home when appropriate. — By traveling with us, you are agreeing that TLC Tours, LLC will not be held responsible for contracting Covid-19 or a variant, nor liable for any expenses involved in any way.
E- If you do need to cancel at the last-minute because of having covid/variant, being exposed to covid/variant, or suspecting a possible case of covid/variant, our normal cancellation policies apply, just as they would to any other last-minute illness that prevents you from going on a tour. See General Information/Refunds in this book. Without insurance, there is no refund except what we might be able to get back from individual vendors on your behalf. We highly suggest taking out either our in-house Refund Protection Policy, or another more comprehensive insurance plan of your own choosing.
Overall, please lovingly respect the concerns of others if they differ from yours.
Some may have health issues that cause them to be more cautions than you may feel is necessary for yourself.
– Here’s the best plan: “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You!” –
ON THE COACH
(1) Every Campbell coach is completely disinfected before they depart for a trip. You can be assured that the bus that arrives to pick you up has been thoroughly cleaned with an environmentally friendly solution that is EPA-approved, and not diluted or mixed at our facilities. The solution is rated on the EPA K-List that supersedes the current EPA suggestion for elimination of Corona Virus and has no harmful properties. It has received the Green Seal certification. The solution is applied with electrostatic sprayers to increase coverage to eliminate all pathogens on hard surfaces.
(2) We have upgraded all air filters and increased the frequency that we change the air filters on the coach to reduce contamination. Our motor coaches refresh the air on the coach every five minutes, and combined with the upgraded filters, will reduce stale used air in the coach.
(3) We have UV lights in our HVAC system to eliminate any airborne pathogens.
(4) Disinfecting wipes available for the Driver & Escort, and hand sanitizer on board for your use.
(5) Should the situation regarding pandemic conditions rise during the year, we are prepared to increase the level of our procedures accordingly.
Our departure points are as follows
Alliance: The front parking area of Lowe’s, 2595 W. State St.
Other departure points may be established for groups of 10 or more if the itinerary and direction of travel permits. We reserve the right to change departures. Departures are arranged in the direction of travel, with last departure being the closest to the destination, for the convenience of all passengers.
*We may use smaller shuttle buses to make these pickups and will join the tour en route at a logical transfer point.
For Overnight Trips:
For TLC DAY TRIPS:
For day trips, we do not have any insurance or Refund Protection Plan available. Payment must be made in full when booking a day trip, and if you cancel your reservation up to 45 days prior to the trip’s date, you will receive a full refund. *Occasionally a day trip may have a different cancellation date other than 45 days out – it is good to inquire when making your reservation. — If TLC should need to cancel the entire day trip, you will receive a refund.
For TLC OVERNIGHT MOTORCOACH TOURS:
For most overnight tours, a full refund will be made up to 45 days prior to departure date. However, some of our tours, especially the longer ones, may have a 60-day cancellation date. The specific date will be listed on your confirmation which you will receive in the mail once you make your reservation. Tours including tickets may have earlier non-refundable dates – please inquire when making a reservation for a tour that includes tickets. There are no refunds for cancellations made within the 45 (or 60) days prior to your departure date. However, we will do our best to recover as much as we can, but cannot guarantee anything including prepaid reservations and other costs that are non-refundable to us. There will be a $25.00 per/person charge for this service. There will be no refund, for any reason, for a “no-show” on the day of the tour.
** Please Note: Refunds will be made by the same method you paid us; e.g., if you paid by credit card, the refund will be put back on that credit card. No exceptions.
TLC’s REFUND PROTECTION PLAN for Overnight Motorcoach Tours:
TLC has an in-house “Refund Protection Plan” which we offer for overnight motorcoach tours through our office at a minimal cost. It needs to be purchased when you book your trip. This insures you a full refund in case of:
The RPP covers you up to the morning of departure; however, you must call your Escort (number will be provided) that morning before your pick-up time in order for the RPP to be valid. She will need to call all the places the tour is going to change the passenger counts. Failure to call the Escort that morning cancels your RPP coverage.
Feel free to call our office for full details about TLC’s RPP. We encourage you to take advantage of the protection plan, or secure more comprehensive insurance on your own, if desired.
TLC “FLY TRIPS”:
For any of our tours that involve flying, the connecting companies we use for our air tours offer their own insurance plans and instructions. You will find that information listed on each tour’s page and/or flyer near the respective pricing and other pertinent details. It is up to you, of course, whether or not you choose to take insurance out, but it is highly recommended.
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes excellent trips with super itineraries are canceled when people wait ’til the last minute to put in their reservation. OUR monies are usually due at least 90 days ahead on “fly trips” and at least 45 days ahead on regular trips. If we don’t have enough signed up at that time, we have no choice but to cancel it. Then when you call later, it’s already too late… and disappointing for us all! Please help us and CALL EARLY – Thank you so much.