Northern Segment of Northbound Tours

Grand Junction, Colorado to Whitefish, Montana

Departing Early June and Early September - 14 Days

We do not provide a day by day itinerary until after a trip is fully subscribed because the interests of the group may result in some adjustments. However, on this page we do account for each of our featured destinations in the order in which they are visited. Most of this information is repeated in our description of the Southbound Tour, but there are also some important differences.

Tour Members - Please refer to this guide when filling out your Options form.
(Instructions at bottom of page)

If you are just curious about what the trip has to offer, read on and enjoy the pictures (all picture panels link to additional information - we hope). However, if you are joining us on a tour, or want to see how the option selection process works, download the form and follow along.

 

Please use our Form Translations page if you need the form translated from English.

Grand Junction, Colorado -

Grand Junction, Colorado is a very nice town, and we have some pleasant surprises in the area for our full tour participants. For those traveling with us for either the southern or northern segments only, Grand Junction is a convenient arrival and departure point with a good airport and numerous flights. Once we have assembled the group, we then move on to our first destination.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park -

The fast moving Gunnison River has carved a magnificent canyon in Western Colorado.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The canyon is 1700 feet deep at the point where we approach it on the North Rim. Guests have the option of taking an easy 1.5 mile walk to Exclamation Point, or staying with the vehicle while we stop at different view points along the rim - or both. This the sort of choice which does not need advance planning, but will give us a sense of the group - so please give us your preference on your options form. Our use of two vehicles provides the option for different activities, and different schedules, so that those who don't go on all the hikes don't necessarily need to wait for those who do. Wanting to get to your hotel a bit early is a luxury we can easily understand.

We can stay a couple of hours or much of the day at the canyon before heading to Glenwood Springs (May trip only) or Aspen.

Aspen (or) Glenwood Springs -

Because of their proximity, the options for things to do are the same, regardless of which town we use as home base. The personal interests you indicate on your Options form may lead to a specific suggestion from us for the day, but the general choices range from short hikes at Hanging Lake or Maroon Bells, a visit to Glenwood Caverns for those who just joined the tour and did not visit Carlsbad Cavern, or just strolling around Aspen on your own.

Deserving of extra special mention is Glenwood Hot Springs, the original tourist attraction in Western Colorado - dating back to 1888. To this day, this is the the world’s largest outdoor hot springs pool, with over a million gallons of naturally hot mineral water. The therapy pool is kept at 104°F. The main pool spans the length of a football field and includes swimming lanes and a diving area.

Aspen - Glenwood Springs

Aspen / Glenwood Springs Area

Both communities have very fine restaurants, so a night out is recommended to sample the cuisine - rather than just simply eating dinner. History and art are also well represented, so this is one portion of the trip where your own research may lead you to your best choice. There are too many options for us to list them all!

Dinosaur National Monument -

Many of the best dinosaur skeletons you have seen over the course of your life have come from one relatively small area in Northern Utah. Numerous species died in a river bottom, which became a layer of rock. The layer of rock was forced upwards by geologic forces so that a nearly vertical wall of dinosaur bones was created. Early last century, scientists working at the site decided to leave a portion of this wall of dinosaur bones intact as an on-site museum. Pictures can't capture the awe inspiring effect of this massive wall of bones, but the detail of a small area below gives a sense of how many fossils were found at this amazing place.

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

The Dinosaur bones are reason enough to visit, but add the petroglyphs, and scenery provided by places like Split Mountain, and Dinosaur National Monument is one of our favorite destinations.

Jackson Wyoming -

We are in cowboy country, and examples will be numerous as we make our way north to Jackson, Wyoming.

Wyoming Cattle Drive

Jackson, Wyoming

Grand TetonJackson is another place where personal interests may determine your day. As with Santa Fe and Aspen, an unscheduled day to explore on your own may be your first choice, but we are close enough to the Grand Teton that some of the options will include things like taking a boat across Jenny Lake and hiking to Inspiration Point (not available on the September southbound tour). Wildlife becomes more prevalent on this part of the trip, so we may take a dawn excursion to look for moose!

Grand Teton National Park -

We can explore Grand Teton as part of our day in Jackson, or during our drive north into Yellowstone National Park, or both.

The photo on the left was taken about two weeks earlier in the month of May than the scheduled arrival of our tour. The ice on the lakes will be gone, but snow-capped peaks will still be the backdrop for our visit.

Yellowstone National Park -

Yellowstone is often the exclusive destination of visitors to the American West, and we spend more time here than any of our other destinations. The park has everything - even beaches along the shore of Yellowstone Lake, the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America.

Wildlife is abundant, especially bison, moose, elk and deer, and the bears will have just come out of hibernation at the time of our visit.

Yellowstone has towering mountains, its very own "Grand Canyon", dramatic waterfalls, and the largest concentration of geysers and other thermal phenomenon on Earth.

Our second vehicle will prove its value with just the additional window seats, and front row seats, we are able to provide. Sightseeing during the drive will be especially comfortable.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

The only major decision of the group may relate to what proportion of our time should be spent on which features of the park, and as a result, whether both vehicles should travel together or plot their own course.

Glacier National Park -

&

Whitefish, Montana -

Glacier National Park has so many perfect combinations of lakes and mountains you can nearly close your eyes when you point your camera.

Most of the time for the next few years a major road rebuilding project will prevent a complete trip between the east and west sides of the park over Going-to-the-Sun Road. No problem, the southern route takes not much longer, and provides a beautiful drive. We will rely on local transportation to take everyone to the top of Logan Pass - a destination and a hike we recommend to everyone - from whichever side of the road is open at the time.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

The high alpine beauty of Glacier National Park is especially amazing to those of us who reside in Colorado - because the places we like to go in our area average about 4000-5000 feet higher in elevation. Nothing makes hiking easier than having enough air to breath!

Whitefish, like Jackson, Aspen, and Santa Fe, is a town that makes sure it's fun to be a visitor - with more things to do than we can list, and plenty of shops and restaurants.

The last day of the fall northbound tour will overlap the arrival of people on the southbound tour, so we may try to organize a get together. They might like to hear your impressions and recommendations.

Northern Segment of Southbound Tour - Whitefish, Montana to Grand Junction, Colorado

 

General Interests

This list is included in the Options form which can be downloaded at the top of the page. It is repeated here so that you can easily see if you want to suggest any additions to the choices using the comment box below.

Let us know the things you enjoy doing generally, so that the most popular choices can potentially become part of the itinerary. Some items are simple enough to become a nice way to break up the drive. A few things we can deliver on an individual basis.

The following interests are on the Option form we would like you to download above, fill out, and return. On a scale of one to ten, with one being “I’d rather avoid” and ten being “One of my favorites”, give us a rating for some of the following suggestions.

Note: We don’t provide anything that travels through in the air. No balloons, helicopters, hang gliders, etc. If you like ziplines we will be able to find a good one somewhere.

We did not include items on the list which are already an integral part of the trip, i.e. Shopping, Hiking, etc.

• Museums Generally

Mining Museum
Ranching Museum
Indian Museum
Natural History Museum
Art Museum

Lecture
Zipline
Winery
Horseback Ride
Casino
Fishing<
Live Music Concert
Live Music Club
Raft
ATV
Hot Spring
Swimming Pool
Gondola Ride
Mine Tour
Staying in Historic Hotels

The Options form may change slightly after everyone with a suggestion has commented. But it's close enough to get you started thinking about what you'd like to do.

Instructions for filling out the options form electronically -

When you download your options forms you will find that they are in a .pdf file format which allows you to edit them and email them back to us. Chances are good that you have encountered such a form before, and don't need instructions. If you filled out your Subscription Agreement electronically, you already know how to do this. Or you might prefer to print them and use regular mail, or scan and email them.

Start by downloading and opening the file, and enlarging the window until it is easy to read. Click on the “Sign” button at the upper right, and choose the “Add Text” option. The cursor looks like an upside-down T, so use the horizontal line at the bottom to align with the line you would like to fill. Then click, and you are ready to type.

You don't need to use the Add Checkmark tool, a simple "X" will do nicely. The font type doesn’t matter, but a font size of 10 is a good choice.

When you are finished, you can click the envelope icon to email it with your own software, or use the “Send Signed Document” button if you want to use the Adobe service. In either case, use the email address we sent you when you submitted your subscription form. If you've forgotten or lost it, send us another email and you should get an automated response.

 

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