I waited over a week to write this review to give myself
time to calm down and try to be more objective. Below is a
comparison of what was advertised, verses what was actually
What to Expect … (Their Version)
•Join us on a magnificent day tour of the Rocky Mountain
National Park from Denver. See the continental divide, the
most prominent hydrological division and the world’s
largest mountain barrier. On this day trip from Denver, we
will take you to the “top of the world” in the park,
filled with spectacular vistas. Experience the great
outdoors and nature by walking along beautiful trails and
watching the wildlife in its natural habitat. The Rocky
Mountain National Park is considered to be one of the most
majestic and breathtaking sights to behold in our country.
On this Sightseeing tour, you be witness to once in a
lifetime wildlife sightings, soaring mountain peaks, and
come to understand the true meaning of “Purple Mountain
Majesties”. Winter (November - May): In this mountain
tour, we will explore the quaint and peaceful Bear Lake.
Stop at Estes Park (lunch stop), Gateway visitor center,
Moraine Park, Stanley Hotel (photo opportunity) and
What to Really Expect…..
•The night before our tour, Denver got over a foot of
snow. We fully expected the tour to be cancelled…..It
should have been. The majority of businesses and areas of
the Rocky Mountain National Park were closed or
•We arrived at Union Station 30 min early, just to be
safe, and were told that another 2 guests would be joining
the tour there too. There would only be 4 of us on the tour.
The driver proceeds to start stalker calling the other
couple 30 mins early and seems agitated that they are not
there. He texts them, leaves them a voicemail and called
repeatedly on the speaker phone. Mind you, the couple is NOT
late .When they arrive – 10 minutes early, we are given no
introduction, we just take off like a bat out of hell.
•As we head rapidly down the snow and ice covered
interstate, we inquire about the itinerary i.e. where the
first stop will be act. and are ignored. We are not told
our itinerary. After about 10 minutes, the Guide finally
stated the first stop will be in 2 ½ hours.
•For the entire 2 ½ hours the Guide talks non-stop about
himself, his background, and his superior driving skills.
Quite frankly I did not think that someone could talk about
themselves and how great of a driver they are for that
long, but in reality he was just getting started. Any
attempt anyone tried to make of a video of the scenery had
him rambling NON Stop in the background. We passed through
scenic small towns and significant landmarks I am sure,
but none of them were pointed out. Every passenger in the
car asked questions and we were basically ignored. It was
like he was in the car by himself.
•Our first stop was at a Church (My Google Map identified
it as St. Malo’s Chapel on the Rock) – we pulled up to
the church which was covered in 2 feet or more of snow. Two
guests had to use the restroom (mind you it had been 2 ½
hours, AND the snow was up past everyone’s knees) and we
were told there wasn’t a restroom. The Guide pointed
toward the woods. There was a caretaker there shoveling snow
who saw one of the guys peeing outside and proceeded to
curse at him for peeing on the grounds of a church. It was
very embarrassing for the male traveler, and for everyone
involved. It was not his fault. He was doing what he was
told. The Church was closed due to the snow, and since we
were being cursed at by an angry man with a snow shovel, we
had about 2 minutes max to take pictures. We were given no
history on the church or information on its significance.
The only take-away we were given is that “A lot of
weddings” are held here. No offense, but a lot of weddings
are held at most churches.
•Upon leaving the Church the Guide states he spotted some
Elk tracks and we go on a 45 minute wild goose chase into
some neighborhoods looking for Elk. This seemed OK the first
time it happened. Little were we to know, that it would
become the focus of the entire tour.
•We then proceeded to head to the lovely little town of
Estes Park. Instead of slowing down and allowing for
pictures, the Guide sped on through. (Mind you we could not
have been running behind – we departed early, he was
speeding, and were not allowed to tour the church.) We
drove all the way down to the end of the main road and the
Guide said we would be stopping there for lunch and
shopping. He told us we could not go any further than 1
block, and allowed us 45 minutes total. The majority of the
shops were closed due to the snow storm and there was a line
at the only restaurant that was open on that block –
Penelope’s Burgers. The food was made to order, so 20
minutes later we are all having to inhale our food. Again
the Guide starts calling and texting everyone to hurry. I
felt so rushed I left my purse on the chair in the
restaurant. Thankfully, it was still there when I went back.
•Once back in the car, we are on the road again. Guess
what? The driver spots animal tracks AGAIN so we are driving
down more country roads in search of Elk. Three of the 4
passengers were women. We would have preferred to stay in
Estes Park 20 more minutes and been able to properly chew
our food that to try and find Elk in thousands of acres of
wilderness. We were looking for the proverbial needle in a
•By this point, we start heading up mountainous 2 lane