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Colorado Rail Experience

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8 days From $3,295 per person
4.5 stars(17 reviews)
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Immerse yourself in Gold Rush lore and relish the secluded scenes of the Rocky Mountains as you explore Colorado’s rugged terrain aboard six heritage railroads, including the beloved Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

Mobility Rating 2

2025 Tour code: CRE25

About the tour

Journey through the untamed beauty of Colorado on this 8-day Rocky Mountain expedition. We discover expanses of landscape hidden from modern traffic aboard six fantastic railways: the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, and the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway. While we ride the rails, railroad experts and knowledgeable guides introduce us to the mining and railway history of the state. Our journey also includes a visit to the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods. Join the experience as the colorful past of the Old West is brought to life once more.

Unforgettable Experiences

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Spend a day aboard one of Colorado’s most scenic railways, following along the Animas River and gazing in wonder at the Animas River Gorge and San Juan Mountains as you travel between historic boomtowns.
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Cross the Colorado/New Mexico border 13 times while riding aboard North America's longest and highest narrow-gauge steam railway, the incredible Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Watch the incredible scenery surrounding the Arkansas River unfold from your comfortable seat in the first-class vista dome car on the Royal Gorge Route Railway.
Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Travel by train to the summit of “America’s Mountain,” Pikes Peak, with time to enjoy the 360-degree views over the Colorado Rockies that await at the top.
Garden of the Gods Tour
Garden of the Gods Tour
Dramatic red sandstone formations set against vast blue skies and emerald-green pines make Garden of the Gods a joy to discover on our driving tour.
Georgetown Loop Railroad
Georgetown Loop Railroad
Get a first-hand look at Colorado’s mining past while riding the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a scenic railway that has operated since the 1880s.
Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad
Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad
Look upon the lush San Isabel National Forest, the mighty Arkansas River, and a plethora of fantastic mountain peaks while riding the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad across the Continental Divide.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Colorado Rail Museum/Georgetown Loop Railroad

Our journey begins as you meet your group and Tour Manager in Denver this morning and we transfer to Golden, CO, by coach to explore the Colorado Rail Museum. A tour through its featured exhibits, extensive collection of rolling stock and Roundhouse restoration facility offers an insider's perspective of this fascinating site. Departing the museum, we immerse ourselves in the mining history of the Rocky Mountains aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad. This narrow-gauge, two coil loop railway was completed in 1884 and takes us on the original 4 1/2-mile loop between Georgetown and Silver Plume. Lunch is served in Georgetown before a scenic drive through the rugged landscape to the resort town of Silverthorne. Overnight Silverthorne, CO.

Includes
  • Lunch
Day 2 - Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad

Step back in time and discover the mining and railroad past of Leadville, CO, today as we join the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad. We follow a course through San Isabel National Forest, traveling into thick groves of alpine trees as we follow alongside the Arkansas River. Views of Colorado's tallest peaks, Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert, come into view as the train continues through the lush valley, and we even cross the Continental Divide during the 2 1/2-hour tour. Photo opportunities abound along the scenic route - as do the conductor's ghost stories and lore that highlight the colorful history of the region.

Upon return to Silverthorne, take the remainder of the day to enjoy the wild surroundings of the town. There are endless hiking trails to embark upon, including some that feature waterfalls. Overnight Silverthorne, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Silverthorne to Durango

We depart Silverthorne this morning and enjoy a leisurely day of travel by deluxe motorcoach bound for Durango near the Colorado/New Mexico border. Our route includes inspiring vistas of the Rockies, lush National Forests and protected Grasslands. We pass through quaint mining towns and make several stops to stretch our legs and to admire the scenery on foot. First stop is South Park City in Fairplay to see an amazing authentic restoration of a Colorado boomtown. Our route continues south, passing through the Rio Grande National Forest before we arrive in Durango late this afternoon. The evening is yours to explore Historic Downtown Durango, which is brimming with Wild West history, restaurants and unique shops to explore. Overnight Durango.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

This morning, we board one of the most scenic railroads in the Southwest, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This journey takes us on a route along the Animas River from Durango to Silverton. Sights of canyon country, San Juan National Forest, protected wildlife areas and beautiful mountain vistas overtake the landscape during the ride, and it is not uncommon to see wildlife. Bring your camera! A true highlight of this journey is the ride through the Animas River Gorge. The train travels above the gorge on a manmade ledge on the side of a canyon, offering spectacular views of the gorge down below. Silverton, CO, an 1874 mining town located high in the San Juan Mountains, is our destination. While this locale is now a hotspot for tourists and winter sports, its gritty past is still visible in its historic buildings and adventurous atmosphere. After returning to Durango, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Durango.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

An unforgettable journey lies ahead today as we set out on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the longest and highest narrow-gauge steam railroad in North America and voted the #1 Top Attraction in Colorado and New Mexico by USA Today. The Southwest's scenes are on full display on this 64-mile ride, including glimpses at steep canyons, colorful meadows, ranches, grassy hills, beautiful mountain ranges, rushing waterways and brilliant blue skies. We cross over Cascade Creek Trestle and pass through charming mountain towns and abandoned villages. This route crosses the Colorado/New Mexico border 13 times and allows passengers to get a feel for what a daily train ride would have been like in the heyday of steam train travel. As the tour concludes, we continue our heritage rail voyage through Colorado into the San Luis Valley, the oldest settled area in Colorado, en route to Alamosa. Overnight Alamosa.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Find yourself surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Royal Gorge on our fifth railway journey of the tour, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. We board our motorcoach this morning and travel to the station in Canon City - a route that offers another look at the stunning forests and mountains that make Colorado so beloved. We get a unique perspective of the stunning scenery from our seats in the train's first-class vista-dome car. Travel along the Arkansas River and see the Hanging Bridge at the narrowest point in the chasm. We enjoy lunch in the train's dining car. The excursion concludes with a stop underneath the soaring Suspension Bridge from the rim to the river's edge. After our journey, we continue by coach to Colorado Springs, a hub for culture and adventure. Spend the rest of the day exploring the offerings of this lively city, perhaps checking out the exciting dining options or visiting one of the local museums. Overnight Colorado Springs.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway/Garden of the Gods

Take in incredible 360-degree vistas from 14,115 feet above sea level today as we travel to the summit of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired the song "America the Beautiful." Our sixth rail excursion is aboard the newly re-opened Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway. The nine-mile journey to the top passes Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon, Minnehaha Falls, Deer Park and a wide range of wildlife. At the summit there will be time to take in views from every angle, visiting the gift shop and sampling world-famous doughnuts. Just as with the trip up the mountain, the ride down is also narrated by a knowledgeable Conductor who is chock-full of facts about Pikes Peak, the Rockies and Colorado as a whole. Before returning to Colorado Springs, we visit Garden of the Gods - a National Natural Landmark site - for a drive through the dramatic red r­­ock formations that reach up to 300 feet tall. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Colorado Springs.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

Our tour of Colorado's railways concludes after breakfast. A group transfer to Denver International Airport accommodates flights departing after 1 p.m.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Holiday Inn Express Alamosa, Alamosa

Holiday Inn Express Alamosa, Alamosa

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The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

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Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Durango

Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Durango

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Holiday Inn Express Durango Downtown-Animas River

Holiday Inn Express Durango Downtown-Animas River

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Hotel Indigo Silverthorne

Hotel Indigo Silverthorne

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Hyatt Place Colorado Springs/Downtown

Hyatt Place Colorado Springs/Downtown

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Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown Convention Center

Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown Convention Center

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Trains

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Georgetown Loop Railroad
Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad
Royal Gorge Railroad

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Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 17 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (10)
  2. 4 stars
    (5)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

James Ozburn

5 stars

Submitted 08 Jul 2024

Find away to furnish lunch on all days. This will increase overall program price. Offer handi-cap rooms at all hotels.

Collected by Trustpilot

PEGGY BERNARD

4 stars

Submitted 08 Jul 2024

There was some communication between the railroad staff and the tour on the train. We thought we didn’t have to pay for ice tea, coffee or water and they charged us for all three. Some of the breakfast is weren’t very good. The tour manager and the bus driver was fantastic. They gave us a lot of information and they were very helpful.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mary Hall

4 stars

Submitted 05 Jul 2024

Overview of trip should have ore details concerning open air and rough ride of trains. Tour guide Ed was not as well informed as he should have been (only gave us one hour at the Ghost own when we needed two) and his rotation of seats was not well organized (My sisters and I were in the back of the bus four times out of seven days). Driver Chris did not disperse water as often as it was wanted and needed as we were in high altitudes.

Collected by Trustpilot

Patricia Roberts

3 stars

Submitted 05 Jul 2024

I try to avoid large tours, hence, in part, the 3 stars. Other smaller tours I have taken, give me wonderful pre-tour information. But this company didn’t, no matter how many times I asked (3 I believe). I was confused as to the time I met the tour guide, for one. Information was so vague. I stayed at the hotel I was to meet the group at but I felt sorry for those who stayed somewhere else, because they, too, were not sure of where the guide would be in the morning of the tour. I would have liked what was in the packet I received from the guide once we made contact as a sheet he provided had important details, like what to pack for changing weather conditions, etc.Yes, I travel a lot, but each experience is different. I would have loved to have had that sheet in my hands as I packed and prepared for the trip.(The sheet could have pointed out that the packet contained a large pink tag that was needed for my luggage. I was so tired when I emptied the packet, I missed it, and the guide had to run up to my room to find the envelope I had put in in the trash can. Hotels were lovely, but the first one, as nice as it was acted like they had not served breakfast to a large group. The one and on,y waiter on the floor brought coffee out to the group one cup at a time! I advised the sweet young woman trying to get coffee to everyone that self-serve carafes would be a good investment for the hotel. The next morning they were out there.As for breakfast at the same hotel, they ran out of food by 7:06. Breakfast was served at 7 am.Granted they open the doors at 6:50, but still. The first day of our journey, we were told we were stopping at a brew pub for lunch and our tour guide read us the menu that they would serving us, a list of “hand holds” meaning sandwiches.There were about 6 choices, perhaps more. I wondered how they were going to manage what I felt were too many choices for 41 people, Sure enough…we arrived and were told we were getting “shareable” because of time constraints. Out came big piles of nachos, a giant pretzel we had to all touch to get a share, and finally pizza and salad. By the time the pizza came out, we were all trying to deal with the first snacks. I would suggest that if that restaurant is used again, they just bring out the pizzas that were quite nice, meat and vegetarian options, and the salad. People with special diets could then have been focused on and the rest of us with no problems could have just enjoyed the pizza. Between the breakfast and the lunch, it was a rough start to the day food-wise The rest of the hotels knew food service well, however, and did and excellent job. The trains were marvelous, the tour guide and bus driver were great and the trip well worth it. My son was to have come and couldn’t make it. I would go again on this tour to accompany him.

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Susan P

5 stars

Submitted 03 Jul 2024

Great train experiences, excellent tour guide and bus driver.

Collected by Trustpilot

Candice Farrell

5 stars

Submitted 01 Jul 2024

Great experience visiting historic towns & places with beautiful scenery. Highlight was by rail up to Pikes Peak. Also motor coach driver, Chris & tour guide, Ed, were great ! Competent. friendly, & informative.

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