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First Class Heritage Rail of Colorado

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4.2 stars(5 reviews)
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A first-class expedition through Colorado’s scenic mountain ranges, this unforgettable journey takes an intimate group of travelers aboard five renowned heritage railways, including the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in the luxurious Silver Vista Car, putting Colorado on display like never before.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From $3,795 per person

2021 Tour code: RM-FCHA-21

About the tour

Some of the most impressive scenery in the continental United States beckons on this 10-day tour through Colorado. The state's rich history and storied views come to life through excursions aboard upgraded heritage railcars and extra services on five historic trains: the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Royal Gorge Route Railroad and the Pikes Peak Cog Railroad. Railway experts, overflowing with knowledge about the routes, rolling stock and regions the trains move through, offer invaluable insights throughout the tour, and the small group atmosphere afforded by this journey allows each experience to be enjoyed to the fullest extent.

Our railway adventure begins in Denver, where the Old West collides with modern luxuries. The tour continues on, with overnights in Palisades, Durango, Alamosa and Colorado Springs. Along the way, we enjoy deluxe motorcoach transportation between destinations and exciting experiences. With boarding in some of the region's most renowned hotels, first-class amenities and wonderful dining opportunities, immerse yourself in the beauty of Colorful Colorado. All aboard for this once-in-a-lifetime expedition of Colorado's railways.

Highlights

Activity level Keep it Going

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Less sitting, more walking. You don’t mind longer days of physical activity and sightseeing with some activities that go into the evening. Some rest periods are nice but only when necessary.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Denver

Arrive in Denver and transfer independently to the historic Brown Palace Hotel.  Meet your Tour Manager for a short tour briefing before heading out for dinner at your choice of local restaurants.  Overnight Denver, CO.

Day 2 - Colorado Rail Museum & Georgetown Loop Railroad

Start the day at the Colorado Rail Museum and get an insider's perspective on a docent-led tour through its exhibits, collection of rolling stock and Roundhouse restoration facility.  After an included light lunch, continue west and immerse yourself in the mining history of the Rocky Mountains aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad.  This narrow-gauge, two coil loop railway takes us on the original 4.5-mile loop between Georgetown and Silver Plume.  From your table in the fully enclosed Parlor Car, look out the panoramic windows for views over Clear Creek Canyon.  Overnight Denver, CO. 

Includes
  • Lunch
Day 3 - Amtrak to Grand Junction and on to Palisades

Depart early this morning on Amtrak's  California Zephyr bound for Grand Junction.  Sit back and enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.  Upon arrival, continue by deluxe motorcoach to Palisades, CO, and our lodging set amidst Colorado's wine country and a complimentary wine tasting before dinner on own. Overnight Palisades, CO.

Day 4 - Grand Mesa Drive & Colorado National Monument Park

This morning enjoy an excursion along Grand Mesa Scenic Byway with views of the world's largest flat-topped mountain.  This afternoon we take a winery tour followed by a visit to Colorado National Monument Park for an included dinner served during a spectacular sunset.  Overnight Palisades, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Scenic Drive to Durango, Back of the Yard Tour & James Ranch

Relish an in-depth view of the Colorado landscape as we set out for a scenic day of travel through mountain ranges, past enchanting alpine towns and into national forests en route to Durango.  Upon arrival, visit the Durango & Silverton Museum and take a guided walk through the yard and roundhouse to learn about the railroad's rolling stock, see the machine shop and hear about behind-the-scenes operations at the station.  This evening we take a short drive north of Durango through the beautiful Animas River Valley to James Ranch for an included dinner.  Overnight Durango, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - 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 90-mile roundtrip 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.  We are treated to all these sights from our first-class seats in the Silver Vista Car, a glass-domed car with leather seats, panoramic windows and a closed vestibule with the largest viewing platform on the train.  Silver Vista service also offers private narration from a knowledgeable host, complimentary morning and afternoon snacks and soft drinks.  There will be time for lunch on own and exploring in Silverton.  Overnight Durango, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - 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. The route is full of incredible views, and we enjoy them all from panoramic windows of the Premium Parlor Car. This meticulously preserved car features tin ceilings, period-appropriate seating and access to the train's open-air gondola. Onboard, we are served a variety of hot and cold beverages. A delicious home-cooked lunch awaits us upon arrival at the train station in Osier. 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. Tonight, join your small group for dinner, and share stories of the day as you enjoy tastes of the region. Overnight Alamosa.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - 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 board the train's Dining Car for a one-of-a-kind lunch experience. This first-class restaurant on wheels features large picture windows from which to view Royal Gorge and plush seating at linen-covered tables. A three-course lunch awaits us, with each course freshly prepared on the train using locally sourced ingredients. While we dine, dramatic views of rushing rivers, steep canyons and beautiful rock formations come into sight. If you choose, head out to the open-air car after lunch to take in the scenery. The route runs entirely along the bottom of the gorge, allowing you to look up at the amazing sights, including the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge. Following the 2-hour excursion, we drive to Colorado Springs. Overnight Colorado Springs, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - Pikes Peak Cog Railway & Garden of the Gods

This morning we board the newly re-opened Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the world's highest cog train, for an exhilarating ride to the 14,110-foot summit of America's mountain, Pikes Peak.  At the top, there will be time for photos of the surrounding mountain vistas that inspired the song, America the Beautiful.  Next, we visit Garden of the Gods, a National Natural Landmark filled with dramatic sandstone formations.  Overnight Colorado Springs, CO. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Tour Conclusion

Our tour concludes after breakfast.  A group transfer to Denver International Airport will accommodate flights departing after 1:00 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 Antlers by Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs

The Antlers by Wyndham Hotel, Colorado Springs

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The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver

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Strater Hotel, Durango

Strater Hotel, Durango

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Wine Country Inn, Palisade

Wine Country Inn, Palisade

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Trains

Amtrak's California Zephyr
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Georgetown Loop Railroad
Pike's Peak Cog Railway
Royal Gorge Railroad

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Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 5 reviews

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

David B, Scottsdale, AZ

4 stars

Submitted 19 Dec 2017

The locations were beautiful and fun, the tour manager was great as was the driver

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Annette T., Pasadena, TX

5 stars

Submitted 17 Dec 2017

The whole trip was amazing. What a way to see the country side. We throughly enjoyed it.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Charlotte H, Sunnyvale, CA

4 stars

Submitted 06 Nov 2017

Loved the whole experience..

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Carol L, Brentwood Bay, BC

4 stars

Submitted 05 Aug 2017

A wonderful way to see the spectacular scenery of Colorado and to enjoy touring by bus and rail.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Andrew P, Campbell, ACT, AU

4 stars

Submitted 26 Apr 2017

The itinerary was excellent. The organization was very good. However, the guide was perhaps the best I have ever encountered; her engagement with the participants, her knowledge and - well - her great personality and style, really made every part of the trip worthwhile and enjoyable. There was excellent teamwork with the driver, who was also a great fellow.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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