Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Steeped in mining history and remote views of America's Southwest, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad transports its passengers back in time to the heyday of train travel in the Old West. This rail line was founded in 1880 as an extension of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. During its peak, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad connected Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah using narrow-gauge tracks.
The itinerary is filled with stunning vistas and bits of railway history from either direction. Departing from Antonito, views of the Rocky Mountains come into sight right off the bat. The train starts on a relatively flat course, then enters into the foothills and mountains. Cross Ferguson Tressel, and then inch along the ledge of Toltec Gorge, with the sheer cliffs plunging 800 feet. Proceeding, the train crosses through several tunnels, including Mud Tunnel and Rock Tunnel, and follows the course of the Los Pinos River.
Guests can enjoy all these spectacular sights between May and October each year. The 3-foot narrow-gauge tracks were built on the south sides of the mountains wherever possible, and this allows for maximum sun exposure to extend the train's season as long as possible. No matter what time of year travelers choose to visit, guests have plenty of photo opportunities, as the train moves at a leisurely pace of just 12 miles per hour.
There is no experience quite like riding through some of Colorado's oldest settled regions aboard a heritage steam engine.