Dates & Pricing
|19 July, 2013||£1,437||£1,125|
|13 September 2013||£1,437||£1,125|
We recommend arriving one day prior to the tour as the touring begins early on day one.
Colorado Rail Adventure - Six scenic train excursions through Colorado’s breathtaking scenery are the hallmark of this 8-day train holiday.
Colorado has a long and storied railroad history. With both narrow gauge and standard railways stretching across deep gorges and reaching high mountain peaks, it is no surprise that there is no better way to uncover the state’s hidden gems than by train. Insert yourself into the breathtaking scenery as you embark on six spectacular scenic rail excursions including the famed Pike’s Peak Cog Railway to the 4,300-metre Pikes Peak and the steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway from the Animas River Canyon to the peaks of the San Juan Mountains and the ghost town of Silverton.
Day 1 – Colorado Railroad Museum / Georgetown Loop Railroad
Your tour begins in Denver this morning, where you will board your deluxe motorcoach for the drive up spectacular Clear Creek Canyon to Georgetown, where you will enjoy lunch followed by the first scenic rail excursion of the tour: a journey on the narrow gauge Georgetown Loop Railroad. The train’s route connected the mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume and was designed as a corkscrew and includes horseshoe curves and four bridges across Clear Creek. It was completed in 1884 and operated by the Colorado & Southern Railway for both passengers and freight from 1899-1938. After your picturesque journey along the narrow gauge railroad, embark on a scenic drive south along the Front Range to Colorado Springs, your home for the next two nights. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at Giuseppe’s, located in the historic former Rio Grande Railroad depot. Overnight Antlers Hilton. (L, D)
Day 2 – Pike’s Peak Cog Railway, Garden of the Gods
This morning board the world’s highest cog railway, the Manitou Springs and Pike’s Peak Cog Railway, and ascend to the 4,300-metre summit of Pike’s Peak, which inspired the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” After this breathtaking excursion, proceed to the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Centre where there will be time for lunch on your own before enjoying a film on the amazing natural wonders of this National Natural Landmark. Your day continues with a drive through the towering red rocks of the “Garden” and a stop at the renowned Garden of the Gods Trading Post where there will be time to shop for American Indian art at one of the finest Native American stores in the west. Overnight Antlers Hilton. (B)
Day 3 – Scenic Drive to Durango
Prepare for bountiful scenery today! The drive west over the Rockies is an incredible one as you cross Ute, Trout Creek, Poncha and Wolf Creek Passes en route to the glorious San Juan Mountains and today’s destination of Durango. Overnight Best Western Plus Rio Grande. (B)
Day 4 – Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway
Today embark on the grandest of all Colorado rail journeys, the steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway’s ascent of the Animas River Canyon to the ghost town of Silverton. The train operates 45 miles north from Durango through scenery that resembles that of Switzerland. The climb begins in the valley of the Animas River before the canyon narrows, all roads vanish, and for 30 miles there exists only the railroad, the glacial green waters of the Animas and the 3,657 to 4,267-metre peaks of the San Juan Mountains. There will be time for lunch on your own in Silverton as well as time to explore the shops before returning to Durango by coach this afternoon with the remainder of your day at leisure. Overnight Best Western Plus Rio Grande. (B)
Day 5 – The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Early this morning the group will drive to Chama, New Mexico where you’ll board the longest narrow gauge steam railway in North America: the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The route follows the former Denver & Rio Grande San Juan Extension for 64 miles over the 3,058-metre Cumbres Pass through the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Past the divide the train enters the deep canyon of the Rio des los Pinos (River of Pines), and for 50 miles no paved road crosses the tracks. There will be a stop for lunch in Osier, after which the train’s journey continues with a steep descent past Toltec Gorge. Your day concludes in Alamosa, where the evening is at your leisure. Overnight Inn of the Rio Grande Alamosa. (B, L)
Day 6 – Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
Today’s excursion takes us along Colorado’s standard gauge Rio Grande Scenic Railroad from Alamosa to La Veta. This line restores passenger service to the wildly beautiful La Veta Pass, a summit last crossed by regularly scheduled passenger trains over 50 years ago. A picnic luncheon is included, catered by the Whistlestop Café, during your layover in La Veta. After lunch there will be free time to explore this charming town.
Continue by coach to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Here the endless easterly wind across the San Luis Valley has created towering sand dunes which rise up to 228 metres above the valley floor against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Overnight Inn of the Rio Grande Alamosa. (B, L)
Day 7 – Royal Gorge Route Railway / Royal Gorge Park
The Royal Gorge beckons—and it is the centerpiece of today’s excursion. The Arkansas River creates a gorge over 365 metres deep with sheer cliffs towering above. The canyon is so narrow at the bottom that the D&RG Railroad constructed a unique “Hanging Bridge” anchored on both sides of the canyon, thus running the tracks suspended over the centre of the river. More than 304 metres above is the spectacular Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, the highest such span on earth. Explore the canyon’s depths aboard the restored Royal Gorge Route Railroad in the first-class vista-dome car as the train travels on the historic former Rio Grande Railroad tracks. A highlight of the journey is the stop at “Hanging Bridge” on the narrowest point in the chasm. The excursion concludes with a visit to the soaring Suspension Bridge and the inclined railway from the rim to the river’s edge. After such an amazing day, the group will drive back to Denver, where the evening will be at your leisure. Overnight Comfort Inn Downtown Denver. (B, L)
Day 8 – Denver
Your tour comes to a close after breakfast this morning. Travellers continuing their holiday west can depart Denver this morning on Amtrak’s California Zephyr for the stunning journey over the Rockies to Salt Lake City, Reno and San Francisco. Eastbound travellers returning by train this evening can take advantage of the hotel’s convenient downtown location to enjoy some of the city’s premier attractions including the Denver Art Museum, which is a short walk from the hotel. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
|19 July, 2013||£1,437||£1,125|
|13 September 2013||£1,437||£1,125|
The Georgetown Loop Railroad
The Pike’s Peak Cog Railway
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
The Royal Gorge Route Railway
The California Zephyr