“All aboard” the rail adventure of a lifetime! Travel back to the Old West and the days of the “Iron Horse” set against the awe=inspiring backdrop of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. You’ll journey on five vintage trains over high mountain passages and through breathtaking gorges. Along the way, see history come to life with stops at an old stagecoach town, a mining camp, and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Plus, spend free time exploring the renowned Vail Mountain Resort. A “must-do” epic adventure for nostalgia and train buffs alike!
- Travel on the Royal Gorge, Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge, and Georgetown Loop Railroads
- Explore Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Guided tour of Garden of the Gods
- Pioneer and Native American tales by Leon Joseph Littlebird
DAY 1—WELCOME TO COLORADO!
It was the Iron Horse that helped tame the Old West, bringing an entire continent together and leading to the historic expansion of the United States. Relive the thrill and excitement of that historic era starting today when you meet your fellow rail travelers in Denver for a welcome dinner. D
DAY 2—GARDEN OF THE GODS/MANITOU SPRINGS
This morning we visit the stunning Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. This 1,367-acre park at the base of Pikes Peak is where the Great Plains meet the Rockies—and is like a little piece of heaven! You’ll be amazed by the abundance of plant and animal life here, as well as the magnificent red sandstone formations. You’ll also enjoy lunch in the magical town of Manitou Springs, home to nine mineral springs fed by the snows of Pikes Peak. Many native Americans considered this area sacred—and you’ll see why. B, L
Option—Pikes Peak Cog Railway
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, sign up for a thrilling 8,000-foot ascent to the top of majestic Pikes Peak (14,110 ft.), taking in miles of mountainous scenery along the way. Price: $80 per person.
DAY 3—ROYAL GORGE RAILROAD/GREAT SAND DUNES N.P.
Today, ride “North America’s most scenic railroad”—the world-famous Royal Gorge Route! From the comfort of your enclosed coach seat or open-air observation car, enjoy fabulous scenery and wildlife. This classic, old-time diesel engine chugs along the Arkansas River and winds its way through the steep granite cliffs of the gorge, passing under the Royal Gorge Bridge, suspended more than 1,000 feet above the tracks. Marvel at North America’s tallest dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. B, L
DAY 4—CUMBRES & TOLTEC RAILROAD
Return to the exciting days of the Frontier West aboard this stately steam engine the moment it blows its horn! Relax in your comfortable coach or open-air observation car during an unforgettable journey from Antonito to Cumbres Pass located in the San Juan Mountains, at an elevation of 10,022 ft. Mid-way enjoy a delicious lunch stop in the small mining town of Osier before heading to Durango for the next two nights of our journey. B, L
DAY 5—DURANGO YOUR WAY
Enjoy a leisurely day in the western town of Durango, which was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. You may choose to explore this historic downtown on a walking tour, stroll the Animas River trail, browse the shops or take an exciting optional excursion. B
Option—Mesa Verde National Park
Travel deep into Mesa Verde National Park to learn about Anasazi Indians. L
Price: $85 per person.
DAY 6—DURANGO & SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD
Immerse yourself in yesteryear with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum’s memorabilia, including full-size locomotives, maps, photos and artwork. Then hop aboard the 1880s-era coal-fired, steam powered locomotives to travel the same track miners, cowboys and settlers did over a century ago. Gaze in awe while chugging through portions of the magnificent two million acres of remote wilderness that make up the San Juan National Forest! B, D
DAY 7—VAIL FREE TIME
This morning, visit farmer Tom Walcher at Pear Blossom Farms in the lush Grand Junction valley before enjoying free time in the world-famous Vail Mountain Resort. There are countless things to do in this quaint, historic, European-influenced town nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains. En route to Silverthorne, travel the engineering marvel that is I-70, considered by many the most scenic highway in the U.S. Tonight, we share a farewell dinner together in Silverthorne. B, D
DAY 8—FRONTIER MINING TOWN/TALES OF YORE/GEORGETOWN LOOP R.R.
Your day begins in charming Georgetown, which started as a mining camp in 1859 and still maintains much of its 19th century architecture. After a bountiful breakfast, storyteller Leon Joseph Littlebird will perform tales of mountain life and indigenous music. Afterward, experience your final rail adventure aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad, a narrow gauge line that forms a grand loop high in the Rocky Mountains. Then you’ll say good-bye to new friends and take home happy railroading memories! B
Night 1: Cambria Hotel, Denver Airport
Night 2: Hyatt Place, Colorado Springs
Night 3: Fairfield by Marriott, Alamosa
Nights 4-5: Holiday Inn Express, Durango
Night 6: Grand Vista Hotel, Grand Junction
Night 7: Hotel Indigo, Silverthorne
Jul 9-16, 2023
Aug 20-27, 2023
Sep 10-17, 2023
Price Per Person:
Pre/Post Tour Hotel:
Free airport shuttle or hotel parking
Welcome Dinner and meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Fees and tips for included attractions and meals
Luggage handling of one suitcase per person at hotels
Free bottled water on coach
24-hour emergency call service
Our Welcome Dinner on Day 1 is at our hotel, Cambria Hotel Denver Airport, starting at 6:30 pm. We recommend scheduling your flight to arrive by 4:00 pm.
Schedule your flight home to depart the Denver Airport any time after 2:00 p.m. on Day 8.
Airport Transportation / Vehicle Parking
Our starting hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to/from the Denver Airport. If you are driving to the starting location, they also offer complimentary parking for the duration of the tour.
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will be on uneven paths and there are large steps to get on and off the trains. While walking canes are allowed, we are unable to accommodate travelers using other mobility devices, including walkers and wheelchairs.
June – high of 85°, low of 60°
August– high of 85°, low of 55°
September – high of 78°, low of 45°
Each hotel has a hair dryer, iron, ironing boards, and a coffee maker. All hotels offer an exercise room and swimming pool.
A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour, including information sent upon receipt of your reservation.
We are featuring four trains on this tour. You can find the duration of those train rides below:
Royal Gorge Route Railroad – 2 hours
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad – 5 hours with a break for lunch at Osier
Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – 3 hours and 30 minutes
Georgetown Loop Railroad – 1 hour and 15 minutes
Travel Protection Available?
Yes, see CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/TravelProtectionPlan.