Getting on Track in Colorado or Get Ridin Them Rails

One of my personal favorite things to do in Colorado is to hop on one of our historical, narrow-gauge railroads.Last summer we rode three of them ? the Cumbres & Toltec, the Georgetown Loop and the Canyon City and Royal Gorge Railroad.The one I enjoyed the most was the Cumbres & Toltec. I grant that it's too far from Denver for a one-day excursion but I happen to think it is worth the trip. We drove down and spent the night in Alamosa, which is sort of the capital city of our San Luis Valley and the home of Alamosa State College.

The next morning we drove to Antonita, where we caught the Cumbres & Toltec.The train is pulled by a genuine steam locomotive, complete with flying sinders and belching smoke. While the beginnings of the trip are a bit on the boring side (dry, dusty land peopled mostly by sagebrush), it becomes much more interesting as it begins its climb up Cumbres Pass. At one point, the switchbacks and the climb are so severe, you could just about jump off the train, run uphill and catch it again as it comes around yet another curve.

The Cumbres & Toltec snakes in and out of both Colorado and New Mexico. You see countless signs telling you that you are entering one State or the other. In fact, if you look closely, you will see that while the front of the sign indicates that you have just entered, say, Colorado, the back of the same sign will tell you that are now in New Mexico.The railroad closest to Denver ? about 90 minutes from city center ? is the Georgetown Loop.

Other historical Colorado railroads are the Durango-Silverton (about a six-hour drive from Denver); the Cripple Creek & Victor; the Leadville, Colorado and Southern; and our newest, the San Luis and Rio Grande which brings railroad traffic back to Alamosa after a 50-year lapse. Trips on this line run daily between Alamosa and and Antonita where you can, of course, catch the Cumbres and Toltec to extend your railway adventure even further.Colorado has a wonderful and fascinating railroad history due, of course to our rugged terrain.

So, next time you visit Denver, make sure you get on track by riding one of our historical, narrow-gauge railroads. You'll be glad you did.

.Here's another good tip. If you're looking for a great place to vacation, choose Denver. Denver is unique in that it offers the best of two worlds -- the fun things to do and see that you find only in a big, sophisticated city, plus the breathtaking scenery, unforgettable vistas and amazing wildlife you find in our nearby Rocky Mountains.

To learn more about the best Denver vacation, just go to Just go to

Douglas Hanna has lived in the Denver area for nearly 35 years and is an expert on both Denver and Colorado. He is also the author of more than 120 articles on Denver and Internet marketing.Article Source:


By: Douglas Hanna

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