All aboard Colorado’s trains! The diversity of things to do when visiting Colorado B&Bs is vast: historic train rides through deep canyons and over high passes, trails and byways display our rocky mountains in their rich splendor, and arts and culture abound at every turn. Colorado’s historic trains let you ride the rails with history and scenery.
One of Colorado’s most iconic trains is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge that winds through spectacular canyons and scenery you won’t find anywhere else in the state. It’s a coal-fired steam-powered locomotive where you’ll climb the mountains up to the historic mining town of Silverton and view the Animas River from above. It’s an all day scenic trip with a stop in Silverton where you can browse quaint shops and grab a bite at a local eatery.
The 1880 Cumbres and Toltec Railroad is shared between Colorado and New Mexico and traverses through both open plains and mountainous terrain. The trip begins in Colorado’s historic rural town of Antonito, and ends in Chama, New Mexico before returning to its main Colorado station. Riders can use their imagination, remembering famous scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when the train made an appearance in the Harrison Ford adventure movie.
The Royal Gorge Route Train is a photographers dream, winding through the amazing Royal Gorge, most famous for its whitewater rafting adventures, deep canyon and suspension bridge, rising 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Riders can opt for the open air, enclosed or the dome car with its open view of the canyon.
The Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad is perfect for viewing the Continental Divide while meandering along the upper Arkansas River Valley. You’ll also find a peek at the “peaks”, Mount Massive and Mount Elbert, known for being the tallest two fourteeners in the state.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad in the historic mining town of Georgetown, rests on an elevated trestle and while only a few miles long, connecting to Silver Plume, this 1880s train offers a 600 feet high and four bridges with amazing photo opportunities.
Two historic mining towns are home to the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad which makes a few picturesque stops and provides a great history of the area shared along the way by the conductor. For true train buffs, you’ll get a glimpse of the open air workings of a narrow gauge engine. While it’s a fairly brief trip by comparison of other Colorado trains, it offers history, scenery and the narrative experience of one of the richest mining districts in the state, made famous during the 1800’s gold rush years.
Certainly one of the most well-known trains is the Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway that pulls its way up to the top of 14,110 foot Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain. Reopened and upgraded with new cars and new track this May, the nine-mile trip provides camera buffs the perfect chance to see wildlife including yellow bellied marmots (also named whistle pigs), bighorn sheep, deer and more. The brand new Pikes Peak Summit House is scheduled to open this summer with amazing views, nature displays and a restaurant. You’ll know why Katharine Lee Bates penned the words to America the Beautiful while standing on top of Pikes Peak.
Whether you take a Colorado train ride, bring your bikes, your camera, or your walking shoes, your snow skis, your taste for fine wine, shopping and dining … be sure to bring your sense of curiosity and adventure as you explore the great State of Colorado and its nooks and crannies while staying at a Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado member B&B!
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