9 Scenic Train Rides In Colorado, USA - Updated 2022

scenic train rides in colorado

With the diversity in geography that includes snow-covered peaks, lush green forests, natural waterways and reservoirs, grand canyons and deserts, Colorado offers many delightful experiences that can leave you mesmerized. Imagine if you were to enjoy these natural beauties in a beast? Imagine you were a part of a scenic train ride in Colorado immersing yourself in all the fascinating stories and glimpses this historic state has to offer?

Plan your visit and check out some resorts in Colorado for your accommodation needs. Then take these various routes and train journeys to identify and visit the Hogwarts of your dreams. Listed below are some of the scenic train rides in Colorado. Ideal for children and adults alike, suitable for nature lovers and a definite destination for photographers and videographers, join these scenic train rides in Colorado and drift to another world. Scroll down to find out more.

1. Georgetown Loop Railroad

Georgetown Loop RR
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Don O'Brien used under CC BY 2.0

One of Colorado’s first tourist attractions, this spectacular three-foot narrow gauge, Georgetown Loop Railroad was considered as one of the engineering marvels of its times. Located only 45 miles (72.4 kilometers) from Denver, this ancient route is nestled high up in the Rocky Mountains. With modern amenities added for the comfort of its patrons, this journey will certainly take you back in time to the days when these machines ruled, and Mining was rampant in this part of the country. With the opening day on 27th April 2019 and multiple events coming up, be sure to book your tickets early for this fascinating ride.

Georgetown Loop Railroad

Website: Georgetown Loop Railroad

2. Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Antonito Depot

Always shoot the depot - Antonito, Colorado
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jerry Huddleston used under CC BY 2.0

This 64-mile (102-km) long day trip offered by Cumbres & Toltec will leave a mark in your memory forever. This historic coal-fired steam engine will gently chug you back to the industrial revolution days through the lush green meadows and steep mountain canyons, above the high deserts towards the border of New Mexico border. Offering you a rare western scenery, this ride, together with its coaches with a Victorian elegance of the parlor car or coach car, will take you on this journey from Chama to Colorado. This historic journey also includes a delicious buffet meal.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Antonito Depot

Website: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Antonito Depot](https://cumbrestoltec.com/)

3. Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co

Source: Photo by Flickr user Drew Jacksich used under CC BY-SA 2.0

“It’s not the destination, but the journey that is important,” the adage states. Sit back and relax while the LC&S train takes you for a two and half hour round trip through the scenic rides of the rocky mountains. Starting from the ‘highest incorporated city of North America,’ passes through Old Denver, South Park & Pacific to Continental divide via Colorado and Southern lines, this journey offers you some of the most breathtaking views that are difficult to imagine. To be enjoyed with family and friends, this journey through a San Isabel national park offers adventure, relaxation, and sightseeing in one basket.

Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co

Website: Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad Co

4. Tiny Town & Railroad

Tiny Town
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ben Mason used under CC BY 2.0

As the name suggests, this truly is going to be a visit to the Tiny Town with its railroad taking you around this tiny town. Departing from the station right behind the gift shop, this train, pulled either by one of the two steam engines or its Diesel replica, departs every half hour and will take you across kid-sized buildings, playgrounds filled with kids and tall pine forests. With a ride lasting about 10 minutes, this journey will also take you to those parts of the park which are otherwise not accessible. Just sit back and chug away.

Tiny Town & Railroad

Website: Tiny Town & Railroad

5. Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Royal Gorge (train)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeffrey Beall used under CC BY 4.0

Running through the Gorge, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad will surely be one of the most scenic train rides in Colorado. Described best as “the trip that bankrupts the English Language” by president Teddy Roosevelt in 1905, this historic rail route will create a memorable ride through the Colorado Rockies. Initially run on the route from where silver was mined, this train journey today offers scenic beauty mixed with the train’s luxury, exceptional service and some breathtaking food options that are prepared freshly using locally sourced ingredients and prepared on the train for lunch service. Royalty to the core!

Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Website: Royal Gorge Route Railroad

6. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry Lamsa used under CC BY 2.0

The scenery is amazing, the concert was fun, and there is nothing like it anywhere.’ Carri, a customer who had earlier used the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad had these words about the whole journey. This narrow gauge track was used for shipping ore, lumber, cattle, sheep and other farm products in exchange for mining and agricultural products. Used for freight until it became a part of the Premier Rail Collection in 2006, this route carries many stories from the past. During summers, this train will transport you to Fir Summit for a live musical experience like nothing anywhere.

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Website: Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

7. Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

Cripple Creek and Victor N.G.R.R
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Don O'Brien used under CC BY 2.0

Once famous for gold mining and transporting, this historic Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad take you on an educational and fascinating journey through extremely beautiful scenic wonders. This 45-minute journey begins every 45 minutes from the historic Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek from the 1894 depot and gift shop. Taking you through some colorful and fascinating experiences, the train stops at Echo Valley, special points of interest and specific impressive photo stops. With interesting narration of history, the route is both educational as well as recreational in nature with family and friends.

Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

Website: Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

8. Fort Collins Municipal Railway

Fort Collins Municipal Railway No. 22 (9063471140)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeffrey Beall used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Operating on holidays and weekends during summers, this 3-mile (4.8-km) joyride aboard the Birney car 21 is a very different journey from all other railroads listed. This half-hour round trip between City Park and Howes Street along mountain avenue will give you a true heritage streetcar experience. Operated by Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society, an all-volunteer organization, this ride is indeed a joyride through the old charm of the city. Once a part of the electric feeder lines, this Birney car 21 is yet another scenic train ride in Colorado that shouldn’t be skipped.

Fort Collins Municipal Railway

Website: Fort Collins Municipal Railway

9. Colorado Railroad Museum

Golden CO Colorado-Railroad-Museum Yard 2012-10-18 (4)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Milan Suvajac used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Being so profoundly influenced by the railroad, no trip to Colorado can be complete without a visit to the Colorado Railroad Museum. Open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., this museum houses the collection of oldest and most extensive rolling stock and Roundhouse restoration facility. With over 100 pieces of railroad equipment, you could easily plan a family day out to cover this 15-acre rail-yard. An ideal place for researching about railroad history, with its extensive library, one could also experience first hand how a railcar is restored. For fun, there is also a train ride.

Colorado Railroad Museum

Website: Colorado Railroad Museum

Explore the best of Colorado via scenic train rides

Rich in gold, silver and many other natural resources, Colorado has a vibrant history of mining and the extensive use of railroads. No visit to Colorado would be complete without experiencing one of the scenic train rides. Be it for history, be it for education, be it for photography or for family time together, there is plenty on offer during these train rides. Explore the lands which were earlier populated by miners, a land where bears, eagles, and men even today coexist. After taking these scenic train rides in Colorado, one cannot help but be inspired by this rich history. While you’re in Colorado, be sure to check out the famous Denver Mountain Parks as well!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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