The Durango and Silverton Railroad takes passengers on a 45-mile journey through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The train ride offers a step back into the history of southwestern Colorado, coupled with unforgettable views from every window of the train.
Adventure seekers need to look no further than the Royal Gorge Bridge Park. Walk, float, zipline, or ride an Aerial Gondola over one of the deepest canyons in Colorado. Soak in the views of the gorge and the Arkansas River below, all while you marvel at the highest suspension bridge in the United States.
Dating back to 1879 when the railroad tracks transported miners and ore from the region, it also functioned as a passenger route. Now trains run through the year, taking passengers through the Royal Gorge from the Santa Fe Depot in Canon City to the western terminus in Parkdale and back.
Enjoy dramatic views of the towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of brilliant blue skies interspersed with the snow-capped peaks of the Pikes Peak. It is truly one of the most picturesque views in all of Colorado.
Located 80 miles northwest of Denver Rocky Mountain National Park attracts nearly 5 million visitors each year. Rocky Mountain is considered one of the nation’s highest national parks with elevations ranging from 8,000 feet to 14,00 feet. Activities include hiking, camping, fishing, sightseeing, and driving on the park’s Trail Ridge Road that ends at the continental divide. Website.
Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad
Passengers on the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad enjoy a scenic train ride into the Rocky Mountains. The train operates along the old Denver, South Park & Pacific, and Colorado & Southern line along the Arkansas River Valley. Round trips on the train last 1.5 hours and cover a distance of about 9-miles in each direction. Website.
Indian Hot Springs
Indian Hot Springs features an indoor swimming pool fed with natural hot mineral. Water temperature averages between 90° to 100°. The resort also features Geo-Thermal Caves with steaming hot water up to 110°. The hot springs were first discovered in the 1860s and have been in use ever since then. Day use passes and overnight accommodations are available. 302 Soda Creek Road Idaho Springs, Colorado. Website.
Glenwood Springs Colorado is the perfect place for a soak in a soak in mineral hot springs surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool holds over 1 million gallons of water. Activities in the area include river rafting on the Colorado River, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. The Yampah Spa/Vapor Caves and Iron Mountain Hot Springs are both located in Glenwood Springs. Website.
Nevadaville Ghost Town
Nevadaville is a 1860s North Central Colorado gold-mining town that is all but a ghost town. A few of the original buildings are still standing including Colorado’s only Ghost Town Masonic Lodge and the town’s city hall. At its peak, some 4000 people called Nevadaville home. Today only a handful of folks live in the area. More about Nevadaville. The Ghost town can be accessed from nearby Central City.
St. Elmo Ghost Town
St. Elmo is situated at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet in Central Colorado. By the 1890s the area’s mines had recovered over a million dollars in gold boosting the town’s population to nearly 2,000. St. Elmo featured several hotels, saloons, a newspaper, and railroad service. Today many of the buildings still stand and the town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. St. Elmo still has a few residents and is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Website.
Creede Underground Mining Museum
Creede is a historic mining town in Mineral County, Colorado. Creede was the last silver boom town in Colorado and at one time had a population of nearly 10,000. These days the town is a much quieter place with the main industry being tourism. The Creede Underground Mining Museum is located just north of downtown Creede. Visitors can walk along a 600-foot mine drift that features displays about what it was like to be a silver miner. The town of Creede is also home to a unique roadside attraction, the World’s Largest Fork. Mining Museum website.
Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour
Located five miles east of Silverton the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour takes visitors into a real gold mine onboard a mine train. A hard hat and waterproof coat are provided by the tour operator before you enter the mine. Inside the mine tour guides demonstrate the equipment miners used to extract gold ore. After the gold mine tour visitors can try panning for gold. Open May through the end of August. Website.
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad runs tourist train excursions out of Alamosa Colorado. The La Veta Pass Train Tour takes passengers into the Rocky Mountains over the La Veta Pass to the town of La Veta. Excursion tickets include brunch served onboard the train. Roundtrip distance is a little over 100 miles so plan on spending a full day if you want to take this train excursion. The train Departs Alamosa at 9:30 a.m. and returns around 5:15 p.m. 610 State Ave. Alamosa. Website.
Georgetown Loop Railroad
The Georgetown Loop Railroad runs 5-mile roundtrip excursions between Georgetown and Silver Plume. Passenger can board the train from either station. The train journey takes just over one-hour unless you sign up for the optional mine tour which adds an extra hour to the trip. Georgetown Loop Railroad is located on I-70 about 45 miles west of Denver. Website.
Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
Cripple Creek railroad takes passengers on a four-mile trip over a train trestle and past abandoned mines. Train rides are offered May through October and are pulled by historic coal-fired steam engines. The train trip takes about one hour. To round out your visit the Mollie Kathleen Mine for a tour. Visitors descend 1000 feet underground via elevators to see the inner workings of the gold mine.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes are located on the Eastern edge of the San Luis Valley. The largest dunes rise to over 700 feet high and are the tallest dunes in North America. To reach the dune are visitors must cross Medano Creek which is usually only a couple inches. The park features an informative visitor center and a paved parking lot adjacent to the dune field. Sandboarding and Sand Sledding are popular activities at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Website.
Chimney Rock National Monument
Located in San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado Chimney Rock was once the site of a Pueblo Indian settlement.
Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep NM preserves the ruins of six villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300 by the Pueblo people. Square Tower is the largest ruin at the monument and once housed over 500 people. Hovenweep is located in a remote area along the border between Utah and southwest Colorado. The monuments The visitor center is open year-round. The nearest town to Hovenweep National Monument is Cortez, Colorado. Website.
Mesa Verde NP is one of the lesser-visited National Parks, although if you visit in the summer it can be quite crowded. There are four major Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings in the park. Spruce Tree House, Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House. To visit Spruce or Balcony visitors must sign up for a Ranger-guided tour at the visitor center. Several roads run through the park allowing visitors to view cliff dwellings from a distance. Website.
Georgetown Hotel de Paris Museum
You Might Like