August 12-19, 2022
$100 deposit per person
Cancel 35 days before departure for a refund
Enjoy the cool Colorado Rockies while riding the rails! Includes the following: Royal Gorge, Cumbres & Toltec, Durango-Silverton, Leadville, and Pikes Peak Cog.
Day 1: As we look forward to a wonderful railroads tour, we make our way to Canon City for our first night.
Day 2: Today we board our first train, the Royal Gorge Railroad for a scenic ride through the Royal Gorge, alongside the Arkansas River. From the open-air observation cars, you might see hawks circling above or observe some bighorn sheep, see evidence of abandoned roads, rails, and mines, the bridge overhead, and how the river cut its way through the gorge. Afterwards, you have time to explore the Royal Gorge Park. (B)
Day 3: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, the finest remaining example of the original Denver and Rio Grande narrow-gauge line, was built in the 1880s to serve miners and loggers. One hundred years ago, this daring steam engine railroad opened up the Great American West. Miles of unspoiled scenery awaits us as we climb through the spectacular San Juan Mountains. Wailing whistles bounce down canyon walls and far below the Los Pinos River glistens in sunlight while smoke bellows into the air. Through tunnels and over trestles, you experience it all! Lunch is included at the halfway point. Tonight we stay in Durango. (B, L)
Day 4: The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad awaits us this morning! This coal-burning locomotive traverses through the San Juan National Forest along the Animas River. The sights and scenery you encounter on this trip through the National Forest are truly spectacular. After arriving in Silverton, there is time to explore the many restaurants and shops. Next, we drive up the hillside and tour the Old Hundred Gold Mine. Here we travel 1/3 of a mile into the heart of Galena Mountain in a vintage miner’s “Man-Trip” car. Then it’s on to Ouray over part of the “Million Dollar Highway” and the Red Mountain Pass. (B)
Day 5: This morning we take a guided 4x4 adventure into the San Juan mining country. This 3-hour trail ride is framed by towering mountain vistas and colorful canyon walls. We view ghost towns, mining relics and cabins, wildflowers, and waterfalls. Just past the lower Camp Bird Mine, we pass through the ghost town of Sneffels and historic Revenue, Atlas, and Ruby Trust mines. The tour stops at Twin Falls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in the area. After lunch, we make our way through the scenic mountains to the town of Leadville. (B, L)
Day 6: Hop aboard the Leadville, Colorado, & Southern Railroad! This 2.5-hour adventure through the untamed wilderness of the San Isabel National Forest offers spectacular views of Freemont Pass, Mt Massive, and Mt Elbert. We have free time to visit the cute shops and many restaurants in this high mountain town. Later this afternoon, we make our way to Colorado Springs for the next 2 nights. (B)
Day 7: This morning we invite a step-on guide to take us through the Garden of the Gods. Learn how the towering sandstone rock formations got there and enjoy the dramatic views.
This afternoon we ready ourselves for our final rail experience, the newly re-opened Pikes Peak Cog Railway! It takes us to the top of America’s best-known mountain, Pikes Peak, at 14,110 feet, where there is a brand new facility. The first few miles of track follow a cascading stream through a steep canyon filled with dense pines and steep boulders. At about 11,500 feet, the train climbs above timberline where we can enjoy awesome views. Afterward, we head to Flying W Ranch for a chuckwagon supper and western show. (B, D)
Day 8: Today we say goodbye to the magnificent mountains, beautiful scenes, and our railroad experiences as we make our way back to Yoder. (B)