Ride the Rails for Colorado Fall Color

Aspen1 Colorado celebrates autumn with golden hillsides of aspen, scrub oaks in hues from crimson to burnt umber  – and, the occasional dusting of snow on the high peaks. No season is more colorful for a scenic train ride – narrow or standard gauge. Many of the railroads offer special events during the fall. All aboard!

  • Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad – A steam powered narrow gauge train makes a 4-mile, 45-minute trip into the historic mining districts of Cripple Creek and Victor. This is an excellent choice for families with young children or those with limited time. Operates daily until mid-October, 10am-5pm, train runs every 40 minutes. Lots of aspens along the route make this a great fall foliage feature. Read more…
  • Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad – This popular excursion weaves along the Colorado/New Mexico border. Special fall events include the Fall Foliage Photo Train on Sept. 27, Galloping Goose Fall Colors Train Oct. 1-4, Chama Moonlight Dinner Train Oct. 2, Fall Foliage Sunday Express Oct. 4 and Chama Steam Fall Classic Oct 24.
  • DSNGR in Silverton Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – Passengers step back more than a century when they board this historic train that has operated continuously since 1882. The route through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains offers unparalleled scenery. Autumn specials include the 20th Annual Fall Photo Special & Night Photo Shoot Sept. 26-27, Cowboy Poet Train/Durango Cowboy Gathering Oct. 2, Durango Heritage Train Oct. 10, and Peanuts The Great Pumpkin Patch Express Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 & 31. Reservations a must!
  • Train_Locomotive with Light On Georgetown Loop Railroad – Georgetown and Silver Plume are only two miles apart via highway but the elevation gain of 60o feet required amazing railroad engineering. The steep climb includes many twists, turns and trestles. Trains operate daily through Oct. 12, weekends after that date. Pumpkin Festival events held the first two weekends of October. Read more…
  • Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad – Leadville claims title to the highest incorporated town in North America (10,152’) and thrived on mining and the railroads. Rail buffs relive that golden age along the Leadville, Colorado and Southern tracks. Trains run daily through Oct. 4 with a Fall Photo Special Sept. 19. Read more…
  • Manitou Cog Railway Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway – Scales Pikes Peak on the world’s highest cog railroad. The three-hour round trip to the 14,110’ summit qualifies as the most relaxed climb up the well-known mountain. Swiss diesel locomotives ratchet bright red cars filled with tourists up slopes with grades as high as 25%. Morning and afternoon trips through Oct. 25, thereafter check the website for scheduled departures.
  • Rio Grande Scenic Railway – Departing from Alamosa and LaVeta the Rio Grande Scenic Railway gives passengers multiple trip opMMM - Rio Grandetions (distance, time and price) including a visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The autumn schedule includes Rails and Ales Oktoberfest Oct. 3, Fiesta Train Oct. 10 and Pumpkin Patch Ride Oct. 24 and 31. A combined rail adventure and Michael Martin Murphey’s Mountain Music Show occurs September 19.
  • Royal Gorge Route – Travels along the banks of the Arkansas River and beneath the worlds highest suspension bridge, more than 1,000-ft. above the gorge. Passengers can select seating in coach or vista dome cars, both with access to an open air car for outstanding views and photos. The Royal Gorge Route offers Colorado’s only rolling gourmet dinner service. Oktoberfest Lunch special trains run Sept. 18-20, Sept 25-27, Oct. 2-4. Read more…

Also consider:

  • Amtrak – Passenger service between Chicago and the West Coast traverses the Colorado Rockies west of Denver. The route through the Moffat Tunnel, Grand County and along the Colorado River offers superb scenery. Trips from Denver to Glenwood Springs  or Grand Junction offer getaways without driving busy I-70. Nancy’s Caveat – One shouldn’t have a tight schedule when traveling via Amtrak, delays can and do occur – especially east bound trains.
  • Tiny Town  In the foothills just off US285, Tiny Town attracts the pre-school set to the oldest kid-sized village and railroad in the United States. The miniature railroad, powered by coal-fired locomotives, loops through the village of more than 100 buildings and along the hillsides of Turkey Creek Canyon. After riding the train, investigate the 1/6-scale structures handcrafted by volunteers; be sure to peek into windows and skylights. A playground and picnic area encourages families to linger. Open weekends, 10am-5pm, during September.
Advertisements