Join us in Colorado to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains from the windows of historic trains!

Starting at: $4,695 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 A thrilling ride on the Durango & Silverton. Credit: Durango & Silverton Railway  Train traveling through spectacular scenery aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad  The Durango Silverton Train along the mountain. Credit: John English  Cumbres & Toltec Railway. Credit: Cumbres & Toltec Railway

Railroading the Rockies

7 days from $4,695

Join us in Colorado to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains from the windows of historic trains!

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

As an old and knowledgeable rail man (and rail buff), I evaluated very carefully similar tours I found on the Internet, both in regard to what was included, how many railroads and areas, as well as how the trips were routed and the accommodations included, and I, found Smithsonian's offering to be by far the best, especially the background and experience of the guide.

- Robert B.

If you love trains—especially steam trains—you must do this tour.

- Mary M.

The Railroading the Rockies tour exceeded expectations for me, and I had very high expectations going into the tour. 

- Leonard S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

Discover the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains from the windows of historic trains, travel to 19th-century mining towns, and learn about the region’s fascinating and colorful rail history.

Highlights Include

  • Georgetown Loop: Departing from Golden enjoy the drive along Clear Creek en route to a spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad that brings you deep into scenic Clear Creek Valley. 
  • Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad: Ride this train for an unforgettable journey through the mountains from historic Silverton to bustling Durango. 
  • Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad: This historic railway served the silver mines of the San Juan Mountains. Board the train at Chama, New Mexico, for a day in wilderness scenery. 
  • Royal Gorge Route Railway: Follow the winding, tumbling Arkansas River and view the granite cliffs of Colorado’s Royal Gorge. 
  • National Historic Landmarks: Between 1961 and 2012, U.S. Secretaries of the Interior designated the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec railways, and the Georgetown – Silver Plume and Silverton historic districts, as National Historic Landmarks in recognition of their nationwide significance.  

As an old and knowledgeable rail man (and rail buff), I evaluated very carefully similar tours I found on the Internet, both in regard to what was included, how many railroads and areas, as well as how the trips were routed and the accommodations included, and I, found Smithsonian's offering to be by far the best, especially the background and experience of the guide.

- Robert B.

If you love trains—especially steam trains—you must do this tour.

- Mary M.

The Railroading the Rockies tour exceeded expectations for me, and I had very high expectations going into the tour. 

- Leonard S.

2019 Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive at Denver International Airport

Arrive into Denver International Airport by 4:00pm, and take the free shuttle to Homewood Suites. We will meet in the evening for a welcome orientation and dinner. (D)

Day 2 — Colorado Railroad Museum / Georgetown Loop Railroad

This morning visit the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden for a tour and introduction to rail history of the region. After lunch enjoy the first of many scenic railway rides, the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Completed in 1884, the railroad’s circuitous route connected the mining camps of Georgetown and Silver Plume, two miles apart, with an elevation difference of 600 feet. Abandoned in 1939, the line was restored to operation in 1975 by the state historical society of Colorado.

We continue our exploration of Colorado on a scenic drive to Salida and a relaxing evening at the Palace Hotel steps away from the Arkansas River. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

After breakfast, drive through a region of Colorado rich in railroad history in Curecanti National Recreation Area. Cross the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass and travel through the irrigated farm and ranch lands of the Gunnison River valley that D&RG narrow-gauge trains served until 1955.

Enjoy a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which was once part of the “Narrow Gauge Circle Route” and was established as a National Park in 1999 for its deep cultural history and natural beauty.

Continue on to the final destination of the day, the charming western town of Ouray, nestled in the spectacular mountain scenery, known as the “Switzerland of America.” (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Durango / Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

This morning’s leisurely 25-mile drive from Ouray to Silverton passes through and, stops to view, spectacular mountain scenery.

After exploring and enjoying lunch at the restaurant of your choice in Silverton, board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for an afternoon trip through the canyon of the Rio de las Animas to Durango, arriving in time for dinner. (B,D)

Day 5 – Cumbres / Toltec Scenic Railroad

An early drive to Chama, New Mexico, allows for us to arrive in time to see and photograph the narrow-gauge engine terminal and the wide variety of rolling stock in this hub of train operations.

The day-long journey east from Chama will include an ascent of the long, steep grade to 10,020-foot Cumbres Pass and will traverse the rim of Toltec Gorge on the way to Antonito, Colorado.

After our scenic rail ride we will drive to Del Norte, Colorado and the historic Windsor Hotel originally built in 1874. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Royal Gorge Railroad / Return to Denver

After another gorgeous Colorado drive we will arrive midday to step aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to enjoy lunch while experiencing stunning riverside landscapes, and 1,000-foot canyon cliffs which originally began as part of the original Denver & Rio Grande main line to Tennessee Pass.

After our two-hour rail ride we will head north to enjoy a farewell dinner together in downtown Denver before arriving at our hotel near the Denver Airport. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Departures from Denver International Airport

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing at your leisure from Denver International airport using the free shuttle from our hotel. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)