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

Starting at: $4,395 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

6 days from $4,395

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.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive at Denver International Airport

Arrive at the hotel at Denver International Airport by 10:30 a.m. where you will gather and transfer to Golden, Colorado. Once in Golden, you will have a tour overview, introductions, and lunch. Afterwards, you will shuttle to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden where an introduction to Colorado’s railroad history will lay the groundwork for the week ahead. Return to the hotel for dinner nearby. (L,D)

Day 2 — Georgetown Loop Railroad / Royal Gorge Railroad

Head to Silver Plume, Colorado, for the first of many scenic railway rides, the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Completed in 1884, the railroad connected the mining camps of Georgetown and Silver Plume, only two miles – but 600 vertical feet, apart. Abandoned in 1939, the line was restored to operation in 1975 by the state historical society of Colorado. Next, following a three-hour scenic drive, experience the stunning landscapes and 1,000-foot canyon cliffs of the Arkansas River above Canon City, Colorado, on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. It began as part of the D&RG line to Leadville and Tennessee Pass. (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. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Durango / Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

This morning’s leisurely 60-mile drive from Montrose to Silverton passes through and, stops to view, spectacular mountain scenery in a region known as “The Switzerland of America.” 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, you will 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. Today closes with a drive to picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico, and your farewell dinner. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Depart from Santa Fe, NM

Please plan your return flight home, from Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). Before selecting your flight, be sure to book in advance with Sandia Shuttle service for the one-hour trip from Santa Fe. Departures are hourly starting at 5:00 a.m. (B)

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