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

Starting at: $4,995 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  Garden of the Gods. Credit: Preferred Hotels  Cumbres & Toltec Railway. Credit: Cumbres & Toltec Railway  A view of Pikes Peak. Credit: Kimo Williams  Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Pikes Peak. Credit: Clarice Lakota

Railroading the Rockies

7 days from $4,995

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

TOUR BROCHURE

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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

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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

  • Garden of the Gods: Observe the breathtaking views of 300-foot-high sandstone rock formations against the backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak. Enjoy a trail walk and the newly renovated nature center and museum. 
  • Georgetown Loop: Depart from Denver on 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 to historic Silverton. 
  • 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. 
  • Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway: Ride to the summit of Pikes Peak, rising over 14,000 feet, where you’ll marvel at sweeping vistas of the Great Plains, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the Collegiate Range. 
  • National Historic Landmarks: Between 1961 and 2012, U.S. Secretaries of the Interior designated the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec railways, Pikes Peak, 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.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive at Denver International Airport

Arrive in downtown Denver midafternoon. Check in at the hotel and gather for a welcome reception, opening remarks 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 (train journey: 30 minutes). 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. Next, we transfer to Colorado Springs, your home for the next two nights. (B,L,D) 

Day 3 — Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway and Garden of the Gods

Z.G. Simmons, inventor of the Beautyrest mattress, founded the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway in 1889. It’s one of only three cog railways in North America and ascends higher than any other in the world. In 1938, it began operating the world’s first internal-combustion powered cog railcar. See one of the steam locomotives it replaced. We’ll ride round-trip to the summit of Pikes Peak and back on an articulated train built in Switzerland (train journey: 3 hours). If you choose not to board the train you can explore the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum a short walk from our hotel. This afternoon, visit the renowned Garden of the Gods. (B,L,D)   

Day 4 — Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River

Step aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad this morning and experience stunning riverside landscapes, and 1,000-foot canyon cliffs. We’ll enjoy breakfast on the train.  The scenic railway began as part of the original Denver & Rio Grande main line to Tennessee Pass (train journey: 2 hours). Afterward we drive west to the head of the Arkansas River Canyon and Salida, Colorado, once an important railroad center. Then, it’s onward to Durango, crossing the Continental Divide at 10,856-foot Wolf Creek Pass. (B,L,D) 

Day 5 — Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for your trip through the canyon of the Rio de las Animas to Silverton (train journey: 3 hours, 30 minutes). Arrive in Silverton where you will have some free time to explore the shops and galleries of this charming mountain town after enjoying lunch at the restaurant of your choice. Our return by bus will get back in time for you to visit the D&SNG Museum in the roundhouse, or to shop along Durango’s main street, before we meet for dinner at a local's favorite restaurant. (B,D)  

Day 6 — Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

This morning we’ll get an early start to Chama, New Mexico, arriving in time to photograph the narrow gauge engine terminal and rolling stock in this hub of train operations. This train trip will include an ascent of the long, steep grade to 10,020-foot Cumbres Pass and will traverse the rim of Toltec Gorge during the day-long trip to Antonito, Colorado (train journey: 5 hours, 45 minutes). Our tour ends in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a festive farewell dinner. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Depart

Please plan your return flight home, from Albuquerque International Airport, for Saturday. 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 5:00am. 

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