Photo: Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

You Can Take a Steam Train Ride Through Colorado's Canyons and Mountain Peaks

Colorado Train Travel
by Morgane Croissant Nov 14, 2023

If you don’t have the time or can’t afford to take a long-distance train trip, like riding The Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver, or The Ghan from one end of Australia to the other, there are many scenic train rides in the US that will satisfy your desire for this old-fashioned form of travel and will deliver plenty of beautiful scenery. Colorado is an especially good spot for scenic train rides, with multiple railroad companies offering great day trips. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is one such company. Just 50 minutes from Denver, it is one of the best train rides in Colorado.

Are there many train rides in Colorado?

Besides the national Amtrak train routes that go through the Centennial State (the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief), there are railroad companies that offer scenic train rides in Colorado, including:

What is the route of the Georgetown Loop Railroad?

The railroad has two depot stations: one in Georgetown called the Devil’s Gate, and one in Silver Plume called the Silver Plume Depot. While the Devil’s Gate is open year-round, the Silver Plume Depot is only in service from May to mid-October. The two stations are located at either end of the route.

The trains run between the Devil’s Gate Station in Georgetown and the Silver Plume Depot in Silver Plume. In between the two stations, the trains weave through Colorado’s canyons and mountain peaks, crosses Clear Creek several times, and stops near the Lebanon Silver Mine, about halfway on the route. The railroad offers tours of the mine from April to mid-September.

Time of operation and photos of the Georgetown Loop Railroad

Photo: Larry George II/Shutterstock
Photo: Page Light Studios/Shutterstock
Photo: Bob Pool/Shutterstock

The Georgetown Loop Railroad operates daily from June to September. It also operates on specific dates in May, October, November, December, and January. No matter the time of year, the ride is extremely scenic, but in fall it’s especially beautiful.

How long does it take to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad?

The length of the ride depends on the time of year. From mid-October to January, the trip is 55-minute-long, whereas the rest of the year it takes one hour and 15 minutes. If you travel on the Georgetown Loop Railroad from April to mid-September, you can book a tour of Lebanon Mine, which lasts one hour and 15 minutes, making for a 2.5-hour trip altogether.

How much does it cost to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad?

The price of riding the Georgetown Loop Railroad varies according to the time of the year, the experience you choose, and the class of service you opt for.

Besides the basic rides and the rides including the tours of the mine, there are various themed experiences offered throughout the year, including:

  • The Bunny Train for Easter
  • The Mothers’ Day Weekend Train in May
  • Old West Days in May, June, and August
  • The Fathers’ Day Weekend Train in June
  • The Sasquatch Adventure Train in July
  • The Fall Colors Train in late September
  • Pumpkinfest Train in October
  • Autumnfest Train in October
  • The Trick or Treat Train for Halloween
  • Santa’s Rocky Mountain Adventure in November and December
  • Santa’s lighted Forest in November and December
  • Victorian Holiday Celebrations in December and January

The Georgetown Loop Railroad also offers several classes of service:

  • Coach Class: The cheapest. Includes bench seating in open-air cars that are closed and heated when the weather gets cold.
  • Parlor Class: Only available in winter. Table and chair seating. Guests are given snacks and a non-alcoholic beverage. Adult beverages are available for purchase.
  • Executive Class: Only available in winter. Upholstered booth-style seating. Guests are given snacks and a non-alcoholic beverage. Adult beverages are available for purchase. Large windows for great views.
  • Presidential Class: The most expensive. Only available in winter. Upholstered booth-style seating in a beautiful wood-panelled car. Guests are given snacks and a non-alcoholic beverage. Adult beverages are available for purchase.

How can I purchase tickets for the Georgetown Loop Railroad?

You can purchase tickets for the Georgetown Loop Railroad online on their official website. That said, once purchased, you will not be receiving your tickets by email or by mail. You must retrieve your ticket from the depot at least 20 minutes before departure.

What kind of train is the Georgetown Loop Railroad?

Georgetown Loop Railroad steam train in Colorado

Photo: MargJohnsonVA/Shutterstock

The Georgetown Loop Railroad owns two steam locomotives and four diesel-electric locomotive and offers scenic rail tours. According to the website, “steam locomotives generally run from Memorial Weekend in May through early October. Diesel electric locomotives operate the remainder of the schedule.” The railroad company also owns a variety of passenger cars, some basic open-air cars and some luxury cars only in use in winter.

How old is the Georgetown Loop?

The Georgetown Loop is a train route that exists since 1884. It will turn 140 years old in 2024.

Is there a Christmas train in Colorado?

There are multiple railroad companies that offer Christmas-themed and holiday-themed train rides in Colorado, including:

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