The Most Beautiful Train Ride in Colorado: Exploring Breathtaking Landscapes and Scenic Trails

Choose the train ride you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 18, 2024 05:28
Embark on a breathtaking journey through the enchanting landscapes of Colorado as you cast your vote in our latest ranking - "What is the most beautiful train ride in Colorado?"! With thousands of fellow adventure seekers, indulge in a captivating exploration of scenic rail routes that weave through the heart of the Rockies, showcasing majestic peaks, lush valleys, and awe-inspiring panoramas. Will the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad claim the top spot, or will the panoramic splendor of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway leave you spellbound? Perhaps you have a hidden gem in mind that deserves a place on this prestigious list? Vote now for your favorite or suggest a missing option, and together, let's uncover Colorado's most mesmerizing train ride experience!

What Is the Most Beautiful Train Ride in Colorado?

  1. 1
    82
    votes
    Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
    pixelFire · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

    General William Jackson Palmer
    This historic train ride takes passengers through the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, offering stunning views of steep canyons, rushing rivers, and towering peaks. The train also stops in the charming mining town of Silverton, where visitors can explore historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.
    The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic train route located in the scenic state of Colorado. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful train rides in Colorado, offering stunning views of the region's picturesque landscapes. The train line was originally built in the late 19th century to transport silver and gold ore from the mining town of Silverton to the city of Durango.
    • Route Length: 45.2 miles
    • Gauge: 3 feet
    • Elevation Change: 2,812 feet
    • Average Speed: 18 miles per hour
    • Operating Months: May to October
    Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in other rankings
  2. 2
    27
    votes
    This train ride travels through the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, crossing bridges and tunnels and offering stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. The train also passes through the charming town of Chama, where visitors can explore historic buildings and enjoy local cuisine.
    The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a historic narrow-gauge railroad located in Colorado. It offers one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides in the state, traversing the breathtaking terrain of the San Juan Mountains. As the highest and longest narrow-gauge steam railroad in the United States, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad provides a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and train enthusiasts alike.
    • Route Length: 64 miles
    • Track Gauge: 3 feet
    • Highest Elevation: 10,015 feet (3,053 meters)
    • Starting Point: Chama, New Mexico
    • Ending Point: Antonito, Colorado
    Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in other rankings
  3. 3
    24
    votes
    Georgetown Loop Railroad
    William Henry Jackson · Public domain
    This narrow gauge train ride takes visitors on a journey through the stunning Clear Creek Canyon, offering views of rushing waterfalls, towering cliffs, and historic mining structures. The train also passes over the high trestle bridge, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
    The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a scenic narrow-gauge railroad situated in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It offers passengers a unique and breathtaking train ride through the historic mining town of Georgetown and the beautiful Clear Creek Valley. The railroad is renowned for its spectacular views of rugged landscapes, dramatic trestles, and captivating mountain scenery.
    • Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
    • Route: Georgetown to Silver Plume
    • Distance: 4.5 miles (loop)
    • Elevation: 8,530 ft (2,600 m)
    • Track gauge: 3 ft (914 mm)
  4. 4
    20
    votes
    Royal Gorge Route Railroad
    JGHowes · Public domain

    Royal Gorge Route Railroad

    William Jackson Palmer
    This train ride takes visitors through the awe-inspiring Royal Gorge, offering views of towering cliffs, rushing rapids, and the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. The train also serves gourmet meals and offers wine tasting experiences.
    The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a scenic train ride through the Royal Gorge in Colorado, offering breathtaking views of towering granite cliffs and the roaring Arkansas River below. It is considered one of the most beautiful train rides in Colorado, attracting tourists from all over the world.
    • Location: Canon City, Colorado
    • Length: 24 miles (round trip)
    • Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes
    • Elevation Change: Over 1,500 feet
    • Scenic Highlights: Royal Gorge, Arkansas River
  5. 5
    16
    votes
    This train ride travels through the scenic Arkansas River Valley, offering views of the surrounding mountains and historic mining towns. The train also stops at the Continental Divide, where passengers can take in panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.
    The Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad is a scenic train ride located in central Colorado. It offers passengers an opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of the Rocky Mountains while traveling on historic tracks. The 2.5-hour round trip journey takes visitors through the picturesque Arkansas River Valley and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado. The train ride is a nostalgic adventure that allows passengers to step back in time and imagine what it was like to travel by train during the mining era.
    • Location: Leadville, Colorado
    • Duration: 2.5 hours (round trip)
    • Scenic Highlights: Arkansas River Valley, Mount Elbert
    • Historical Significance: Travels on historic tracks from the mining era
    • Experience: Nostalgic train ride
  6. 6
    9
    votes
    Pikes Peak Cog Railway
    Milan Suvajac · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Pikes Peak Cog Railway

    Zalmon G. Simmons
    This unique train ride takes visitors to the summit of Pikes Peak, offering stunning views of the surrounding Rockies and the Great Plains. The train travels along steep cliffs and through dense forests, providing a one-of-a-kind experience.
    The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a stunning train ride in Colorado that takes passengers on an unforgettable journey to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of the most iconic mountains in the United States. The railway was first opened in 1891 and has since been a popular tourist attraction, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
    • Operational months: May to September
    • Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • Elevation: 14,115 feet (4,302 meters)
    • Track length: 8.9 miles (14.3 kilometers)
    • Grade: up to 25%
  7. 7
    2
    votes
    This train ride travels through the San Luis Valley, offering views of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The train also features a dome car, providing panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
    The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is one of the most beautiful train rides in Colorado. It offers a breathtaking journey through the stunning landscapes of the San Luis Valley and the Rocky Mountains, providing passengers with an unforgettable experience of natural beauty and historic wonders.
    • Route Length: 64 miles
    • Starting Point: Alamosa, Colorado
    • Ending Point: La Veta, Colorado
    • Operational Season: May through October
    • Scenic Highlights: Spectacular mountain views, lush meadows, historic landmarks
  8. 8
    8
    votes
    Colorado Railroad Museum
    Matt · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Colorado Railroad Museum

    Robert W. Richardson
    This museum features a variety of historic trains and exhibits, including steam locomotives, narrow gauge trains, and the famous "Galloping Goose" railcar. Visitors can also take a ride on the museum's historic train, which travels through the scenic Colorado countryside.
    The Colorado Railroad Museum is a premier destination for train enthusiasts and history buffs, located in Golden, Colorado. It showcases the rich heritage of the railroad industry in Colorado and offers a unique experience for visitors to immerse themselves in the world of trains and railways.
    • Established: 1959
    • Location: Golden, Colorado
    • Size: 15 acres
    • Exhibits: Over 100 narrow and standard gauge locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, and more
    • Collections: Thousands of artifacts, photographs, documents, and maps
  9. 9
    9
    votes
    This scenic drive takes visitors through the stunning San Juan Mountains, offering views of historic mining towns, towering peaks, and rushing rivers. The drive also passes through the famous Million Dollar Highway, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  10. 10
    5
    votes
    Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
    National Park Service · Public domain

    Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad

    William Jackson Palmer
    This historic railroad played a vital role in Colorado's mining industry, transporting ore and other goods across the state. Today, visitors can explore the railroad's historic buildings and exhibits, including a restored roundhouse and turntable.
    The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad is a historic narrow-gauge railroad located in Colorado, known for offering one of the most beautiful train rides in the state. It was initially built to transport silver and gold ore from the mines in the Creede and Lake City areas.
    • Gauge: 3 ft (914 mm)
    • Length: 321 miles (517 km)
    • Operational Years: 1870-1947
    • Stations: Numerous stations along the route
    • Scenic Highlights: Incredible views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

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Discussion

Ranking factors for beautiful train ride

  1. Historical significance
    The historical importance of the train route or the train itself could be another important factor. This could be related to the construction of the railway, its role in the development of the region, or historical events that are commemorated by the train ride.
  2. Train type and amenities
    The type of train, including the look and feel of the carriages, adds to the overall experience. Some trains are historical or authentically restored, while others are modern and luxurious. Amenities such as dining cars, observation decks, and comfortable seating could also contribute to the overall ranking.
  3. Season and weather
    The time of year and weather conditions during the train ride can dramatically affect its appeal. Trains that offer stunning views of snow-capped mountains in winter or vibrant fall foliage in autumn could be ranked higher than those with less seasonal variation.
  4. Length of the journey
    The duration of the train ride could be another factor, as longer rides might provide more opportunities to enjoy the scenery, while shorter rides might be more focused on the highlights of the route.
  5. Quality of the tracks and ride comfort
    A smooth, comfortable ride without excessive bumps or jolts would be more pleasant for passengers and contribute to the overall experience.
  6. Unique features
    Special attractions or unique aspects of the train ride, such as tunnels, bridges, wildlife sightings, or famous landmarks along the route, can enhance the experience and make it stand out from others.
  7. Popularity and reputation
    The popularity and reputation of the train ride among locals and tourists alike could be an indicator of its overall beauty and appeal.
  8. Variety of the journey
    A train ride that offers an engaging mix of different landscapes, terrains, and experiences is likely to be more memorable and enjoyable for passengers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful train ride in Colorado. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or journey is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1753 views
  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each journey once every 24 hours. The rank of each journey is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful train ride in colorado

Colorado is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and one of the best ways to experience it is by train. With its rugged mountains, sweeping valleys, and crystal-clear rivers, Colorado offers some of the most scenic train rides in the world. From the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to the modern and sleek Amtrak routes, there are countless options for train enthusiasts to explore. But which train ride is the most beautiful in Colorado? Let's take a closer look at some of the top contenders and what makes them so special.

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