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Possible Colorado trip in July-need travel ideas

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  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Folsom, CA (eh, outside the slammer)
  • 101 posts
Possible Colorado trip in July-need travel ideas
Posted by groundeffects on Wednesday, March 02, 2016 4:46 PM

Hello,

I'm looking for ideas on places to visit and see while in Colorado this summer.  My wife and I plan on visiting there for about 7-10 days around the last week of July.  We'll be flying in/out of Denver, and we're thinking of driving down to Durango for 3 days or so to check out/ride the narrow gauge railroad there.  I'd like to see some other rail activity while in Colorado, while at the same time making sure my wife enjoys herself while on vacation too with non rain related fun.  Any ideas on places to visit (train related as well as non train related) would be appeciated. 

Thanks in advance,

Jeff B

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 2,951 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, March 02, 2016 9:57 PM

Durango is a popular tourist town, and my wife would liked to have spent more time there.  If you are going to Durango, you should stop at Chama, NM, for the C&TS.  While Durango's yard has been rebuilt for mass tourist operation, the Chama yard is just as it has been for the last century.  C&TS is always on a precarious financial footing, so I would not delay.  On the other side of Durango (on the former RGS) is Telluride, which is very scenic, historic, and hip.  The Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP is definatly worth the short trip off US 50.    Gunnison has a historical park on the south side of the highway on the east side of town, that has narrow gauge equipment and artifacts.  Two other towns not to miss are Leadville, and nearby Minturn, which is the last of the railroad towns on the out-of-service Tennessee Pass line, which may soon be over-run by Vail.  Leadville also has a tourist train.  Other options are the Georgetown Loop line, the Manitou & Pikes Peak cog railroad, the Royal Gorge line, and the Rio Grande Scenic.  The best museum is the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, near Denver.  Of course Denver is a great city, with light rail lines.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,329 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 03, 2016 4:53 PM

Midland Mike's said it all, but let me give you some advice.  If you ride the Durango and Silverton spend the extra money and ride the parlor car, you WON'T be disappointed.  No disadvantage in being that far back from the locomotive, the 'road twists and turns a lot so you won't miss anything.

I'd also say you really need a day and a half to enjoy the D&S, one day for the train ride, a half-day for that fantastic museum they've got.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 2,951 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, March 03, 2016 10:38 PM

I realize you are flying to Denver, but you might consider returning Amtrak's Zephyr Denver-Grand Junction and then fly from there.  I have flown into GJT is only a few miles from downtown.

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 173 posts
Posted by bedell on Friday, March 04, 2016 8:26 AM

If you plan to take the Royal Gorge Route train out of Canon City you will be just a few miles from Florence, CO which is home to lots of antique shops which your wife might enjoy. Florence is on SH 115 and SH 67.  SH 67 also connects to Cripple Creek and Victor via the Phantom Canyon Road which was largely built on the roadbed of the Florence and Cripple Creek RR.  The road is gravel but driveable with any type of vehicle.  Enjoy your trip and welcome!

  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Folsom, CA (eh, outside the slammer)
  • 101 posts
Posted by groundeffects on Friday, March 04, 2016 3:04 PM

Thanks all for the great tips.  I'm in the process of gathering some travel bureau info on the areas that we might want to visit, so we can start the booking process. I'm starting to realize we're not going to have enough time to visit all the places we would like to see, so this trip may just be a "sampler".  

I've visited some of the websites that feature train photography in Colorado, and hoping I can do the area justice while I'm doing my own photography. 

Thanks again.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 846 posts
Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Saturday, April 16, 2016 10:55 AM

Well darn, we been spending so much time talking about this, that I booked a trip to  c&t. It such a great line to ride and rail fan.

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