Day Trips from Denver by Train: Exploring Colorado’s Scenic Beauty
Denver, Colorado, is famous for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. While there are plenty of adventures to be had within the city limits, sometimes it’s nice to escape the urban environment and explore the picturesque landscapes beyond. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a day trip from Denver by train. In this guide, we will explore some of the top destinations you can reach by train, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Situated just 70 miles northwest of Denver, this national park is easily accessible by train. Hop on the Amtrak California Zephyr from Union Station, and enjoy a scenic ride to Granby. From there, you can take a short shuttle ride to the park entrance. Once inside, you can embark on various hiking trails, spot wildlife, and marvel at the majestic Rocky Mountains. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Trail Ridge Road, which offers breathtaking views at its highest point, over 12,000 feet above sea level.
2. Pikes Peak
Located in Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is one of the most famous peaks in the United States. To reach this magnificent summit, you can take the historic Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The railway, established in 1891, offers a comfortable and scenic journey to the top. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and lush forests. Once at the summit, you can enjoy the crisp mountain air and awe-inspiring vistas that stretch for miles. Don’t forget to try the famous Pikes Peak donuts at the Summit House!
3. Georgetown Loop Railroad
For a nostalgic train ride through Colorado’s mining history, hop aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad. This narrow-gauge heritage railroad offers a 6.2-mile round trip journey from Georgetown to Silver Plume. As you chug along the tracks, you’ll pass through breathtaking canyons, cross towering trestles, and even visit a reconstructed Old West mining town. The train’s open-air cars provide an immersive experience, allowing you to feel the mountain breeze and marvel at the rugged beauty of the Clear Creek Valley.
4. Royal Gorge
The Royal Gorge is a natural wonder located near Cañon City, just a short distance from Colorado Springs. To experience the awe-inspiring beauty of this gorge, take a scenic train ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. This historic train journey takes you along the Arkansas River, meandering through the narrow 10-mile-long canyon. As you marvel at the sheer cliffs towering above and the rushing river below, keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and other wildlife. The train even offers a dining car, allowing you to savor a delicious meal while admiring the breathtaking scenery.
5. Garden of the Gods
While not accessible by train directly, a day trip from Denver to Garden of the Gods is well worth the scenic drive. Situated in Colorado Springs, this geological marvel features towering sandstone rock formations that have been shaped over millions of years. Explore the park’s numerous hiking trails, marvel at the famous Balanced Rock, and soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of the red rocks against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas!
Embarking on a day trip from Denver by train allows you to escape the city and immerse yourself in Colorado’s natural splendor. Whether you choose to explore Rocky Mountain National Park, reach the summit of Pikes Peak, delve into Colorado’s mining history on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, experience the breathtaking Royal Gorge, or visit the stunning Garden of the Gods, these day trips offer unparalleled beauty and unforgettable experiences. So grab your train ticket, sit back, and prepare to be amazed by the scenic wonders that await you just a short journey away from Denver.
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