There are several narrow gauge railways in the state of Colorado, but the Georgetown Loop railway is the most scenic and affordable in the state. The station is located off I-70 around fifty miles west of Denver.
Take the off ramp on exit 266 into the town of Silver Plume. There is parking at the station but no room for recreational vehicles or campers. These types of vehicles should park at the Devil’s Gate station in Georgetown at exit 228. The price for the train experience is $18.75 for adults and $14.25 for children.
The train is considered a narrow gauge. This is a term used for the shortened width between the tracks to accommodate the steep terrain of mountainous areas. The passenger will see why as the train chugs its way up steep slopes with rocky walls on one side and treacherous thousand foot drops on the other. The Georgetown Loop lives up to its name as it loops from Georgetown, up a three mile stretch to Silver Plume then across the gorges and deep valleys of the Rocky Mountains. The train offers spectacular views of the mountains and wildlife that motorist of I-70 never see. Though the train parallels the freeway for a short distance, once it passes through Silver Plume it makes a sharp turn east and heads into the back country where few people beside the train’s passengers have had a glimpse.
The trail ride lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. This lets the traveler visit the shops at both Georgetown and Silver Plume and maybe even visit the historic Lebanon Silver Mine which is owned by the railroad.
The train offers open air cars so passengers can view the majestic beauty of the scenery around them. As you ride in the fresh mountain air you will see wildlife in their natural habitat. Big Horn Sheep are almost always spotted and the train sometimes stops as they are shooed off the track. Whitetail and Mule deer are frequently seen as with the occasional Black Bear or Mountain Lion. The fauna is not to be slighted either. The train rolls through stands of Lodge Pole Pine and other evergreens. In the fall the passenger will be delighted with the many colors of foliage as the Aspens shed the summer leaves for the coming winter. Anytime of year is a joy to ride the Georgetown Loop, but the train only runs from May to September due to the heavy Colorado snow season.
Colorado weather is unpredictable so carry both summer and cool weather apparel. The weather can change every thousand foot of elevation or within a moments notice as the train twists around one valley to the next. The drive time from Denver to the station is usually underestimated due to the traffic on I-70, so it is advisable to leave early and buy your tickets at least thirty minutes before departure. There are snacks available at the station, but you may bring food and drink on board. Groups and bus tours are available with reservation. This is a once in a lifetime experience that should not be missed.