A terrific destination for families, or people who love old trains, is Georgetown, Colorado. In this historic mining town you'll find a railroad gem known as the Georgetown Loop Railroad,
My wife and I visited Georgetown on a crisp day in early fall. We were mostly interested in seeing the historic buildings in Georgetown, but definitely wanted to ride "the Loop", and are glad that we did.
This is a stretch of 3 ft (narrow gauge) railroad which was completed in 1884. It was constructed to connect the then booming silver mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume. The Devil’s Gate station is located in Georgetown where most people board; the ride ends at the Silver Plume Depot from which you return to Georgetown (although you can also do the ride from Silver Plume to Georgetown and back).
While the trip is only a short 2 miles (3.2 km) each way, a steep and scenic canyon connects the two towns. A steam locomotive slowly chugs up and down the canyon, the journey taking about a half hour each way, a ride we found very enjoyable. You cross a very dramatic high bridge and see some spectacular mountain scenery.
After it was originally opened, additional links connected the Loop to Denver, which allowed people to visit the mining and mountain towns, and later to other Rocky Mountain stops to the west of Silver Plume. When mining began to fade, the line switched to operating for passengers and freight. It was closed for a time when automobile traffic began to be popular, but the service was restored for historical interest more than a half century ago.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a popular visitor attraction, one of Colorado's first. The trip is operated by the Colorado Historical Society as the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park. The season runs between late May through October with additional dinner trains, and Halloween and Christmas holiday specials. Check with their website for further details.
The Georgetown Loop is located off I-70 and is only 45 miles west of Denver. Besides the scenic train journey, you can visit a historic silver mine, pan for gold, and visit the historic towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume.
While you only stop in Silver Plume for a few minutes, there are lots of old trains about and it would be good to spend a little more time here. It was in Silver Plume that our locomotive took on water, a scene which provided last weekend's One Clue Mystery photo. Congratulations to George G, who recognized where we were,
My wife and I really enjoyed this train ride and highly recommend it,