AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
The Best of Colorado

The Best of Colorado

The Best of Colorado Overview

This rail holiday includes the definitive selection of the very best and most famous railroads of Colorado. Many were pioneering lines of the Old West, now preserved as a living legend. All run through magnificent Rocky Mountain scenery.


Day 1 – Our Journey Begins

We fly from London to Denver and transfer to our centrally located hotel.

Day 2 – The Georgetown Loop

Denver, the “Mile High City” is situated at the point where the plains of the Mid West meet the Rocky Mountains and, within a few minutes of leaving our hotel, we are already in the wonderful scenery for which the area is renowned. Because the various railways we visit are not rail connected to each other we will have an air conditioned coach at our disposal for the whole of the holiday. We stop first at Golden to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum and then head for Georgetown, a beautifully preserved mining town, to ride the Georgetown Loop narrow gauge line. The high spot of the train journey is a high curved trestle bridge. We return to Denver for overnight.

Day 3 – Lunch at the Royal Gorge

Head south to Canon City and the Royal Gorge Railroad where lunch is served as we follow the raging Arkansas River upstream through the gorge. This was once part of a transcontinental main line and, even today, the train will be hauled by one of the iconic U.S. streamline diesel locos. Overnight stay in Colorado Springs.

Day 4 – Cripple Creek and Leadville

Transfer by coach to the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad where we make the 4 mile roundtrip. We have some time to look around and enjoy lunch before driving through the Rockies to Leadville. At 10,350ft it is the highest city in the USA and once the setting of Doc Holliday’s last shoot-out. As its name suggests, the town was once an important mining centre.

Day 5 – The Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad

Enjoy a two and a half hour trip on this standard gauge preserved line, the far end of which is close to the Continental Divide – from here, streams flow east to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic and west to the Pacific. In the afternoon we have a coach journey across the Poncha and Wolf Creek Passes to Pagosa Springs.

Day 6 – Durango and Silverton

Coach journey to Durango for a morning steam train journey through the Animas Canyon to the old mining town of Silverton, now beautifully preserved as a reminder of the Wild West. There is time for lunch here before returning by train to Durango and coach transfer to Pagosa Springs.

Day 7 – Cumbres and Toltec

Today we head for Chama, New Mexico and join the narrow gauge steam train on the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad. The long climb to the summit at Cumbres Pass (10,015ft) is a real struggle for the loco, but we can simply enjoy the fantastic views back down the valley. After lunch at Osier, we continue to Antonito for a transfer to Alamosa.

Day 8 – Return to Denver

We take a leisurely drive back to Denver with a stop for lunch on the way. Arrival is in the afternoon and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 9 – Free Day in Denver

Today is free for you to explore the city. Why not spend the day exploring the light rail system and perhaps make a visit to the Forney Museum of Transportation, home of the Union Pacific 'Big Boy' Steam Locomotive #4005 and over 600 other artefacts relating to transportation history.

Day 10 & 11 – Denver and Home

Most of today is free to see more of the city. Late this afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our early evening flight to London where we are due to arrive the following lunchtime.


  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Private air conditioned coach throughout the tour
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a room only basis
  • All excursions as per itinerary
  • Lunches on day 3 and 7
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour
Find out more about this holiday