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Zephyr Lodge Condo -- Area Information


 

Take a Scenic Trip on a Steam Rail Road

  This information is compiled to assist guests who rent our Condo at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge.  If you've arrived at this page as a result of a web search on Colorado Railroading, we hope you benefit from the information.  And if you need lodging, thank you for considering us.


INTRODUCTION
Six scenic railroads offer opportunities to take a journey back in time and ride historic narrow-gauge track through pristine countryside.  Follow 100+ year old routes through deep forests , across trestles, and up and down hills.  Imagine the famous outlaws of the old west waiting around the next curve.   Enjoy the nostalgia of the steam locomotive.


IN WINTER PARK
The local Winter Park areas is rich with Rail Road history. If one is staying at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge, you cannot escape the Moffat Tunnel.  Interested visitors should plan a driving trip up the Corona Pass Rail Road grade.  You drive nearly 20 miles on an old rail road grade.  After 4 miles you come to the ghost town of Arrow.  Double that distance brings you to Rifle Sight Trestle  [see photo to right].   At the top are two more Trestles.  And a short walk at the top brings you to Needle's Eye Tunnel [on the Atlantic side of the continental divide].    For more information and dozens of old photo's, visit the Cozens Museum between Winter Park and Fraser.


 

THE RAILROADS [closest first]
Georgetown Loop Railroad
888-456-6777 [toll free]. 
www.georgetownlooprr.com
The historic narrow-gauge train takes a little over an hour to travel between Georgetown and Silver Plume passing over the Devil's Gate High bridge, 95 feet above Clear Creek.  Trains depart from both Silver Plume and Georgetown.  While in the area, take a tour of a historic Silver mine.  All this fun is just 1 hour from Winter Park.

The history of the magnificent railroad stretches back more than a century.  In the 1860's Georgetown and Silver Plume became one of the great silver producing regions in the world.  By 1877 a rail line connected Denver to Georgetown.  But pressing on to Silver Plume meant climbing 600 feet in just 2 miles -- an impossible feat.  7 years later, 200 men had laid 4 miles of track that looped around itself by traveling over gigantic trestles.

 To reach this scenic attraction from Zephyr Lodge, drive south on US 40 over Berthoud Pass.  When you reach I-70 head west 4 miles to Georgetown.

 

Leadville, Colorado, and Southern Railroad 
(719) 486- 3936 [long dx]. 
 www.leadville-train.com
Take a 2 1/2 hour ride from the highest incorporated city in North America and journey across the Arkansas River valley to a view of Freemont Pass and Climax.  Choose between open and closed cars.   Note, modern locomotives are used in lieu of the historical steam driven kind.  

2 hours from Winter Park.  Consult a map for directions to Leadville.

 

Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
(719) 685 5401 [long dx]. 
www.cograilway.com
This 3 hour round trip covers just 8.9 miles up and back from Manitou Springs to the steep 14110 foot summit of Pikes Peak.  Special trains build in Switzerland are used for this famous tour.  This train has run since 1891 and has held the honor of being the worlds highest cog railroad and the highest railroad in the US.  There is a half hour break at the summit.  Open from April through December. 

2.5 hours from Winter Park.  Consult a map for directions to Leadville.

 

Royal Gorge Route Railroad 
(303) 569-2403 [long dx] or 888-724-5748 [toll free].  www.royalgorgeroute.com.
Take a 2 hour journey of 24 miles along the Arkansas River that passes directly under the Royal Gorge Bridge and stops on the Hanging Bridge that suspends the train above the river.  Marvel to the engineering feat that resulted in this route.  A special "Teddy Roosevelt" car offers luxury class accommodations. 

3.5 hours from Winter Park.  Consult a map for directions.

 

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
(888}-286-2737 [toll free]
www.cumbrestoltec.com 
The Cumbres & Toltec is known as America's most authentic steam railroad.  Running over narrow gauge tracks, the historic coal-fired steam-powered locomotive and restored cars travel between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico on a 64 mile journey through the San Juan Mountains.  This is an full day trip and the tour departs from alternate days from each station.  Reservations are suggested. 

6+ hours from Winter Park.  Consult a map for directions.

 

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
(970) 247-2733 [long dx] 
www.durangotrain.com
The Durango and Silverton line is probably the most famous narrow gauge train ride in North America.  Plan to spend a day as the coal-fired steam locomotive travels up the Animas river from Durango to Silverton through some of the Rocky Mountains most spectacular wilderness forest.  After a short layover in Silverton, the train returns to Durango.  Reservations 4-6 weeks ahead are suggested. 

6+ hours from Winter Park.    Consult a map for directions to Durango.


MORE INFORMATION
If old railroading interests you, sparks an interest in our heritage, or you would like to learn more, visit one of these websites. 

Quick 3 page history of railroading in Colorado

Colorado Rail Road Museum web page [the museum is located in Golden, CO if you would like to visit].

Or purchase one of the many excellent books written in recent years on the subject of Colorado Rail Roads.



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