Choose from nine spectacular full-day journeys that will take you through mountains, meadows, gorges, and tunnels. Four of these trips depart from and return to Antonito, Colo., a five-plus-hour trip from Denver, while five begin and end in Chama, N.M. (add an hour to the drive if you’re going to Chama). Some of the train routes cross the Colorado/New Mexico border 11 times and pass through Cumbres Pass, which at an elevation of 10,015 feet is the highest pass reached by rail in the country. Prices start at $100 for adults and $50 for children for full-day rides; kids 2 and under are free.
If a full-day train ride is too long for you, book a ride with the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad, which is only a two-hour drive from Denver. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views on this relaxing 2½-hour journey through Leadville. For even better views, book an engine or caboose seat. Bonus: This ride is dog-friendly, so bring your four-legged friend for the day. Prices start at $41 for adults and $22 for children; kids 3 and under are free.
This picturesque train ride is only 1 hour 15 minutes long, making it perfect for families with young kids. Riders begin their journey at either the Georgetown or Silver Plume station, then travel two miles to the other station before returning to where they started. This four-mile trip may be short, but it’s full of astounding mountain views. Georgetown also offers 1¼ -hour mining tours—at Everett Mine, kids can pan for gold and dig through sand to hunt for treasure. Prices start at $28 for adults and $21 for children; children under 3 are free.