Riding the Rails in Colorado: Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad offers an enjoyable way to see Colorado's back country. Photo by Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad offers a unique way to see Colorado’s back country. Photo by Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

The railroad was an important part of the Old West. It brought settlers, travelers and businessmen to remote regions of the country and helped new communities thrive.

Those railroad glory days are long past, but the railroad still has a fascinating role here in Colorado allowing passengers to ride the rails for fun, exploring parts of the Rockies that aren’t reachable by car.

Riding the train is a fantastic way to see more of the Rocky Mountains. I saw that firsthand during a recent trip with the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. My fiancé and I attended the Mountain Rails Live Summer Concert Series, and although we both grew up here in the Centennial State, it was a new experience for both of us.

Concerts are performed at the Fur Summit Amphitheater. Photo by Janna Graber
Concerts are performed at the Fir Summit Amphitheater. Photo by Janna Graber

The summer mountaintop series combines a train ride through some of Colorado’s scenic countryside with top live performances at the railroad’s own Fir Summit Amphitheater, which is located at 9,400 feet in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The idea of enjoying some good music in a beautiful setting – the amphitheater is surrounded by forest and operates on clean wind and solar energy – was enough to entice us. Add in a train ride through undisturbed Colorado back country, and we knew we had to try it.

The train departed from the tiny town of Alamosa, which is just two hours from Colorado Springs, but four hours from our home near Denver. So we decided to make a whole weekend of it.

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