Cumbres & Toltec Railroad
Chama, New Mexico and Antonio, Colorado
Be sure to pack the camera for this one. The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad was voted by USA Today as the Best Scenic Train Ride in America (2016) and the Best Attraction in both New Mexico and Colorado (2017). This National Historic Landmark features unspoiled western scenery and striking, coal-fired narrow gauge steam engines. Join Cumbres & Toltec for a full- or half-day trip that is almost beyond belief.
Expansive views from atop high trestles reveal bright meadows, rushing creeks, rock walls and thin, white aspen trees dressed in shimmering leaves. Sightings of deer, elk, birds and bears are plentiful. The train’s incline steepens against the Rocky Mountains to hug sheer rock faces, like the empty edge of the rocky Toltec Gorge, and squeeze between rock walls. The views remain arresting at every turn. Alpine meadows sprinkled with wildflowers give way to the towering conifers that frame the spectacular vistas. At certain heights, it is noticeably cooler, and there can even be snow flurries in summer. The highest trestle on the line is the 137-foot-tall Cascade Creek Trestle. Trees are sparse there and the open mountain scenery is magnificent. Another unique spot is the Tanglefoot Curve, a loop so tight that the train seems folded in half, the locomotive steams back toward Cumbres Pass. With an elevation of 10,015 feet, this is the highest pass reached by rail in the United States. As the steep descent begins, sweeping views continue to unfold. Aspen trees and grassy hills dominate the lower elevations.
Passengers disembark for lunch at halfway point and ghost town Osier, Colorado where everyone enjoys a hot, made-from-scratch lunch buffet that is included in the price of their tickets. Guests have the choice of a turkey or meatloaf dinner with all the classic sides and homemade bread for both. The full salad bar and daily rotating specials include soups, stews, casseroles, BBQ, Mexican, Italian, vegetarian, chicken beef and pork. Freshly baked desserts include pies, cobblers and Toltec Gorge Catering’s famous triple chocolate cake. With full bellies, the passengers head for the last stretch of their ride.
Cumbres & Toltec has daily excursions running from May 25 to October 20. As Cumbres & Toltec is the longest narrow gauge railroad with a total of 64 track miles, roundtrips are too long for a daytrip. There are nine different trip options for full- and half-day rides.
For full-day rides, the trains leave daily from Chama, New Mexico and Antonio, Colorado meeting halfway at Osier, Colorado. Guests may start their ride by luxury motor coach train along Colorado’s Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway and return by train or vice versa. They also have the option to switch trains at Osier to view the same scenery twice, but at different times of day.
Half-day rides run from July to August and depart from Chama. They include the family-friendly Cinder Bear Experience and Cumbres Express. All passengers choose between coach, tourist or parlor cars with different prices for each.
For groups of 20 or more, Cumbres & Toltec can design a group program with special pricing in the summer months. Motorcoach tours are also welcome to self-guided walking tours of the train yard, complimentary parking, rack cards and trip guides. Escorts and drivers receive complimentary tickets. Planners can charter a coach car or a caboose for an additional fee. E-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, visit cumbrestoltec.com or phone (877) 890-2737 for more details on trip options and more.