Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
The Denver and Rio Grande Railway first crossed the Rocky Mountains over La Veta Pass as a passenger train in 1877. Though that passenger train ran for only a few years, the route reopened in 2006 as the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, a passenger train with trips starting in La Veta and Alamosa.
Enjoy a leisurely and scenic ride that curves and winds through steep rocky grade and mountain meadows with elk, eagles, and bears cohabiting the land.
Passengers on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad ride in passenger cars and locomotives spanning the country and the decades. From open-window cars popular during the roaring 20s to a converted 1949 sleeping car from the Pennsylvania Railroad, this rail experience has something for everyone.
Cool fact: The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s predecessor is credited for opening the San Luis Valley to the rest of the world by laying tracks across its borders. The town of Alamosa was literally built in one day with buildings transported by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1878.
Trains depart daily from Alamosa at 9 am or from La Veta at 9:30 am. That’s right, you choose the starting location that’s best for you!
Powered by a diesel-electric, the La-Veta to Alamosa train allows two hours for lunch and shopping in downtown Alamosa, where you’ll find many cafes, restaurants, and stores.
In addition, shorter, half-day day excursions are available from either Alamosa or La Veta to Fir Station, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s mountaintop stop.
Weekends in the summer are home to Mountain Rails Live, a concert series like no other. Musicians and passengers are transported to Fir Summit, the concert venue only accessible by rail. Special events hosted aboard the train are a must-see, including the popular Rails and Ales event each June.