For those looking to get off the beaten tracks (railroad tracks, that is), Rocky Mountaineer can take you on a railroad adventure from Denver to Moab, Utah.
Launched in 2021, Rockies to the Red Rocks is the company’s first route in the U.S. after operating in the Canadian Rockies for more than 30 years. It’s an apt counterpart to the routes from Vancouver to Banff and Jasper north of the border, with some of the jaw-dropping-est visuals in the West. The train runs from April to October. (Although the train runs seasonally, you can purchase tickets year-round.)
“When we were exploring options for a new route, we knew it needed to be in a special location with many of the same features we have in western Canada — incredible scenery, iconic destinations and the ability to travel by day, over multiple days, through a region that is best experienced by train,” says Nicole Ford, Rocky Mountaineer’s vice president of communications, sustainability and stakeholder relations.
“The Rockies to the Red Rocks route between Denver and Moab offers all this, and more, and it is an ideal way to bring the Rocky Mountaineer experience to this compelling region of the U.S.,” Ford adds.
It follows that Rockies to the Red Rocks is a two-day trip between Denver and Moab with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs. Passengers can travel on the route in either direction, both of which feature two days of travel and one night in Glenwood Springs at one of Rocky Mountaineer’s partners: Hotel Denver, Hotel Colorado and Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge.
“The train travels only by daylight and has oversized windows that reach the roof, so guests do not miss a moment of the ever-changing landscapes,” says Ford. “Our onboard hosts narrate the journey with details about the history, peoples and communities that shape the region.”
Train Manager Chris Woods has worked on all four of Rocky Mountaineer’s offerings. “I have favorite points on each journey,” Woods says. “The Rockies to the Red Rocks route is absolutely stunning with the diversity of landscapes and views the seasons bring in this region.”
The train travels alongside the Colorado River through remote canyons that are only accessible by rail. It’s an entirely different perspective on the landscape than Interstate 70. Ford highlights Byers Canyon, Ruby Canyon and Mount Garfield as noteworthy sights along the route.
“The train journeys through the ‘tunnel district’ — a 13-mile section of track completed in 1904, which contains 30 tunnels that were hand-blasted through solid rock,” Ford adds.
The two-day journey includes two days on the train, all meals and beverages on the train and the overnight stay in Glenwood Springs. Deluxe packages include additional stays in Denver and Moab and sightseeing road tours, and there is an upgrade that allows access to lounge cars along with an elevated dining experience featuring wine pairings and handcrafted cocktails.
Check the Rocky Mountaineer's website for current prices.