I’ve pushed this route many occasions between Moab and Denver, I’ve seen this panorama earlier than. However this time I’m going at a practice’s tempo. At this luxurious practice’s tempo it seems like you’re absorbing the panorama like a sponge. I notice there’s something totally different and fairly lovely about going 35 mph via the Colorado Rockies; no highway rage, no building, no worries. The Rocky Mountaineer Colorado practice is a brand new option to journey via a well-recognized panorama for me; and it’s simply as thrilling as seeing it for the primary time.
I stare out the enormous life-size practice window. It feels uncovered however highly effective rolling previous the large mountains. Or perhaps that was the limitless cocktails talking to me. Regardless, the large home windows made the panorama really feel extra huge than a automotive window – apparently measurement issues. It’s a time to decelerate and actually respect this panorama I take with no consideration whereas in my automotive.
Rocky Mountaineer’s new practice route between Denver and the purple rocks of Moab (to not be confused with Denver’s Crimson Rocks!) kicked off on August fifteenth 2021 bringing luxurious practice journey to the USA. It’s a reasonably cool new providing in Colorado tourism and I bought to be among the many first to attempt it out.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Luxurious Prepare Journey from Moab to Denver
Route Map and Highlights
What it’s Prefer to Expertise a Glass Domed Prepare By means of Colorado
What to do at Every Cease on Colorado’s Rocky Mountaineer
–Issues to do in Moab
–Issues to do in Glenwood Springs
–Issues to do in Denver
Lengthen the Rocky Mountaineer Expertise to Web page, Zion Nationwide Park, and Las Vegas
Suggestions for Driving the Rocky Mountaineer Prepare
Who’s This Journey For
Luxurious Prepare Journey From Moab to Denver
Popcorn clouds floated within the blue sky as we pulled out of Moab within the afternoon. I used to be touring from Moab to Denver with an in a single day in Glenwood Springs. The practice began rolling round 2PM leaving the burnt purple rock formations behind as we entered the dry, flat dessert.
This route in all probability isn’t essentially for folks like me who stay in Denver and might drive between the 2 locations. It’s actually extra for people who find themselves visiting the West and possibly together with these 2 days of practice journey as a part of an even bigger itinerary perhaps across the Utah parks, Las Vegas, or Salt Lake Metropolis.
And whereas we’re at it, let’s simply deal with the elephant within the room – you are able to do 60% of this route on Amtrak – nevertheless it’s a completely totally different expertise. It runs on the identical monitor as Amtrak for a lot of the approach, in addition to the identical monitor as freight trains. Amtrak won’t take you into Moab although.
What Makes it Luxurious
It is a luxurious expertise together with excessive finish meals with a number of programs, limitless drinks (together with alcoholic drinks), snug and roomy seats, commentary in regards to the historical past and geography of the place you’re touring via, and all of this on practice automobiles particularly designed for seeing probably the most attainable. It additionally consists of 3 lodge stays at high of the road accommodations in Denver, Glenwood Springs, and Moab and baggage switch. Amtrak doesn’t do any of this and that’s why the experiences are totally different, and the pricing is totally different.
See what it’s wish to journey from Moab to Denver on the Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer Colorado Route Map and Highlights
It’s not straightforward to get via the Rocky Mountains at altitudes reaching to 14,000 toes, and that’s what makes this expertise fairly particular. It’d look fairly straight ahead on this 2D map, nevertheless it was definitely not straightforward. That’s in all probability why the interstate is commonly inside view of the practice tracks – there are solely so some ways you may get via the mountains.
I actually barely seen the interstate although, I used to be extra enthralled with the canyon partitions, and the opposite sights alongside the best way. Right here had been a few of my favourite highlights of the journey.
The Colorado River
In case you are fascinated with the Colorado River (like me!), then this can be a nice option to see it’s origins. You comply with the mighty river a lot of the journey. It winds round like a snake carving out canyons, and serving to farmers irrigate their crops.
It felt as if the Colorado River was flirting with us all through the journey. If I listened carefully, I may hear it say
“The way you doin’?”
“Do you come right here usually?”
Then it would disappear for a bit, however shortly it will be again, providing to purchase you one other drink and one other choose up line.
“You should be exhausted working in my thoughts all day lengthy.”
Sure the Colorado River will probably be working in your thoughts, and your view, all day too.
This 12.5 mile canyon stretches from close to Dotsero to only east of Glenwood Springs. Its partitions climb as excessive as 1,300 toes above the Colorado River; the biggest canyon on the Higher Colorado. The canyon was the historic route of the railroads and roads via the Rockies. That is why you’ll discover the railroad tracks nestled up in opposition to the flirty Colorado River, nestled up in opposition to the interstate; this slim canyon squeezes in all three!
As I used to be having fun with espresso and a bloody mary, all I may do was stare upwards watching the tall cliffs slide previous my window. I additionally spent a great period of time hanging out within the vestibule the place I may peer out with out the layer of glass between me and the canyon. I all the time marvel on the engineering feat of the transportation via this canyon. The interstate lanes are stacked on high of one another and that’s why it’s thought-about the most scenic pure characteristic on your complete Interstate freeway system! I’m not usually one to name an interstate scenic – however on this case – it’s effectively deserved.
There are components of the Colorado River which are practically inconceivable to see and definitely inconceivable to drive to. A type of areas is the Gore Canyon. The practice can take you locations in Colorado which are hidden to the common individual and that’s what makes viewing this canyon from the practice so particular. There are not any roads via Gore Canyon, it’s too slim. There was solely room for a set of railroad tracks… the Rocky Mountaineer is your ticket to these tracks.
The remoted stretch of river is 3 miles lengthy and drops 300 toes in these three miles. The canyon partitions tower 1000 toes above the river. This drop is the recipe for a number of the finest whitewater rafting in Colorado – some say the world. With Class V rapids, clearly solely knowledgeable kayakers and rafters can try it.
I’ve rafted the Colorado River rapids within the Grand Canyon and the Cataract Canyon – however the Gore Canyon seemed to me just like the wildest experience that the Colorado river can provide you. I actually let loose gasps as we handed the rapids with large boulders and waterfall-like drops.
How can being at midnight be a spotlight you ask? Should you respect engineering feats (like I do), then it’s a ringer for a spotlight! The Moffat tunnel is 6 miles lengthy and cuts deep via the Continental Divide. And once I say deep…I imply it. We traveled over 2500 toes beneath the highest of the mountains we handed via. It took 5 years to construct and was accomplished in 1928; it’s thought-about a Nationwide Historic Civil Engineering Landmark . As I traveled via this landmark tunnel, I took the time to order a closing cocktail as we rolled the remaining approach via the entrance vary and into Denver.
What it’s Prefer to Expertise a Glass Domed Prepare By means of Colorado
Despite the fact that I stay in Colorado – I felt like this Rocky Mountaineer expertise was fairly distinctive. We don’t have many experiences like this within the US apart from the Alaska Railroad .
Right here’s what you may anticipate on this practice journey.
Host and Trivia
In case you ever wished to win a Colorado trivia recreation…taking this practice is how one can examine up! Every automotive has a important host that not solely lets you already know the plan for the day, in addition they fill you with historical past, information, and tales in regards to the area you go via. Molly, our host, was from Denver and I believe I loved the occasions when she shared about her private experiences in Colorado – issues she preferred or locations she went – it felt extra genuine and private – as a result of it was.
It was a pleasant combine of knowledge. I particularly just like the unusual tales of residents alongside the route – they had been a bit quirky and shocking!
These Huge Stunning Home windows
It’s these home windows…this huge rattling home windows that make this a novel expertise and a lot totally different than driving in a automotive. Not solely do you see the mountains, however you additionally see life within the mountains as you go by farms, fishermen, paddlers, and small cities.
We had just a few wildlife sightings, however not as many as I anticipated. Then once more – you may’t actually management the wildlife – so that you simply hold your eyes peeled and hope for one of the best! We primarily noticed eagles and geese. Nevertheless a person throughout the aisle from me did see a bear within the river.
We additionally handed via many ghost cities which are in the midst of nowhere, buildings crumbling, rusted out automobiles, and dilapidated RVs. I really like a majority of these locations as a result of it evokes so many questions in m who lives there, what occurred to it, how did it come to be…and once more who lives there?!!
The home windows had been cleaned earlier than we bought on the practice for day 2 which was good. In any case, the home windows are in all probability a very powerful a part of the practice for this journey!
Your seat is de facto your ‘residence’ for almost all of the journey. You might be served dinner and drinks in your seat, there is no such thing as a eating automotive. Fortunately the seats are very snug and spacious. You might have a little bit of means to lean again or transfer them ahead, however this isn’t essentially a practice to sleep on – you’d miss the entire surroundings if you happen to slept!
There’s additionally a lounge automotive for individuals who buy the Silverleaf Plus ticket. The lounge automotive is wooden paneled with comfortable chairs and tables, plus a bar the place you get a extra strong selection of drinks. It’s good to have the ability to have just a little ‘change of seat surroundings’ and I discovered the chairs within the lounge automotive to be actually snug.
Meals on the Rocky Mountaineer
Foods and drinks is the large differentiator from Amtrak. There’s an infinite provide of foods and drinks every day on the practice – and it’s good – actually good. The entire foods and drinks is included in your ticket.
They serve you at your seat and there are a number of programs to every meal. I had a salad, important, and dessert for lunch/dinner, and breakfast even had a fruit plate and bread service, plus a important breakfast.
The meals is much like top notch airplane meals. There is no such thing as a ‘kitchen’ with a chef whipping up the dinners. However, very similar to top notch airplane meals, it’s fairly good! As well as, the menu highlighted native elements from many cities in Colorado. I totally loved the Epic Brewing “Escape to Colorado” pale ale braised quick ribs, with roasted San Luis Valley roasted potatoes and desserts from the Aspen Baking Firm. I liked this contact to the menu and nod to the native companies and farms.
Baggage Transfers are Seamless
Since your ticket consists of your lodge in Glenwood Springs, that signifies that you’ll want entry to your checked baggage in a single day. Certainly one of my favourite options was how seamless the ‘practice to lodge’ course of was in Glenwood Springs.
We pulled into the Glenwood Springs practice station and proper throughout the road I may see my lodge – Resort Denver. However earlier than they allow us to out of the practice, our host proceeded to go out our room keys whereas we had been on the practice. That allowed us to stroll off the practice, and bypass any check-in course of and go straight to our room. It was a beautiful perk. And to high it off, I opened my lodge room door and there sat my checked baggage – already positioned within the room!
Even once I bought off the practice in Denver, the bags pickup was seamless and straightforward.
What to do at Every Cease on Colorado’s Rocky Mountaineer
Sure – the primary draw right here is the practice in fact – however needless to say most individuals take this practice as half of a bigger journey. In any case, your starting/ending locations – Denver and Moab – are fairly superior on their very own!
In case you are questioning what you are able to do at every cease – I’ve tons of concepts – most of them I’ve finished myself at totally different occasions. Right here’s how you place collectively a kick ass itinerary for extending the journey by yourself.
Issues to do Moab Earlier than/After the Prepare Journey
Crimson Cliffs Lodge Horseback Driving
I stayed at Crimson Cliffs Lodge – a rustic-luxury, family-owned ranch about 20 minutes outdoors of Moab nestled among the many purple rocks and subsequent to the Colorado River. Because it’s a ranch, they provide horseback rides. I went on a sundown horseback experience and had a lot enjoyable winding my approach via the canyon and close by streams. They provide morning and afternoon rides, so you may match a experience in earlier than you get on the practice in Moab if you happen to’d like!
NavTec Parks Expertise
In fact, if you find yourself in Moab, most individuals need to go go to the nationwide parks. The issue is that EVERYONE needs to go to the parks. However what if you happen to may get within the ‘again door’ of Canyonlands or Arches? You’ll be able to with NavTec 4×4 Park Expertise.
They do the driving as a result of they know the entire park secrets and techniques. You go offroad in 4×4 automobiles that may take you to hidden arches few folks ever see when visiting the park, plus you may see the favored spots too. I did a full day tour with them that took me via Arches and Canyonlands and had an unbelievable time. I didn’t need to drive, and I felt like I used to be having a completely distinctive expertise via the dust backroads of the parks.
Additionally they provide half day morning excursions so if you’re leaving Moab on the practice at 2PM, you may nonetheless slot in a half day tour via one of many parks with NavTec!
There are additionally numerous rafting journeys or jetboating journeys you are able to do that final a half day. I went on an even bigger in a single day rafting journey via Canyonlands which can be an unbelievable option to see the park!
In case you are into pictures like me, then you definitely would possibly need to splurge on a sundown or dawn pictures tour with native photographer Tom Until. These excursions will take you to one of the best spots at one of the best occasions for panorama pictures and educate you methods for capturing the landscapes. He can even educate you drone or astro pictures if that’s extra your fashion!
Tom has a gallery alongside Primary Avenue if you wish to cease in and see his work for some inspiration. Nevertheless, it is best to plan on reserving forward if you wish to do a tour.
I haven’t finished this specific tour but, however I’ve my eye on it for subsequent time, and I did cease in and see his work in his gallery.
In fact, if you happen to simply need to calm down and store – that’s an incredible possibility too. I spent my morning earlier than I bought on the practice testing the retailers alongside Primary Avenue. Ensure you cease into Moab Made – a store that options native artists and creators. You gained’t discover the standard vacationer t-shirts and publish playing cards right here – you’ll solely discover one-of-a-kind creations!
Additionally cease by the bookstore and choose up a e-book on the realm you could learn on the practice.
Issues to do in Glenwood Springs on Your In a single day Keep
This historic little city is break up in two by the railroad, the Colorado River, and the interstate. Nevertheless a beautiful pedestrian bridge spans throughout all three and means that you can discover this fascinating city.
How a lot time you will have in Glenwood Springs will depend on which course you’re going AND different issues like rail visitors and restore crews which are utterly out of your management. Persistence and understanding is critical in journey – and it particularly is in practice journey.
A soak within the largest sizzling springs pool on the planet is simply what you want after sitting on a practice all day! The therapeutic spring waters—referred to as Yampah, or actually Huge Medication, by Ute Native People are to not be missed. The sizzling spring pool dates again to 1888, and other people have been coming from all around the world to expertise the therapeutic waters.
Nevertheless, I’ll say that the pricing construction does make it just a little onerous to swallow for the company on the practice schedule. An entry ticket is $35 to get in for a soak – whether or not you enter very first thing within the morning – or solely with half-hour of time earlier than they shut. Since our practice coming from Moab bought in at 8 – I principally solely had half-hour to soak within the pool earlier than they closed at 9.
As issues transfer ahead for the practice I hope that they’ll work out a extra favorable schedule or low cost with the new springs for the long run!
As one other different – you may also check out the Yampah Vapor Cave. Additionally they at the moment shut at 9PM.
Discover the Historical past
There’s quite a lot of historical past in Glenwood Springs that’s fascinating. On the Resort Denver and Resort Colorado (the 2 accommodations that company on my practice stayed at) there’s a lot cool historical past of prohibition, gangsters, and ghosts! Simply cease within the accommodations and ask for a brochure – and also you’ll study a lot about these historic accommodations of the wealthy, well-known, and infamous.
Issues to do in Denver Earlier than/After Your Prepare Journey
I stay in Denver – so I’ve all types of ideas on distinctive issues to do in Denver. Nevertheless I attempted to consider the kinds of excursions/experiences that might be attention-grabbing to the practice passenger.
Avenue Artwork Tour RINO
This fascinating strolling tour is one in all my favorites in Denver. Not solely will you study in regards to the evolution of road artwork world wide and in Denver, however you’ll additionally study in regards to the evolution of the RINO neighborhood into an artwork district. Previous warehouses at the moment are residence to breweries, cool bars, start-ups, galleries, and markets – and the entire neighborhood is roofed in road artwork.
Denver Artwork Museum
Go to the premier Denver Artwork Museum affectionately referred to as DAM. This spectacular constructing homes a everlasting assortment and rotating collections which are value visiting. It’s one of many largest artwork museums between the West Coast and Chicago.
Plus the renovated Martin Constructing will probably be reopening in October 2021. It has been absolutely restored and renovated all through, together with expanded galleries, eating places, and rooftop and out of doors areas providing customer entry to gorgeous metropolis and mountain views.
Lease a Bike and Head out on Cherry Creek Path
For the reason that practice experience is a variety of sitting, why not get lively while you’re in Denver. The Cherry Creek Path runs from downtown, via the center of the town, via suburbs and out to Cherry Creek Reservoir – roughly 26 miles a method!
This solely paved path is just for bikers, runners, and walkers. When you get out of the primary a part of the town – you even have spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains! It’s an effective way to see totally different components of the town and get train on the identical time!
Take a look at bike rental from Mile Excessive Bike Excursions.
Carboy Wine Bar
In case you are a foodie – there are tons of locations to have a scrumptious meal in Denver. Nevertheless, why not attempt Carboy vineyard and Logan Avenue Restaurant to attempt a few of that Colorado wine that you simply roll previous in Palisade on the practice!
Lengthen the Rocky Mountaineer Expertise to Web page, Zion Nationwide Park, and Las Vegas
Should you like the thought of extending past simply Moab, then check out the 12 day bundle Enchanting Travels has put collectively with the practice journey as a portion of the journey. You’ll be able to keep and play on the lovely Crimson Cliffs Lodge outdoors of Moab to start out with. Then they’ll add on the slot canyons of Web page Arizona, the larger-than-life mountains of Zion Nationwide Park, and the glitz of Las Vegas on a self-drive extension.
Plus to increase the luxurious issue, you’ll have your individual private Journey Coordinator who helps you throughout your journey 24/7 in addition to carbon emissions offsetting. I really had entry to this on my quick journey to attempt it out and it was nice! I made some adjustments final minute for my arrival in Moab they usually had been capable of accommodate me by the point I stepped off the airplane, messaged me with the brand new plan, after which adopted as much as make it possible for the whole lot went okay. It’s a beautiful perk if you find yourself used to making an attempt to do the entire logistics your self as I usually do!
Tricks to Have Your Greatest Expertise on Colorado’s Rocky Mountaineer Route
Which Route is Greatest?
In fact – it relies upon…are you a morning individual, or do you wish to sleep in? Do you need to for positive have extra time in Glenwood Springs to soak or have dinner there? Listed below are the practice schedules to assist make that call:
Westbound: Depart Denver for Glenwood Springs at 9am and arrives 5-6pm. It then leaves from Glenwood Springs at 7am and arrives Moab 12-1pm.
Eastbound: Departs Moab for Glenwood Springs at 2pm and arrives 7-8pm. It then leaves from Glenwood Springs at 9am and arrives Denver 5-6pm.
What Ought to You Put on?
Identical to in the remainder of Colorado, convey layers! I do know that sounds bizarre since you are in a practice all day – why would you want layers? The practice temperature may be onerous to manage and I discovered myself generally sizzling if I had been sitting within the sunny window, and generally freezing as a result of the AC was on.
I wore pants and a tank high and introduced a sweater.
Silverleaf or Silverleaf Plus?
There are totally different ranges of service to determine from. The principle distinction from what I may inform is the Plus offers you entry to the lounge automotive and a wider vary of drinks.
Masks up…It’s Required
On the time I rode in August, masks had been required whereas on the practice once you weren’t consuming or consuming. It is a federal mandate, so you should definitely convey a masks and be ready to put on it.
Convey a E book
Ensure you convey just a little leisure with you. There are energy shops in every seat, nonetheless there is no such thing as a wifi, which I used to be really fairly pleased about. And since for a lot of the best way you’re going via distant canyons and mountains, you usually don’t have cell service both.
Convey a Few Snacks
Despite the fact that there’s numerous meals accessible, you don’t all the time have management over when that meals is served. I want I’d’ve had just a little snack earlier than boarding the practice in Glenwood to Denver because it took some time to get the breakfast service began and by the point I bought my scrumptious waffle at 10AM, I used to be ravenous!
You Don’t Take the Prepare into Denver Union Station
Denver is an enormous metropolis with a variety of rail visitors, due to this fact at occasions it seems like you may get out and stroll sooner than the practice. Simply be affected person getting out and in of Denver…have a drink and calm down…you aren’t in a rush.
As well as, know that presently the Rocky Mountaineer practice doesn’t drop you off at Union Station. You might be really dropped off in RINO only a few miles from the station after which are placed on a coach bus and brought to the station.
After I requested Rocky Mountaineer about this – they did say that dropping on the station was the need, however they had been nonetheless working via the purple tape on that.
On that very same notice – you’re going to get dropped off about 7 miles outdoors of Moab. There is no such thing as a practice station there, only a dust area proper now. As soon as once more coach buses then take you into Moab to your lodge.
When is the Greatest Time to Journey The Rocky Mountaineer in Colorado and Utah?
They’re doing an abbreviated season to for 2021 from August to November since they’ve simply launched. However the excellent news is that they’ve some reductions for individuals who need to be the primary to take the practice. In 2022 they’ll run from roughly April to November.
I believe one of the best time to do that journey is the autumn for the autumn colours. Within the mountains which means late September to early October.
Who is that this Prepare Journey For?
Anybody actually, but I believe it may be onerous to entertain younger youngsters on the practice…however that’s me, I believe it’s onerous to entertain youngsters wherever! I do suppose this journey is nice for multi-generational vacationers. I do know my dad and mom would love this journey and it will be enjoyable to do with them. It additionally must be for people who find themselves not in a rush, and just like the gradual velocity of a practice.
I additionally suppose it will likely be an excellent providing for Worldwide guests the place they’ll do one thing actually distinctive and see different components of America moreover simply the NYC or California.
Rocky Mountaineer Colorado Costs
The 2-day rail journeys, together with a one-night lodge lodging in Glenwood Springs, will begin from $1,250 USD plus tax per individual for the Silverleaf Service.
In case you are searching for a novel option to journey via America’s majestic mountains the place you may simply sit again and benefit from the view, that is the journey for you. Even if you’re a Colorado resident like me!