Chasms and curves and nail – biting switchbacks. Crevasses and gorges and perilous passes. Take a thrill ride on one of the most spectacular train lines in the country, crossing the Colorado Rockies on narrow gauge rails. It’s high-altitude adventure at full stream ahead, clinging to steep mountainsides behind a vintage steam locomotive shoving its way up to Silverton at 9,288 feet. Join its delighted load of passengers crossing 400 feet above the tumbling waters of the River of Lost Souls. Snake through glacier-carved passes of sheer granite so narrow, it’s said that only locomotives with a single coat of paint can squeeze through. Classic Mikado Locomotives are seen hard at work throughout the tourist season, nimbly threading the dizzying heights and craggiest routes of southwestern Colorado. Travel in old-fashioned style through country so rugged, its harsh, pristine beauty remains hidden to all but the railroad’s crew and passengers.
Climb aboard Mikado Steam Locomotive #488 for a historic ride on the Cumbres &Toltec Scenic Railroad, the longest narrow gauge railway in the U.S. Built in 1925, this coal burning workhorse pulls turn-of-the-century stock and box cars over the dramatic landscape of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The fire-breathing engine doesn't flinch at even the most challenging terrain as it crosses from high mountains to high desert. Switchback curves lined with aspen and pine give way to white-knuckle rides high above granit-hewn gorges, only to be followed by breathless straigh-aways through desert scrub-land. Cling to the sides of Cumbres Pass at 10,000 feet, and ghost along Phantom Curve. Cross the Cascade Trestle and plunge into the darkness of Mud tunnel. Follow the Calico Cut to Whiplash Curve and pass the ghost town Sublette on the way. Finally, hold your breath as the Mikado does a narrow-gauge high-wire act over Toltec Tunnel Gorge before settling in for the horseshoe curves of Lava Loop. See why the Cumbres &Toltec Scenic Railroad has long been considered one of America's most popular train rides.