Blow off steam by combining scenic train rides with hot springs – The Mercury News

Colorado is home to hot springs and historic scenic trains, each known for his or her steam release. Why not mix these experiences for a bit of steam with steam for an unforgettable and unique trip?

While none of those facilities currently offer a package that features a train ride and a hot spring soak, you’ll be able to select your personal adventure and take a look at several hot springs with a train ride or something else. Not all of those hot springs offer overnight accommodations, so plan accordingly if you happen to're staying near the train or the springs.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Sometimes the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad stops to refill the locomotive with water. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)
Sometimes the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad stops to refill the locomotive with water. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)

This railroad is owned by each Colorado and New Mexico, because the tracks cross state lines multiple times, taking tourists to each Chama, NM and Antonito, Colorado. The Cumbres & Toltec was inbuilt 1880 as a narrow gauge railroad to support silver mining in the realm. It was purchased by the 2 states in 1970 and converted to a tourist train in 1971, showing passengers natural areas not visible from roads or trails.

There are several different rides: a dinner train, a geology train, a Fourth of July train, and every day trips where you’ll be able to make a choice from a partial or full ride. Near Cumbres Pass, the tracks intersect with the Continental Divide Trail, where hikers can hop on and save 14 miles of trail. (The cost is $30.)

During the train ride, you'll see the classic steam rising from the locomotive because the train puffs along the tracks and thru the mountains – and sometimes you'll hear the whistle too.

Pagosa Springs

On a cool morning, you can expect the hot springs at The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs to be steaming. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)
On a cool morning, you’ll be able to expect the recent springs at The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs to be steaming. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)

While the towns of Chama and Antonito are charming and convenient for rail tourists, you would possibly consider a comparatively short drive to Pagosa Springs in Colorado or Ojo Caliente in northern New Mexico. Pagosa Springs is lower than an hour's drive from Chama or about 1 1/2 hours from Antonito. The Springs Resort, which is home to the world's deepest geothermal hot spring, is currently expanding its lodging options and the variety of pools for soaking. You'll see steam rising from the pools and the San Juan River where the hotter water meets the colder mountain water.

Ojo Caliente is a 90-minute drive from Chama and an hour from Antonito. You can make a choice from public hot springs or reserve a personal bath. These natural springs are referred to as one in every of the few places where you’ll be able to bathe in sulfur-free waters wealthy in iron, soda, lithium and arsenic.

Durango & Silverton Railroad

There was once a connection between the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, however the tracks that met in the center are long gone and today they’re two different experiences. Both trains have been utilized in countless movies, including Kevin Costner's recent western saga, Horizon, by which the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad appears in a transient scene.

Completed in 1882, the Durango to Silverton railroad was at all times intended to be a scenic ride and in addition a method to transport mining treasures. When the mines went bust, the little railroad faltered, but was later saved by private investment and determined locals. This railroad runs year-round, not only in the summertime, and there are a selection of trips depending on how much time you’ve, what you wish to see, and the season. This railroad also offers wilderness access if you happen to book prematurely or flag down the train operator by “waving your hands horizontally between your knees,” in keeping with The backpack fee is $15 to $35, and the web site has details on where you’ll be able to be dropped off for camping within the San Juan National Forest or Weminuche Wilderness.

There are one-way or round-trip trips from Durango to Silverton or the Cascade Canyon Express, which travels halfway to Silverton.

The Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa offers several pools to choose from. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)
Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa offers several pools to pick from. (Mindy Sink, special report for The Denver Post)

Located just 8 miles from downtown Durango, the resort features the world's first oxygenated hot springs. Formerly referred to as Trimble Hot Springs, this place has been greatly improved: There at the moment are 32 pools to check out – some adults-only, most family-friendly – making each soak a singular experience. Check out the live music lineup so you’ll be able to soak, drink and hearken to music here.

Georgetown Loop Railway

This is the closest choice to Denver to ride a historic steam locomotive. This narrow gauge railway is owned by History Colorado and was inbuilt 1879. In the open carriages, passengers can benefit from the mountain scenery through the 90-minute train ride. If desired, a mine tour and gold panning may also be booked through the trip.

Indian hot springs

Although the train doesn't go to Idaho Springs, it's a 15-minute drive from Georgetown to Indian Hot Springs, where a big, steamy pool awaits in the midst of a recreated jungle. There are also private outdoor pools and caves for soaking inside.

(Note: We realize that while there are other historic railroads in Colorado near hot springs—notably the Royal Gorge Route Railroad from Canon City near Desert Reef Hot Springs in Florence or the Rocky Mountaineer with a stop in Glenwood Springs—these will not be steam-powered trains, and so don't quite fit the theme of riding a steam-powered train and soaking in a steaming hot natural pool.)

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