The itty bitty town of Georgetown, Colorado, is right on I-70 as you enter the mountains from the east. If you’ve taken a trip from Denver to the high country there’s a really good chance that you’ve driven past idyllic little Georgetown. Maybe you’ve stopped for gas or coffee. Perhaps you drove over Guanella Pass or used it to access the trail up Mt. Bierstadt. But have you ever taken a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad? Because you really should.
Our Little Dude loves trains and I had been planning on taking him on a ride for a while. On our way up to the mountains for Thanksgiving we noticed the sign for their Christmas train ride with Santa. We mentioned it to my parents and the next thing I knew, we had tickets for the five of us Saturday evening. Thanks, mom and dad!
I had a feeling that this would be really cool … and it lived up to the hype. The ride would have been worth the price of admission even without all the Christmas festivities! Riding an old train through the snow covered Colorado mountains? It’s pretty great. Throw in Santa, Christmas lights, and some adult beverages and you’ve got the trappings of a pretty perfect mountain adventure that is fun for even the tiniest and least daring among us.
Our seats were in the “parlor car” which was completely enclosed and therefore nice and warm. Snacks and non-alcholic drinks were provided and reasonably priced adult beverages (including craft beer and winter warmers) were available. The ride was around an hour long and passed light displays, old steam engines, rushing rivers, and snow-covered pines.
The highlight for the Little Dude was probably when Santa came by and asked what he wanted for Christmas (a tow-truck, apparently). This wasn’t just a quick stop to say hello. Santa actually sat down with us for a while and chatted up everyone in our group. Homeboy was in heaven.
Back at the station there were carolers, free hot chocolate, and some guys roasting chestnuts over a fire. Is there anything that says Christmas more than that? I’m not sure that there is.
If you go: Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Georgetown Loop Railroad‘s website. While the train itself was nice and warm (at least in the parlor car!), remember that Georgetown sits at 8,500 feet above sea level – the air outside will almost certainly be chilly. A lot of people had blankets, which seemed like a pretty good idea. This is a great way to break up the drive between the mountains and the Front Range but keep in mind that winter ski traffic along I-70 can be heinous so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to Georgetown!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!