Chugging along this loop is an entertaining way to leave the I-70 corridor and enjoy expansive views over Clear Creek Valley. The ride is short – only 15 minutes each way, with a pause to tour a mine in between – but the scenery from one of the open passenger cars can make for a breathtaking, if chilly, afternoon.
The train was once part of a system that snaked through Clear Creek Canyon to connect Denver with rich mines in Silver Plume; its operators have done an admirable job making it a bit more upscale, with themed events, seasonal packages and add-ons such as tours of the Lebanon Silver Mine. Plan on spending about half a day on the adventure. Book ahead.