Have you looked at reviews? I have not done the Leadville train but have driven its route. The Georgetown train is good not great in my opinion. Adding the mine tour would make it more interesting. Georgetown would be closer. You could then drive the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway to Estes Park.
Of course the drive along I-70 and the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway to Leadville is a great drive. It would make a long day to do that and drive over Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park. You do not want to just drive Trail Ridge Road, too many great overlooks and short trails to explore along the way. You would want another day for TRR.
You could still drive the Peak to Peak to Estes Park from Leadville.
I've done the Georgetown Loop and mine tour more times than I can remember and have always enjoyed it. It is scenic, you go through the forest and along and over Clear Creek - but there are no outstanding mountain views. I have not taken the Leadville train but from the photos on their website the views are spectacular. It's a longer train ride also.
This reviewer took both train trips.
Thank you so much for the great information and mapquest links. It is extremely helpful, especially since we are unfamiliar with the area. After looking at it all, and since the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway was on our list of things to do, I think we probably will do the Georgetown Loop train, with the optional mine tour, and then head up to Estes Park via the Peak to Peak route.
Thank you for clarifying a few things for us and for the advice!
Have you considered Amtrak between Denver and Winter Park (or farther along the line) and return? That route is quite scenic and should give you time for a walk around and a leisurely lunch (or more) in Winter Park. Note that "Winter Park" Amtrak station is in Florida - the station for Winter Park CO is Fraser. Link to info for getting around Fraser & Winter Park:
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