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“A Great Experience for all ages”

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Alamosa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is Colorado's newest train offering steam engine rides through breathtaking mountain valleys and over legendary LaVeta pass on hundreds of miles of historic rail. Excursions offer riders a trip back in time on restored passenger cars that stop at the quaint mountain town of LaVeta and hear narration of Colorado history, mining stories and catch a glimpse of wildlife--including bears! Summer weekends brings the Mountain Rails Live summer concert series with nationally renowned acts to a boxcar stage at 9,400 ft only accessible by our train. This green location is run on solar and wind power. Seasonal rides are available throughout the year.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A Great Experience for all ages”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

My family and I have ridden this passenger train many times. From Wine tasting to Children's Christmas trains and many concert trains to the high mountain concert venue accessible only by the train! Rails and Ales is incredible, but get your tickets early. It sells out fast. Every trip we've taken has been well worth the time. We already have at least one trip planned for this summer already.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Randy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“La Veta stop canceled”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2014

I am extremely disappointed that the Rio Grande Scenic Railway has canceled leaving from La Veta Colorado to go to the concerts in Fir Colorado and Alamosa. It makes the trip to Alamosa to catch the train very long for those of us on the front range. It will also have a devastating impact to the economy of La Veta. There are several concerts and events I would like to go to but I am not going because of the long trip to Alamosa. I hope they will reconsider and put the La Veta stop back on. BTW, trying to get ahold of customer service to voice a complaint is next to impossible.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshunt, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Interesting, scenic trip.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2013

We were a little disappointed on arrival at Alamosa to discover that our train was to be diesel hauled instead of steam. However, we found staff to be polite and helpful and chose to travel in the open car. On leaving the flat area, the train rises up into the hills and the views become more and more spectacular. On arrival at La Veta there is time to take a leisurely walk and look at the shops and have a meal. Yes, and interesting railroad.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
52 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Has Potential, Misses the Mark”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

My family with young children was so excited to ride this train from Alamosa to La Veta and back. And at first, it was exciting. However, the ride took 10 hours from start to finish (it was scheduled to take 7.5 hours). And the coach car host, who said he was our tour guide, only pointed out less than a handful of things along the way. That made for a loooooong ride with lots of questions unanswered and riders prone to boredom or sleep. Our host seemed more interested in getting everyone drink orders (nothing was complimentary). We were supposed to be in La Veta by lunch time (12:30-1pm), but because of a mystery stop that our "host" didn't explain well at all, we didn't arrive in La Veta until after 2pm. Our children were famished. We did not want to eat on the train, because this ride is hyped as a lunch in La Veta ride, which is what we wanted to do. To top it off, there isn't much to see in La Veta nor are there many restaurants. We walked around and ended up in the restaurant you see from the train. Our experience there was awful. We seemed to be ignored and forgotten guests and didn't get our food til 3pm, which made a 20-minute lunch before we had to board the train again. Back to the mystery stop. All the host said was to feel free to get off and stretch your legs and take some pictures of the train. But he didn't say the train was going to back up a looooong way and not come back for another 45 minutes or so. We didn't have all our jackets and it was pretty chilly out there. The restrooms in the coach car were basically outhouses, so they were very smelly and there was no soap in two of them. There was hand sanitizer only. It was also out of toilet paper during one bathroom stop. The bathroom in the Dome car had an actual sink but was out of soap when we used it. The staff did a poor job cleaning and maintaining these facilities. The lack of information during the ride about anything was just plain poor customer service. The lack of a guide explaining the route, the ride, historical sites, geological history of the entire area was maddening, given the amount of money we paid for tickets. Also, how about handing out little train pins to the kids?? How about making the ride more fun for the children on board in an organized fashion? We never saw the engineer either. He could have walked around during any of the stops to meet and greet the riders. He'd probably have been treated like Santa Claus. The nostalgia of riding an historic train should be a gem of an experience. But in this case, the staff is lacking public relations training. There are better train experiences in places like Cripple Creek, which is loaded with information and PR wizardry. Overall, I think this train route has enormous potential but misses the mark. Improvements are needed to make a happier rider experience. I did love the opportunity to take pictures of the train, which is very cool. My kids loved the experience. But I still think it could be even better.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank OneBusyMama7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Choo choo choose this day trip!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

I took my mom and dad on the Rio Grande Railroad to La Veta. The scenery was nice but the comfortable and relaxing get away from everything "city" was the best! The staff on the train is very down to earth and the food was one of the best meals we had all week. Take the time to put down the phone and talk face to face. The train will bring out fun childhood memories while creating new ones. Plus, we saw muleys, prong horns, cranes and elk. The stop in La Veta is just the right amount of time to visit the boutiques and galleries so definitely have lunch on the train!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Angela W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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