The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad is a National Historic Landmark. It's a 64-mile day trip that you will thoroughly enjoy and never forget. The narrow-gauge heritage railroad operates between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. It crosses the borders of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times as it chugs its way up and over the 10,015′ high Cumbres Pass.
The Cumbres & Toltec goes where no automobile can go. Most of the route is through “off-the-grid” wilderness, so you’ll experience views into canyons and over ridges that can’t be seen in any other way.
The train travels at a top speed of 12 miles an hour, and that’s the beauty of it!
You won’t miss the aspen groves, the wildflowers, the steep mountain canyons, or the plentiful wildlife.
The steam engine is coal fired and carries you through steep mountain canyons, high desert, and lush meadows as you zig zag between the Colorado and New Mexico borders. There is, indeed, spectacular and rare Western scenery which can only be viewed from the train's unique route.
The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad has steamed through history and across the Rocky Mountains since 1880, when first tracks were laid across Cumbres Pass. This unique experience will take you back in time and off of the grid so you can experience the sounds, steam and steel of bygone years. Your daily grind can’t follow you into the great, unspoiled West.
Originally part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad's narrow-gauge network, the line has been jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico since 1970.
In 1988, a nonprofit organization called the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was established to preserve the history of the railroad and help maintain infrastructure and rolling stock. The Friends of the C&TSRR also participates in various education programs and provides the railroad guides, known as docents, who inform passengers about historical aspects of the railroad as well as locations of interest.
(Image Courtesy of Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad)
A recent honor:
USA Today - "Best Train Ride in America”
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad ranks among the most authentic steam-operated railroads still in existence. Passengers aboard this National Historic Landmark travel along a track laid in 1880 between Chama, N.M. and Antonito, Colo. Source...
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Did you know there are hot springs destinations in Colorado? For hundreds of years Coloradans have flocked to the relaxing and healing waters that are distinct to natural hot springs.
Due to the heat and minerals found in these hot springs all over Colorado, they are said to have healing properties which leave you feeling rejuvenated!
Hot spring pools are, without a doubt, extremely relaxing and beautiful.
Why should we make a trip to an Earth’s natural spa?
The main benefits of hot spring pools are:
With all these therapeutic benefits, how could you not want to make your way to a hot spring?
We created a list of some of the most popular hot springs to visit in Colorado. We hope you’ll go check them out!
(For more Hot Springs Destinations in Colorado, Click Here)
Click on each title to go to their website.
1. Avalanche Ranch
Opened to the public in 2012, the National Museum of World War II Aviation documents the role that military aviation played in the emergence of our nation as a world power. The museum tells the story of the tremendous technological advancements in aviation during the War and the contributions and sacrifices of the men and who won the air war.
For more information, visit their website: National Museum of World War II Aviation
Breckenridge is a Great Place for a Summer or Winter Vacation!
We love this place!
* You will enjoy good food and accommodations with a mountain atmosphere
* Perks: Easy to get to with lots of winter & summer activities
* You’ll love the historic atmosphere of Breck – Founded in 1859 – the largest historic district in Colorado
* Breck has a rich and colorful history!
* Average daily summer temperature at 77 degrees
* Breckenridge Ski Resort is the 2nd most visited ski & snowboard destination in the U.S.
* The Nordic Center offers Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing; Also, dog sledding tours with Real Siberian dogs
* Mountain biking, hiking trails – Especially the Peaks Trail connecting Breckenridge and Frisco
* Quandary Peak (a Fourteen-er) is really close for spectacular hiking opportunities
* The AVA Colorado Zipline is close by in Idaho Springs
* The Pine Cove Campground and Peak One Campground are close by in Frisco
* The Silverthrone shopping outlet is only a few miles away off I-70!
* Boating activities on nearby Lake Dillon
* Boutique shops, food cuisine variety and over 30 bars located on Main Street alone
The Pauline Chapel is a beautiful chapel on the National Register of Historic Places. It is owned by The Broadmoor Resort.
In 1918, Spencer Penrose submitted two designs for the chapel on behalf of his wife Julie, a devout Catholic, to the Bishop of the Diocese of Denver. The first was a sketch by Broadmoor hotel architects Warren & Wetmore. Later that year, an additional design, in a Spanish Mission style, was sent from Thomas MacLaren & Douglas Hetherington Architects of Colorado Springs. The second rendering was chosen and construction was completed in the spring of 1919. However, Pauline Chapel was not dedicated as a Catholic church until 1925 when St. Paul's Catholic Parish of Colorado Springs was established.
Another resource on the history of the chapel is as follows: "While the Broadmoor Hotel was being built under Spencer Penrose’s watchful eye, his wife was supervising the building of a small chapel across the lake. Her vision for the chapel was Italian Renaissance and the design for the chapel was based on a 14th century model in the Vatican. A Scotsman, Thomas MacLaren, was the chosen architect. He saw art as architecture, and had his hand in many well-known buildings around Colorado Springs. Pauline Chapel was not originally planned as a parish church. Built in 1918, it was a “rest” chapel for the use of hotel guests."
During their travels through Europe in the early 1900's, Mr. and Mrs. Penrose acquired many examples of religious art and artifacts that spoke to the rich history and tradition of the early church. Today, The Pauline Chapel is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies, and is also open to hotel guests and community each Sunday at 9:00am.
New windows were installed after World War II and The Rose Window in the choir loft was added, depicting the Blessed Mother’s crowing as Queen of Heaven. The last of Julie’s projects was a gift of a pipe organ and chimes to the chapel. The installation was completed in 1955. Julie Penrose passed away in 1956. The new St. Paul’s Church opened in 1959. Source...
Ever wondered what Cheyenne Mountain is all about? Where did it gets its name? What’s its history? What do you know about Cheyenne Mountain? What are those towers on top? Is NORAD still in Cheyenne Mountain?
Just some of the answers to the questions above:
Where did Cheyenne Mountain get its name?
Named for the Cheyenne people. Native Americans found that Cheyenne Mtn was a good wood source for teepee poles. It was also visited by the Arapaho people. They sought spiritual inspiration from the mountain’s waterfalls. The Mountain was also used by the Ute Tribe to safely cross from the plains and benefit from its steep slopes and hidden valleys.
Its history – what do you know about Cheyenne Mountain?
Cheyenne Mountain is a triple-peaked mountain. The mountain serves as host for military, communications, recreational, and residential purposes. It was designed to withstand bombing and the fallout from a nuclear attack.
The underground operations center for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was built in the 1960s during the Cold War to monitor the potential intrusion to North American airspace Soviet missile launches and military aircraft.
Homesteading activity began in 1867. The mountain was the site of resorts and retreats beginning in the 1880s. Spencer Penrose, who built and widely promoted The Broadmoor in 1918, bought several properties on the mountain.
Penrose built the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Highway, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a lodge on one of the mountain peaks, and a retreat at Emerald Valley.
The site of the lodge recently became the wilderness Cloud Camp. Emerald Valley is now the site of The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. Land on The Mountain once owned by The Broadmoor is now the site of numerous luxury homes.
The two parks on and at the base of Cheyenne Mountain are Cheyenne Mountain State Park and North Cheyenne Cañon Park.
What are those towers on top?
You cannot miss the noticeable tower feature on the top of one of Cheyenne Mountain’s peaks. Those features are an antenna farm with transmitters for cellular phones, radio, television, and law enforcement transmitters. They are not related to the military installation in the mountain. They are obviously hidden from public view.
During the 1950s, an antenna farm was built on the middle peak of the mountain when Bert Swisher deeded ten acres to Bud Edmonds and several backers and Swisher signed a non-compete agreement. Edmonds, John Browne, and Buck Ingersoll agreed to replace the trails to the area with a real road, which was opened in 1960 by the Cheyenne Propagation Company.
Currently there are 700 cell phone, television, radio, and law enforcement transmitters on the antenna farm. The Cheyenne Mountain radio repeater site, 145.160, covers south central and southeast Colorado along the Interstate 25 corridor from Monument to the New Mexico border. Since 2002, it has been operated by Cheyenne Propagation Company.
Is NORAD still in the Cheyenne Mountain?
NORAD used to offer public tours, but due to security concerns they were suspended after 9-11. Most of the center’s operations moved to Peterson Air Force Base in 2006,. Then in April 2015, the Pentagon reported that some operations would be moving back. For more info, click here...
Find out more about Cheyenne Mountain:
More information on Cheyenne Mtn (Parks) – Click Here!
Did you know that the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has the tallest dunes in North America?
The Sand Dunes of Colorado can reach as high as 750 Feet!
The sand dunes constantly shift with the wind, water and time sculpting its appearance and beauty. The dunes are in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo (“Blood of Christ”) Mountains.
The Dunes stretch across 30 square miles with an average elevation of 7,500 feet.
Interesting Facts About the Sand Dunes in Colorado:
1) Members of the Ladies P.E.O. sponsored a bill to Congress asking for national monument status for the Great Sand Dunes. The bill was signed into law in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover.
2) In 2000-2004 the Sand Dunes in Colorado was expanded into a national park and preserve.
3) About 300,000 people visit the Great Sand Dunes every year because of the oddly beautiful combination of desert dunes and high mountain peaks, the spring-time flow of Medano Creek, and dark, quiet nights in the Dunes wilderness.
4) Camping, hiking, and photography opportunities are plentiful in the area.
“Visitors must walk across the wide and shallow Medano Creek to reach the dunes in spring and summer months. The creek typically has a peak flow from late May to early June in most years. From July through April, the creek is usually no more than a few inches deep, if there is any water at all.
Hiking is permitted throughout the dunes with the warning that the sand surface temperature may reach 150 °F (66 °C) in summer. Sandboarding and sandsledding are popular activities, both done on specially designed equipment which can be rented just outside the park entrance or in Alamosa.” Source…
The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado is a “Must See” Attraction!
All images courtesy of posted website links or wikipedia.com
Travel Related Post: Colorado Museums
Enjoy going back in time by visiting these Colorado ruins!
Put camping in Colorado on your activity list this summer!
There are thousands of campsites in Colorado ready to help visitors experience the beauty of the state’s wilderness areas.
Colorado has thousands of campsites, so it’s easy to find a tranquil spot to get back to basics and enjoy the simplicity of nature.
Basic Info to Know About Summer Camping in Colorado:
1) Colorado State Parks administers forty-two parks throughout the state. This system alone has more than 4,000 campsites.
2) In addition, the US Forest Service manages 14 million acres of land in the state’s 11 National Forests and two National Grasslands.
3) The Bureau of Land Management oversees an additional 8.4 million acres.
4) Both of the above agencies have campsites that range from developed areas with restrooms, fire rings, water and other amenities to remote areas. They have no amenities and are reached only by horse, mountain bike or backpacking. Reservations can be made at recreation.gov.
5) There are many privately owned campsites in Colorado which have perks you may not find on public lands. These include playgrounds, hot tubs, laundry facilities and Wi-Fi.
6) One caveat for camping in Colorado is that the weather can change quickly, even in the summer months. It’s best to wear layered clothing.
7) You may be required to purchase a pass or permit depending on your location. Plan ahead by visiting the website listed below and the information posted at campground entrances.
Packing Essentials for Summer Camping in Colorado:
(Courtesy of Camping in Colorado: The Basics)
• Tent with a rain cover
• Down sleeping bag (even in summer, it can get below freezing in Colorado’s higher altitudes)
• Pillow and sleeping pad (keeps you warmer than just sleepin’ on the ground)
• Camp stove and/or matches to use your campsite’s fire pit
• Plenty of drinking water and food
• Can opener, aluminum foil, paper plates, cups/mugs, utensils, multipurpose knife, trash bags, paper towels
• Layers of clothing, including water-resistant coat, wool socks and long underwear
• Sunscreen, bug spray, first-aid kit, toilet paper
(Above Photo Courtesy of: Palisade Basecamp RV Resort)
Camping in Colorado…A Camper’s Paradise!
Here are the travel secrets to packing for your next trip – packing light and packing tight!
Hey, guys and gals…here’s a packing list that will be invaluable for many trips to come! It’s nice to be reminded of everything you need to take on a trip. Everyone has so many things to think about when getting ready to travel that a little help with the packing is very much appreciated!
Hey, gals…check out the entire dress collection. These dresses go from fun and flirty to refined elegance and are designed to provide flattering comfort to women on the go.
For the guys...check out the men's clothing and accessories here...men's wearables.
For everyone…here’s travel gear ideas that will make your trip easier to prepare for and more enjoyable.
Tip 1 – Keep an ongoing list of items on your phone of absolute essentials to pack for every trip (charger, cleanser, glasses, bathing suit, sunscreen, etc.) makes last-minute packing a lot less stressful because there’s always a personal checklist for reference.
Tip 2 – Have a small zippered pouch in your carry-on bag to stash all the things that you want to keep with you on a flight. This may include: headphones, earplugs, EmergenC, phone, wallet, etc. When you board, just pull that pouch out and toss it into the seat. You are now ready to place your carry-on in the overhead bin, quickly and efficiently.
For more travel information, Click Here
Time for a trip? These travel tips will be a great help!
Colorado Springs Over 50
We would love to hear from you on ideas you would like us to investigate and write about.