It was there, leaning my head out into the dry mountain air, that I individually felt the pull—my “I get it now” moment for practice journey. I achieved educate fanatics out there, who ended up eagerly telling me about how historic this route was (some had even taken a private sleeper car or truck, tacked on to an Amtrak train, from the East Coast to connection up with the Rocky Mountaineer) I waved at men and women on the ground who experienced pushed out to enjoy this to start with train roll by. It was also a terrific position to hook up with the location, devoid of the glass amongst us, which is in the end what makes the educate so notable: The Rocky Mountaineer is an elevated way to travel in between Denver and Moab, a journey ordinarily only performed by automobile or airplane.
Departing from the metropolis of Denver’s industrial Five Factors neighborhood (the brand hopes to shortly travel from the iconic Central Station downtown), the educate addresses 157 miles on working day one particular, with an overnight off-practice continue to be in the city of sizzling spring-boasting town of Glenwood Springs. (This evening of accommodations is included with your prepare ticket.) Connecting these two places by motor vehicle is doable, and it requires just about two hours—but you’d skip the probability to journey by means of 29 coach tunnels carved into the Rockies, like the Moffat tunnel that goes by means of the Continental Divide. (On the Rocky Mountaineer, this journey stretches from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
The future leg of the trip is just in excess of a 50 %-working day, masking 197 miles, as the prepare crosses the condition border into Utah, in advance of grumbling to a halt in the center of the desert exterior Arches Nationwide Park (a short drive from the town of Moab). Moab is notoriously hard to reach—and, for what it is truly worth, locals seem to like it that way—with most vacationers highway-tripping in, or getting a connecting flight into the itty-bitty Canyonlands airport that can consume up the greater section of a day. This is the clincher: In comfortable Rocky Mountaineer cars and trucks, tourists can now entry the experience hub of Moab like never right before. (Right here, you are inside driving length of several of Utah’s very best general public lands, which includes Arches, Canyonlands, and Lifeless Horse Condition Park.)
There is one particular other educate that careens on these exact same rails, which is the Amtrak California Zephyr. Of system, those people tickets occur at a various price tag place, with a distinct level of support. For travelers who like the plan of the Zephyr but don’t want to fight for a seat on boarding, or wait for their convert in the observation auto (whose windows are essentially the dimension of the at-your-seat windows in the Silver Leaf vehicles), Rocky Mountaineer fills a gap.
Onboard, Armstrong teased that this is only the 1st U.S. route, with probably far more to arrive. “We consider there is prospective for a few other routes, in California, the Southwest, the Pacific Northwest,” he reported. He also stated the brand name is chatting to their prepare company, Statler, about creating Gold Leaf cars for that in shape on the Rockies to the Purple Rocks route.
Hardy is just not surprised: “Interest in rail journey is sky higher,” she suggests. Following my two times on board, I can see why—getting to sit back and enjoy surroundings perform like a film is a exceptional travel working experience, and a person that I can only envision a lot more Individuals will crave as we investigate more ground in our very own yard.
What to know in advance of you go
Price tag: Trips can be booked instantly as a result of Rocky Mountaineer, or with the aid of a travel specialist. The two-day rail journey, which involves an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, prices $1,100 for the Silver Leaf stage and $1,645 at the Silver Leaf In addition level (the latter consists of quality drinks and lounge auto entry). Prolonged packages are also made available, from a 3-evening giving that involves hotels on both equally finishes (from $1619 for Silver Leaf from $2,014 for Silver Leaf Plus), to a lot for a longer time week-lengthy journeys that link to places like Salt Lake Metropolis, Vegas, Bryce Canyon, and Lake Powell.