Monday, September 10, 2018

A Ride on the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad



This summer we drove into the town of Leadville, which at 10,152 feet, is the highest incorporated town in the United States. In the late 19th century this silver mining town was the second highest in population in Colorado after the city of Denver, and once the most famous silver mining camp in the world. Leadville once overflowed with fortune-seeking miners, and infamous outlaws. Wealthy businessman Horace Tabor, the Silver King, and his second wife Baby Doe and gun-slinging dentist Doc Holliday are just a few frontier characters who contributed to the town’s history. (All photos and photo collages will enlarge if clicked on)

Please click on to enlarge 

This sign located along the entrance to town tells of some of Leadville's history


I loved that Leadville's nickname is the "Cloud City," as the day of our journey up from the Denver area was filled with sights of beautiful and mesmerizing low lying clouds.


Most of the town of Leadville looks like a page from the past, with an old west flavor and Victorian-era buildings built between 1880 and 1905. It is situated between two mountain ranges, the Mosquito Range to the east and the Sawatch Range to the west; both of which include several nearby peaks with elevations above 14,000 feet, Mount Elbert, at 14,440-feet elevation (4401.2 m) is about 16 miles southwest of Leadville, and is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the highest point in Colorado. Mount Massive, which lies west-southwest of Leadville, at 14,428 feet elevation (4,398 m) is the second highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and state of Colorado, and the third highest in the contiguous United States.



We were excited to have tickets to take a trip on the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad on the day we visited. The train runs daily from late May to early October, The train journey is full of breath-taking panoramas across the Arkansas River Valley and humorous narratives about Leadville's colorful past


We chose an outside seating car so that we could enjoy the scenery to the fullest. 



The two and a half hours train ride is narrated with the history of the line and the Leadville area as it travels north along the Arkansas River Valley, rising up 1,000 feet off the valley floor, giving us some spectacular views of Freemont Pass and the two tallest peaks in Colorado, Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert.


Some glaciers can be seen on the high peaks.


There were many picturesque views along the train ride...


...beautiful valleys and mountain views.


Views of forests...


...and wilderness.

I noticed that there were a massive amount of pine cones on the trees and there is a myth that the more pine cones on the trees the more severe the winter will be ahead. What do you think? According to the Farmers Almanac, the winter of 2019 in the northern hemisphere will be a "teeth chattering" cold one, with plenty of snow. Colorado can certainly welcome a lot of snow, and while I like cold weather I'm hoping the weather will not be excessively cold!


At the end of our ride, before returning to Leadville, we had a view of the Climax, Colorado Mine area. The Climax Mine is a major molybdenum mine. Shipments of molybdenum from the mine began in 1915. At its highest output, the Climax mine was the largest molybdenum mine in the world, and for many years it supplied three-fourths of the world's supply of molybdenum, which was mainly used in the production of steel and armor plating during World War I and II. After a long shutdown, the Climax mine has reopened and resumed shipment of molybdenum on May 10, 2012.


On our return train ride back to Leadville we saw more magnificent views and even a zip line rider that crossed over the train. The Leadville Colorado and Southern railroad offer a zip line special along with other special event train rides on their website on this link.



We really enjoyed our ride of the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad.  This was our third train ride in Colorado, as we traveled on the Georgetown Loop Railroad --click here to read that post--and the Royal Gorge Route Railroad--click here
Of course, we rode the train at the nearby Colorado Train Museum many times--click here--and even the miniature train in the adorable Tiny Town--click hereI'd say without planning it we've become train aficionados! All of the trains offered different experiences and scenery and all of them have helped to keep a part of Colorado history alive. There are many other things to do in Leadville, and we know we'll be back to do more someday, but the taking a train ride on the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad was a great way to spend the day!


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42 comments:

EricaSta said...

A wonderful Post for Mosaic Monday -
I enjoyed your Post.

Wish you a good Week!

Maggie said...

What a great time you had in Leadville, a place steeped in Wild West history and folklore it seems. The train ride sounds fascinating, I would love to do that but until I can I'll continue to enjoy the trips that you take us along when we visit you for Mosaic Monday. Thanks! (one thing I wouldn't do is the take a ride on the zip line!)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the train ride looks like a fun time. Gorgeous views and photos.1
Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Pat, I always enjoy seeing your adventures in Colorado. The views are spectacular and your commentary is informative. Train rides are a fun way to get another perspective of your lovely area. We enjoy taking a train when they are offered and leave the driving to the engineer. ♥

Tom said...

...what a trip through gorgeous country!

DougPhoto2009 said...

Pat, train reminds one of the Rock Island Line. Thanks for sharing.

The Petersen Family said...

This looks like fun trip!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Toot, toot. Riding an old train through heaven on earth is a wonderful way to experience it. By the look of the city street, it must've been a prosperous, bustling city.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a great day...thank you for the Colorado beauty and (as so often happens when I visit) another idea for our Colorado ‘to visit’ list. I love a scenic train ride and have done the Silverton/Durango one and the Royal Gorge (which was on our list because of your earlier post and thank you again!). It’s really so great that Leadville has been returned to close to the way it looked during its heyday...such a great way to learn history ...and of course nothing can beat the surrounding scenery.

Vee said...

What a fun thing to do and the scenery is incredible. I imagine that a train ride is much more pleasant and relaxing than driving those moutain roads.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I always enjoy dropping by and reading what adventures you have taken and your photography too!
Such a scenic and inspiring trip up the mountain.
Jemma

riitta k said...

So beautiful - you had a vacation to remebember for a long time <3

Sheltie Times said...

Thanks for sharing your post. I love train rides as a means of getting to see the area. We've taken a few trips over the years and they are some of my favorite outings.

Ruth Hiebert said...

That whole area. has such beautiful scenery.WOW!

ellen b. said...

Now that's a beautiful train ride!

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

I am adding this one to my To do list! So glad you had a good time!

A Colorful World said...

Wonderful views! I'd love to take the train excursion!

Murthy K v v s said...

Wow... what a series of captures..!Awesome.Have a great day.

Lorrie said...

Amazing vistas along your route. I like the way the sign mentions this area as the "roof of our nation."

Junieper said...

Very interesting post about the silver mining , Pat, and a great share with All Seasons! Fantastic view of clouds in between the mountains. Fun you discovered another train loop! Colorado really has a lot to offer in terms to discover as well as the landscape and the weather!
Enjoy your week!

Lady Fi said...

That is so scenic!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

What a great train trip and historical review of Leadville as you travelled on the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad. Thank you Pat, visiting from Maggie's Mosaic Monday.
Joy

Jeanna said...

2.5 hours seems like a perfect amount of time and the scenery you've captured is fantastic. I bet CO breaks all kinds of elevation records. I am LOVING the nicknames although I only know Doc Holiday. I'd love to visit this place, you should contact their Convention Center and show them your post.

Peabea Scribbles said...

Have never been to Colorado, but son lived there for bit after school. Such beautiful scenery.

Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

Sara Chapman in Seattle USA said...

I adore those cloud photos. "Cloud City" indeed! And that recipe below is inspiring me to do something with all our apples.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I've always wanted to explore Colorado since my college days 50 years ago but somehow in my travels I never made it. I love this post and Leadville sounds like a great place to explore. I love train rides but don't think I'm ready to ride an outside car first thing in those mountains. I'd have to try all the other rides you mentioned first. You know work my way up to an outside car.

Jeanie said...

I would LOVE a window seat on that train! What glorious scenery and an interesting sounding town, too. Molly Brown -- that's what I think of when I think of Leadville! It looks like a great trip for you!

carol l mckenna said...

Oh what fun on the railroad and lovely series of photos too!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores

betty-NZ said...

What awesome scenery! There's something romantic (in the broadest sense) about a train trip. I love visiting historic places and learning a bit of history along the way. What fabulous images!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for your contribution to Ruby Tuesday Too. All the best to you!

Jill said...

I've been to Colorado many times and I still haven't made it to Leadville. What fun to ride on the railroad. Colorado is full of such beauty, isn't it?

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What a spectacular train ride and a great way to take in some of Colorado's natural beauty! Leadville sounds like a great place to visit.

Michelle said...

Colorado is such a scenic state and you take full advantage of it! Love these scenes. Thanks for linking up today!

Jim said...

Great scenery. Top shots.

Hootin' Anni said...

I lived in Colorado for over 50 years! BIL was born in Leadville. Beautiful country & photos!! (I rode the durango/silverton narrow gauge...thrilling)

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That looks like a spectacular train ride. We have taken the Durango to Silverton train a few times and love it.

Lowcarb team member said...

Such lovely scenery, it's so picturesque.
I especially like the train ride.

All the best Jan

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, what a spectacular train ride, Pat. I love how you and Vinny have a never ending sense of exploration!

Angie said...

Pat - another site and experience to add to my TO DO list for the next time I am in Colorado. I love trains, and even more so since I started volunteering at the Whitefish Historical Museum, which is in a train depot and has numerous railroad artifacts. Terrific mosaics of the stunning scenery. Glad the weather cooperated - good decision to go before the weather gets 'teeth-chattering cold'!

betty-NZ said...

I love these images so much! It's fun to ride the rails that used to go through the bustling towns. What a wonderful tour of the past!

Queenbeebaker said...

Those photos are breathtaking! I would love to visit a place like that. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party! Have a wonderful week. :-D

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Such majestic views from that train. This is one great way to see the landscape.