- Hike Distance: 2.3 Mile
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: approx. 3hr Guided Tour
- Trail Type: One Way with Return on Train
- Elevation Gain: -750′
- Seasons: May-September
- Dogs: Not Allowed
- Railroad History: Click for Georgetown Railroad Site
- Denver Drive Time: 60 min
- Directions: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Silver Plume, Colorado
- Beauty: Steam Engine Trains, Old Mining Ruines, Clear Creek, History, and Geology.
- Activities: Hiking, Train Ride, and Lunch Provided
- Fees: This is a guided tour hike and reservations are required. See the Schedule & Fares Page for the most up to date information.Lunch is included.
The Georgetown Railroad hike is a one-of-a-kind guided hike through the clear creek valley, a landscape decorated by the rich history of the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859. If you take just a moment to scan the mountainsides along interstate 70, you’ll notice the yellow-stained tailings of abandoned gold mines. This hike takes you right through the very heart of that forgotten territory. We got to take a sneak-peek of the trail before it opened, so I brought our 7 year old daughter with me for our date-night, and she loved it.
The best sounds, however, came from the steam train in the valley below. Kids will love this. It’s a unique experience to be on a hike, then to watch a train pass in front of you, below you, and even above you on the tracks. And it creates anticipation of the train ride back.
The hike itself is quite easy and could be done in about 45 minutes–if it was all about speed. But the destination for the Georgetown Railroad hike is the entire journey. Our tour guide pointed out old claim markers from the 1800’s, the remains of mining equipment, barrels, and tin buckets tucked away in the woods. She told stories, and showed us things we would have missed just hiking through. At roughly halfway through the hike, you’ll stop for lunch (lunch is provided) in a grove of aspens that has a great story of its own. Keep your eyes peeled for the foxes and deer that frequent this part of the valley floor.
My daughter was captivated by the gleaming biotite and muscovite in the rocks alongside the trail. Our guide picked some special ones out for her to take home. After lunch, you’ll hike by the Hall Tunnel, and the old Lebanon mine. Crossing the tracks, then following inactive segments, you’ll make your way down into Georgetown. The trail leads under the the Devil’s Gate High Bridge and ends at the Devil’s Gate Station–named such because of the way the wind howls through this part of the valley.
Just when you think the fun is over, you get a 30-45 minute train ride back to your car in Silver Plume.
Tips & Resources for the Georgetown Railroad Hike & Train Ride:
- Call Ahead to book Your Hiking Tour: 1-888-456-6777
- Great for Kids: I would guess that the youngest age to take on this hike would be 6 years old, but it really depends on the child. Our daughter is pretty rough-and-tumble. The pace is right, and their are a lot of things to keep their attention.
- Supervise Kids on the Tracks: Kids will want to run fast down the railroad tracks, but the ties prove to be pretty uneven ground. Our 7 year old daughter tripped and got a little scrape on her knee, but was fine. Your guide will give you safety tips, but they will also be very engaged in giving you the tour.
- Restrooms: There are restrooms about 1/2 way through the hike at the Lebanon mine site.
- It’s a Hike: I’d classify this as an easy hike, but there are some segments where the trail is steep and runs through soft gravel, where it’s easy to slip. While it’s a guided tour, it’s not a bike path–it’s still a hike.
- Footwear: Wear close-toed shoes. Boots are not necessary, but I’d recommend something that laces up.
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- After the Hike: The Alpine Restaurant & Bar in Georgetown
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions