Rocky Mountaineer New Luxury Train in Colorado – Utah

Canadian-owned Rocky Mountaineer has announced plans to bring its luxury train journeys to America’s Southwest.   Yes, finally, a glass-domed luxury train trip in the US.  

Ruby Canyon
Looking out from the train coach rear window in Ruby Canyon.

Canada’s Luxury Rocky Mountaineer adds historic US train route

The new two-day train adventure, Rockies to the Red Rocks, runs between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.  At an almost half-way point, there’s an overnight stay in historic Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 

If Rocky Mountaineer is new to you, the luxury train company operates multi-day, daytime train journeys in the Canadian Rockies.  The train travels at a breakneck average speed of 35 m.p.h so passengers can view the incredible scenery and even be able to photograph unsuspecting meandering wildlife.

Onboard the train in Canada, food service features regional cuisine served in the comfort of its spacious, glass-domed train dining room or coach seats.  

Rocky Mountaineer lunch entree - salmon and risotto.
Rocky Mountaineer lunch entree – salmon and risotto.

This new route has been a long time in the planning.  The new Rockies to Red Rocks train will be an addition to the three current rail routes in western Canada.  Those three routes run between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies with highlight overnights in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. 

The new Rocky Mountaineer USA train route

Rocky Mountaineer Rockies to Red Rocks Itineraries

Rockies to Red Rocks journeys launches its first season with a whopping 40 departures over the span of 10 weeks.  The first departure is on August 15 with the last of the season on October 23, 2021.  Rocky Mountaineer has enlisted the help of local tourism boards, hotels and tour companies to curate unique vacation packages. 

READ MOREHow I Started to Fall In Love With Trains

In addition to overnights mid-route in Glenwood Springs, the company is putting together pre- and post-train packages in Denver and Moab.   

Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Arriving by train into the historic town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Rockies to Red Rocks Experience

As passengers travel along the tracks, onboard Hosts will tell stories, point out highlights along the way and answer questions.  Because the train travels at such a slow speed, you’ll be able to get a better look at the incredibly rugged scenery, plus happy people camping and canoeing along the Colorado River.  They don’t call this stretch “Moon River” for nothing.  

Party on Colorado River
You’ll find out why this part is called Moon River.

Guests will take in the views through the train’s oversized glass-dome windows from the comfort of their spacious, reclining seats. The onboard culinary experience will feature cuisine and ingredients local to the Southwestern U.S., which will be complemented with beverage service, and served at the seats, so guests can enjoy the scenery as they dine.

What to Expect Onboard this Train 

If you’ve taken Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, you will notice a slight difference onboard this train used for the new Southwest US experience.  Because of height logistics, the company’s familiar double-decker trains cannot be used on this train route.  But there will still be two classes of service: SilverLeaf Plus and budget-friendlier SilverLeaf.  

The Canada train’s double-decker top-tier GoldLeaf service has been changed to SilverLeaf Plus on this one-level train.  From what I’ve learned so far, SilverLeaf Plus will be similar to GoldLeaf in regards to upgraded onboard cuisine, complimentary cocktails and the choice of hotels and level of accommodation.  

Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf One-Level car
SilverLeaf and SilverLeaf Plus guests travel in one-level coach cars.

The obvious difference is that there won’t be the “downstairs” dining room that Gold Leaf travelers remember.  On this train, SilverLeaf Plus has access to a private lounge car complete with cocktail bar and its own outdoor viewing platform. 

SilverLeaf guests will still experience much of what Plus class offers, just slightly less opulent.  

Where the Train Route Will Travel

The Rockies to the Red Rocks route gives passengers an incredible view through the Southwest USA.  The train travels between Denver and Glenwood Springs alongside the green-colored Colorado River.  Also along that segment, the train passes through a series of canyons as it squeezes between steep, rugged rock walls.

From Glenwood Springs to Moab the ever-changing scenery offers mountain vistas, desert cliffs and other-worldly rock formations. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route will be available to travel in both the westbound or eastbound routes.  You could even make it a round-trip train journey. 

Vacation packages

Rocky Mountaineer is working with local hotels and tour operators to curate custom vacation packages.  The non-rail experiences will feature tours and activities in Denver and Moab.  There is so much to see, do and even taste in these historic and culturally-rich cities.  

The two-day rail journeys, including a one-night hotel stay in Glenwood Springs, will begin from $1,250 USD plus tax per person.

If you’d like to reserve your space on a 2021 departure, there’s only a refundable deposit of $25 USD.  Either your travel agent or you can book your trip.  You can also visit Rocky Mountaineer  for information on the Rockies to the Red Rocks route. 

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