bigT.jpg - 1398 Byteshe Narrow Gauge Circle is based on an early day travel package offered by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. The original "Around the Circle" tour was offered to bolster passenger revenues on the many narrow gauge lines in Colorado. The tour was an incredibly popular destination for many early day adventurers.

bigT.jpg - 1398 Bytes he "Around The Circle" tour began in Denver, Colorado where the traveler boarded the cars of the mighty Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. As the train made its way south, the traveler was treated to a stop in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs was the home to many of the finest resorts and health spas in the Country at the time. The next destination was the southern Colorado town of Pueblo. At Pueblo the tourist had the option of traveling to Alamosa over two different routes. The first was over Veta Pass while the second was accomplished via Poncha Pass. At Alamosa, the tourist continued on to Chama, New Mexico via the thrilling Toltec Gorge. Much of this portion of the "Around the Circle" tour can be traveled today on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

SILVERLAKE.jpg - 18293 Bytes SILVERTON-COLOR.jpg - 13587 Bytes bigF.jpg - 1437 Bytes rom Chama the trip continued to Durango, Colorado. Durango was home to the southern terminal of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. At this point the traveler had the option of continuing to Ridgway, Colorado in two ways. The first route followed the rails of the Rio Grande Southern through Dolores, Trout Lake, Ophir, Placerville, and Dallas Divide. The Rio Grande Southern route traveled through some of the most magnificent scenery in Colorado. The second route followed the Silverton Branch of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. At Silverton the traveler boarded the cars of the famous "Rainbow Route" or Silverton Railroad. The Silverton Railroad pierced the heart of the mighty San Juan Mountains. At the end of the line in Ironton, The traveler had a thrilling stagecoach ride to Ouray over the road known today as the "Million Dollar Highway." At Ouray the trip continued to Ridgway over the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

bigF.jpg - 1437 Bytes rom Ridgway the journey made its way through Montrose, and turned east again towards Denver. Before reaching Denver, the traveler witnessed some of the most incredible scenery in Colorado. The train made it's way through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Marshall Pass, the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River and of course the mighty Royal Gorge. The trip ended with a return trip to via Salida to Denver from whence the journey began.

bigW.jpg - 1904 Bytes hile we can't experience the "Around the Circle" tour in our time we can follow many of the routes the little trains traveled over 100 years ago. The Narrow Gauge Circle is offered in an attempt to recreate the thrilling journey enjoyed by those lucky early day travelers. In addition, I have included the history of many of the other notable narrow gauge railroads that threaded their way through the magnificent mountains of Colorado. We are fortunate to have the exclusive use of Mr. Ted Kierscey's extensive collection of historical photographs from Colorado's past.

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Sanjuans.jpg - 17762 Bytes bigY.jpg - 1441 Bytes ou will also find information on enjoying the back roads and ghost towns of southern Colorado. There isn't anything more stunning on earth than fall in the San Juan Mountains. We have a complete set of trail guides to help the expert and novice off-road adventurer. We even have the World's best C. W. McCall website here on the Narrow Gauge Circle. C.W. McCall wrote and sang many songs about the railroads, towns, and mining camps of the San Juan Mountains.

bigT.jpg - 1398 Bytes o experience the Narrow Gauge Circle chose from the buttons below and start your journey. On the subsequent pages, look for the compass next to the railroad or town you want to visit then give it a click. You can also click on most of the images to see a larger full-screen version.The scope of the page has greatly expanded due to the help of friends who have offered their materials for publication here. Soon I hope you will be able to visit every area of the state of Colorado. We will cover any subject related to the narrow gauge railroads that once ran through the scenic mountains of Colorado.

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The Narrow Gauge Circle is written, maintained,and hosted by Mark L. Evans - Send Comments to:Mark L. Evans
All original materials, text, and digital images Copyright © 2014 Mark L. Evans. All rights reserved.
We regret to inform that we no longer license the use of images comprising the Ted Kierscey Collection.