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Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

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Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

Its our first time in the mountains and I'm to nervous to let my husband drive and the almost $400 for shuttles to the resorts kinda blow my mind when we can take the Amtrak for under $200 round trip. We aren't skiing, mainly just want to let the kids play in the snow, see the mountains, ect. We plan on being there the first week of March (2013) so I have to finalize my plans soon. Also thinking of on the way back laying over in Fraser and visiting the Colorado Adventure Park so the kids can snow tube. Any recommendations on this? Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated since I can't quite nail down what exactly we want to do. Thanks.

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

The train is great and Glenwood is a very nice place to stay. For sure visit the hot springs. That actually sounds high for the train fare. My wife just did Glenwood to Provo, UT, which is quite a bit further, and it was only $40 one-way.

You can have a good time in Glenwood just taking the train there, staying downtown, walking to the hot springs, etc. But if you want to see snow and mountains you'll ultimately want to have a car, but you can rent one in Glenwood. Similarly if you stop in Fraser, you'll want to have one to get around there, too.

I think your overall plan is a good one but just think about getting around once you're there.

Have fun.

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2. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

Glenwood is not the best place for seeing snow. It's pretty low (for colorado) at around 5000 feet I think (give or take) so they really don't have much snow there unless it just hit and/or a few days after. Even then, it's sort of a city, so there isn't really a "snow play area" exactly.

All that said.. it's a great place to visit and one of the best non-ski mountain towns in my view. The hot springs pool is great, and everything in town is walkable, so it's perfect for Amtrak trip, but again if you want "mountains with snow", it's not ideal and you'd need to drive back 70 to Beaver Creek or down to Aspen.

For the train, a few notes:

1) on the stops, don't wander far, they don't really wait if you aren't back on the train

2) bring food/drinks if you can, the onboard food.. is airline food at best. You can bring whatever you want onboard (even beer).

3) The boarding can get a little busy, try to be near the train and find the conductors so you can get seats.

4) In Fraser, you'd need a car or shuttle if you plan to stay there, the train stops aren't really near much

Glenwood Springs...
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3. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

Glenwood is a great place to visit and…we DO have snow. In addition to taking in the Hot Springs Pool, you could visit Glenwood Caverns or take the local bus to Aspen or Snowmass Village. Most of the rides at Glenwood Caverns will not be open in March, but they will have laser tag, 3D movies, Cave tours and maybe the Alpine Coaster open.

RFTA is our local bus system and runs frequently between Glenwood Springs and Snowmass Village/Aspen. Check Rfta.com for details of times or ask you hotel for assistance. You can purchase a pass at the local grocery store, which will reduce the cost. Adults are $6 each way (children are less) between Aspen/Snowmass Village. Once you are within the Snowmass/Aspen area, the bus is free. The pass is your easiest option, but if you decide to pay cash, please have correct change as the bus drivers cannot make change.

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4. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

I've taken the train from Grand Junction to Denver a couple of times and it is a beautiful ride. It does take longer than driving, (usually) but it is so nice with kids because they can get up and walk around some. It is possible that there could be delays along the line somewhere, so it is best if you have a little bit of flexibility in your schedule, such as returning to Denver a day ahead of time. (For example, on one of our trips there was a wreck that closed the track somewhere in Utah, I think, and the train did not arrive in Grand Junction. Amtrak offered a bus trip to Denver or a train ticket another day.) But allowing some flexibility in your schedule is important to keep in mind with winter travel by any method of transportation! So I say go for it!

I'm glad mtnlife chimed in with information about the bus system, because I was thinking you could get around Glenwood and to Aspen/Snowmass pretty well without renting a car. But I think you'd be just fine if you wanted to rent a car in Glenwood, too. Driving is pretty easy there.

There's sledding at Aspen, too, so you might not even need to make the stop at Fraser...less packing/unpacking to do. But as far as I know it is the old fashioned kind where you walk back up the hill with your sled. I don't know if they have or allow tubes. aspenrecreation.com/aspen-recreation-centers… I'm sure the Adventure Park is a lot of fun, and there's another tubing hill there, too.



Fruita, Colorado
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5. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

Go for the train and the Glenwood Springs area for sure. On the train ride you will have time to really enjoy the scenery and be able to avoid traffic. Be sure to visit the Hotel Colorado - it's supposedly the birthplace of the teddy bear, created to honor the visiting president Teddy Roosevelt. It's also a great place to have hot chocolate by a roaring fire in the wonderful lobby.


6. Re: Thinking about taking the Amtrak to Glenwood from Denver....

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