Georgetown Loop Railroad

Looking for a fun activity this summer? The Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park® is located just 45 minutes from Denver and provides a great way to enjoy some great mountain scenery as well as learn about railroads and mining, two of our state’s most important industries in the nineteenth century.

Originally constructed in 1884, the Georgetown Loop runs between Georgetown and Silver Plume, two of Colorado’s silver mining boomtowns of the 1870s and 1880s. Built as a scenic railway and visitor attraction, the line was discontinued in the late 1930s during the Great Depression. The Colorado Historical Society acquired the site in 1973 and began reconstructing the rail line. Reconstruction of the spectacular Devil’s Gate High Bridge – the highlight of the train trip – was completed in 1984, exactly a century after the opening of the line. A year later, the original Silver Plume depot was restored, and interpretive markers, hiking trails, and other amenities were added. Tours of the historic Lebanon silver mine are also available to visitors.

The Georgetown Loop is owned by History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society), and over the years they have produced a number of publications and articles that tell the story of this historic site. These publications, available for checkout from our library, include

  • The Georgetown Loop: A Capsule History and Guide
  • “Shay Steam Locomotive Arrives at the Georgetown Loop,” Colorado Heritage, May/June 2011
  • “A Mixed-Up Mogul Comes Home to Georgetown: The Return of Engine No. 9,” Colorado Heritage, Summer 2006
  • “Colorado’s Railroad to Nowhere: Building and Rebuilding the Georgetown Loop,” Colorado Heritage, Spring 1999
  • “The Story of a Valley: Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park,” Colorado Heritage, Issue 3 1984
  • The Lebanon Mill and Mine Complex,” Colorado Magazine, Spring-Summer 1978
  • The Famous Georgetown Loop,” Colorado Magazine, September 1947

We also have a number of books that provide historical background on Georgetown and Silver Plume, including:

  • Hotel de Paris and Louis Dupuy in Georgetown, Colorado
  • The Once and Future Silver Queen of the Rockies: Georgetown, Colorado and the Fight for Survival Into the Twentieth Century
  • The Pelican-Dives Feud: A Study in Frustration and Terror
  • The Rise of the Silver Queen: Georgetown, Colorado 1859-1896
  • William A. Hamill: The Gentleman from Clear Creek
  • Colorado Letters of Marion Cook,” Colorado Magazine, July 1963
  • Jesse Summers Randall and Pioneer Georgetown,” Colorado Magazine, November 1945