MOAB — Traveling from Moab to Denver or vice versa? There's a new option coming on line in fall 2021. It's not the fastest or least expensive way to make the trip, but it just might be the most breathtaking.
Rocky Mountaineer, a Canadian luxury rail company that specializes in ferrying passengers between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies, has announced a new line between Denver and Moab that will begin a preview season of 40 departures from August to October 2021.
This Rockies to the Red Rocks route will span two days, includes an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and will give passengers great views of canyons, rivers and rock formations as they cross the continental divide — starting at $1,250 per person.
In a news release, Rocky Mountaineer president and CEO Steve Sammut said the company has been working to find a new route for "several years."
"We needed to find a special location with many of the same features we have in Western Canada — incredible scenery, iconic destinations, and the option for an all daytime, multi-day journey that is best experienced by train," Sammut said in the release. "Rockies to the Red Rocks will have all of this and more, and is an opportunity to bring our award-winning Rocky Mountaineer experience to showcase the epic scenery of the Southwest United States."
Company founder Peter Armstrong said the region will "delight millions" with its "magnificent scenery, national parks, (and) vast opportunities to explore."
The Rockies to the Red Rocks route can be traveled from Denver to Moab or the other way around. In a fact sheet, the company says the trip will include "onboard storytelling, premium cuisine, compelling scenery, and social atmosphere in a custom-designed glass-dome coach." The train cars feature oversize glass windows for a better view of the landscape and will travel only during the day.
If desired, guests can also book travel extensions through Rocky Mountaineer packages that include visits to Salt Lake City or Las Vegas.
Rocky Mountaineer currently operates three Canadian routes between Vancouver and the towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. It was founded in 1990 and describes itself as the largest privately owned luxury tourist train in the world.
Its new route announcement comes at a precarious time for the tourism industry on which Moab thrives. But while the spring brought uncertainty, the area has rebounded with an influx of tourists looking for an outdoor option to recreate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearby Arches National Park had to institute 36 temporary entry delays in the months of September and October due to overcrowding, according to the Moab Sun News, and the town has grappled with noisy off-road vehicles this year.
Now, the luxury train will offer yet another way to explore the famed recreation hub. And of course, southeastern Utahns who'd like a more practical route to Denver can still drive or fly.