Colorado Summer Attractions 1921, Georgetown Loop

The Grandest One-Day Scenic Trip in the World

Original High Bridge on the Georgetown Loop

“Nowhere can a one-day outing be found which can compare with the famous Georgetown Loop trip.”
          So reads the opening description found in The Famous Loop Trip, a brochure produced by the Colorado and Southern Railroad.
          “This is the one trip in which the ideal of mountain scenery is fully realized. Cool, shadowy canons, rushing, tumbling mountain streams, busy mining towns, resort places, and, finally, the snow-capped peaks, all combine to make this the most wonderful one-day ‘show’ trip in the world. The line through beautiful Clear Creek Canon and over the ‘Loop’ is considered the world over as a most marvelous engineering feat. The grandeur of this never-to-be-forgotten trip is beyond expression.”
         
          The Loop was built in 1881-2. The track on the loop bridge was 75 feet higher than the track below. Horseshoe Curve, on the big ‘fill’ had a radius of 191 feet. The fill was 75 feet high. The distance from Georgetown to  Silver Plume by wagon road, one mile; by rail, four and one-tenth miles.
          The original “High Bridge” or “Devil’s Gate Viaduct” was officially completed November 25, 1883 but the chief engineer for Colorado Central Railroad was not satisfied with the quality of workmanship. Rework was finished January 23, 1884 and the route to Silver Plume over the Georgetown Loop was opened to March 29, 1884. The Colorado and Southern Railroad acquired the Georgetown Loop in December 1898.
          The High Bridge was torn down and sold for scrap in 1939. The Georgetown to Silver Plume rail line was rebuilt in 1975 and the viaduct was reconstructed in 1984.
          In 1921, railroad tours to Silver Plume operated June 1 to September 30. Trains departed from Denver’s Union Station at 8:10 a.m. and returned at 5:15 p.m. Round trip fares from Denver: $3.55 Saturdays and Sundays; $3.96 other days.
          The train stopped for refreshments at Forks Creek, 28.6 miles from Denver. After navigating the Loop, lunch was available at Silver Plume, the end of the line. For an additional charge visitors could visit a few nearby mines. The total trip covered 53.9 miles and rose from an elevation of 5,170 feet at Union Station to 9,122 feet at Silver Plume.

Quoted information and cover illustration from “The Famous Loop Trip” brochure produced by the Colorado & Southern Railway, 7-1-1921.

High Bridge photo courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection.

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