Society for the History of Discoveries



Mountain Tour and Georgetown Loop Railroad

On Sunday September 23rd, following the conference, there will be an optional guided bus tour of some of the original mountain mining district and other sites west of Golden, a visit to the unique and well-known Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a ride on the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad, and an expert tour of an old underground silver mine.

Road Cut

Briefly, our bus tour will begin as we leave Golden and pass southward along a fascinating Front Range geologic belt where horizontal geologic strata of the Great Plains are abruptly pushed upward at high angles by the north-south line of emerging Rocky Mountains, and eroded off. Arriving at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, we will walk to the viewpoint. [Restrooms available] Some of the resulting rock formations will be seen up close at the viewpoint, overlooking Denver and the plains below to the east.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Leaving Red Rocks, we will travel westward up Mount Vernon Canyon, with a striking view of the Continental Divide to the west, then northwest across the ridge at Floyd Hill, and back down into Clear Creek Canyon 15 miles above the creek running through downtown Golden. Continuing on I-70 up Clear Creek to the mining town of Georgetown, we will park at the Historic Georgetown Loop Railroad station, at the altitude of about 9,000 feet, and dine on our box lunches at picnic tables before boarding the train. [Restrooms available]

Georgetown Loop Railroad

The rail route is generally westward from the Georgetown depot for about two miles through aspen and pine trees along Clear Creek up to the neighboring mining town of Silver Plume, where the train will stop for 15 minutes at the depot there before starting back down to Georgetown. On the return route, the train will stop at the old Lebanon Silver Mine depot where those who wish to take a walking tour of the mine will de-board the train.

Please note: The mine tour adds another hour and fifteen minutes to your train trip. The altitude of the Georgetown Loop Railroad is about 9000 feet. The tour involves about 3/4 of a mile of walking from the depot to the mine, and into the mountainside. All guests must wear hard hats while inside the mine. Bring a light jacket and wear sensible shoes. Temperature inside the mine averages 44 degrees F. Those who do not wish to tour the mine may continue riding on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. For more information, please see the Mine Tour Website.

Lebanon Silver Mine

When they have toured the mine, guests will board the 4:15 train to continue back to the Georgetown depot. Along this last stretch of track, the train will pass over an elevated engineering marvel in the form of the "Georgetown Loop", an historic, gradually rising, looped railroad trestle that reduced the overall grade of the track enough to allow the locomotive to pull heavy loads up the increased elevation to Silver Plume. We will board the tour bus at 4:45 and return via Highway 6 down Clear Creek Canyon to Golden, passing several historical sites along the route.


  • 8:00 Board our tour bus at the Golden Hotel.
  • 8:15 Board our tour bus at Table Mountain Inn.
  • 8:30 Leave Golden, narrated tour begins.
  • Visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre, re-board tour bus.
  • Box lunch at Devil's Gate Park, Georgetown.
  • Short Walk to Georgetown Loop Railroad depot, board train.
  • 15 minute train stop at Silver Plume depot.
  • Train continues to Old Lebanon Silver Mine depot.
  • Mine tour participants debark train for Silver Mine tour; others remain on train and return to Georgetown depot.
  • 4:15 Silver Mine tour participants board train and return to Georgetown depot.
  • 4:45 All board our tour bus and return to Golden.
  • 5:15-5:30 Our bus will drop participants at our two conference hotels. All guests will disembark there.

Estimated fee for this full-day tour with a box lunch:

  • $115 with the Old Lebanon Mine Tour
  • $100 without the mine tour
  • Advance registration is required
  • The fee includes tour bus and driver, box lunch, bottled water, Georgetown Loop train and park admission, and bus driverís tip.