Santa Express Train ride Photo Credit: Royal Gorge Route Railroad.

The annual Santa Express Train at Royal Gorge Route Railroad is up and running. Courtesy Royal Gorge Route Railroad

It’s that time of the year again – when the snow starts falling and people around Colorado have upcoming winter holidays on their minds.

One magical winter attraction found in the Centennial State this year is the Santa Express Train, located in Cañon City. It’s a Christmas-themed ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad that features holiday music, hot cocoa, and Santa Claus, attracting more than 30,000 riders each season. This year, the experience utilizes more than 50,000 lights and includes a festive light show that be seen "dancing against the sheer rock wall of Colorado's grandest canyon."

With up to 3 daily departures, the Santa Express Train is in operation from Nov. 19 - Dec. 24, as well as from Dec. 26 - 30. It's sure to deliver epic views of the Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River, along with plenty of holiday cheer.

Ticket prices range from $54 to $79 for adults and $44 to $74 for children aged 1-12 dependent on date and seat selection. Guests also have the option to purchase a “grill meal package” and a photo package. Find out more about booking your seat on this unique train ride here.

Looking for a more relaxed holiday-themed train ride? The 'holiday train' experience along the Royal Gorge Route might be more your speed. Find out more here.

COVID-19-related safety precautions are put in place on the train, including a limited capacity, mask wearing rules, and regular sanitation.

In regard to COVID-19 safety, owner Mark Greksa said ""We are proud of our staff and grateful to our guests for following COVID-19 guidelines. There are inherent risks in riding our train and in life – we will continue to do our very best to follow and continuously improve upon our safety protocols."

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad cuts through Cañon City's Royal Gorge, a canyon known for its dramatic cliff drops. The canyon is also home to one of the highest bridges in the world, the Royal Gorge Bridge, which is located 955 feet above the canyon floor. 

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. He also writes about outdoor recreation, travel news, and more. In his spare time, he loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike.

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