"Tanglefoot Lake" (MP 329.6). DRGW 453 throws a reflection in the pond of standing water along Tanglefoot Curve, as she completes her climb to the 10,000 ft. high Cumbres Pass, just a mile ahead.
Historically known as "Cumbres Loop" the last mile and half of track approaching Cumbres Pass from the east side looks a lot like the boot of Italy when viewed from above. Although it looks like something you might see in an imaginative model railroad layout, the D&RG Engineers had little choice but to build this loop because it was the only way to allow their trains to climb the last 100 vertical feet to the pass, on the steep eastern slope, while still keeping the grade manageable for rod engines pulling heavy freights. This section of track is a great place for a photo charter to spend several hours, because there are just a ton of shooting angles available and you can almost always find one that is nicely lit at almost anytime of day. And with Cumbres Pass just a mile or so away, there's always a place to run if water is needed, or one of the regular passenger trains needs to pass.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are all that remains of the legendary Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge system. Here you'll find some of my favorites from these two beautiful railways.