Denver Used to Have a Historic Trolley System — and You Can Ride in the Last Remaining Car This Summer

The last remaining tram car will take passengers along historic Route 84.

Bob Westgate, one of the volunteers who operates the Platte Valley Trolley, boards the trolley at its starting point outside of REI in Denver, Colorado.
Photo: Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver's last operating trolley is available for rides during summer season, offering a historic and picturesque way to get around the city.

In the early 20th century, Denver had an extensive trolley system that rivaled cities like San Francisco or Lisbon. At its peak, the system included more than 250 miles of track within the city and 40 miles of high-speed rail that connected the city to Golden and Boulder, according to the Denver Trolley website. But after personal automobiles and a public bus system took over, the trolleys were abandoned in 1950, and only one tram is still operational today.

Last month, the Denver Trolley officially reopened the train car for the summer season, taking passengers along the South Platte River every weekend until Sunday, Aug. 14.

The Platte Valley Trolley embarks on a 25-minute tour in Denver, Colorado.
Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Trips happen aboard Car No. 25, which was originally built in 1911, according to the trolley website. It is the last remaining fully intact car of the 250 that used to serve the Denver region. Although the car now rides on a different route than it used to, it provides passengers with a slice of history and is even on the State Register of Historic Properties.

Passengers can board the trolley at its home platform at Confluence Park (behind REI, the website notes) and make stops at the Downtown Aquarium and the Children's Museum of Denver, following the former historic Route 84 along the South Platte River. As they're riding, passengers will hear a narration all about the surrounding area.

Liam Hanophy, 5, holds his mother, Amy Hanophy's, hand as they ride the Platte Valley Trolley in Denver, Colorado.
Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The trolley is in operation on Saturdays and Sundays, with round-trip rides clocking in at about 25 minutes long. The first trips leave at 10 a.m. and run every half-hour until the final departure at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets for passengers aged 13 cost $7 per person, children under the age of 13 will cost $3, and passengers younger than four can ride for free. Tickets are available for purchase online.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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