Discover the Durango Siverton
There is nothing like taking a leisurely trip through some of the most scenic mountainess territory of the San Juan mountains aboard the Durango Silverton rr.
Be sure to bring your camera, jacket, and some eye wear glasses especially if your in the open air cars or gondolas, as the smoke, soot, and cinder ashes tend to lenger in the air a bit, as this is a coal-fired steam train.
Durango to Silverton start point
The start point for the Durango to Silverton is obviously Durango Colorado, a beautiful town with a population of 13,922.
When formulating a vacation or getaway, Durango is a great choice for a starting point or even a great choice for a vacation period.
As far as lodging there is a large variety of options to choose from, such as bed & breakfast, rustic cabins, hotels & motels, campgrounds, rv parks, etc.
Before the actual train trip its necessary to make reservations weeks ahead of the actual trip to be able to get tickets. Accomodations for staying the night at Silverton or Durango should likewise be made ahead of time, rule of thumb, the earlier the better, to get your desired date.
Upon arrival at the train station, you need to check in and get your seats. After boarding the Durango to Silverton, the trip can commence.
For the next 3 1/2 hours you will procede to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado, crossing bridges over the wild animas river, hugging cliffs, and traveling up a canyon passage with waterfalls.
The narrow guage train route is 45.4 miles each way along the animas river, one of the last free flowing rivers in the western united states. The train procedes to cross the river 5 times each way and passes by old stagecoach roads, old remote Tacoma power plant, old mining camps, and much more.
The excursion through the mountainess passage ultimately takes you to Silverton, Colo.
Silverton - Destination
Nestled in the San Juan mountains at elevation 9300 feet is a little mining town and the main reason for hence the Durango Silverto narrow guage railroad exists. The route to Silverton was for hauling silver & gold ore from the Silverton area.
The town itself has a raucous past, as a lot of old mining towns, it's past and how gold was discovered and the land being obtained from indians, etc. History maintained in the museum and books show of the towns biography.
Upon arrival of the train to Silverton there is usually a couple hours to browse the many shops, eat a lunch, walk the streets, and enjoy the fresh air and scenery.
Silverton has a historic district, museum, city park, an old mine tour nearby, mill, and more.
Depending on the iteniary of your vacation or getaway one could also stay the night at Silverton as there are accomodations available in this mountain town. This works out well if you don't want to sit on the train all day, round trip 6 to 7 hours. Get the appropriate train tickets before your trip, as this may be a good option for many.
Silverton to Durango
On the way back the trip is much as it was on the journey to Silverton with a few slite differences.
- Your view points will differ slightly as you head in the opposite direction. If you sit in the same seat, you will now be seeing the opposite side as you did the first time.
- If you missed a photo opportunity on the way up you can maybe now get it going the other way.
- The trip back to Durango may be a bit faster as it is mostly down hill.
A couple of tips to interested parties would be to bring a jacket even if it is July or August, and to make reservations in plenty of time to get the date you want for your excursion.