Durango Silverton Railroad was funded and established by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway just two decades before the turn of the twentieth century. In 1881, the railroad incorporated into Durango and the following autumn, the railway was expanded into Silverton, more than an hour south and straight through San Juan National Forest. Both passengers and freight were riding the rails by the summer of 1882 when the lines reaching Silverton were actualized. Today, the Durango Silverton Railroad is a fantastic attraction where visitors can see beautiful scenery and enjoy a historic train ride as well.
Always pumped as a scenic railroad, even from inception, the Durango Silverton train has also played an important role in the precious metal industry in Colorado; the train has carried more than $250 million worth of gold and silver down from the towering San Juan mountains. In more recent history, the Durango Silverton Railroad has been upgraded with winterized trains, track renovations, additional rail cars, and restoration to older locomotives which has kept the scenic rail tour a popular one within Colorado. The locomotives are still in original vintage condition and feature heat in the winter months, restroom facilities, and gondola rail cars. There are also snacks and drinks available onboard. The scenic ride remains one of the top favored things to do in the area with Durango Silverton railroad packages a sought-after vacation deal.
The Durango Silverton Railroad winds in and around the awe-inspiring canyons of San Juan National Park through to the National Historic Landmark of Silverton, a aged mining town and a historic boom town in its own right. In the winter months, the weather only permits travel to Cascade Mountain and not the entire way to Silverton. The Durango Silverton train climbs from 6,500 feet to more than 9,000 feet which means the ride can be a chilly one. Be sure to pack warm clothing before leaving the station. From May through to October, visitors can hop on daily train rides, but these do require reservations to board. The celebrated Alamosa Parlor Car is a special, 1881 train car featuring lounge seating to an exclusive 24 passengers. There is an outdoor seating area affording sublime views of passing scenery.
Three distinct Durango Silverton railroad packages offer a nice choice of tours to choose from. Durango Silverton railroad tour packages include the choice to visit more location attractions that feature the culture and history of Colorado’s southwest. These sites include tours of Mesa Verde National Park and the historic Silverton Mines via steam train. Entertainment tours afford a look at nightlife Durango-style with a night out at the Durango Melodrama, a theater featuring special shows great for all ages. If it’s adventure that you seek when riding the Durango Silverton train, opt in for the Adventure Package. This is the best of all Durango Silverton railroad packages for the intrepid. Experience backcountry adventure aboard four-wheel drive vehicles, glide through old forest canopies, or hit the rapids for an afternoon of whitewater rafting in addition to a train ride.
There are plenty of area attractions to explore within Durango before or after a scenic ride. Mesa Verde National Park offers a bounty of outdoor adventure, from lake activities to hiking, and camping. The arts thrive in Durango throughout galleries and museums as well as local exhibitions. White water rafting is another favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. Durango hotels are an ideal base for tourists wanting to explore with many offering discounted Durango Silverton Railroad packages, creating affordable vacations for all budgets.