The activity we came to Durango for was the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad round-trip journey through the San Juan National Forest in the Colorado high country (recommended by my friend). There are a couple of different trains, but we opted for the steam train which has been in continuous operation since 1882. What a long history!
There are different cars you can choose from, including outdoor “Gondola” cars, dining cars, and 21+ cars. We opted for the Deluxe San Juan Coach which is an indoor car with bathroom. It was barebones, but the seats were comfortable and the views were great.
I did wander up to the concession car to grab a beverage, and checked out the open-air cars. It looked really fun, and ideal for a photographer. It was a bit chilly when we went (and rain was forecast) so I was glad we chose an inside car. But, everyone in the open-air car seemed to be having a great time!
The 6-hour roundtrip journey winds through the San Juan Mountains, following the Animas River. There were plenty of gorgeous views and we watched the landscape become more colorful as we gained in elevation. It was spectacular!
Our seats were on the left-side of the train, and when we booked there were only two single seats available, one in front of the other. That worked out perfectly because both of us had window seats! If you were wondering, the train turns around for the return trip, so everyone gets to see both sides of the track.
At the town of Silverton, the train stopped for a 2 hour layover. Mariko and I wandered into the town (along with the rest of the passengers) and immediately spotted the Golden Block Brewery and decided to have lunch there. We ordered a pizza, salad, and two local beers and dug in. The pizza was mediocre, but cold beer elevates any meal. 😀
After that we went a couple shops over to the Rocky Mountain Funnel Cake Factory and indulged in a Black Cherry Fudge funnel cake. It was yummy!
Soon it was time to head back onto the train for the ride back to Durango.
The rain started but it didn’t last too long before we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow. It was awesome!
At around 6:15 pm we arrived back at train station in Durango. It was a wonderful day, and we’re so happy to have ridden the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I highly recommend it!