Born in the wake of Colorado’s gold and silver rush, Durango was established in the fall of 1880, when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad decided to build a track to Silverton and established Durango as the hub of its rail system to trasport ore from the mountains to smelters in Durango.
The railroad company first wanted to locate its roundhouse and station in Animas City, now a portion of northern Durango, and asked the Animas City town fathers to donate the land for a depot. But the proud little town refused and the angry railroad company headed south to create a new town of its own, adding controversy to Durango’s birth.
Will Rogers once said of Durango, Colorado, “It’s out of the way, and glad of it.” And glad it is. Our small western city, tucked away in a horseshoe of the San Juan Mountains in the southwestern corner of the state, has been the gateway to southwestern Colorado’s riches for more than 100 years. Indians and fur traders, miners and prospectors, ranchers and railroad engineers alike, have passed through Durango on their way to seek their fortunes. Many of them found that Durango itself was the treasure they sought.
Durango – It’s where ranches, rolling hills, breathtaking beauty and a storytelling river harken back to the days when people had the time, and took the time, to slow down and simply visit.
Main Street is a very beautiful street with houses from the turn of the century and lots of shops & restaurants. Railroad fans can go from here with a nostalgia train to Silverton.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
It is early morning in Durango.
A black locomotive chugs into the staging area of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad station. Passengers begin to board the 119-Year-old train that will take them on a journey through majestic mountains to the historic mining town of Silverton. Two short blasts to alert passengers and photographers that the historic train is leaving the depot. Gears thrust forward and the wheels of the engine begin to turn. Bright yellow, Victorian-era coaches inch forward, one after the other, as the train pulls out of the station and picks up speed as it travels through the pastoral landscape of the Animas Valley.
The train travels on a 36-inch track high above the roaring Animas River. Passengers see telltale signs of yesterday’s mining and railroad activities as they ascend into the majestic San Juan Mountains. About three hours later, passengers arrive in the old mining town of Silverton, Colorado.
The train offers a variety of options for chartering historic private cars. Arrangements can be made for catering or any other special requests. Many wedding ceremonies and celebrations have been held on the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train is accessible to the disabled and is also used by backpackers seeking access to the high country
Reservations are recommended, For reservations call 1-888-872-4607 or if you are in Durango 247-2733
Rates around 60 Dollars for an adult. Please verify. The ticket price includes a visit to the Durango & Silverton Railroad Museum, which opened in 1998 and the Silverton Freight Yard that opened in May 1999.