Durango to Silverton, Colorado

Bucket List! If you HAVE such a list… I have a TRIP for you!

It’s an old steam engine train ride from Durango, Colorado to Silverton,Colorado! The scenery is breathtaking. This train travels 45 miles crossing the Animas River and the railway has been in existence for 130 years. It was also the train used in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I highly recommend going in the fall, for peak leaf color season. We booked it for mid October. This way we had color and a little snow!

We arrived in Durango the day before our trip just in time for antiquing and dinner. There are many wonderful eateries but there were 3 different sports games on and we opted for a wonderful Brewery that had great Beer and Food. Steamworks Brewing Co. was perfect! A great happy hour and all the peanuts you wish.

The next morning we arrived at the train station early. Sweet Man purchased tickets ahead of time online. I highly recommend pre-purchasing tickets… to avoid lines and it assures you the right side of your train car which provides you the best views. We also wanted to sit inside as the temps were in the low 50’s when we started out.

We were in awe the entire trip!

There were stunning views around each bend.

We had coffee in tow but the train also provides a concession car for some snacks, coffee, beverages and adult beverages.

The train cars are quite comfortable and the windows can be easily opened for clear pictures.

Here you can see the open car. I was perfectly happy sitting inside. We were able to move along the train to get pictures, frequent the concession car and use the restroom. Coming back we even rode in the open air car for a short while.

If you have a fear of heights… you may want to sit in the aisle seat. However… I loved it!

Many ask why is the river so green? It’s supposedly from an algae bloom but in some cases it was slightly orange, as well, due to Mine run off.

Sights along the way could not be missed!

As the train rides along… many waterfalls add to the beauty.

Living in the desert we do not see trees of color during the Autumn. We definitely got our fill on this train ride!

The day is long but well worth it. We rode the train up and back. Many opt to take a bus back from Silverton. However, we saw even more sights coming back on the train.

The orange-brown color on the banks near Silverton is due to an old mine. The whole purpose of this rail was to haul silver and gold ore from the mountains down to Durango 130 years ago. Even though the mines are closed… the trail line remains because multitudes of passengers love the gorgeous views. The locomotive is totally coal fired and steam ran.

The above picture shows us coming into Silverton.

Like I said earlier, we stayed in Durango. Silverton is a very small Mountain town. With a population of about 150 in the winter… many establishments are closed. Not just because of few people but because the pipes tend to freeze. We did find a place open called Avalanche Brewing Co. with great craft beer and food! Sweet man had a pulled pork sandwich with homemade slaw. I enjoyed an amazing Tomato Bisque Soup. The craft beer was delish!

Silverton’s population grows in the summer. 600-700+ population. There are many ATV trails and hiking for their enjoyment.

It had snowed the night before we arrived and the Silverton Streets were muddy. Many establishments were closed and we were happy to see the train arrive to take us back to Durango.

I was thrilled to see more beautiful views as we headed back to Durango.

I hope that you are able to take this train ride! We loved it!

Listen to the train on this video!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I so appreciate it!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

34 thoughts on “Durango to Silverton, Colorado

  1. It’s been years and years since I road the train. I used to ride the Iron Horse bicycle race every spring in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The one thing I can say for my finishes is that I beat the train every time I rode the Iron Horse. Beautiful photos and fun times.

    1. Tim it is so good to hear from you. I enjoy and appreciate your comments.

      So there’s a Bicycle Race… glad you know about this area. I can’t imagine riding a bike here. Quite mountainous!

      Happy Sunday to you! Thank you also for your kind words.

  2. Ohhhhh Nancy, you bring back memories that I love. While living in New Mexico, my daughter and grand daughters took not only the Silverton/Durango train …we also took the Chama N.M./Antonito, CO (Cumbres/Toltec 64 mile ride train and they are fabulous with the most beautiful scenery. I loved the Silverton/Durango ride so much that the Captain and I went back and took it again together. Both trains have such vistas and you are right the Fall is one of the best times to take these nostalgic train rides. thanks for thee memories my friend.

  3. This is a lovely post. I’ve wandered over from my blog where we were discussing your use of your iPhone for photos and for composing blog posts. I was wondering if this was one of those posts or if you used a computer for this particular post?

    1. All these photos were done with my iPhone and posted on my WordPress App. All from my phone. I also love another App called TouchNote I can send a postcard from my phone using my pictures. I love it! It’s perfect for Thank Yous and Just thinking of you post cards. And quite reasonable as well.

  4. Nancy, I so enjoyed this train ride. The scenery is breathtaking and you captured some beautiful shots. How wonderful that this is still offered and visitors are riding a 130 yr old train. We took a Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canandian Rockies several years ago and it was one of my most favorite trips. We traveled to Wyoming this October and the aspen trees were in their peek gorgeous gold foliage, I love their white bark! Lovely post my friend!

    1. Oh I am so glad you got to see this! I enjoy that we can get to visit each other’s worlds right here in the comfort of our homes!

      Thank you for the love!

  5. I love that part of Colorado. Although we’ve never taken the train between Durango and Silverton, we’ve driven the road a few times and that scenery never gets old. September is a great month to visit Silverton (better than October). The colors are usually vibrant and the shops are still open. Glad you had a great trip!

    1. It was fabulous! I’m glad we stayed in Durango. Even if the shops were all open in Silverton… Durango was the place for us to stay.

      I bet Silverton would be more fun in September. Glad you have seen this beautiful area!

      Thank you for the love!

    1. I did share a few pictures there as well.

      It was an amazing ride! I want to make sure “all”my followers got to ride along on the train with me! 😊

    1. I think about how they built this railroad as well! Through the mountains!

      Thank you for stopping by! You need to take your Dear Wife on this trip! Amazing!

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