Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train

Thursday, September 1, 2022

52 degrees at 6:00, high of 85

Yesterday we drove from Taos, NM to Durango, Colorado. It was one of the prettiest drives of the trip going through Carson National Forest in the San Juan Mountains. With 1.5 million acres, it makes you want to explore.

Carson National Forest
Pagosa Springs, CO

Voted the best train ride in America in 2020 & 2021, it is 3.5 hour out, 2 hrs. in Silverton and 3.5 hrs. back following the beautiful Animas River in the San Juan Mountains. We opted for inside seating with some amenities, and were very lucky to have the best guide possible, a young lady named Zoie. She kept it lively and informative. Only a month on the job, she had learned her lessons well. She is a geologist and her father is a botanist, so she pointed out some very interesting things.

Of course there were historical things, like mining in Silverton, and how the train became an important part. Her boyfriend is a fisherman, so she knew a few things about the fishing. Hikers use the train a lot, and they can get on and off at designated places. About half way up is a zip-line camp and lodge that looked very busy.

Riding the train for 7 hours, you get to know most of the people in your car. Mike and Vickie from Louisiana sat across from us, and we had some interesting talks. A “Rusty Spike” drink from Zoie helped break the ice. Mike and Vickie had a Motorhome and travel a lot. They also tow a Jeep, and they like to drive the dirt and gravel roads through the mountains. They know the area well.

Silverton still has the feel of a western town, although they are mostly supported by tourism. We took a short spin around town in a stage coach. That’s a first for me, and I was surprised to find it pretty comfortable. 

In two hours, train passengers will shop a bit, but everyone wants to eat lunch, so there are lots of restaurants. Zoie told us about a unique jewelry shop where they mine a stone not found anywhere else. 

Mostly we walked around town, but finally had to get a bite to eat before boarding the train. We now had the river side of the train, so imagined fishing it. Zoie pointed out the place Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kit jumped on the train from a cliff in the movie. Some hikers got on and off the train in a couple of places.

It was a beautiful train ride with good company and a great guide. Mike and I gave her a hug when we got off the train. Well, we had sipped a little bourbon on the way down. 

  4 comments for “Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train

  1. cowpattymt
    September 29, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Great blog and excellent pictures, thank you ☺️

  2. September 30, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Thank you so much cowpatty, and thank you for always being there!

  3. Pam
    October 5, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    So many fun adventures and wonderful people. It sounds so relaxing yet you are learning so much of our history. Thanks for the blog!

  4. October 6, 2022 at 7:56 am

    Thank YOU for following!

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: