USA // The Rockies //

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

 

Durango was founded in 1880 as a refining town and rail junction for Silverton, 45 miles north. Steam trains continue to run along the spectacular old mining route through the Animas Valley, though nowadays tourists, not sacks of gold, are the money-making cargo. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad runs up to three round-trips daily ($81–169 return; t 970/247-2733, w http://www.durangotrain.com) between May and October, from the depot at 479 Main Ave at the south end of town. The views from the train are spectacular as it chugs by rocky cliffs and through huddles of lush aspen, framed by the rugged Animas River below (the trains are slow, however; if you need to save time, you can return by bus).