All aboard the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad running between Durango and Silverton in Colorado! The vintage train is a trip into the romance of train travel of the Old West - and efforts have been taken to ensure the whole experience remains as authentic as possible.
There are many authentic railroad experiences still offered out West (and around the nation). If going to the Grand Canyon, be sure to take the Grand Canyon Railway and sit back and enjoy the Wild West performances - similar to an old-timey train robbery. For train enthusiasts out there, the oldest train still running today is the Fair Queen of India - it's only two years younger than the nation's rail network!
Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - Running Since 1882
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is designated a National Historic Landmark and is an opportunity to relive the golden age of rail travel.
- Length: 45 Miles
- Route: Between Durango and Silverton, Colorado
- Type: Narrow-Gauge
The train rides are tailored to provide an authentic railroading experience, just as it was in the year 1882. Ride behind the historic engine as it chugs away through the rugged and stunning San Juan National Forest.
The rail route first opened in 1882 and was built to transport silver and gold ore that was mined in the San Juan Mountains. The longer line was finally shut down when the last train stopped operating on the line in 1968, but the track between Durango and Silverton has been continuously running since the 1880s.
Today the trains haul tourists rather than silver and gold ore. The heritage line is also one of the very few places in the country that have seen the continuous use of steam locomotives.
Cascade Canyon Express
There are a number of ticking options - one of the most popular is the daily Cascade Canyon Express. It travels to Cascade Canyon - around halfway between Durango and Silverton. Full tours to Silverton are available with other tickets.
- Duration: 5 Hours, 15 Minutes
- Departure: 9.45 am
- Return: 3.00 pm
- Season: May 28th to August 11th & Sept 2nd to October 15th
- Cost: Adult From $81.00
This tour departs daily from the Durango Dept and lasts for 5 hours and 15 minutes. This is a great option for those who would like the experience of the train ride but don't have time for the full experience.
Snacks are available for purchase onboard, and boxed lunches are available for pre-order.
Scenic Round Trip Silverton Train
The Scenic Round Trip Silverton Train is a journey into yesterday and offers a 3.5-hour ride each way to and from the historic mining town of Silverton. Passengers disembark at Silverton and enjoy a 2-hour period exploring the sights, shopping, food, and other attractions.
This 45-mile spur of the line has been running since 1882, and much of the surrounding scenery remains unchanged.
The tour is on a vintage steam train (there is also another option for a diesel train). Listen as the steam whistle echoes through the canyon.
- Run: 5/7/22-10/29/22
- Departure: 9.00 am
- Standard Class Coach: $105 Adult Fare
- Run: 5/21/22-10/15/22
- Departure: 8.15 am
- Standard Class Coach: $97 Adult Fare
The Silverton Diesel Train is also the only train excursion that offers wilderness access for backpackers.
Cascade Canyon Winter Train
If one would like to see the snow-blanketed landscapes of the winter, then take the Cascade Canyon Winter Train. The winter train runs from November 19, 2022, to January 1, 2023 (later 2023 dates are yet to be confirmed - likely to May 5th).
It is an unforgettable roundtrip excursion that departs Durango and makes its way up to the Cascade Canyon. On the way, one will be greeted with magnificent views of the Animas Rivers and the snowclad peaks of the Rockies.
- Distance: 26 Miles (Both Ways)
- Duration: 5 Hours, 15 Minutes
- Season: From 19 November To May 5th
The tour departs from the Durango Depot and includes a 60-minute layover along the Animas River.
- Departure Time: 9.15 am
- Return Time: 2.30 pm
- Fare: From $84.00 Per Adult
Another option is to take their overnight package option and enjoy a night's stay in the historic Grand Imperial Hotel.