The town was organized in September 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad to serve the San Juan mining district. The D&RG chose a site south of Animas City for its depot after Animas City refused to pay a "dowery" to the D&RG. The city is named after Durango, Mexico; the word Durango originates from the Basque word "Urango" meaning "water town."
Durango is nestled in the Animas River Valley and is surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. The Animas River - El Río de las Animas Perdidas, or the River of Lost Souls, runs through downtown and boasts gold medal fly-fishing waters and is very popular for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Durango is an outdoor activity paradise featuring: hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-roading, year-round fishing, kayaking, rafting, and golfing – just to name a few.
Also Durango is home to the Snowdown Festival, an event which includes fireworks and a parade. The centerpiece, the parade, usually occurs the last Friday of January or the first Friday of February.
In the winter, Durango has easy access to five major ski areas, including the Durango Mountain Resort at Purgatory, located just 30 minutes north of downtown. Located 35 miles west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. Durango is also well known for another historical attraction, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage railway, which travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado on steam-powered trains with rolling stock dating back to the 1920s and before.
Durango is also home to the Snowdown Festival, an event which includes fireworks and a parade. The parade is the featured event of the festival and usually occurs the last Friday of January or the first Friday of February.
The historic town of Silverton is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of San Juan County, Colorado, United States. Silverton is a former silver mining camp in the San Juan Mountains that is now a federally designated National Historic District. The town population was 531 during U.S. Census 2000.
Silverton is linked to Durango by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a National Historic Landmark. Silverton no longer has active mining, but subsists by maintenance of US-550 (which runs from Montrose to Durango), mine pollution remediation, retired residents, and tourism.
Silverton is located at 37°48?45?N, 107°39?47?W (37.812545, -107.662994)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.1 km² (0.8 mi²), all land. Silverton is one of the highest towns in the United States, at 9,305 feet (2,836 m) above sea level.
There is no better way to experience the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad than by booking an affordable travel package, which includes rail fare, lodging and possibly a meal or two. Tours can be customized to include additional nights in Durango and/or Silverton.
Travel a century-old rail line from Durango Colorado to the historic gold mining town of Silverton over the most scenic narrow gauge railroad in North America. Daily departures from May through October. Reservations are REQUIRED!
Information & Reservations
1-800-717-0108 or 503-292-5055
Rail News & Updates
There's nothing like a train ride on the Durango and Silverton line! But with Fall space already at a premium, now is the time to book all your Summer and Fall season aventures, so book now for the best seating on the train.