Our next stops were in Durango and Silverton, both are end points for the Durango and Silverton Steam Railroad. Durango has a great downtown, nice restaurants, shops and wonderful architecture from the boom of the railroad that supported the gold and silver mines in the area. Below is the Strater Hotel a local landmark and right near the Durango Train Station.
The unfortunate thing was they had a huge fire north of town earlier in the year and that shut down the trains for 40 days, and just after they started running again, a flash flood wiped out part of the tracks. So trains are not running out of Durango while they fix the tracks, so I could not see them running but I spent a day visiting the train museum they have on site in parts of the roundhouse they do not use for maintenance on the current engines.
The turntable in front of the roundhouse
This half of the roundhouse is used for housing the current fleet of engines when they run out of Durango.
Since they could not run out of Durango and luckily the trains were in Silverton or on their way back when the flooding occurred, they had four engines on the north side of the track damage. They have a small service facility in Rockwood that they shifted operations to, so I drove up there to take some pictures of them turning around the trains as they get ready for the next day…
We we headed north to a little mountain town sitting at over 9000 feet that was a hub for the numerous mines in the area. The trains arrive in Silverton at lunchtime, and stay for about two hours before heading back. Silverton is also a jumping off point for a great number of 4×4 trails and off road trails, and for skiing in the winter.
Here is our spot, right near the railroad tracks on the edge of town which is a few minutes walk away.
The town dates back to the 1890’s and has some wonderful architecture.
So after watching the trains and spending time walking around town, the plan was to do some off roadin with the Jeep, so stay tuned for that post. But I will say, Silverton is high out our return trip list, just as fun as Moab, so I think we will be back for a month in 2020!