Durango, CO—a great place to get away and see some of the state’s beautiful mountains. One way to truly see the breathtaking beauty is to take a train ride. One of my favorites is the round trip train from Durango, which can take up most of your day. Or, take the one-way train and return by bus, a three-hour round trip. My husband likes to keep moving around, so the one-way option was the obvious choice. For those of you who have antsy folks or children with you, I’d recommend the same.
To find out more about the Durango-Silverton Train, visit their website at Durangotrain.com. You can even book your tickets from this site. Tickets cost anywhere from $75 to $99 for a child and $106 to $179 for an adult ticket depending on where you want to sit.
Choose your location on the train wisely. Do you want to be in an open car or inside? We chose inside because my sister and her husband are from Arizona and get cold when it gets below 75 degrees. (Not to mention my husband is not a fan of fumes from the steam-powered locomotive. When we returned from the train ride, my sister saw a woman in the bathroom with soot all over her face. My sister was glad we chose inside after that.
If you are on a budget, consider the outside seating and bring a waterproof jacket that will keep you warm. This affordable option is a great way to see everything while still making the train ride enjoyable.
If you read my About Me page, you know that sometimes the best laid out plans can go awry. When I booked the tickets online, I decided that it would be best if we took our train ride on Sunday, as I’d heard that is the best time to go because it’s not as crowded. The problem? I booked so far out from our arrival that I’d forgotten my strategy and thought I had booked the train ride for Saturday. We all woke up a little earlier than you would when on vacation with glee in our hearts about the upcoming train ride.
We parked our car after the 20-minute drive to the depot and waited for the bus for the ride to Silverton. The bus driver did not have our names on her list. We handed her our tickets and it was then my jaw hit the dirt. We had tickets for Sunday, not Saturday. At first I was embarrassed…and then relieved—at least they weren’t for Friday. Thank goodness for the good-natured folks at the bus depot. So, note to self: take a look at your tickets before you head out to the event.
We did not travel with children on this trip but the children I saw seemed to enjoy the train ride. I did overhear the infamous words from a child, “Are we there yet,” about 45 minutes into the bus ride, so you may want to bring a book or some travel activities to keep children entertained.
The train runs most of the year, and by looking at all the aspens, one can imagine going on an autumn train ride would be amazing. The guide in our car (Blythe) was very personable and informative. She told us that in the winter, the train only goes about halfway, and offers a different view of the canyon with all the snow.
For those who suffer from motion sickness, you may want to think about motion sickness pills. I did notice one woman who was a little green around the gills during our rocky train ride. She got a nice view of the tracks as she hung her head out the window. There is a concessions car onboard if you need refreshments, but bringing a water bottle would be a good idea—it will save you some change in your wallet, and it’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water when visiting higher altitudes.
I was very happy with our day visiting Silverton and taking the train. I would do it again, and I think it’s a good option for most ages and abilities. I would love to tell you about our time in Silverton, so look out for the next blog for our memorable time there.