The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Guided Jeep Tours
By Molly • August 24, 2015
One of the most popular things to do in Durango is to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and visit the mining remnants and ghost towns in the surrounding area. Besides seeing gorgeous views provided by nature and early miners, these trips are a window into the past. Here’s a synopsis of each so you are well prepared for your trip.
Colorado Ghost Town Tour
The National Forest Service, as we know it today, was established in 1905 under President Theodore Roosevelt. Due to the hard work of Forest Service workers, the United States now has over 155 national forests.
The trails you get to adventure on while on your Colorado ghost town tour are roads built by the Forest Service. These roads allow them to access areas in remote locations in order to study the area. These roads also allow firefighters access to fight fires or perform rescues.
Vehicles often associated with these roads are jeeps. The original Jeep was created to service as a scout vehicle during WWII. One famous image is a “Jeep” (not yet associated with the brand we know today) climbing the Capitol steps. Since then, Jeep has become a beloved off-road company used by many 4×4 enthusiasts.
Mild to Wild uses a variety of off-road vehicles depending on the group needs and the weather. Our off-road fleet includes jeeps, our custom-made, open-air safari tour vehicles, and a Swiss Army pinzgauer. Regardless of the vehicle you take, you will have a great time bumping along rutted, muddy roads while taking in the amazing, natural world around you.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was constructed around 1882 to haul mined ore and passengers. Approximately $300 million worth of metals traveled on these tracks during the prosperous mining years. As the mines began to close, the future of the railroad looked bleak. Luckily for us, Hollywood and various wars ended up helping to keep it in operation.
With movies such as Around the World in 80 Days and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as many others featuring the train, reconstruction and restoration began. The train became a National Historic Landmark and now runs four different trains to Silverton. The trains used are authentic engines that are 100% coal-fired and steam-operated. With year-round services, guests can enjoy the scenic railroad whenever they are in the Durango area. With many car options and themed rides available, everyone is bound to find the perfect train ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Whether you choose to take a historic train ride with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, an adventure on a guided jeep tour, or both, you will not be disappointed. Observe the natural world around you, become immersed in history, and enjoy your time in beautiful Durango, Colorado