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Durango & Silverton train ride

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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228 posts
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Durango & Silverton train ride

We are in the process of booking our trip for the beginning of August and have decided to take the bus to Silverton, train back to durango option since this gives us a little more time in Silverton.

I am looking for suggestions of what to see in Silverton, where to eat and if there are any special requests we should make for seating on the train. We are deciding on the open air gondola or the coach. Our travel party consists of 6 adults and 6 kids(ages 4-9)

Thanks in advance.

Houston, TX
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1. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

mom3boyz,

Has it stopped snowing up there, yet? Wisconsin that is...

Since most people that split the trip between train and bus do the opposite from what you're planning, the train should be a lot less crowded on the way back to Durango, and you should have some discretion on where to sit (inside or out).

On the open-air gondola, you will get hit with cinders and soot, which is usually easily brushed off, and you risk the chance of rain, especially in August. I'd probably book the (inside) coach, and move outside if weather permits.

In Silverton, try Natalia's 1912 (especially with a large group). The Brown Bear used to be good, but reviews I've seen recently haven't been that great. There are plenty of options, though.

Try to get the left side of the train on the way back.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

We hope the snow is done for the year but you never know, its supposed to be in the 70's this weekend!

Thanks for the great advice, I think we'll try the coach seating and hopefully be able to walk around a bit. Is there any advantage to taking the train to Silverton since more people take that option? Are there any must sees for the kids while in Silverton?

Only 3 more months to wait and plan.

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

I've only been to Silverton on the train ride, with about a two hour layover, so we pretty much just ate lunch and walked around a little. Its a quaint little "old west" town, and the ambiance and scenery are the attraction. Most of the activities are "around" Silverton, more so than "in" Silverton.

Here is a great link to check out for activities. I've never done any of them, but they all look fun. If you can get to the Bar D Chuckwagon for dinner one night, your whole party would love that, kids and adults alike. The kids will especially like the miniature train and the chocolate factory. I'll put their link down, as well.

Have fun on your trip. I'd tell you to remember that because the town is 9-10,000 feet elevation that it could still get cold in August, but being a "cheesehead", it probably wouldn't matter much...just don't pack only shorts, as a jacket might be necessary.

www.silvertoncolorado.com/index.asp…

www.bardchuckwagon.com/

Houston, TX
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4. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

Oh, I forgot, about the train option...

I thought the only option for mixing the train and bus was to take the train there and the bus back. From the posts I've seen on these forums, most people suggest that route, and I didn't know your way was a possibility, but I can't see why not.

I'm booked going both ways on the train July 3rd, but I booked it a while ago and can't remember what the options were.

Ontario, Ohio
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5. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

We were in Durango, Silverton, and Ouray last September and rode the train from Durango to Silverton (right side of the train) and had an inside seat. We opted to ride the bus back. This was the way to go for us. We saw scenery from the bus that we wouldn't have seen from the train. There really isn't a lot to do in Silverton...very small but cute town. However, I think you can take jeep tours into the mountains from Silverton and that might be a lot of fun. We did eat at Handlebars Restaurant and heartily recommend it. We were served excellent food in a reasonable amount of time. That area of Colorado is gorgeous!

durango colorado
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6. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

Go with Coach

Cincinnati, OH
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7. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

We did the train both ways. I can't remember how much time we had in silverton but i think it was about 2 or 3 hours. This was time to eat our packed lunches we had brought, see the museum, and just a few (thankfully) souvenier shops.

I had my two boys, aged 8 and 10. We had packed a lunch becuase we'd heard that a lot of people head towards the diners/restaurants right off the train. We wanted to see the sights right away and not be delayed, or "waste" any time, by having to eat once we arrived. We quickly ate our sack lunches as soon as we got off the train and we were on our way.

First thing we headed to was the museum. It's at the far end of one of the streets. Take a left down the second cross street once you step off the train, and it's at the end of the road. This was fun for everyone. The sheriff's office and jail were upstairs and the boys loved getting "locked up" with a ball and chain around their ankle (bring your camera of course). The ground floor was the sheriff's residence, and in the basement and a brand new adjacent building are exhibits on mining. They also had a few lifestyle items. I'd say "Look if you were a kid back then, those would be your toys: a stick and a small wooden doll. No GameCubes or any other electronics." They'd say "Oh my gosh, how did kids ever survive back then with such primitive toys!"

Just to the right, on the first cross street off the train, is a small toy shop and a gold panning operation for kids. We didn't do it but the kids who were doing it seemed to enjoy "panning" for gold and jewels from a watery trough.

That was about it for us. I think there are street shootouts at certain times but not in the middle of the day while we were there. We did go into about 3 souvenier shops but as a parent, you know that those are really no fun for you, with kids grabbing everything and wanting you to buy all kinds of dumb souveniers and toys that they will shortly break, lose, or lose interest in. Most people seem to visit only the restaurants, souvenier shops, and art shops (of which there are a few nice ones). Most of the town seems to consist of these restaurants and souvenier shops, so I'm not sure I would have wanted much more time in Silverton.

Sit on the right side of the train (going in to Silverton and left side leaving it). The scenery is the most spectacular I've ever seen. If you're afraid of heights, sit on the left side. The right side of the train is sometimes just an arm's length away from a drop of hundreds of feet! Be sure to remember to take some photos of the train as it curves around the mountain high up on a cliff. We were near the back of the train and that gave us a nice vantage point for some nice photos of the train as it headed around a bend.

8. Re: Durango & Silverton train ride

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