Once a frontier mining town, Durango draws thousands of tourists year-round for the myriad outdoor recreational activities and scenic beauty. Mountain bikers, rafters, kayakers, horseback riders, rock climbers, hikers, campers, hunters and fishermen are drawn to the two-million acre San Juan National Forest and to the San Juan mountains, the largest range in the Rockies. But the city's biggest tourist draw is a nine-hour historic train ride in a vintage steam locomotive. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which hauled precious metals in the 1880s, now takes tourists for a 47-mile, open-air journey through mountains and forests and past abandoned mines to historic Silverton and back. Children and train buffs will relish the chance to climb into a locomotive and pore over railroad memorabilia at the railroad's museum. Skiers flock to the Durango Mountain Resort in winter, which also offers hiking, fishing, rafting and horseback riding in warmer months. Slow down your pace with a stroll past splendidly restored Victorian buildings in historic Downtown Durango and wind up a very active weekend in a local brewpub or saloon.
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