Next stop: Wilderness. Start your next Durango outdoor adventure from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. During the summer months, May-October, adventurers can access the wilderness from the Durango train. Leave from Durango or Silverton and get off to explore at Elk Park, Needleton or one of the flagstops. Learn more about this exciting opportunity for outdoor recreation you’ll find only in Durango.
How Wilderness Access Works
Wilderness access gives riders an opportunity to book with the intention of getting off the train and getting outdoors. You'll need to reserve this option in advance, but it makes for a great opportunity to explore the San Juan National Forest. The train gives outdoors lovers immediate access to the Weminuche Wilderness and San Juan National Forest for hiking, backpacking, rafting, fishing and other activities.
Booking the Train
Making reservations to ride the train to the wilderness is easy. Trains run daily, with wilderness access available during summer months. Call the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad at 1-888-872-4607 to book and make your reservation. Please be aware that reservations can only be made from Durango and Silverton originations. Make sure everyone in your party books the train together.
Parking for the train is available in Durango and Silverton. Parking in Durango is $8 per day for cars and $10 per day for RVs. Parking is available at the Silverton Depot at no charge. Depending on where you plan to board the train, plan ahead and determine which parking option meets your needs best.
Boarding the Train
When you’re leaving from Durango, you’ll need to have your gear in the boxcar at least 45 minutes before departure. This will give you time to make it to your seats before the final boarding call. When taking a train leaving from Durango, you need to be in your seat 30 minutes before departure. A full train schedule is available on the Durango Train website.
You can board the train for wilderness access in Durango or Silverton. From there, you’ll have a choice of where you’d like to go. There are two main access points for the wilderness: Elk Park and Needleton. The Elk Park stop gives you access to the Colorado Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Vallecito Creek Trail. The Needleton stop also gives you access to the Needle Creek Trail, Johnson Creek Trail and the Chicago Basin.
Flagging the Train
If you’re boarding the train at a flag stop, you need to alert the conductor. The correct way to flag the train and let the conductor know you’d like to board is by waving your hands across your knees. To board at a flagstop, you must be on the east side of the tracks. Seating is only guaranteed if you book a seat in advance. Once on board, you'll be able to ride back to Durango or Silverton to finish your adventure.
It’s easy to explore the Colorado wilderness from the Durango train. Climb aboard and make memories you’ll cherish forever by planning an outdoor adventure that starts on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.