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Old 10-03-2017, 10:19 PM
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Corbet Corbet is offline
Hard Core 4+
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Durango, Colorado
Posts: 4,814

I ride the D&SNGRR often. We are friends with the owners of Soaring, the zip line place half way up the line to Silverton. So we visit them there on occasion. Train is the only way up.

The D&SNGRR has better mountains and river scenery but the fall colors on the Toltec are better IMO. I like that you get the run of the rail yard in Chama to look around pre boarding. Where as in Durango it more like loading a Disney ride. The meal at the top of the Toltec is as good as nearly anything you can buy in Silverton. Plus that venue is cool. The Toltec seems to take you back in time more. If you get a double header out of Chama you get that experience too. I've never heard of Durango needing that.

Both are excellent adventures and worth the trip to ride either.

Chasing the D&SNGRR is pretty pointless. Other than a couple vies from the HWY you can't get close to it as the line cuts between two wilderness areas. A weekend camp could be arranged where half the group rode up to Silverton then swapped out and drove back down to Durango to pick up the other half on a return trip. I could point folks to some decent backcountry camp sites in the middle.

Personally I think the best way to enjoy the D&SNGRR is combining it with a rafting trip. Upper Animas rafting is big water and SUPER fun. 1,2,3 day trips are available. Generally you bus up to Silverton and get on the river. Then you ride the train back to Durango from a midway exit point off the river. The window to raft the upper is small and completely dependent on flow. Class 4 & 5 rapids with rarely a flat spot. basically you look downhill from the boat all the time. My preferred guide company is Mild to Wild.

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