Planning for a fun weekend in Durango
Ideas and Staff Suggestions
For you Train buffs, start a day earlier and ride the entire Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Blues train only travels 18.5 miles of the 45 mile line between Durango and the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado or check out The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, NM.
1. Arrive in Durango late afternoon and check into one of our official Blues Train hotels.
- Explore Durango’s historic Main Street filled with dozens of shops and restaurants
- Grab a late afternoon beer and an early dinner at one of the many breweries located in downtown Durango
- We highly encourage that you eat dinner prior to departure as light snacks will be the only food available on the train. Some of our favorite restaurants are The Palace Restaurant (located next to the train depot), Ken & Sue's, Eolus Restaurant, East by Southwest (sushi), and Steamworks Brewing to name a few
2. Arrive at the Depot early to pick up and/or exchange your tickets for a wristband for Friday's Blues Train. Check the schedule and make sure you're on time!
1. Wake up rested and head out to one of the many great breakfast places in Durango – our favorites are Durango Diner, Oscar’s, Carvers (ask for a Bloody Mary with “the works”).
Choose from a variety of activities:
- Mesa Verde entrance is a one hour drive from Durango. Visit this National Park where the Ancestral Pueblo people made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. This park has nearly 5,000 known archaeologicalsites, including 600 cliff dwellings.
- Ride bikes on some of Colorado's best trails! For Mountain Bikers, check out Horse Gulch, Test Tracks, Twin Buttes, and Coalbank Pass. For Road Bikers, local's favorites are highway 550 to Silverton, Baker’s Bridge loop, The Short Valley, and Elmore’s Loop. For Cruisers, ride the River trail to Ska Brewing in Bodo Industrial Park.
- Fly Fishing abounds with plenty of great fishing in the region. World-class trout fishing can be experienced less than an hour south of Durango. We recommend the San Juan River in New Mexico, especially the 4.25 miles of river just below Navajo Dam, known as "Quality Waters". This section holds over 80,000 trout. An average San Juan River trout is 17", but fish over 20" are abundant.
- Museums: Explore the Train Museum at the DSNGRR depot. Also, be sure to visit the Animas Museum (show your D&S train ticket to receive $1.00 off Adult Admission, $0.50 off child admission and $5.00 off an annual membership).
- The Animas River where you can grab your tubes, kayaks, rafts, duckies, SUP boards, air mattresses, a cold beverage and take a river run. The river carries runoff from the San Juan Mountains through the heart of Durango making for a perfect hour-long river town run. Chill in the lazy river, or make your way down to Smelter and Corner Pocket Rapid to check out kayak surfing. Must hit spots: The Beach, Corner Pocket Rapid, and The Lazy River. Please check with a local rafting outfit prior to hitting the river - runoff and volume can vary throughout the season.
- Rock Climbing is available for the novice or the pro. Durango has climbing for everyone. Must hit spots: Turtle Lake, X Rock, Fume Wall, Golf Wall, and The Rock Lounge.
- Jump The ABC’s for a thrilling experience. ABC’s stands for Adrenaline Falls, Bakers Bridge, and Cascade Creek. The ABC’s offer a circuit of perfect cliff jumping ranging from 10 to 50 feet in height.
- Brewery Tours: Durango is home to five different craft breweries. Take a brewery tour with our friends at Ska Brewing, Carver's Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, the Brew Pub or Durango Brewing Company.
- Food: Durango has some great food to offer. Local's favorites include Zia Taqueria, Homeslice Pizza, The Balcony and Steamworks Brewing.
- Day Hiking/Trail Running on the many miles of bike trails surrounding Durango. If staying in town is your flavor then head to Test Tracks and find your way to the top of Perins Peak for breathtaking views of the Animas Valley and the La Plata Mountains. If high alpine is more your speed drive to the top of Coalbank Pass and hike Engineer Mountain for a 360-degree view of the San Juans. Must Hit Spots: La Plata Canyon, Junction Creek, and Ice Lakes Basin.
- 4-wheeling and Dirt Biking: Backcountry Passes built for miners generations ago now offer thrilling 4-wheeling and dirt biking. Must Hit Spots: Old Lime Creek Road, Barlow Creek Road, and Ophir Pass.
2. Get back from your day’s activity in time to people watch and have a drink at “The Balcony” overlooking main street or have a glass of wine and an appetizer on the roof top of Eolus Restaurant (reservations recommended) or perhaps Margarita’s at Francisco’s.
- Again, we highly encourage you to eat dinner prior to departure. Only light snacks will be available on the train. Some of our favorite restaurants are The Palace Restaurant (located next to the train depot), Ken & Sue's, Eolus Restaurant, East by Southwest (sushi), and Steamworks Brewing to name a few.
3. Arrive at the Depot early to pick up and/or exchange your tickets for a wrist band for Saturday's Blues Train.
4. Since it's your last night in town, after we arrive back at the Depot there is still plenty of time to check out the vibrant nightlife and music scene of historic downtown Durango. Check out the Animas City Theatre for their live music and movie schedule.
1. Wipe the cobwebs out of your head and choose a new breakfast place – (The green chili at the Durango Diner is world famous).
2. Pick another activity for the day or head back safely to reality after an exciting and fun filled weekend of activities, blues, and trains in historic Durango, Colorado.