Another great day in Durango. One of the unique activities afforded by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is the chance to be dropped off in the wilderness for dayhikes or overnight hikes. The train gets you deep into the wilderness before you even begin your hike. The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest in Colorado. This section of the San Juan National Forest is closed to all mechanized vehicles. So there are no ATVs, no mountain bikes. There is only foot and horse traffic.
The only exception is a narrow corridor for the Silverton train. There are 3 flag stops where the train will stop to drop off or pickup passengers. Most hikers are headed into the Chicago Basin from Needleton to hike some of the 3 Fourteeners accessible for multi-night hikers.
We chose a day hike from Cascade along the Animas River. What great fun to have the train stop to drop us off, watch it roll off in the distance, then hike along the beautiful river surrounded by gorgeous peaks breaking out in Fall aspen gold. After a picnic on the river we hiked back to the flag stop for the return trip to Durango. Hiking and riding the train in the same day! It doesn’t get any better.