Durango Train: Narrow Gauge Day

Durango Train Narrow Gauge Day
Photo: Durangotrain.com

Train season has arrived in Durango! Well, technically, every season is train season in Durango, but the time has come for the Durango train to start running all the way to Silverton for the summer.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad begins its 137th year of continuous train operations between Durango and Silverton. The train first started running the route in 1882. Every winter, the train stops running the full route to Silverton and instead offers scenic rides to Cascade Canyon wye, which is “train talk” for a place to turn locomotives or trains around, then returns to Durango.
During the summer, passengers can do the full round-trip route to and from Silverton or opt to take the Durango train one way (up or down) and a bus back to shave some time off the journey.

Narrow Gauge Day

May 4th is Narrow Gauge Day for the Durango train! Come out to kick off another year of Durango-to-Silverton train service at the depot in downtown Durango. This year marks the 20th anniversary since American Heritage Railways bought the Durango train, so this year’s festivities will celebrate that anniversary.
Things get crackin’ with the annual free picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Durango depot in downtown. Volunteers will be grilling hot dogs and serving up chips and soda. Snoopy will be making an appearance to say howdy to kids and kids-at-heart. And The Bar D Wranglers will be singing some amazing tunes, so don’t miss out!
Two recently renovated passenger cars — the premium Nomad and standard Coach 333 — will be on display as well as some locomotives and other railroad equipment. Guests Durango_train_arriving_depotare welcome to take tours and visit the D&SNG Railroad Museumto explore the

exhibits and check out a crowd favorite: the model train. If you haven’t been for a while, you can’t miss the museum’s new 600-gallon aquarium that houses Colorado River Cut Throat Trout!

Also, if you’re not familiar with the annual Durango Cowboy Gathering, you should be — and now you can be because they’ll be at Narrow Gauge Day to tell you about the festival coming up in October.
Free tree seedlings will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early to get your free tree, courtesy of owner/CEO Al Harper.

Ride the First Train of the Season!

You can ride the first (or second) train of the season to Silverton on Saturday, May 5. Board the first train departing Durango at 8:45 a.m. or the second one at 9:30 a.m. — the first Silverton passenger trains of the 2018 season. Costumed interpreters will be on board strolling from car to car, entertaining passengers with stories and historic tidbits.

Stay with us!

The Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is located at 2002 Main Ave., a straight 1.2-mile shot north of the Durango depot in downtown. We’re a quick drive or an even easier trolley ride to downtown Durango and the Durango train depot. Come for Narrow Gauge Day, stay to ride the first Silverton trains on Saturday and spend Sunday exploring the town! Book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!

Celebrate Easter in Durango!

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Ah, Easter. Eating the ears off your chocolate bunny. Licking the center out of a Cadbury egg. Dying Easter eggs, hunting Easter eggs, cracking open plastic Easter eggs to find jellybeans and chocolate goodies inside. If you’re looking for things to do in Durango to celebrate this Easter, look no further because we rounded up the best Durango Easter happenings for your egg-hunting pleasure!

Ski-Easter at Purgatory Resort

Let’s just say the “SkiEaster” Bunny comes early at Purgatory Resort. Start your Durango Easter celebration early with Ski-Easter at Purgatory Resort, the resort’s own special way to celebrate the day. Ski-Easter kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, with a little kids’ Easter egg hunt on the tubing hill. Children will be divided into appropriate age groups to go find Easter eggs, which the SkiEaster bunny hid all over the hill. (Each group will hunt for different colored eggs to keep it even-Steven.) The event it open to kids of all ages!
New this year is an Easter egg hunt ON THE MOUNTAIN. Crazy, eh? This is a full-on, ski-in egg hunt. Take Lift 1 and head over to Animas City. There you’ll find an Easter egg hunt right in the terrain park. Once you arrive, step out of your skis or snowboard to race each other on foot through the park to find the eggs. Get on Lift 1 no later than 10:55 a.m., then follow Sa’s Psyche or West Fork over to arrive at Animas City in time for the hunt, which starts at 11:15 a.m. sharp.
Other Ski-Easter activities include a ski-through chocolate station from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. thanks for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co. Just ski over to the picnic table at the bottom of El Diablo. Durango Joe’s will also be serving up free coffee and cocoa at a special Easter tent on the ski beach, so grab a hot beverage on your way to the lift!

PEANUTS™ The Easter Beagle Express Durango Train

Peanuts The Easter Beagle Express aboard the Durango Train is an annual Durango Easter tradition, and there’s no better way for you to celebrate Easter with your little kiddos. Hop aboard the Peanuts Easter train Saturday, March 31, for the special themed trip to Cascade Canyon. During the ride, attendants will be on board to help children as they enjoy games, crafts, music and prizes. An on-board musician will meander between two Easter-themed passenger cars playing songs and reading the “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” story to the kids.

At Cascade Canyon Wye, everyone can get off the train to take pictures with beloved Peanuts characters. After the train ride, kids can participate in an Easter egg hunt at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge museum! All Peanuts Easter train passengers will also received a souvenir mug. This Durango train excursion is wildly popular, so make sure you book your tickets today!

Durango Easter Egg Scramble

The annual Durango Easter Egg Scramble is a hugely popular (and free!) event, and this year won’t disappoint. The Easter Egg Scramble will be held at 9:45 a.m., Saturday, March 31, at Smith Sports Complex at 1480 E. Eighth Ave. in Durango. The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance to start off the egg hunt for each age group, which will range from toddler to 8-year-olds. Kids can also take pictures with the Easter Bunny! Be sure to bring your basket to carry all your eggs and goodies, but leave your pets at home (pets are not allowed).

If you’ll be visiting Durango over Easter weekend or will be hosting family for the holiday, be sure to book a room (or two or three) with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites! Guests rate us among the best hotels in Durango, and we’ll be sure the Easter Bunny knows where to find your room. Book your stay today!

St. Patrick’s Day in Durango!

Kiss me, I’m Irish! No, really. I am. But we can skip the smooching and go straight to drinking green beer, it that works for you? Works for me!

Although our mountains aren’t emerald green like the rolling hills of Ireland and our Animas River isn’t neon green like the Chicago River (and our beer isn’t really green because…gross), locals and visitors alike still have plenty of things to do this St. Patrick’s Day in Durango.

Durango Train Shamrock Express

Get your green on and get aboard the Durango train for the Shamrock Express! The St. Paddy’s Day-themed Durango train trip will chugga-chugga choo-choo passengers to Cascade Canyon while they chugga-chugga Irish beer and drink specials.

Durango train Shamrock ExpressThe train departs at 9:45 a.m., Saturday, March 17. Before boarding and during the ride, passengers can enjoy live music by local Celtic group the Kitchen Jam Band, which will start off playing on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot platform then move from car to car playing traditional Irish tunes during the trip.

Passengers can also buy a special, mint-chocolate St. Patrick’s beer: Mint-Night Express Stout by New Terrain Brewing Co. out of Golden, Colorado. Passengers can also order a special corned beef sandwich boxed lunch provided by The Yellow Carrot.

The Durango train will be decked out with Irish decorations, and passengers are encouraged to deck themselves out by wearing green or dressing in St. Paddy’s costumes — but (just like drinking) it is not required.

Pub Crawl

Why do they call it a “pub crawl?” Is it because you crawl from pub to pub, or is it because you’re crawling by the end of it? Both? Either way, downtown Durango is the perfect place to do a bit of bar-hopping to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Durango’s hip downtown is home to plenty of awesome bars and brewpubs all within easy walking (or crawling) distance. ireland-531137_1920

Naturally, your St. Paddy’s Day pub crawl must include a stop at the Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main Ave. Fish and chips are on the menu, Guinness is on draft, and the specialty drink menu is heavy on Irish whiskey cocktails with names like Dublin Mule, Dublin Manhattan, Rory McIlroy, Embassy Wolfhound and Irish Red Setter. Swing by on Sunday, March 18th, to catch (or join) the pub’s weekly traditional Irish music jam session from 12:30-4 p.m.

Head a block north to Carver Brewing Co., the original Durango brewery, to try out their Irish stout. A couple blocks away is Steamworks Brewing Co., one of the renowned Durango craft breweries, where you can sip their Backside Stout or sample McDammit’s Scottish Ale (Scotland is close enough to Ireland, right?).

While you’re in Durango celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, we want you to be safe. Stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites! We’re located at 2002 Main Ave., which is pretty close to downtown — either during a brisk walk or a quick lift. We’re one of the best hotels in Durango! Book your room today so you can fully enjoy St. Paddy’s Day in Durango. (Kissing not included. Sorry.)

Valentine’s Day in Durango

Valentine's Day-in-Durango

Whether you celebrate it early, late or the day of, there are plenty of ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day in Durango. If you’re looking for a dinner date, you have your choice from the best Durango restaurants: from high-end steakhouses to traditional Italian, gastropub to winery fare, Tibetan or taqueria. Make a night of it in downtown Durango by exploring art galleries or catching some live music. Or, if you’re looking for something truly exceptional to do for Valentine’s Day in Durango, check out these one-of-a-kind experiences.

Romance on the Rails Brunch Train

There’s something romantic about riding the rails, eh? Kick off Valentine’s Day early with the Romance on the Rails Brunch Train Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Durango train has long celebrated love by giving lovers a chance to take the historic train to Cascade Canyon, take in the gorgeous winter scenery and enjoy a special brunch.

Premium class tickets include a brunch package that features a morning brunch buffet, live music, chocolate treats,  a free glass of sparking wine and a freshly cut rose! The brunch menu features fancy fare such as raspberry yogurt mousse, chocolate-covered strawberries, shrimp, quiche and smoked salmon to name a few of the delectable items passengers can enjoy.

Valentine’s Day Snowcat Dining Excursion

This year, give your Valentine an extra-special dinner they’ll never forget with a Snowcat Dining Excursion on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at Purgatory Resort . Diners will meet at the resort’s base area outside of Purgy’s to take an enclosed snowcat up to Powderhouse Restaurant. During the ride, sweethearts will fall in love with views of the Needles Mountains. During dinner, they will indulge in a menu that starts with lobster-stuffed mushrooms, spring salad, tomato bisque; features a main course of beef tenderloin; and dishes up tiramisu for dessert. The meal comes with two glasses of wine or beer, and the evening also includes live music and a cash bar.

Durango Diaries

In the spirit of other storyteller events like The Moth, the Durango Herald is launching its new bi-monthly storytelling series, Durango Diaries. The first Durango Diaries will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, and in keeping with Valentine’s Day, the first Durango Diaries topic is Love Stories. Everyone has a first love, and the crowd will hear from two couples about their amazing love stories. The inaugural Durango Diaries will be held at the Powerhouse Science Center.

Live Music

Maybe dinner is too “done” for V-Day. Or maybe you want something to do aprés dinner. A show is the obvious answer, and Durango has plenty of live music to choose from.
Catch Murs in concert at Animas City Theatre on Valentine’s Day. Murs is an independent rapper who has recorded collaborative albums with Slug of Atmosphere (as Felt), Fashawn and 9th Wonder. Murs also founded the Paid Dues festival that highlights the underground and indie rap. Greg Ryder will be playing at the Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel, and Terry Rickard will also be playing live at The Office Spiritorium.

You can always ooomph it up even more with our “Share the Love” package. Stay at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango any night in February and get a free bottle of local wine from Durango’s own Four Leaves Winery. Book your room today!

Free wine with our “Share the Love” deal!

Valentines Package Durango Colorado
Free wine package in Durango Colorado with Four Leaves Winery

We know you don’t want to hear it, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you started thinking about your plans yet? How about now? Now?

If you haven’t started, you should — and we can help with our “Share the Love” package. Stay at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango any night in February and get a free bottle of local wine from Durango’s own Four Leaves Winery.

Four Leaves Winery is a boutique winery in downtown Durango just across the street from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train depot. Four Leaves imports only the highest-quality grapes, which their team of experienced winemakers and wine lovers use to craft, blend and ferment into their own varietals.

You can stop in on Valentine’s Day or any date night to enjoy a glass, to share a bottle or to sample a full tasting, or you can take it to another level by making your own wine. Four Leaves offers a custom winemaking class using their state-of-the-art facility and with the guidance of their winemakers.

Then you can come back to your updated room at the Econo Lodge — one of the top-rated Durango hotels — and enjoy more Four Leaves! Book your room today because, as we mentioned and as you already know, Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, and it’s better to just avoid all that stress and pressure. Stressure? Sure.

Guests must book directly at Choicehotels.com or by calling (970) 247-4242. Book today and mention LV18 to get your “Share the Love” package. Valid for any stay in February 2018. Not valid with any other discounts or deals.