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U.S. Southwest:

Durango, Colorado

August 25-26 2019

(Elevation: 6,522 ft.)


1898 topographical map of Durango and  vicinity (USGS)

The city of Durango was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1880 along the banks of the Animas River. It was the southern terminus of a narrow gauge rail line to Silverton, 45 miles to the north, which facilitated the the mining and shipment of metal and mineral ores from the heart of the San Juan mountains, down to the smelter and processing mills in the lower valley of the Animas.

Durango's mineral industry days are behind it, replaced by a newer, sustainable industry; tourism. Re-purposing the mining rail line that connects it to Silverton, Durango is now famous for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which transports thousands of tourists to and from Silverton each year, along the Animas River, in the canyons and mountains of the San Juans.

Durango & Silverton Railroad Station Gallery


Durango Botanical Gardens

The Durango Botanical Garden, located at the town's public library, is a demonstration garden which highlights seven micro-climates, and a diverse collection of plants and trees that live in them. This garden also features the beautiful Crevice Gardens Along the Trail with plants from around the world that are suitable for rock gardens.  The Arboreta highlights woody plants, shrubs and trees in three gardens. Beautiful public art displays are scattered around the gardens.

Durango Botanical Gardens Gallery


Breakfast at the Lone Spur Cafe

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