Come along for an exciting and unique “train and trekking” adventure aboard one of the greatest train routes in the country! The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1881 and served as carrier of mining ore that came out of the San Juan Mountains. It now carries alpine-bound explorers through a rugged and remote canyon on its way up to the historic mining community of Silverton, Colorado. After a day of warm up hikes, packing workshops and menu planning we’ll head to Durango and step back in time as we embark on a train-assisted journey into the Colorado high country. Boarding the train with nothing but our packs and our sense of adventure, we will travel in open-air gondolas that allow for stunning views of the majestic mountains all around us. Our adventure continues as we exit the train at Elk Park where we will begin our trek into the wilderness to set up our basecamp for two days and nights of exploring the amazing Weminuche Wilderness. This vast expanse of valleys, creeks, wildflowers, waterfalls and soaring peaks is the largest designated wilderness in Colorado and will be the backdrop of our alpine adventure. On our final day, we will return to the train route where we will board the Silverton-bound train and return to civilization for a final celebration!
Program Schedule: *Subject to change
Click below to view sample itinerary
Day 1: Meet and greet. Intro day hike, packing 101 and meal planning. Prepare for the week.
Day 2: Off to Durango! Group shop, backpacking workshops and camping at Junction Creek. Laughs by the campfire.
Day 3: Early morning! Catch the morning train and ride through pristine wilderness to your stop in the Weminuche Wilderness. Hike into the Beaver Pond and set up base camp.
Day 4: Day hike to Vestal Creek. Backcountry games and wilderness exploration. Campfire cuisine and s'mores back at the campsite.
Day 5: Last morning in the backcountry! Big breakfast and hike out to trail head. Hop back on the train en route to Silverton. Celebratory soak in the hot springs and back to Telluride for hugs and high fives.
This is a SAMPLE itinerary from a previous summer. Specific activities will vary from year to year.
Rent or purchase discounted gear
Click pack for a packing list
All participants will receive Telluride Academy backpacks, sleeping bags and sleeping pads while participating in this program! Gear will be used by instructors to teach proper packing techniques on the first day and will go home with students the night before their overnight backpacking trips. We ask that you bring an empty duffel bag on the morning of your overnights so your child's gear can be taken home easily at the end of the program.