The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) now offers a unique way to get a Christmas tree – ride the heritage steam train into the San Juan National Forest, find and a cut a tree, and then pack it into a boxcar for the return trip. Operating between the south-western Colorado towns of Durango and Silverton, the narrow gauge (3 ft.) track first opened in 1882 and now runs just over 45 miles in length.

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This holiday-motivated culling of white fir trees also has a particular benefit – it helps to widen the space between trees and thus reduce the risk of wildfires in the forest. Trees cut for Christmas can be up to 20 feet in length. This clip from Durango TV gives further information about the first-ever “Christmas tree train”:

Further information about the D&SNG, which was named the “#1 North American Train Trip” by National Geographic in 2010, can be found at the official link Durango Train. The train & route was also used in the filming of the iconic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). As a closing note, this writer wishes all visitors to this site a happy and safe holiday!

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(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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