The Best of the West
An Exclusively All-Inclusive Vacation

dude ranch vacations bestofthe west

Wilderness Trail Ranch has teamed up with the Strater Hotel and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to provide an exclusive, all-inclusive “Best of the West” vacation, allowing visitors the opportunity to explore more of Durango’s Old West in addition to WTR's custom dude ranch vacations.

Strater Hotel, Durango COBe welcomed to Durango on Saturday by staying at the Strater Hotel, and spend the day exploring historical downtown Durango's old west shops, world-renowned galleries, micro-breweries & fine dining restaurants.  

Durango Train

On Sunday, it’s “all-aboard!” for the incredible train ride along the Animas River gorge to Silverton. Spend a couple hours in Silverton before heading back to Durango along the San Juan Scenic Skyway, one of the most beautiful highways in the world.

Wilderness Trails RanchGuests will arrive at Wilderness Trail Ranch by nightfall - just in time to hear the crickets start to sing and settle in to a relaxed gourmet dinner with your fellow guests and WTR hosts. 

From there, the week is yours to design – mix and match any of our wide range of dude ranch vacation activities offered by WTR. Perfect matches await for guests searching for adventure or just total rest & relaxation.

A true blend of past & present for an exclusive, all-inclusive Best of the West vacation!

A Blend of Past & Present
in Durango at the Strater Hotel

Strater Hotel Originally constructed in 1887, the Strater Hotel offers 93 impeccably appointed Victorian rooms.Strater Hotel Sign

The Hotel is ornamented with hand-screened Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers, and the world's largest collections of American Victorian walnut antique furniture.  All this in the setting of the beautiful Southern Colorado Rockies. Durango Colorado is a one-of-a-kind place!

Strater Hotel LobbyA stay at the Strater will give you a sense of place in Durango and help to create memories that will last a lifetime, and isn't that what vacations are all about?

This is the real thing! From the moment you step into the lobby it's like entering another world. Authentic American Victorian antique furniture, crystal, and lace transport you back to another century.

The Strater will take you to a romantic time in our frontier history when gold and silver were king and Victorian palaces like the Strater were a splash of opulence in an otherwise rough, and often treacherous wild west.  The hotel lobby is like a museum with display cases full of wonderful relics of the times from the Cliff Dwellers at Mesa Verde to the 1890's and early 1900's.The Office at the Strater Hotel

The Famous Diamond Belle Saloon, Office Spiritorium and Mahogany Grille are favorites of our locals.

Heritage Days at the StraterIn the summer, one of America's few remaining authentic Vaudeville Melodramas provides a lively show nightly except for Mondays.

A Classic Room at the Strater Hotel will be reserved as part of your Best of the West package on Classic Strater Hotel Roomthe Saturday before your stay at WTR. 

Upgrades to the Classic Deluxe or Classic Premium are available with advanced notice and as availability allows.  Please call Sandy for details.

The Durango & Silverton Train

The D&SNGRR travels 45.4 miles each way along the Animas River from Durango to Silverton during the summer season May through October.  The return trip via deluxe coach-bus, will travel along the San Juan Skyway over Molas & Coal Bank passes, past Durango Mountain Resort, the Hermosa Valley, and into Durango.



The route to Silverton aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is an unforgettable journey along the spectacular Animas River. The Animas River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the entire western United States. The route along the Animas, which begins high in the San Juan Mountains and ends in a confluence with the San Juan River in New Mexico, boasts some of Colorado's most striking canyon scenery.

Throughout the season, the river will rise from around 400 c.f.s (cubic feet per second) in April, to over 6,000 c.f.s at peak snow melt runoff in June, and returns to lower flows in September.

The train will cross the river five times on its journey to Silverton, offering spectacular views from both sides of the train.

You will pass fertile farmlands, old stagecoach roads, the breathtaking "Highline", the remote Tacoma Power Plant, old mining camps, and be in the shadow of peaks reaching over 14,000 feet, often with year-round snow!

Secluded in a mountain valley at an elevation of 9,318 feet, the town of Silverton came into existence because of the rich treasures of the surrounding mountains.

Though there are no longer any operating mines, the mining legacy pervades every aspect of the town, as a visit will show. It is a legacy that glitters in Silverton's elaborate Victorian-era architecture, reflecting the millions of dollars drawn from the earth during the mining boom of the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Open-Air Gondola

Gondola Seating

Travel in an open-air gondola and be even closer to the sights and sounds of this historic adventure.

Open Air GondolaBench-style seating accommodates three across. Because of the changing mountain climate and the increase in elevation from Durango to Silverton, we strongly encourage you to dress in layers of clothing.

Coach Seating

Coach Seating

Seat width in Standard class is equal to the industry standard of an economy class plane seat. Coach Seating Interior

Extra space seating is available for an additional charge. Please talk to Sandy regarding these options.

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