Durango & Silverton Winter Photographers’ Special 2008

On Sunday, 10-Feb-2008, the Durango & Silverton held its fourth annual Winter Photographers’ Special. I wasn’t going to ride this year, having been somewhat burned out on the large number of (non-railfan) people and poor snowpack in previous years. However, given the monumental amount of snow in the San Juans this year, I decided I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, I’d be in Albuquerque the day before, and so would be out on the road anyway. I might as well stop by on the way home, I told myself.

Traditionally, the train runs up to near Needleton. However, in light of the heavy snows that southern Colorado experieced during the winter of 2007-2008, this year’s run would only go as far as the High Bridge – just short of Tacoma. North of that point, heavy snow and the danger of snow slides prevented operation. So, while we’d get a good year in terms of snowpack for photos (unlike several previous years, which have been nearly devoid of snow), we wouldn’t get to take advantage of it up in the Animas River canyon. The D&S picked a number of other (relatively) inaccessible spots, so there were still good photos to be had… What follows is my (somewhat humble) take from this year’s trip.


All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 40D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS/USM.

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This work is copyright 2020 by Nathan D. Holmes, but all text and images are licensed and reusable under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Basically you’re welcome to use any of this as long as it’s not for commercial purposes, you credit me as the source, and you share any derivative works under the same license. I’d encourage others to consider similar licenses for their works.