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Situated southwest of beautiful Durango in La Plata County Colorado


Near the New Mexico border

Summers in Durango are amazing. The worst part about them is trying to decide between all the different fun things to do!

If you're an outdoorsy person, you won't be disappointed. Or perhaps you'd like to take a jeep tour high in the San Juan Mountains among expansive fields of wildflowers and breathtaking scenery. The Durango area has great fishing and hunting for those so inclined, and excellent rock climbing as well. Hiking and mountain biking opportunities are literally unlimited, and summertime camping is great, too.

A classic (perhaps THE classic) summertime activity is a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. See the beauty of the majestic San Juan Mountains from the comfort of a restored steam train coach from Durango to Silverton.

Other popular summer activities include playing golf, having a laughter-filled evening at the melodrama or dancing to some live music, taking an aerial tour via glider or helicopter, shopping at our wonderful downtown stores and galleries, or soaking in the hot springs after a long day of playing.

Skiing in DurangoDurango winters are generally sunny, mild, and full of great things to do. The most popular winter activities here all have to do with snow. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are excellent at Durango Mountain Resort (Purgatory) and Wolf Creek Ski Area, as well as at several smaller areas such as Ski Hesperus and Kendall Mountain. We even offer snowcat skiing and boarding for the truly adventurous!

For those who eschew ski lifts, opportunities for cross-country skiing are abundant here as well. Groomed trails exist right in town at the Hillcrest Golf Course (depending on snow conditions), across from Purgatory at The Nordic Center, and a number of other areas near Durango. Backcountry skiers and telemarkers will find plenty of powder in the mountains, too.

A classic winter activity that can't be missed is riding the Cascade Canyon Winter Train on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. See the splendor of the snow-covered San Juans from the comfort of a heated steam train coach!

Looking for a relaxing, romantic winter activity? Try taking a sleigh ride with one of our local outfitters. Many of these companies provide exciting snowmobile tours and rentals, also. Don't forget about ice skating, which is a great family activity that can be done in town at Chapman Hill rink.

Durangoans love to have a good time, and in winter it seems that folks get even crazier than usual. Snowdown is a Durango tradition -- five days in January of entertainment, costumes, bizarre events (try the spam carving contest or the bedraces) and plain old smalltown fun.

With good highways and an airport served several times a day by United and America West airlines, getting to Durango is easy. If you choose to fly, you'll need to come through Denver, Phoenix or Albuquerque except during the winter, when there are direct flights from Dallas on American Airlines. The airport is about 10 minutes from town, and many of our hotels offer a pickup/dropoff service. When you make your hotel reservations, be sure to inquire about this.

Driving from Denver is gorgeous in good weather and treacherous during bad weather. With good driving conditions it takes about 6 hours. The drive from Albuquerque is about 3.5 hours, although it's fun to take your time and stop in Santa Fe on the way. Greyhound Bus Service also serves Durango.

Getting around town is easy. Everything downtown is very walkable, and a trolley runs between downtown and the hotels/motels on the north end of town every half hour or so. If you want to see the surrounding area, though, a rental car is a necessity. Several companies rent cars at the airport and in town.

The Durango area offers some of the finest fishing and hunting anywhere! From northern pike to salmon, brook trout to german browns, they're all here for the catching in our beautiful and scenic rivers, streams and lakes. Discover the joy of reeling in a 12 to 16 lb. cutthroat or rainbow or just relaxing next to one of our many nearby reservoirs and lakes. Durango is known as "dry-fly heaven" for all the fly fishing enthusiasts out there as well.

Take a scenic glider or helicopter flight above the majestic Animas Valley cliffs, the San Juan Mountains or the canyons of the Four Corners with: Durango, La Plata County, and the Four Corners Area are some of the only communities that can boast they have a helicopter available to them.

The San Juan Mountains are host to a high concentration of hot springs due to ancient volcanic activity in the area. Some springs are commercially developed, while others are way off the beaten path, requiring a difficult hike to reach them. Many of the springs were previously used by the Ute people and are reported to have healing qualities.

Near Durango, be sure to check out Trimble Hot Springs. They offer four pools and a variety of spa treatments. The big pool is about 86 degrees, the next pool over is about 102 degrees and the next about 106 degrees. The fourth pool, the most recent addition, is only for those getting spa treatments (it's about 105 degrees).

The town of Pagosa Springs offers a huge public pool, and many private springs run by area hotels. A fairly arduous 10-mile hike (round-trip) starts near Pagosa and leads up to Rainbow Hot Springs in the Weminuche Wilderness. Rainbow is undeveloped and despite the long hike, often busy. The town of Ouray also boasts a nice public pool, and a variety of private options.

Our area is a haven for climbers. We have a wonderful indoor climbing gym, Animas City Rock, which gives classes, guided trips, and of course indoor rock climbing. At Fort Lewis College there is also a climbing wall available. For bouldering and top-roping, popular areas include Turtle Lake (off Falls Creek Road near the intersection with Junction Creek Road), and X-Rock (just north of town on the left side of U.S. Highway 550). The La Platas and San Juans provide ample opportunity for bigger climbs.

Mountain Biker on the Colorado TrailDurango is known as a mountain bike mecca, and Durango Mountain Resort lends over 50 miles of lift-accessed trails, everything from gentle cruisers to screaming downhill. You can still ride the course used in the first-ever Mountain Bike World Championships, held here in 1990. Durango World Cup, the world class mountain bike competition, returns in 2001, with a UCI triple event to be held July 13-15. The cross-country races will be held in town, while the dual slalom and downhill courses will be located on the mountain. According to officials, the race could draw as many as 25,000 spectators and competitors. Other World Cup venues for 2001 include Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, France, Japan, Austria and Canada.

For more detailed descriptions of various trails around the Durango area, we recommend this pocket-sized book by local author John Peel. You can order it through us online below.

Durango Area Mountain Bike Trails

The Ridge - This mountain bike ride is a 5.2 mile loop. The ride is strenuous, has steep climbs, and fabulous views of town.

Directions: From town go to the intersection of 8th Avenue and 3rd Street. Go east along 3rd Street (Horse Gulch Road) and follow the trail up to the ridge that overlooks Fort Lewis College Campus.

Chapman Hill Loop - This is a challenging 2.2 mile ride up the vertical terrain of Chapman Hill. It has easy access from town and a fun downhill with switchbacks. This trail combined with Horse Gulch composes the race course for the Iron Horse Classic.

Directions: From Main Avenue: go east on 15th Street and go northeast on 3rd Avenue (which turns into Florida Road). Follow this road 0.5 miles to the Chapman Hill parking lot.

Smelter Mountain - The Smelter Mountain ride has some strenuous parts, but is, for the most part, a moderate 8.2 mile (round trip) ride. This ride is great for an early season workout and is surrounded by Division of Wildlife land. Beware of cars -- this trail also has off-roading access.

Directions: From town: Go 1.2 miles on Camino Del Rio (U.S. Highways 550/160). Turn right at the first traffic light after the Animas River (this right is past Gateway Park). Take a right on County Road 211 and park.

Log Chutes - This trail is a great workout. It is moderate, but the downhill is somewhat treacherous. This loop has great close to town access.

Directions: From Main Avenue: Go west on 25th Street (becomes Junction Creek Road, and later, County Road 204). After 3.4 miles, cross a cattle guard, and 2.2 miles from there is the parking lot on the right side of the road.

Animas City Mountain - This ride is great for mountain bikers interested in a great workout as well as a spectacular view of Durango and the beautiful surrounding area. This mountain bike trail is a strenuous 5.9 mile singletrack loop. Animas City Mountain mountain bike trail is closed from Dec. 1 - April 15.

Directions: From Main Avenue: Go west and up 32nd Street. Turn right on West 4th Avenue to a dead-end and parking lot.

Dry Fork Loop - Dry Fork is a moderate, 9.2 mile loop with a long, but still moderate climb. The downhill section is very fun.

Directions: Go 3.4 miles west on U.S. Highway 160. Turn right on Lightner Creek Road (County Road 207). After 1.1 miles turn right (north) on Dry Fork Road. The road veers to the right after 2 miles. Stay on this road for another 0.9 miles and turn left into small parking lot.

Colorado Trail - Hoffheims Connection - This trail is a 17.6 mile loop which is sometimes busy, especially on the weekends. This hard ride offers stunning views of Junction Creek Valley. Be cautious of horses and hikers.

Directions: Begin from West 2nd Avenue and 25th Street. From Main Avenue, turn West on 25th to 2nd Avenue, park and begin your ride up 25th which meets up with the Colorado Trail.

Kennebec Pass - This loop is a nice day ride, but if it is cold, it can be nasty. From town, it is a 49.2 mile loop. On this trip, you will see beautiful views of wilderness and wild flowers.

Directions: Begin from Camino Del Rio and U.S. Highway 160, end at West 2nd Avenue and 25th Street, park and begin your ride up 25th.

Eagle Pass - Only 9 miles, this trail is very strenuous, as it is on a steep 4-WD trail. It is a great trail for training and you get to see all the pretty wildflowers in the fields.

Directions: At Camino Del Rio and U.S. Highway 160, go west about 10 miles on 160 to County Road 124 (La Plata Canyon Road). Take CR 124 North 9.2 miles to Lewis Creek and Eagle Pass Rd. Turn off the road and park.