Nestled in southwestern Colorado’s Animas River Valley and surrounded by the rugged peaks of the San Juan Mountains, Durango offers unimpeded access to some of the best cultural, historic and outdoor attractions in the state. From outdoor pursuits in the surrounding high desert and mountains to Native American history and Old West heritage, Durango is Southwest Colorado’s premier four-season destination.
Purgatory Resort is located 25 miles north of Durango, along the San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway. Carved by glaciers thousands of years ago, Purgatory is a unique blend of steep tree skiing and wide-open cruisers with stunning views. Named a best value ski spot by TripAdvisor, Purgatory is one of Colorado’s most family friendly, affordable ski resorts. With few crowds, miles of varied terrain and breathtaking scenery, escape the traffic and crowded ski runs along the I-70 corridor to Southwest Colorado.
Introduced in 2018, Purgatory’s Power Kids Pass is available to all children ages 10 and under for unlimited skiing at Purgatory and Mountain Capital Partners (MCP) collective of ski and bike resorts, including Spider Mountain Bike Park in Texas. No purchase required or strings attached. Just the desire to make skiing and snowboarding more affordable for families, and grow overall participation in the sport. First time snowboarders and skiers over the age of 13 can also take advantage of a complimentary 4 hour group lesson with the purchase of one full-day, full-price lift ticket.
The new year-round Inferno Mountain Coaster is 4,000 feet in length with a 300 foot-vertical, and features nine switchbacks and one loop, giving guests another fun activity snow or shine. Or if your schedule permits and you book in advance, settle in for a winter Sleigh Ride from the base of Purgatory. The 45-minute tour through the falling snow can be so tranquil, especially after a few hard hours of skiing. Make a point to relax, get warm, and take plenty of pictures.
Take a “rest day” from skiing and visit downtown Durango’s National Historic District, overflowing with historic hotels, award-winning restaurants, art galleries and boutique shopping. Visit the Southern Ute Museum or the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College to gain an understanding of the ancient peoples of the region, and the importance of preserving these cultural resources. With over a dozen award-winning art galleries, museums and cultural attractions, including the Durango Arts Center, Durango & Silverton Railroad Museum, Animas Museum, Powerhouse Science Center, and the Durango Fish Hatchery & Wildlife Museum, you will be an expert on life in and around Durango!
Farm agritourism tours, craft breweries and local culinary products highlight a visit to Durango. With over 100 award-winning restaurants to choose from, families will delight in worldly flavors paired with Southwest Colorado’s abundant local resources. In downtown Durango, Fired Up Artisan Pizzeria cures any craving with its wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, salads and sandwiches. For craft beer lovers, grab a pint at Steamworks Brewing Company or Carver Brewing Co. Steamworks is known for its award-winning beer, delicious food and family friendly atmosphere, while Carver serves up some of the best breakfast and beer in town. To satisfy your fajita cravings, Durango also offers seriously delicious Mexican food. Try Macho’s and Zia Taqueria for quick-casual, or Gazpachos and Cantera for great cocktails and Hispanic food.
Durango is easily accessible by US Hwy 550 from the north and south, US Hwy 160 from the east and west, and direct flight service from Dallas-FW and Houston via Durango-La Plata County Airport. Visit Durango.org to learn more and follow @visitdurango on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.