Southwest Colorado has a culture and essence all its own. From the snow-capped San Juan Mountains to the low-lying plains, from desertscapes to a bustling downtown scene, this special place in the Four Corners region truly has it all. Durango, as the largest town in La Plata County, is the region’s hub, offering world-class dining, skiing, a vibrant arts community, and outdoor recreation. There are endless ways to enjoy Durango, Colorado; whether you’re into fly-fishing or alpine skiing, gourmet dining or hot springs, here are just 10 unique ways to enjoy the winter season in Durango, Colorado. Presented by Visit Durango.
1. See Colorado’s Wild Country on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Unmatched scenery and adventure awaits you on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train route was built in the early 1880s to transport passengers and mining ore between the towns of Durango and Silverton. It’s estimated that more than $300 million in precious metals was transported along these tracks. Today, passengers can enjoy the wild San Juan mountain landscape and wildlife from the comfort of their 1880s era train. For more information, visit durangotrain.com.
2. Cross Country Skiing at the Durango Nordic Center at Purgatory
If you enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, or exploring the mountains in wintertime, Nordic skiing is the sport for you. The Durango Nordic Center at Purgatory offers rentals, clinics, and 20 kilometers of groomed terrain for classic or skate skiing. For more information, visit durangonordic.org.
3. Ski and Snowboard at Purgatory Resort
Purgatory Resort opens for the 2017/2018 season on November 18, 2017. Located 25 miles north of downtown Durango, this more than 1,600-acre resort offers terrain for the whole family on its 99 ski runs. For more information, visit purgatoryresort.com.
4. Hot Springs Soak at Trimble Hot Springs
There’s no better way to relax and wind down on vacation than at a peaceful hot springs. You should definitely bring the kids, but make sure to carve out some time for yourself at the Trimble Spa with a massage. For more information, visit trimblehotsprings.wordpress.com.
5. Enjoy World-Class Dining Experiences
Durango is home to a diverse array of world-class restaurants. From classic bistros to saloons reminiscent of Old West, restaurants featuring international cuisines to local brew pubs, the Durango food scene truly has something for everyone. For more information, visit durango.com.
6. Shopping in Downtown Durango
From jewelry to art, unique clothing to treasures from Southwest Colorado, Main Avenue in Durango is the perfect place to spend an afternoon leisurely perusing the many vendors and shops. Stop in the Silk Sparrow for fashion forward women’s clothing or head to the Backcountry Experience to gear up for your next outdoor adventure. For more information, visit durango.org.
7. Live Music Performances in Downtown Durango
Holiday events, community gatherings, and professional bands all love to play in Durango, Colorado. Be sure to check the events calendar for a live show when you’re in town. For more information, visit durango.org.
8. Experience Ancient Puebloan Culture at Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is home to more than 5,000 known archeological sites left behind by the Ancient Puebloans who occupied the area between AD 600 and AD 1300. Today, visitors can hike through these ancient dwellings and learn about the lost civilization. Though guided ranger tours don’t run during the winter season, visitors can still enjoy the parks’ hikes and scenery. For more information, visit nps.gov.
9. Fly Fishing in the Four Corners region
Trophy-sized fish await the hardy angler any time of year in the area surrounding Durango. From high mountain streams to high country lakes, the tailwaters of the San Juan River to the wide Animas River, there’s endless opportunities for catching famed Colorado trout in the Four Corners region. For more information or to reserve a guided trip, visit duranglers.com.
10. Discover Local Artists and Art Galleries
Durango has become a hub for fine art in Colorado and the Southwest region of the United States. At Durango’s local galleries, you’ll find work by local artists, mixed media, painting, photography, and more. Regular art walks, gallery shows, and individual exhibits occur in this vibrant arts community. For more information, visit durango.org.