Top Things To Do In Durango Colorado – Located in southwestern Colorado, Durango is one of the state’s largest mountain towns with plenty to do and see. Home to historic railroads, mountain views, hot springs, ski resorts, and unique history, there is plenty to do in Durango.
Plus, with an average elevation of 6,500 feet, the weather here is milder than most Colorado mountain towns. Exploring Durango was easy, no matter the time of year!
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No matter the time of year, Durango is open to whatever adventure you’re looking for. From scenic drives and downtown tours to trains and hot springs, there is no shortage of year-round activities in Durango.
Things To Do In Durango When You’re On Vacation: Part 1
The San Juan Skyway is a beautiful 233 mile loop that crosses most of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. Taking around seven hours to drive the entire city, this is a great adventure that can easily be extended by stopping at any number of impressive and historic sites along the way. .
For visitors hoping to experience just part of the San Juan Skyway, consider traveling from Durango to Ouray via Silverton. The Silverton to Ouray section is known as the Million Dollar Highway, thanks to the beautiful scenery, high construction costs, and reputation as one of the most difficult drives in Colorado due to the lack of guardrails and many steep drops. Regardless, it’s a beautiful stretch of road, and the views from the top of Red Mountain Pass at 11,075 feet make the weary drive worth it.
No trip to Durango would be complete without walking through the city’s famous historic district, home to 86 historic buildings. With shops, restaurants, galleries and museums, it’s impossible to get bored while in downtown Durango. A great way to visit the historic city center is to visit some of the boutique hotels in the area.
Another option to spend time in downtown Durango is visiting a local brewery. For example, Steamworks Brewing Company is a fun local brewery that offers a full food menu in addition to their local beer list including nachos, sandwiches, burgers, and pizza. Also, Steamworks has fifteen home brews, so visitors should be sure to try some during their visit.
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Offered year-round, riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of the best and most unique ways to see the beautiful San Juan Mountains. With a wide range of train types from luxury to budget friendly, every type of traveler can find a seat to suit their budget. President Class has a private outside area and unlimited drinks, while Standard Class is more like an airline coach seat.
Consider booking one of the various train packagesto enhance the experience. For example, hotel packages include a train ride and a stay at the famous Grand Imperial Hotel in downtown Silverton. While various adventure passes add some adrenaline to the train ride and ziplining, snowmobiling and horseback riding are available.
In addition to the famous train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad also offers a free museum in Durango. Open to the public year-round, it’s a great stop for train enthusiasts looking to learn more about the amazing history of the Durango-Silverton line.
Although it includes steam engines and a variety of railroad cars, the museum is a great way to learn about Colorado’s rich railroad history. Kids are sure to love the eight hundred square foot model train featuring the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.
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Located just eight miles north of downtown Durango, Durango Hot Spring Resort is one of the best hot spring resorts in Colorado. With 26 pools and special hot spring baths, a visit to the resort is sure to be memorable and relaxing. Open daily, visitors to Durango should be sure to add this hot spot to their travel itinerary.
In addition to a luxurious pool and geothermally heated mineral water-filled tub, Durango Hot Springs Resort also offers a full-service massage program. With ten different massages to choose from including deep tissue and Swedish massages, guests are sure to find the perfect relaxing massage to suit their needs.
Mesa Verde National Park is about 35 miles from Durango, famous for its ancient rock formations. With 600 rock dwellings built approximately 1,400 years ago, Mesa Verde National Park is the best place to learn about the rich history of the American Indian while experiencing beautiful western scenery. -Southern Colorado.
Visitors should be sure to check out the Mesa Top Loop Road, a six-mile hike with intermittent trails that lead to a dozen archaeological sites including cliff dwellings. Another fun option is the Cliff Palace Loop Road. And as the name suggests, this route offers beautiful views of the famous Cliff Palace, which is one of the largest rocks in the park. In addition, the park has many hikes, including the Spruce Canyon Trail, a popular wildlife trail in the area.
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Sky Ute Casino is a large full service casino located in Ignacio, a small town southeast of Durango. Offering sports gambling, slots, table games, and even BINGO, Sky Ute Casino has a wide range of games that are sure to please every guest. In addition, children will enjoy bowling, arcade, mini golf, swimming pool and playground on site.
With rooms, suites, and even RV parking spaces, Sky Ute Casino has accommodations for every guest. There are also four restaurants on site, from an authentic steakhouse called Seven Rivers to the Shining Mountain quick service restaurant, which offers pizza, nachos, and other fast food.
Perfect for rainy days or fun family nights, the Conundrum Escape Room is one of the best ways to spend a day or night in Durango. Guests can book a private escape room, or large groups can play in rooms that fit six to eight people. With changing themed escape rooms to keep the challenges fresh, Conundrum Escape Room is a great intellectual challenge that’s fun for the whole family.
From hiking and biking to activities that energize and slow you down, Durango has tons of summer activities for everyone to enjoy!
Things To Do In Durango With Kids
With a city as close to the mountains as Durango, it’s no surprise that great hiking is nearby. From short day hikes outside city limits to multi-day hikes throughout the National Forests and Wilderness Areas, visitors are sure to find a great trail to suit all abilities and preferences.
One of the most popular nearby trails is the Animas Mountain Trail, a six-mile loop trail that begins and ends in Durango. With an elevation gain of 1,519 feet, this is a moderately easy trail, and the views atop the Animas City mountains are well worth the six-mile trek.
For a more adventurous trip, consider traveling part of the famous Colorado Trail. A section of the Colorado Trail is 486 miles long in Durango, it is easy to travel on a short section of the trail. For example, a trip to Gudy’s Rest, which is a roughly nine-mile hike with 1,300 feet of elevation gain, is a great way to get a feel for the Colorado Trail while staying close to Durango.
One of the most popular summer hikes near Durango is the trip to the Chicago Basin. This alpine area is home to three of Colorado’s 14ers and many alpine lakes and wildflowers. Popular with hikers and backpackers, this destination can be reached by hiking the seven miles to the trailhead via the Purgatory Trail, or by taking the train to road junction.
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Zipping near Durango in the spectacular San Juan Mountains is a family way to see beautiful scenery while trying something new and adventurous. Durango Adventures, located just outside of downtown Durango, offers zipline tours in the nearby area. Go above the trees with the mountains at your back with two zipline package options, one with six lines and one with 12 lines.
Accessible only by the famous Durango-Silverton rail line, Soaring Colorado’s Soaring Zipline Tour is the longest zipline tour in the United States. Fly through the air, surrounded by the San Juan National Forest on all sides, for the thrill of a lifetime. This package offers 27 ziplines in five and a half hours, and includes a four-course lunch on a platform suspended above the trees. For those hoping to combine a trip on the Durango-Silverton line with great ziplining, look no further than Soaring Colorado.
With rapids ranging from easy Class I to intense and excruciating Class V, visitors of all skill levels are sure to enjoy rafting the beautiful Animas River. Mild to Wild, a rafting company out of Durango, offers single and multi-day trips to the Upper and Lower Animas. Beginners should consider the Lower Animas River, where the gradients are still low and still provide a fun experience.
Intermediate and advanced chevrons should be sure to reserve an adventure in Upper Animas, where Class IV and V rapids are not uncommon. It can be considered the most difficult commercially run sector out there
Things To Do In Durango This Summer
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