The Town

Located a short 26 miles down the Animas Valley from Durango Mountain Resort, Durango is a lively mixture of a ski, college, river and tourist town. While Durango’s culture is heavily influenced by skiing, it also draws flavors from a clash of Southwest subcultures that make it stand out amongst its neighbors. A long list of things to do and sights to see leave visitors wishing they had more time to spend in the valley. And with accommodations ranging from upscale to bare bones, Durango is a destination suited for nearly any budget.

The closest ski hill is Durango Mountain Resort. While its size and terrain don’t stack up to big competitors like Vail and Snowmass, Telluride Mountain Resort is approximately a two-hour drive north. With this in mind, Durango is best suited not only for skiers, but also for budget travelers pursuing culture and other outdoor recreation.

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Why Durango Colorado is Different

Durango ColoradoSandwiched between the famed Moab Desert and the San Juan Mountain range, Durango’s atmosphere is different than most Colorado ski towns – a working-class town with a richly embraced Southwest heritage. The town features five craft breweries, historic railroad attractions, Native American museums and Fort Lewis College which brings energy to the town’s relaxed bar scene. The list of year-round off-hill activities is endless. If you are looking to pack as much adventure as possible into one day, then you’re in luck. The unique geography yields the chance to ski, mountain bike and cool off in the Animas River that runs through downtown, all before happy hour.

Nearest Ski Mountain

Durango Colorado

Durango Mountain Resort
With its wealth of intermediate skiing, strong children’s ski school and affordable pricing, it’s earned its standing as a friendly bring-the-kids and learn-to-ski mountain.

Durango Mountain Resort (where the chairlift-operated runs are still referred to as Purgatory by locals), with its wealth of intermediate skiing, strong children’s ski school and affordable pricing, has well earned its standing as a warm and friendly bring-the-kids and learn-to-ski mountain. – See more at: http://getoutskiing.com/colorado/ski-resorts/durango/#on-the-mountain
Durango Mountain Resort (where the chairlift-operated runs are still referred to as Purgatory by locals), with its wealth of intermediate skiing, strong children’s ski school and affordable pricing, has well earned its standing as a warm and friendly bring-the-kids and learn-to-ski mountain. – See more at: http://getoutskiing.com/colorado/ski-resorts/durango/#on-the-mountain

BEST ADVICE NIGHTLIFE AND EVENTS RESTAURANTS

Lodging

Housing a variety of lodging options you can find great deals, upscale resort style accommodations, cabins or just a place to crash for the evening. Use the “Durango’s Best Lodging Ski Deals” box above and right to find Durango’s best Lodging choices and deals.

OFF MOUNTAIN ACTIVITIES POPULAR EVENTS GETTING THERE

By Patrick Shehan

Best Advice

There’s always something going on in Durango, so it’s wise to visit the Durango Events calendar before arriving. Bring or rent a car that performs well in snow and budget travel times between activity destinations accordingly as Durango is very spread-out compared to other ski towns. Look into lodging reviews before booking, as some hotels in Durango can be run down and feature poor accommodations.

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Restaurants

Locally owned pizza and rib restaurant, J. Bo’s Pizza & Rib Co.s, has a menu of delicious, affordable offerings. It’s also a great place to grab a drink or catch a broadcasted sports game.

Steamworks is craft brewery that also takes home the local acclaim for best food. It’s a great place to get a burger, steak or salad.

Zia Taqueria is a casual Chipotle style Mexican restaurant that uses locally sourced all natural ingredients. Voted Durango’s Best Mexican Food in 2014.

Seasons – This American-style bistro’s extensive wine list, locally sourced ingredients and house recipes make it one of Durango’s best upscale dining options.

WHY DURANGO IS DIFFERENT NEAREST SKI MOUNTAIN THE SKI TOWN

Nightlife

Durango offers a lively, diverse, college infused nightlife scene featuring breweries, wine bars and music venues. Sample delicious Colorado craft beer at any of the town’s five breweries:
Ska Brewing
Steamworks
Carvers
Brew
Durango Brewing Company.

For live music, the Animas City Theater is known for booking known national acts giving visitors a chance to see big name bands in an intimate setting. The lavish The Office Spiritorium is perhaps Durango’s most unique bar. It’s old west atmosphere and lavish cocktails make it a great place to spend a memorable evening.

Durango ColoradoDurango Lodging

Use the “Durango’s Best Lodging Ski Deals” box above and right to find Durango’s best Lodging choices and deals. Or click on left photo.

Popular Events

Durango’s quirky week long winter celebration, SNOWDOWN, is a local favorite and community collaboration. The event takes over the town’s bars, restaurants, event spaces and even the streets. SNOWDOWN’s theme changes every year and many people plan and prep their costumes months in advance. There are events for all ages, even pets, such as costume contests, musical performances and parades.

Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and lasting through New Year’s Day, visitors are welcomed to HoliDazzle, one of Colorado’s largest holiday celebrations. Downtown shops light up their window displays and offer exciting giveaways. Kids will love “Singing with Santa” and the annual tree lighting ceremony.

Durango ColoradoOff Mountain Activities

In Durango they are exciting and endless! For Cross Country Skiing and Fat Biking – the winter version of mountain biking – across from Durango Mountain Resort is the Durango Nordic Ski Club, which offers both sports over 20 kilometers of trails with epic views of the rugged Needle range.

Guided Snowshoe Tours are offered at Durango Mountain Resort as well, on and around the mountain.

For Ice Climbing/Mountaineering, San Juan Mountain Guides offers guiding services and gear rentals. The San Juan mountain range is acclaimed to have some of the best  ice climbing in the world, with the world famous Ouray Ice Park 70 miles away and Cascade Cannon just minutes from Durango Mountain Resort.

For historic Sightseeing and a truly magical experience, ride the coal burning Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through the beautiful Animas Valley on a  snowy winter day. The rail yard also features a museum and educational tours.

Driving Directions

By Patrick Shehan

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