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When in Colorado, Durango is a deal that cannot be missed. If you are a tourist, know all the things to do there to make your vacation unforgettable. Several activities here can provide you with wonderful experiences to take home.
Southwest area offers a wide range of accommodations and entertainment options, catering to even the most discriminating tastes. It will prove to be the perfect location for your upcoming family vacation, business trip, or group event.
To help you navigate and get the best out of the place, we have compiled a list of the top 12 things to do in Durango, Colorado.
12 Amazing Things to Do in Durango Co.
Durango is one of the top destinations in Colorado for travelers of all types, thanks to its outdoor activities, adventure, and cultural attractions.
Many visitors come to the region, but for those who just want a quiet escape, the historic downtown, which has many buildings that date back to the late 1800s, offers fantastic dining, shopping, and lodging.
There are several outdoor pursuits and sightseeing options in Durango. Take a leisurely ride through the canyons of southwest Colorado’s San Juan National Forest on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, or visit one of the region’s outdoor recreation areas and take advantage of miles of top-notch skiing, hiking, and mountain bike trails.
1. Explore Durango as a Hiking Paradise
Durango, a mountain town, is your nirvana if you’re a wanderer at heart who drools at the prospect of adventure. The San Juan Mountains, Animas River, and Red Rock may all be seen from the Animas Mountain Trail.
Fall Creek Loop, a small route in the San Juan Mountains, is a good choice for novice hikers.
You can see Lime Creek and Animas River from the purgatory trails. Don’t let the name change your mind. You will find purgatory trails ideal if you are a beginner. You may also explore the Hermosa Creek Trail, Perins Peak, Animas River Trail, Spud Lake Trail, and the Smelter Mountain Trail.
1.1. Hike along the Colorado Trail
From Denver to Durango, the Colorado Trail traverses the Rocky Mountains for just under 500 miles. It is mostly a trail for mountain biking, running, and other non-motorized activities. This trail is popular among day hikers and mountain bikers from Durango.
The trail ascends 600 feet over 1.3 miles to reach Gudy’s Rest, a well-known overlook, after beginning at Junction Creek and following the stream for nearly 2.5 miles to a footbridge.
It’s best to go back to the bridge if all you want to do is take a stroll. Continue until Gudy’s Rest, and then head back if you want to do a longer trip and feel up to the ascent.
2. Eat to Your Heart’s Content
What is the point of traveling if you are unfamiliar with the local cuisine? When Deborah, the face behind Taste & tell, went to Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, she admitted she wasn’t hungry.
She did, however, finish her entire meal. That says a lot about the power of food. Bagels and sweet and savory crepes are also available in Durango. And if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be delighted by the tonne of pizza options to choose from.
3. Get Ready for Dog-Sledding
Durango Dog Ranch offers a one-of-a-kind dog sledding experience. This is not only entertaining, but it is also ideal for family vacations. It would be wonderful to get onto your sled as you glide across the snow-covered San Juan mountain range; an eight-dog team will pull you by.
One of the finest things to do in Durango Co. appears to be this. Tourists may choose their favorite locations and the pricing accordingly for an hour of dog-sledding.
4. Don’t Forget the Hot Springs
Durango Hot Springs will be your perfect companion after you return from hiking. There are good accommodation options, a spa, and geothermal springs. Pinkerton Hot Springs –every photographer’s dream gets its unique color from water minerals.
The Pinkerton Hot Springs is a well-liked local attraction for people in need of some relief for their tired bones and muscles.
Numerous hot springs exist in the region, but Pinkerton has one of the most interesting histories because it originally poured from the edge of a hill, endangering the road below.
The resort was established when the state chose to divert the water to artificial swimming pools, and it has continued to lure visitors ever since.
Mineral deposits that have built up in the water throughout time have produced ancient crimson deposits. Warm water is said to have certain medicinal qualities.
Although it lacks spa amenities, the views from the Ouray hot springs are breathtaking. They also have swimming pools and an on-site gym.
The Pagosa Springs are also close, offering both peaceful and exciting activities.
5. Have Fun on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
A tour on the Silverton Steam Train is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You will be treated to a glimpse of the San Juan mountain range and forest as the train passes through the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
This is one of the greatest family-friendly activities to do in Durango, Colorado.
This train excursion will significantly exceed your expectations. This journey has all the elements of a romance tale, with vintage carriages being carried by an actual coal-fired steam engine through a breathtakingly small mountain gorge.
As you travel from Durango to the former mining town of Silverton, the mountains rising above you grow more imposing. For much of the journey, the railway travels beside the Animas River.
The 45-mile trip to Silverton is made by railway during the summer. The summer journey can be completed as a nine-hour, two-way train ride with a few hours to explore Silverton or as a shorter day trip by taking the train in one direction and a bus return.
The train runs all year round. However, it does not travel to Silverton during the winter. Instead, the railway makes a stop 26 miles from Durango, Cascade Canyon, allowing passengers to depart before the main avalanche zones. This trek lasts roughly five hours one way, including 45 minutes to view the canyon.
There are a variety of coach types and classes available on the railway.
Unbeatable views are offered by the open carriages with UV-protected glass paneled roofs! Glass windows are put in the winter to keep you warm.
6. Visit Animas Brewing Company
The Animas Brewing Company is a great place to try some local cuisine and drink. This will be a wonderful addition to outdoor activities that are both fun and relaxing.
The craft brews offered here are some of the finest, as this place is known to have won the best brewery award. This brewery has won the best brewery award and offers craft brews.
This hotel features an outside terrace where you can relax and enjoy your beverages while socializing with other guests.
For fans of locally made beer who find themselves in Colorado with a strong thirst, there is no lack of options. One of the most well-liked places to visit in Durango is Animas Brewing Company.
It’s on East 2nd Avenue and opens every day at 11 AM for lunchtime customers.
The employees at Animas are skilled at helping individuals who aren’t exactly up to speed on their craft brews, and the interior of the establishment is both comfortable and modern.
Their kitchen produces a variety of delicious culinary selections, ranging from traditional Irish dishes to burgers and snacks, and their beers come in a variety of flavors, colors, and alcohol levels.
7. Go Mountain Biking for a Thrill
It is hardly surprising that mountain biking is a common activity in Durango, given the town’s breathtaking surroundings. Numerous shooting trails may be found winding through the local mountains, valleys, and deserts, providing breathtaking scenery wherever you go.
Whether you are beginner-level or expert, Durango offers enough mountain ranges for biking opportunities. Tourists like you can rent bikes to explore the mountain ranges.
Some pathways are straightforward enough for cyclists to follow, while others are trickier and more technical, with steep descents, jumps, and Slickrock parts. Horse Gulch, which has fifty kilometers of trails to explore, and the farther-off desert boundaries of Cortez are the greatest locations for mountain biking.
Additionally, Engineer Mountain’s famous descent is close by, and the picturesque Colorado Trail begins just on the outskirts of town.
As one of the adventurous things to do in Durango Co., mountain biking is excellent for satisfying your wanderlust. Horse Gulch, Phil’s World, and Spirit Trail offer great mountain biking opportunities for beginners.
8. Be Lazy in Downtown Durango and Wander
If hiking and dog sledding sounds too much, you can take a walking tour around downtown Durango. One of the best things to do in Durango Co. is to laze around. Visiting the train museum gives you a glimpse into the town’s past.
Durango’s charming Historic Downtown neighborhood, centered on Main Avenue, makes up a large portion of the city’s center. Its streets are lined with cafes and restaurants, as well as some fine art galleries and distinctive boutiques, and it is full of attractive historic structures.
Although the majority of visitors come to Durango to enjoy the great outdoors, this historic area of the city is worth exploring because it has lovely architecture and a few interesting landmarks.
These include the General Palmer Hotel and the Strater Hotel, which were both built in the 1890s, not long after the town was established. Additionally, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot, one of its most popular tourist destinations, lies close.
Durango’s local market sells fresh vegetables, meat, poultry products, and baked goods. If your mood takes a turn for the creative, stop by the Durango Arts Center to see some amazing art exhibits.
9. Visit Honeyville to Submerge in Its Nectar-Filled Enjoyment
If you love shopping for unique products and want souvenirs back home for your loved ones, you can visit Honeyville. After its name, Honeyville does a fun twist by mixing honey with other food items.
In the picturesque city of Durango, Colorado, there is a third-generation beekeeping and honey-bottling family business called Honeyville. Kevin, Sheree, and Danny Culhane are the current owners.
This brand, started by Vernon Culhane in 1918, has a broad range of honey-flavored products like jams, jellies, syrups, and butter. They also sell honey-infused bath and shower products.
Like the substance, Honeyville’s history is thick, rich, and savory. The La Plata Mountains may be seen in the distance from some of the family beehives, which are still situated on the same meadows and mountain slopes where the bees can take pleasure in gathering the lovely nectar of the natural world.
They continue to supply their hives with the same high-quality honey they have been doing for more than 90 years, oblivious to the constantly changing environment around them.
10. Experience Fishing in Durango, Co
Durango has many sites that you can visit for fishing. Durango’s local people will include you in their group and help you become one of their fishing mates.
10.1. Fishing at the Pine River
The first 2.7 miles of the Pine River trail are inaccessible, but the river offers some of the best fly-fishings anywhere from the Wilderness boundary to the Continental Divide. Wild trout can be found in the wilderness.
They consist of cutthroats, browns, brookies, rainbows, and brookies. However, you require a permit to fish in the Pine River.
10.2. Fishing at Animas River
One of the most well-known outdoor leisure destinations in the Durango area is the Animas River, which is followed for more than seven miles along the Animas River Trail.
The trail meanders through untouched wilderness areas, where a variety of creatures and birds can be seen easily, especially in the low light of the morning and early evening.
Given that the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad runs next to the path, it’s also a well-liked location for train enthusiasts.
A few popular river activities that may be accessed from the trail include fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
11. Enjoy the Mesa Verde National Park Tour
The fame and history of Mesa Verde will never fail to amaze you. Mesa Verde got recognition as a national park in 1906. Cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde reflect the lives of Ancient Pueblo during the 1200s. Cliff dwellings were discovered during the 1880s. If you love historical sites, visiting Mesa Verde is your go-to.
The ancient town’s Ruins peaked between 800 and 1,000 years ago and reached their height here, which can be seen all around the mesa. These large cliff homes have multi-story complexes with ladders linking different floors and chambers. They were constructed beneath enormous overhanging rocks.
Visitors will find them to be surprisingly easy to reach. On a guided tour, you can walk right up to some of these homes. If you’re not interested in taking a tour, you may still see them from neighboring lookouts, which provide stunning views of the ruins.
You ascend nearly 2,000 feet throughout the site’s drive, reaching an elevation of more than 8,500 feet. You could take a driving excursion to several locations.
12. Participate in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
The Iron Horse Biking Classic is one of Durango’s most thrilling bicycle events. What began as a friendly bet between Tom and Jim Mayer has grown to draw cyclists from all over the country and the world to race against the Silverton train.
Even if you don’t win the race, you’ll get a beautiful view of the San Juan Mountains and bond with your fellow racers over the anticipation of crossing the finish line in Silverton.
Durango has always been a haven for sports enthusiasts, food lovers, and adventure seekers. With different activities to choose from, you will never have a dull moment here.