Durango, Colorado is a year-round, international tourism destination where people come to ride the world famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, visit nearby Mesa Verde National Park, and ski the slopes of Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. The train is a remnant of the time when Durango was a mining town where silver and gold flowed from the mines of the La Plata Mountains.
Durango is one of the most scenic towns in the United States and is a favorite vacation spot both in the winter and summer. The area abounds with mountain and high desert hiking areas, trout fishing and some of the best big game hunting in the United States. See some of our available packages below, or speak with a Durango Travel Expert for help in planning and booking your vacation today.
- Durango Mountain Resort Ski Packages
- Deep Discounts with Ski Durango Partners
- Girlfriend's Getaway Package
- Summer Train and Lodging Package
- Winter Train and Lodging Package
- View All Available Packages
- Group Packages
Durango Colorado History
From the 1910's to the 1930's Durango's economy focused primarily on agriculture, ranching, and logging with the beginnings of a tourist economy as travelers began to discover the area as a vacation destination. In the 1930's during the Great Depression, the Durango area suffered many of the same economic hardships facing the rest of the country.
Like many other parts of the country during World War II, the Durango area contributed to the war effort in the 1940's through agriculture, ranching, and some mining. The 1950's in Durango marked the beginning of another "boom cycle" as mining of uranium and oil exploration in the region increased. The Durango Smelter was refitted for processing of uranium ore, and there was a flurry of building in the community to house the smelter workers, and the workers who supported the burgeoning natural gas industry. During the "boom" of the 1950's, Fort Lewis College was moved from south of Hesperus where it had been a two year agricultural school to its present location. With its relocation, the college changed to a four-year, liberal arts curriculum.
In the 1960's Purgatory Ski Resort (Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort) was developed north of Durango. The presence of the ski resort and Fort Lewis College has added additional elements to the local economy and helped to develop the tourist economy of the area. From the 1970's to present, the area has gone through a series of economic ups and downs as Durango’s setting has continued to draw people for recreation and the healthy quality of life found in the Rocky Mountains.
Durango Lifestyle and Recreational Activities
Though Durango is a geographically, culturally, and economically diverse area, the one thread that ties its citizenry together is, without a doubt, quality of life.
Durango has also become one of the West's latest boomtowns, with an eclectic economic mix focused in agriculture, industry, and tourism. Combine them with the local population of students from Fort Lewis College and outdoors enthusiasts who come to enjoy Coloradoâ€™s high country adventures and you end up with a town which has a youthful, energetic buzz.
Durango holds a myriad of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, golf and horseback riding. Surrounded by the San Juan National Forest, recreational activities and wildlife are never far away. The Animas River winds through town allowing easy access to residents and visitors alike.
Although Durango has the charming feeling of a small town community, it is not at all void of culture and entertainment. Music abounds at annual festivals ranging from the internationally-renown classical series Music in the Mountains, to the grassroots Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. Live jazz, blues, swing, Celtic, country and rock - it all can be relished in Durango, Colorado.
Durango Quick Facts:
Elevation - 6,512 feet above sea level.
Climate Transition zone between desert and semi-arid. Daytime temps in the 70's and 80's, night time lows in the 40's. (summer)
Approximately 16,000 in Durango.
Approximately 64,000 in La Plata County.
National Forest - San Juan
Mountain Range - San Juan Mountains
Durango is located in the southwest corner of Colorado, nestled at the base of the famous San Juan Mountains. To the southwest are the metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas lie to the southeast.
Get a Taste of Durango
From locally roasted coffee beans and gourmet natural foods, to award-winning, micro-brewed beer and authentic Mexican pastries, great food is a given in Durango. Not a guest leaves the area without citing the amazing plethora of exciting dining establishments, with cuisine ranging from the progressive to the more traditional at restaurants that embrace the area's ranching tradition. Indeed, Durango’s agricultural heritage thrives today through local farmers' markets and the special "Taste of Durango," a community feast featuring delectable dishes from local dining establishments.