Durango tends to locomote differently than the rest of the world. It’s a haven for world-class athletes in cycling, climbing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, and running for a reason. The terrain and access to backcountry are virtually limitless. The vistas inspire you to want to go to the limit, or just relax and appreciate the possibilities.
Only here can a morning on gold medal trout waters be followed by a historic trip on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad, a kayak ride down world-class river course, a hike through the ruins of Mesa Verde National Park, and fine-dining in a five-star restaurant.
Purgatory Resort is bordered by a million acres of national forest on one side. When you’re done skiing, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, fishing, four-wheeling, and snowmobiling on that side, try the millions of acres bordering the other side. Be the first to run out of things to do and places to explore.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Purgatory has been hosting skiers and boarders for more than 50 years and is home to legendary terraced terrain that can’t be found anywhere else. A paradise for all levels of winter enthusiasts, intermediates thrive on the resort’s more than 50 percent blue and groomed trails. But everyone from beginners to experts will enjoy the more than 260 inches of average powder that falls on the resort each year. See www.PurgatoryResort.com fo
Purgatory is also home to the largest snowcat, backcountry operation in the lower 48 states, with 35,000 acres of backcountry access for skiers and snowboarders. San Juan Untracked and their experienced guides will show you the best powder stashes, bowl and tree routes. See www.SanJuanSki.com for more information.
Durango has long been home to some of the best mountain biking in the country. Durango has hosted the World Cup of Mountain Biking and the NORBA (National Off Road Bike Association) Finals. The arid desert landscape, combined with pine forests and mountainous terrain cater to all levels, skills and interests for mountain bikers. And with plenty of mountain bike shops in town you’re never too far away from a quick fix should you pop a tire or need a new chain. Trails range in ability from the Animas River Trail for families, beginner trails at Purgatory Mountain, intermediate trails at the Horse Gulch Area and the popular Hermosa Creek Trail a 20 mile expert trail running from Purgatory Resort to town.
World-class anglers dream about living near gold medal rivers just like the ones accessible to the Durango Area. Between the Animas and San Juan Rivers, both with Gold Medal sections, Colorado Trout are abundant and easy to catch if you take a guide from one of the area’s numerous professional Fly Fishing companies. Durango is even home to a member of the elite US Fly Fishing Team!
River enthusiasts from around the world convene in Durango each summer to spend their days on the mighty Animas River. With Class IV sections on the upper Animas, and more family friendly Class III rapids on the lower portion through town, the Animas River attracts kayakers, rafters, professionals and weekend warriors. Durango is home to 8 rafting companies offering daily trips during the summer as well as overnight excursions.
Rock climbing routes line the craggy mountains in the San Juan range enticing all levels of climbers to chalk up and hit the wall. Just as abundant as the rock climbing routes are the Ice Climbing thrills in the winter. Just up the road from Purgatory Resort in the town of Ouray, is the World Ice Climbing Festival each January where the best of the best test their skills on one of the largest ice climbing slabs in North America. Local companies farm ice climbing routes throughout the San Juan Mountains with some of the best training courses within minutes of Purgatory Resort in Cascade Canyon.
Ask any local what their favorite summer activity is and you’ll hear the same response over and over again- tubing down the Animas River. You don’t need any fancy equipment (just a good sturdy tube), you don’t need any special skills; you just need a sense of adventure, a swimming suit and a lot of sunscreen. During the hottest months of the summer the Animas is lined with little black tubes as friends lazily pass the day by floating down 4 miles of river.
Community sports leagues
The best way to meet your new Durango neighbors and have a great time enjoying this area’s fabulous weather is with Recreation Sports Leagues. Run through the Durango Recreation Center leagues run the gamut from softball and soccer to kickball and floor hockey. Games are played on weeknight evenings, leaving you plenty of time to play with your children during the day and enjoy your weekend excursions.
Durango is home to numerous community tennis courts that are free to the public all summer long. Bring your friends and family along for a friendly match, or join the Durango Community Tennis Association for lessons, matches and tournaments. Find more information online at www.durangotennis.com.
Outdoor recreation and an active lifestyle are important in La Plata County, Colorado. See the benefits of living, working, and playing in La Plata County.