There’s plenty to do on the snow and on a budget. Here are some suggestions for things to do on and off the snow in Durango, Colorado.
Durango Mountain Resort
From 2 to 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the season, head over to the Snow Coaster Tubing Hill in the Columbine area at Durango Mountain Resort for three lanes of high-speed, on-the-snow, tubular fun for the whole family. Rent a tube from Purgatory’s fleet, which is only $5 per tube, per hour. Please note that personal tubes are not allowed. Go to Ticket Office at Durango Mountain Resort for tickets.
Purgatory Plunge Zipline at Durango Mountain Resort
While the Purgatory Plunge Zipline debuted last summer, it’s an entirely new experience this winter as “Plungers” zip over skiers hanging out on Purgatory Beach and Purgy’s patio. Thrill seekers soar for more than a football field at 35 mph, providing an après ski experience that is unique to most ski resorts as it is one of only a handful of ziplines open in the winter at a resort. The adventure starts from the Purgatory Village Tower, the tallest structure in the Durango area where you can race your friends or family members for an exciting thrill ride. The Purgatory Plunge is open year-round. During January, it’s open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm and is only $15 for one ride or 2 rides for $25. Go to Ticket Office at Durango Mountain Resort for tickets.
Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing
The Nordic Center at Durango Mountain Resort features 18 km of scenic forest trails, groomed for classic cross-country and skate skiing or snowshoeing. Enjoy the rustic atmosphere of the warming hut, complete with pot-bellied stove. Pack a picnic to enjoy on one of the tables along the trail with incredible scenic views. Located across Hwy. 550, just north of the resort entrance, the Nordic Center offers on-site equipment rentals of skis and snowshoes. Nordic Ski Trail fees are $14/day for adults and $6 for kids and seniors. Snowshoe trails fees are $6 adults and $4 for kids. 970-385-2114
…More On the Snow
Ski Hesperus is located 11 miles west of Durango and offers day and night skiing and snow tubing on lighted slopes. This ski area has 1 chair lift, 1 rope tow, a tubing/sledding hill, lessons and base lodge. Top: 8,880 feet. Snow tubing $8 per hour per tube. Junior (12 and under) all day lift ticket $24.00, night ticket $16.00, Sunday 1/2 day only - 12:30-4:30pm $16.00. 970-259-3711 or www.ski-hesperus.com.
Chapman Hill Ski Area greets 2012 with snowmaking for a consistent ski and boarding season. This in-town ski hill has one rope tow, ski and boarding lessons and nighttime skiing. A sledding hill is located to the north side of the ice arena. This hill has taught many a Durangatan how to ski! $8 youth/$10 adult lift tickets. Ice skate rental $3, rink admission $4 for youth. http://www.durangogov.org/chapman/index.cfm, 970-375-7396
Sledding you provide the sled and sledding is free at the Durango Dog Park, Buckley Park and if you want to add a short hike to the adventure try Overend Mountain Park.
Snowshoe, Cross Country Ski, Ice Fishing at Vallecito Lake a plethora of outdoor activities at a pristine high mountain lake. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skate-skiing. Take the Tour of Carvings and view carvings that commemorate the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire. We provide the perfect venue for the quintessential Colorado outdoor experience. Other places to explore: San Juan National Forest, Haviland Lake, Hillcrest Golf Course, Hassle Free Sports rents cross country skies and snowshoes for $20 a day.
Off the Slopes, but in the Snow
Sleigh Ride through Downtown Durango. San Juan Sky Outfitters takes you on a horse drawn sleigh ride through historic Downtown Durango. $25 for adults, $15 for kids. 970.247.4431, http://www.strater.com/index.cfm/sleigh-rides-in-durango/
Take a hike. Stroll the 7 mile paved Animas River Trail or hike in Overend Mountain Park, Horse Gulch, Durango Dog Park, Animas Mountain or a stretch of the Colorado Trail that starts at Junction Creek. www.trails2000.org
Gone Fishin’ Visit the oldest state-owned fish hatchery in Colorado and feed the fish or go fishing (in designated areas). 50 cents buys a couple hands full of fish food from the dispensers and you will enjoy swarms of fish in the pools. Take a self-guided tour of the hatchery and visitor center. (970)247-0855, The Durango Fish Hatchery, a cold water facility, raises rainbow, brown, Snake River cutthroat, and native cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon. Durango stocks approximately 150,000 catchable rainbows and 1.3 million subcatchable fish each year in the southwest corner of Colorado. http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ClinicsAndEducation/Hatcheries/Pages/Hatcheries.aspx
Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs
Soak and relax in naturally heated waters rich in minerals as they percolate through the well-heated volcanic fissures that rose up to the surface ages ago. Olympic pool for lap or leisure swimming. Daily pass $9.50 for children and $15 for adults. http://www.trimblehotsprings.com
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Local Appreciation! Ride the Cascade Canyon Train at a special local appreciation fare of $20* for adults and $15* for children under 12 and Premium-class (age 21 or over only) for just $45*. This offer runs November 27 - December 16, 2011 and January 5 - February 25, 2012. It is valid for Four Corners area residents only. ?Designated state/county/towns: ?COLORADO: Archuleta (Arboles, Chimney Rock, Pagosa Springs); Dolores (Rico, Dove Creek, Yellow Jacket); Mineral (Telluride); San Juan (Silverton) La Plata (Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, Hesperus, Red Mesa); Ouray (Ouray, Ridgway); Montezuma (Cortez, Mancos, Dolores).?UTAH: San Juan (Moab, Aneth, Monticello, Blanding, Montezuma Creek)?ARIZONA: Teec Nos Pos ?NEW MEXICO: San Juan (Farmington, Shiprock, Fruitland, Kirtland, Aztec, Bloomfield, Cedar Hill)
Take it inside
• Durango Independent Film Festival, www.durangofilm.org
• Bowling at Sky Ute Casino
• Swimming, water park, climbing wall at Durango Rec Center, http://www.durangogov.org/reccenter/index.cfm
• Stroll downtown and visit the shops in “Old Town Durango”
• Historical Walking Tour of Main Avenue & Third Avenue (map available in Visitor Center)
• Ride the Trolley--it’s free!
• Coworking to efficiently get your work done at DurangoSpace, www.durangospace.com,
Stop for bite
Free chili night at Ska Brewing, Thursday night, Chili Night at Ska! Complimentary chili, $3 pints and live music, http://www.skabrewing.com/main.html, 970-247-5792.
Burger Night: A Durango Tradition: Monday Night is Burger Night! For under $6 choose from our top restaurants to build your own burger. at The Palace, Olde Tymer's Cafe, Diamond Belle Saloon
Free Peanuts anytime at Steamworks Brewing, Friday night win a free keg of beer during Happy Hour.
Take in Some History
Durango Discovery Museum is Southwest Colorado's hands-on, interactive science center for all ages. Open year-round, the museum is a dynamic new place for family adventure, school field trips, early childhood learning, special events, “hanging around by the river, messing around with amazing technology, and just plain geeking out.”www.durangodiscovery.org, (970) 259-9234
Pay-What-You-Wish Day at the Powerhouse
Enjoy the Durango Discovery Museum for free, cheap, or whatever you wish to pay on the first Sunday of every month.
Powerhouse Family Day Pass
There's science fun for everyone at the Durango Discovery Museum. Locate our Be Local coupon to get the whole family into the Powerhouse for just $25.
The Animas Museum is owned and operated by the La Plata County Historical Society, whose directors and staff have transformed the 1904 Animas City School building into a charming local history museum. Our local history comes alive through this interpretive exhibit featuring historic photos and relics from the past. The Museum offers a variety of exhibits and programs for all ages, and is also home to our research library and photo archives. Our permanent exhibit reminiscent of school rooms across the country in the early part of the 20th Century. The permanent collection of pottery and weavings from the Four Corners region and beyond are always on display. http://www.animasmuseum.org/
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum captures the history of the area and its historic steam train. The 12,000 square foot museum houses an impressive variety of exhibits including an 800-square foot scale model railroad depicting the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad as it would operate in the 1950’s; a large library selection of railroad history books; exhibit cases with a large selection of railroad tool displays, photographs; paintings; lanterns, locks and keys; two steam locomotives and a 1916 American La France fire engine. http://www.durangotrain.com/
Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum Rich cultural heritage awaits visitors to the NEW Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum. Gain firsthand experience with Ute culture and tradition at the new 52,000-square-foot facility that celebrates the living history of Colorado’s longest continuous residents. Dynamic multi-sensory and interactive exhibitions along with rare artifact collections will be interwoven with texts, photographs, high-quality flat-screen DVD presentations and recorded oral histories – so that the story of the Southern Ute people will always be told and remembered. The museum is located in Ignacio, Colorado, headquarters for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, on Colorado Highway 172, 25 miles southeast of Durango. 970-563-9583 or www.southernutemuseum.org.
Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College offers a learning opportunity where people can experience the unique nature of the American Southwest through the understanding of its people and their dynamic relation to the landscape. It houses one of the largest collections of Native American Manuscripts. The Center facilities include an exhibit space, an archival repository, a special collections library, the Office of Community Services, classrooms, labs and offices for the College's Anthropology and Southwest Studies academic degree programs. http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu
Historic Downtown Durango shows off our lovingly preserved and thriving downtown. Durango was the winner of the 2007 Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and has accumulated numerous awards for its western heritage and spirit.
A bit of Arts and Culture
View the largest collection of art sculpture in Southwestern Colorado located on the grounds of Mercy Regional Medical Center. Extensive collection of art available for viewing in public areas, brochure available for self-guided tour. Labyrinth, http://www.mercydurango.org
Durango Art Center offers galleries and exhibits open to the public with no admission fee. Performances at the Panelli Theatre are $7 kids/$9 adults.
Free lectures at Fort Lewis College.
Durango Art Galleries—Home to more than 14 commercial galleries, Center of Southwest Studies and Art Gallery at Fort Lewis College, and two Durango Art Center Galleries. The public participates in the artistic spirit of the town when the Gallery Association hosts their quarterly Gallery Walks as galleries set aside special nights to welcome the public after hours. Locals and visitors enjoy good food and conversation as they stroll the streets and visit the galleries. Artists open their studios for tours during Artist Open Studio.
• Snowdown 2012, www.Snowdown.org
• Celtic Jam Sessions at the Irish Embassy every Sunday at Noon.
• Bluegrass Jam at Durango Brewery every Wednesday from 6 to 9 pm.
• Trivia Night at Ska Brewery, Every Tuesday, 6 - 8 pm.
• Tug-of-Weather, Durango’s version of Punks
• Immerse yourself in the world of craft brewing at Ska Brewery. Take a tour of the brew house as you go through the whole brewing process.
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. For more information, visit www.durango.org or call (970) 247-3500.