As flurries begin to fall, Durango, Colorado bundles up for a spectacular season of snowy fun. From pulse-pumping adventure in the powder covering the scenic San Juan Mountains to cozy escapes from the cold the Colorado mountain town offers invigorating ways to enjoy the winter season. Family-friendly fun and exciting events ensure that snowbanks aren’t the only thing lining the streets of downtown, as locals and tourists alike enjoy the ultimate combination of natural splendor and contemporary entertainment. Durango, Colorado is the hot spot for winter fun!
Purgatory Resort
Locals and tourists take a short drive up the mountain to Purgatory Resort for winter recreation and family fun. Featuring a million dollars in recent renovations, celebrate the resort's opening day on November 19th and carve a fresh path through the powder on one of the resort's many runs, with trails for snow-bunnies and black-diamond daredevils alike. Recent expansions to the resort include an updated Legends Lift 8, an enhanced snowmaking system and a relocated Snow Coaster Tubing Hill. Kids, adults, aspiring skiers, snowboarders and snow bikers can take a class at Snowsports School with Purgatory's qualified pros. Purgatory Resort partners with Adaptive Ski Association of Durango to enrich the lives of individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities through snowsports instruction with adaptive equipment. After skiing, dine at one of the resort's restaurants on and off the mountain, shop at the high-end retailers in the Village, savor a soothing treatment at the Trimble Spa or spend the night in the resort’s charming and welcoming lodgings.
Nestled among the spectacular San Juan Mountains, Durango's stunning winter weather and unbeatable location make it the ultimate destination for snowsports. The area’s diverse offering of outdoor activities turns chills into thrills, featuring skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, fishing, sleigh rides and more. Cross-country skiing at Vallecito Lake and Hillcrest Golf Club offer a new way to enjoy the winter. Experience Durango's winter wonderland with a unique activity like ice climbing, snow tubing or dog sledding. For all the gear needed for an arctic adventure, visit one Durango's sensational ski shops, including the Ski Barn, Backcountry Experience, Pine Needle Mountaineering or Purgatory Resort’s downtown retail space, opening in the fall. For skiing, tubing and ice-skating just minutes from the heart of Downtown, hit the slopes or the rink at Chapman Hill. At the end of your day, fight the freeze with a soak at Trimble Natural Hot Springs.
Durango’s innovative culinary scene serves up the tastiest ways to savor the flavors of winter. An abundance of local restaurants, including Eolus Bar & Dining, Cyprus Café, Carver Brewing Co and Seasons Rotisserie and Grill, showcase menus constantly changing to reflect the best the season has to offer. Combat the cold with a cup of coffee from locally roasted beans at the Durango Coffee Company, 81301, Durango Joe’s or one of the town’s other charming coffee shops and cafes. Nothing stops the shivers like a locally crafted spirit or brew from one of town’s six breweries or two distilleries. Indulge in a decadent cup of hot cocoa at Animas Chocolate Company or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Step inside from the flurries and back in time at the Bookcase & Barber, a speakeasy cocktail bar and vintage barbershop.
Featuring the finest artisan products in the Four Corners, the Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival showcases local artisans with everything from holiday decorations to handmade jewelry. Every Monday morning, Maria’s Bookshop hosts Storytime, a kid-friendly chance for budding readers to enjoy both classic tales and new, seasonal stories. For the ultimate, irreverent celebration of the snowfall, Snowdown’s 39th year brings the town together for a week of outlandish events, crazy competitions, food and fun, with 2017’s theme of “Intergalactic” taking the party out of this world.
Historic Train
The stunning wilderness scenes and rich heritage of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad make it a proud staple in the community, and wintertime is no exception. Starting November 23rd, ride the rails through the enchanting Cascade Canyon, an untouched stretch of the San Juan National Forest that features spectacular mountain landscapes and riveting views of the Animas River. When looking for the perfect tree to decorate this holiday season, bring home a piece of the forest on the Christmas Tree Train, a memorable experience that takes you up Cascade Canyon on the train and brings you back down with your very own pine harvested straight from the San Juan Forest. Dates are Nov 26, 27; Dec 3,4 and 10, 11. Snuggle into your pajamas and settle in for story time aboard The Polar ExpressTM, a family tradition that reroutes the train straight to the North Pole, including hot cocoa, a magical souvenir and a meeting with Santa himself.
With a vibrant art scene and hands-on opportunities for creativity, Durango’s cultural offerings ensure there’s just as much excitement indoors as there is on the snowy slopes. For a new way to look at winter, step inside one of the town’s award-winning galleries or museums. Whether you’re looking for a Christmas classic, like the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara’s production of The Nutcracker, or something a little more home-grown, like the town’s hopping live music scene, Durango always offers a little culture to escape the cold. Take home more than just memories with a class at the Durango Arts Center, with options ranging from watercolor basics to printmaking, or a knitting course that features local Colorado fibers at Yarn Durango.
With flurry filled family fun and relaxing and cultural escapes from the cold, Durango offers ideal ways for everyone to make the most out of winter. Whether your perfect snow day is spent carving through the powder on the San Juan Mountains or cozied up to a fire with a cup of cocoa, the diverse and captivating array of activities ensures there’s never a dull moment when the flakes begin to fall. When the temperatures get cold, Durango, Colorado becomes the hot spot for winter fun.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
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. 1-800-525-8855,
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