Summer in Durango offers the perfect summer temperatures – warm enough to swim in the refreshing mountain lakes and rivers, dine on the patio of one of downtown’s finest restaurants, or meander into the mountains for a train ride, zip line or raft trip. When temperatures around the country hit triple-digits, the high desert offers cool and crisp evenings to watch the stars, sit by a campfire or sip a pint of local craft beer. T-shirt weather is Durango’s forte, and here’s your A to Z dictionary of Durango’s sizzling summer escapes!
A - The Animas River is the perfect place to wade in for a refreshing swim, raft, SUP or kayak. Walk or bike the 7-mile Animas River Trail that winds along the river.
B - Enjoy supper, singing, stories and classic BBQ in a Wild Western town among shaded ponderosa forests with the Bar D Wranglers.
C - Cool off indoors at over a dozen art galleries in town, and consider scheduling art classes at the Durango Arts Center.
D - The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers breathtaking wilderness views en route to the historic mining town of Silverton.
E - Events and festivals; from the world-renowned Music in the Mountains to the down-home La Plata County Fair and the weekly Durango Farmers Market.
F - Experience world-class fly-fishing on the Animas River and surrounding rivers and lakes. For a family friendly alternative, discover the local Fish Hatchery and feed the fingerlings. If our finned-friends aren’t your first choice, explore the local offerings of meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, soaps and other uniquely Durango goods, all paired with live music and good food in a family-friendly environment, all at the Farmer’s Market.
I - Indulge in a scoop of artisan ice cream crafted by local Cream Bean Berry.
L - Enjoy a variety of live music offerings, whether you’re listening to bluegrass on outdoor patios, ragtime in a saloon, classic oldies at Mondays on Main, or another genre at the many concerts and live performances Durango has to offer.
M - Enjoy daytime hikes and enchanting evening programs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde National Park.
N - After sundown, discover Durango’s nightlife: dine at local restaurants, enjoy live music at one of the bars and taverns, catch a movie at a local cinema, or sit back and get ready to clap at the community’s theatre and art exhibitions.
O - Outdoor adventures are the heart of Durango’s charm: mountain bike, road bike, horseback ride, jeep tour, climb, hike, raft, kayak, paddle, run… Need we say more?
P - At an elevation of 8,793 feet, Purgatory Resort often boasts some of the coolest summer temperatures in the US, with adventurous activities to match. Zip down the mountain on the Alpine Slide, take the The Purgatory Plunge zipline or brave the Water Runners for an added chill.
Q - Quench your thirst at one of Durango’s six craft breweries and two distilleries.
R - Over 100 restaurants offer inspired cuisines with uniquely Durango flair, many highlighting locally produced meats, chesses, vegetables and brews.
S - Take a driving tour of the San Juan Skyway for twisting turns and epic views.
T - Trimble Natural Hot Springs has a refreshing, Olympic-sized swimming pool, natural hot springs and expansive shaded lawns for lounging, making it the perfect spot for serious swimmers and families alike.
U - Unwind and relax at a local spa with private pools, rooftop massages and revitalizing treatments overlooking the Animas River, all infused with a healthy dose of mountain air.
V - Rent a pontoon and spend the day fishing, cruising or swimming at nearby Vallecito Lake.
W - Wildflowers grow in the cool fresh air and where you find flowers, you’re sure to find majestic mountain views. For a multi-day backpacking trip or a mid-day hike, consider D&SNGRR train access into the Weminuche Wilderness.
X - Too many unique and tantalizing options to choose from? Stay an extra day for extreme…. Relaxation.
Z - Nestled in a Ponderosa Pines forest on the shores of the Animas River, Soaring Tree Top Adventures is the largest zip line in North America, and arguably one of the most scenic. Indulge in stunning views of foliage and whitewater, both from the tree tops and the D&SNGRR train, the sole way to reach this exciting destination.
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, www.durango.org