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10 Guided Tours in Durango You Can’t Miss
What better way to experience Durango like a local than with a local? On a guided adventure, visitors gain VIP access to some of our most beautiful sights, secret views, and historic hideaways.
Soar the skies in a Piper Comanche, mush professional sled dogs through the national forest, chase the sunset on an offroad jeep, and dine al fresco with your own private chef - all in a single weekend. From the Animas riverbed to the top of the world, these 10 guided tours invite you to experience the best Durango has to offer.
1. Discover Durango by Air
For views you won’t even find on a mountain top, a Durango air tour offers an unforgettable birds eye experience. Fly be helicopter or plane with a private pilot and discover views that span from the desert mesas of New Mexico to the lakes and peaks of Colorado. There are several local companies licensed and fully equipped to bring you safely up, around, and down Durango. Bring your camera, pack a jacket, and prepare for unbeatable and exclusive views.
Witness the wild west like never before on a Horsefly History tour. Laine Johnson, the founder and guide of Horsefly, will pull you deep into the curious, wonderful, and sometimes unsettling past of our old mining town. Choose between four different specialized history tours or join the “quick and dirty” highlight reel for a one-way walk and talk down Main Avenue. Horsefly’s “Coal Dust and Oysters” tour investigates the old Italian district downtown, while the “Underground Durango Ghost Tour” will bring you into the heart of Durango’s actual tunnel system. Try one or attend them all to gain an inside look on our region’s history.
3. Half or Full Day Fishing Trip
Whether you’re a novice or expert with a fly rod, there are plenty of local outfitters to guide you on the best kind of summer outing. Fish the Animas, Rio Grande, or San Juan rivers, or hike into the high country for great alpine lake fishing on a fully customizable guided excursion. Durango guides know the four-corners region better than anyone and with plenty of cold snowmelt filling the rivers, conditions are prime. Take a multi-day pack trip on foot or horseback, a single day “hike and wade” trip, or even a float trip on the river
After a long day of playing hard and exploring, the last thing you’ll want to do is plan a complicated meal. Thankfully, the Durango Chef is here for us all. Coordinate a dinner for two, group party, holiday meal, or take a cooking class with Chef Margie. With a robust menu of comfort foods, dinners, brunches, and appetizers to choose from, there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy. Kick back in your own Airbnb or VRBO and let the magic come to you.
Earn face kisses and puppy snuggles on a summer kennel tour and cart ride with the Durango Dog Ranch. Even after the snow melts, these professional sled dogs never run out of energy. Hop on a scooter and prepare to get down and dirty as these pups pull you through the national forest trails.
A trip to Durango isn’t complete without a self-guided walking tour at the Animas Museum. Learn about this old mining basecamp, what life was like in the wild west, and the cowboys, bank robbers, and famous families who once called this place home. You’ll find exhibits covering every point in history, from the Native American Gallery to the “Forged by Flame” exhibit discussing historic wildfires.
Replace your snowmobile with an ATV and climb to the tip-top of some of the southwest’s most scenic vistas. Choose between a one, two, four, or six-seater polaris and chase views around Middle Mountain, the Weminuche Wilderness, and the La Plata Mountains. Stay onsite or rent for the day and take the machines out on your own.
Featured in Lonely Planet, the Durango Rivertrippers Twilight Tour is truly unforgettable. Experience the quiet, cool weather of Colorado at dusk as you chase the sunset at 10,000’. Load the whole family up in an open top 4x4 Jeep. Bring a blanket and a thermos of something warm as you bid the day goodbye.
9. Tour the River by Raft or Kayak
With record-breaking snowfall this winter, the rivers of the southwest are now flowing wild and fast. Prepare to get wet and smile big as you paddle through Class III and IV rapids on the lower Animas River. This scenic float straight through Durango is perfect for families and big groups. Take a half-day, full-day or challenge yourself to a multi-day camping/raft trip through the Upper Animas. You’ll find wildlife, unique river views, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Get up close and personal with ancient Puebloan ruins built right into the cliffs of southwest Colorado. The only way to visit the remarkably well-preserved Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House is with a park ranger. Allow for several hours, pack snacks and water, and prepare to step back in time like never before.