With hiking boots, beanies, and puffy jackets retrieved from winter storage, it seems everyone is dressing as a mountain local for this year’s Halloween. 

October is more than a month of ghouls and goblins in Durango. It’s a magical time of fall colors, historic tours, and festivals. It’s a chance to connect with southwest’s mining history and honor the generations of pioneers who came before us. 

On your visit to Durango this October, be sure to enjoy these 5 events and experiences. 

Horsefly History Tours

Laine Johnson and her husband fell in love with Durango’s history, but realized that many questions about Durango’s past still remained unanswered. She founded Horsefly History Tours to blow the dust off stories of the people who lived, loved, and died in our favorite town. 

Five tours make up the Horsefly History experience, including the “Coal Dust and Oysters” tour, the “Murder and Mayhem” series, “Haunted Horseman” carriabe ride, and “Underground Durango Ghost tour. Each focuses on a particular theme and region in Durango. Her understanding of this region’s past is unrivaled and Johnson’s ability to captivate audiences has made her tour one of the most beloved during Halloween.

The Animas Balloon Festival

Pair the vibrant yellow, red, orange, and green of the Animas Valley with the equally prismatic Animas Valley Balloon Rally. Taking place October 18th - October 20th, this multi-venue fall event is both a local and visitor favorite. 

Bring your family and loved ones to take a moment and enjoy the sky. No matter what you do, don’t forget your camera. 

A Graveside Ceremony for Loisa Bass

The Spanish Flu epidemic swept through the southwest one hundred years ago, claiming victims and wreaking havoc across the region. Eight-year-old Loisa Bass was just one of the many victims of this time. However, her story is more than just sad. 

Among the 10,000 gravesites at Greenmount Cemetery, Bass’ grave remains unmarked. This story affected none so greatly as local Guy Walton and his wife. The duo drove the initiative to raise the Loisa Bass Memorial Fund for a headstone, along with Jeff Hutchinson, director of the Animas Museum.

On October 8th at 3pm, a graveside ceremony to celebrate and honor Loisa Bass’ will take place at Greenmount Cemetery. Community members welcome.  

The Three Springs Fall Festival

For the 13th year in a row, the Three Springs Plaza will host its annual Fall Festival. Expect live music, festival games, trick-or-treating, a pumpkin patch, and many more festive games for a day of family fun. The event, located at Three Springs, will take place from 11AM - 2PM on October 26th. 

The Pumpkin Patch Express 

No trip to Durango is complete without a ride aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train. In October, this experience is made even more special by the Pumpkin Patch Express. 

Join Durango for a PEANUTS themed train ride, where the kids will receive trick-or-treat baskets and enjoy a reading of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The last stop aboard the train is the pumpkin patch, where families can enjoy a costume contest, live music, maze, letter writing, and many more activities.


By Alex Gulsby