Fall is the season of change in Colorado. With each passing day, our world transforms a little more, bringing an exciting amount of uncertainty to what winter may hold. This year, take time to celebrate some of our classic Durango events and to appreciate the subtleties of a world ever changing.
We’re kicking off the pumpkin-loving, golden-forest season by sharing all of our favorite events to look forward to. Expect three months of pure magic and jam-packed fun in music, art, food, festival, recreation, sport and photography.
Enjoy the longstanding traditions, recently trending shows and newly established activities, the kid-friendly games and the adult-only exclusives, every tour worth checking, new beer releases worth drinking, and every art gallery worth strolling. Fall in love with fall in Durango and don’t forget to stop and smell the aspen leaves.
September in Durango: What to Expect and What You’ll Love
September marks the first official days of fall and a wave goodbye to summertime. Early September brings shorter days and cooler air, but don’t be surprised if a warm gust of summer lingers for a spell. Enjoy the opportunity to combine both summer and fall activities during this time like mountain biking, hiking, and road tripping the beautiful southwest roads, both paved and dirt.
A few events to keep in mind during this month include the 24th Annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival on September 15th and the ‘Wine & Rails’ exclusive wine tasting train ride hosted by the D&SNGRR. Toast to summertime memories at James Ranch, where they will be hosting the last Burger and a Band Night of the summer series on August 30th, and ring in the fall season at the official Harvest Festival at Twin Buttes. Join in the annual celebration that every local looks forward to at the 23rd Anniversary party at Ska Brewing on September 8th.
If you’re on the hunt for fall colors, now is the time to bring out the hiking boots and camera gear. Colors start peaking between mid to late September in the high country.
October in Durango: What to Expect and What You’ll Love
October is undeniably a magical time in fall. The apex of the season, you’ll find the leaves of every aspen and mountain maple in full form, painting the mountain scenery with all shades of red, orange, and yellow. Don’t be surprised to see the first snow dusting of the season, capping our peaks with pure champagne powder. Get ready to enjoy these postcard-worthy scenes even from downtown and along our Animas River Trail.
If you’re looking for an event to enjoy, look to our tight-knit Durango community. October brings the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering to town, an occasion anticipated by not just poets, artists, and musicians, but all western-loving folks looking to enjoy the company and passions of others. Followed shortly after, Durango will celebrate Oktoberfest at Purgatory Resort on October 6th, the 10th Annual Apple Days Festival on October 7th and the Animas Valley Balloon Rally from October 19-21, an unmissable hot air balloon festival surrounded by our glowing fall colors.
There is something new and exciting happening nearly every day during October, whether you’re looking for live music, scary stories, trick-or-treating, or a place to kick back and enjoy your well-earned vacation.
November in Durango: What to Expect and What You’ll Love
Depending on the year, November can often feel like a blur into December. The snow begins to stick and more overcast days and cold air foster a tone of wonder and a sense of community. Find a cozy fireplace where you can kick your feet up, pile all the blankets and don your favorite wool socks. Ask the barista to brew something warm and enjoy nature’s smooth transition into the holiday season. Even better, you can appreciate a relatively quiet time in town and on the trails, where crowds are unheard of and the town might feel like it's all your's to explore.
Keep the holidays in mind as you enjoy classic events like the Thanksgiving Market at La Plata Fairgrounds and the kickoff of the Polar Express Train ride with your loved ones. Spend time getting to know the locals and get your last hike in for the season. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll dust off the skis a little early this year.
Full Calendar of Events:
August 31 - Sept 2: Four Corners Motorcycle Rally.
August 31: Kirk James Band Labor Day Street Party, benefiting Building Homes for Heroes.
Sept 1: Hooligan Dirt Dash Flat Track Racing at the La Plata Fairgrounds.
Sept 1: Pro Mountain Bike Gravity.
Sept 2: Durango Book Rescue Giveaway.
Sept 7: Twin Buttes Harvest Festival, featuring a “Chopped” style culinary competition, hayrides, tours, drinks, live music by the Afrobeatniks, and more.
Sept 7, 8, 9: Escape Room Tournament, featuring more than $2,500 worth of door prizes for the best escape artists.
Sept 8: Ska Brewing 23rd Anniversary Party, with ska bands Big D & the Kids Table and the Doped Up Dollies.
Sept 8: WholeExpo 2018, the “Four corners Showcase of Holistic and Ecological Products, Services and Seminars.”
Sept 15-16: Peter and the Wolf Family concert, hosted by San Juan Symphony.
Sept 20: San Juan Mountains Association 30th Anniversary Party at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Grange Hall.
Sept 20: Laugh Therapy at the Irish Embassy, an open mic stand up event.
Sept 20 - Sept 22: The Hummer Club off-roading event in Durango.
Sept 21: Fall Gallery Walk with artist Phyllis Stapler Artist Reception and Exhibition, at the Sorrel Sky Gallery.
Sept 22: Fall Photographer’s Special, a train ride exclusively to amateur and professional photographers.
Sept 22: Mountain Marmot Trail Run at Purgatory Resort.
Sept 23 & 30: Mountain Scooter Dog Clinics at the Durango Dog Ranch
Sept 22: 7th Annual WolfWood Art and Silent Auction, held at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Grange Hall. Proceeds go towards Wolfwood, the southwest’s non-profit wolf refuge.
Sept 29: Fall Blaze Bicycle Tour.
Sept 25: Durango Diaries - Durango’s Cuisine Scene, a storytelling event hosted by the Durango Herald.
Sept 28: Get the LED Out “The American Led Zeppelin” band at the Community Concert Hall.
Sept 28 - Sept 30: San Juan Mountain Bike and Music Festival at Purgatory Resort.
Sept 29: Prom Night with Vanilla Pop live at Animas City Theater, a 21+
Sept 30: “Tri the Rim” Sprint Triathlon, hosted by Fort Lewis College.
Sept 30: Wine & Rails, an onboard wine tasting event featuring two hours of wine sampling, catering, live music and unrivaled views of the San Juan National Forest.
Oct 3: Frameworks Live Band at Animas City Theater, a 18+ seasonal music event.
Oct 5: Cowboy Poetry Train, a must-attend event for all western history enthusiasts and rail lovers.
Oct 6: Oktoberfest at Purgatory, featuring traditional German food, craft beer, and great music
Oct 6: 24th Annual Journey of Hope 5k Family Fun Run, hosted by Mercy Health Foundation
Oct 7: 10th Annual Apple Days Festival at Buckley Park, hosted by the Good Food Company and featuring a juice press, apple pie eating contest and live music.
Oct 7: Kyle Hollingsworth and Liver Down the River at Animas City Theater, a 18+ music event.
Oct 12: 5th Annual One Garden at a Time at the Glacier Club, an annual fundraiser featuring farm fresh cuisine, local drinks, and a silent auction.
Oct 16: Mandy Harvey, a musical concert at the Community Concert Hall by deaf American jazz musician and songwriter.
Oct 19: Downtown Durango Balloon Glow, a magical hot air balloon evening light show.
Oct 26: Ghost Crawl - Haunted Durango train Museum Experience, led by paranormal observer and museum curator Jeff Ellingson (more dates available).
Oct 27: 12th Annual Three Springs Fall Festival, with trick or treating, live music, and a pumpkin patch.
Oct 31: 11th Annual Rocky Horror Show at Henry Strater Hotel, a must-see during Halloween season.
Oct 31: Halloween. A local loving event in Durango where kids can trick or treat with nearly 100 downtown businesses.
Nov 2: 20th Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction at the Doubletree Hotel, supporting Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County.
Nov 10: Girls on the Run Durango 5k at Three Springs.
Nov 13: The North Face presents: Reel Rock 13 at the Community Concert Hall.
August 25 - Sept 30 daily: Southern Ute Museum Seasonal Showcase.
August 31 - Sept 28 every Friday: Friday Nights at Fox Fire Farms.
Sept 19, Oct 24, Nov 8: Concert at the Listening Room, a 40 seat room built for music at Red Scart Studio.
Oct 6 - 21 every weekend: Peanuts™ the Great Pumpkin Patch Express, a must for families and seasonal favorite.
Every weekend all season, unless otherwise listed: Music series at the Wild Horse Saloon.
Every Monday all season, unless otherwise listed: Happy Hour Yoga at Ska Brewing
Every Tuesday all season, unless otherwise listed: Token Tuesdays at Ska Brewing, a charity drinking event.
Every Thursday all season, unless otherwise listed: Powerhouse Pub Trivia.
Multiple tours weekly all season: Ghost Walk Durango, a guided downtown tour event bringing you through 140 years of haunted history.