Sweater weather in Durango is here. Cool mornings, hot beverages, and crisp hikes make fall one of the most heartwarming and inviting seasons of the year.

Thanks to a heavy winter, wet spring, and rainy summer, this fall is expected to be the most colorful in years. Pack your camera, wool socks, and favorite hoodie - these are the unmissable events and experiences of fall in Durango.

Take a drive and hit the trail

First things first, know that peak colors vary based on elevation. Earlier in the season, say mid-September, you’ll find the most magical colors in the higher peaks. The colors generally spread to the foothills in late-September to early-October. For the most accurate peak color data, check out SmokyMountains.com for their interactive, nationwide forecasting tool.

With this in mind, no trip to the Southwest is complete without a drive and a hike along the San Juan Skyway’s Million Dollar Highway. With direct access straight from Durango, this strip of road offers a million dollar view of the mountains, forests, and pure Coloradan terrain.

Take a pause at Molas Pass for a hike along the Colorado trail and quiet strip of paradise.

Stroll the Fall Gallery Walk

On September 20th, the Durango Art Galleries Collective will host its annual Fall Gallery. As if you need any more reason to stroll Durango’s historic Main Avenue, this event offers the opportunity to meet artists, shop local art, and listen to live music. For more information on vendors, check out Durango’s 10 Must-Visit Downtown Galleries.

Backpack the Colorado Wilderness with Llamas

Why llamas? These herd animals are calm, sturdy, and ideal for backpacking adventures. From Silverton, Colorado, Redwood Llamas offers both guided tour and llama leasing for overnight excursions. Whether you’re planning a hunting, fishing, hiking, family, or photography trip, Redwood can support your needs with a full-guided experience.  

Take a Backcountry Off-road Tour

For intimate views of the deep backcountry, you need to get off the pavement and on the rugged, dirt roads. A number of companies in and near Durango offer hourly, half-day, and full-day rentals and guide services. Jeeps, four-wheelers, and Razr adventures are as exhilarating as they are beautiful, bringing visitors up into the highest elevation views around.

For more information, check out the 5 Best Off-Road Trails to Explore Near Durango and the Planning Guide to Off-Roading.

Fly with the Birds on an Aerial Tour

Regardless of if you fly a helicopter or aircraft, the view from above Durango competes with the view from the ground. Getting up in the sky is an unforgettable way to see Durango in all its splendor. A number of pilot services allow you to do exactly that. Coordinate your trip for the fall months to capture the kaleidoscopic of colors in its entirety, with a trusted, certified pilot.  www.DurangoAirTours.com  www.alpinehelitours.com