There are less than four weeks until Opening Day at Purgatory Resort and we’ve never been more excited (or distracted at work).

Mark your calendars for Opening Day, November 18th. The 2017-2018 ski season is shaping up to be another great season, and here’s why:

1) Purgatory is the Best Place for Winter Fun!

Even though it’s still in the mid-60’s in Durango and fall colors are lingering in town, winter is on its way. The San Juans have already received their first snowfall, we're digging out our favorite puffy jacket, and my pumpkin spice latte has definitely frozen over. Purgatory received its first snow of the year just forty-eight hours after the fall equinox and snowmakers have been making snow nearly every night since October 9th.

Fall will soon disappear, with winter taking over and transforming Purgatory’s 1,605 acres of skiable terrain into a winter playground.

Pumpkin time is over; it’s time to drink peppermint schnapps at the Bear Bar instead.


2) Opening Day is Always a Party

There are lots of reasons why Purgatory Resort is a favorite among locals and visitors alike (ahem…no crowds, the new high-speed quad Lift 8, plus it’s only 25 miles from Durango in the rugged San Juan Mountains). Throw in their party hosting skills, and you’ll find a resort that can’t be beat.

Purgatory Resort owner James Coleman has been called the "Ski King of the Southwest" by Outside Magazine, and rightly so. Last year, Purgatory celebrated Opening Day by opening separate trails for both skiing and mountain biking. This year, expect live music and drink specials all day long on Opening Day as we celebrate hitting the slopes for the start of a new season!


3) Skiing is the Best Way to Spend the Holidays

The holiday season has arrived at Purgatory! This year, they're celebrating by turning the Village into a winter wonderland that you and your family will never forget. With garland-wrapped lights, ice sculptures, fluffy snow, and hot chocolate galore, you'll be in holiday heaven. Purgatory kicks off the joyous season on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy seasonal activities such as cooking classes, gingerbread house building, and s'mores by the fire pits through New Year's Eve. Don't forget Santa's visit to "the beach" on December 23rd!


4) It’s Easy to Get Into the Backcountry with Purgatory Snowcat Adventures

Purgatory Snowcat Adventures provides unique experiences such as scenic snowcat tours, or access to over 35,000 acres of backcountry terrain on guided snowcat skiing trips. Plus, for the ultimate date night, book a Snowcat Dinner Excursion. An evening snowcat ride will take you past breathtaking scenery to the Powderhouse Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet five-course dinner. It’s an experience you won't forget!


5) There's Something New for Everyone to Enjoy

There are plenty of new and unique ways to explore Durango’s hometown resort this winter. As part of a $15 million capital improvement campaign, Purgatory is excited to announce the installation of its new magic carpet lift in the Columbine area. This conveyor lift is an easy way for novice skiers and kiddos to experience the mountain for the first time.

Assembly is also underway for Purgatory’s first Inferno Mountain Coaster. When completed, the coaster will carry riders over ¾ of a mile through the San Juan National Forest, featuring 9 switchbacks, incredible vistas, and one full 360-degree turn. Riders will be able to control the speed of the car, but you should know that this bad boy will be able to hit 30 mph. Just sayin’.

Plus, in addition to its downhill offerings, Purgatory also features tubing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing and over 12 miles of groomed cross country ski trails at the Nordic Center.


6) Skiing at Purgatory Has Never Been More Affordable

Purgatory has been named one of Trip Advisor’s “Best Value Ski Resorts” three years in a row. This year, save on your family’s ski vacation with new ways to buy, plus lodging specials and new packages.

What are the best ways to save?

  • New this year, kids 7 and under and 4th graders ski FREE every day. Parents can also buy their kiddos a $29 season pass that gets them direct to lift access at Purgatory and all of its sister resorts, including Hesperus Ski Area (the Southwest's largest night skiing operation, located 11 miles west of Durango).

  • Sign up for the Polar Express package when buying your seat on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and receive discounted lodging at Purgatory Resort.

  • Purchase your Power Card, Power Pack or Power Pack Plus to save at Purgatory and its network of ski areas. For as little as $50, you can purchase a punch pass and enjoy discounted skiing at Purgatory and four other ski areas, including Arizona Snowbowl, Hesperus Ski Area, Pajarito Mountain and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort. A no-interest payment plan is available, too! Click here for more information.


7) There’s a Whole Season of Unique Events at Purg

Events at Purgatory are fun for the whole family, and this season’s calendar is looking to be another great line-up!

Opening Day on November 18th is the most-anticipated day of the season! Expect live music, drink specials, and family-friendly fun to kick off the ski season.

Celebrate the holidays on the mountain with a Thanksgiving Dinner Feast at Purgy’s on November 23rd, followed by a month of holiday-themed events through December. Take a Holiday Wreath Making Class or meet Santa Claus on the Mountain. Plus, enjoy a festive Christmas Eve Dinner at Purgy’s.

Take part in Bar Hop Fridays, where the owners of Durango’s Steamworks Brewing will be at various bars across the mountain from 11:00 am-4:00 pm on select Fridays. You’ll also save $1.00 off all Steamworks beers each Bar Hop Friday!

Ring in 2018 at Purgatory’s annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks show. The entire ski school team of instructors will light up Purgatory’s slopes with torchlights, creating a unique and beautiful sight that ends with a brilliant fireworks show!


Plan your winter excursion to Purgatory Resort now, and be sure to follow SkiPurg on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for flash sales, updated specials, and a play-by-play of this year’s action.

See you on the slopes, folks!

Written by Alex Gulsby