No powder? No problem! We won’t deny that it’s been an unusual year for Colorado, seeing a tad bit less snow than our usual 260”.
But while we can’t control the weather, we sure can control a great time. Check out these alternative activities to pursue when there is no snow. And if seeing snow is a must-do while in Durango, then go alpine; where there is winter, there is winter weather somewhere. Typically, the good stuff can be found north of Durango, up above 8,000 feet.
Start your Snowshoeing adventure from Molas Pass.
Sitting pretty at 10,910’, Molas Pass boasts some of the cleanest air and greatest views around. Located right off Highway 550, this is an easily accessible and low-impact activity for all to enjoy.
Take a nordic ski tour of Haviland Lake
As we eagerly await the opening of Durango’s Nordic Center, we can utilize this time to check out neighboring trails. The 4.8 mile loop at Haviland lake is great for both snowshoeing and nordic skiing. Located 17 miles north of Durango and 8 miles south of Purgatory Resort, this area enjoys a fair amount of snow, even in the dry years.
Snowmobile through the San Juans
Powder hunting has never been easier aboard a terrain-dominating Polaris snowmobile. Ice Pirates Backcountry Adventures will lead you up, up and above the world with their customizable snowmobiling packages. With 55,000 acres to explore and a high point above 12,000 feet, you’re sure to get into the good stuff.
You might return from the mountains battered, sore and wind burned. Now with the opportunity to take breaks from powder days, you can enjoy a little self care by treating yourself to a spa day!
The Woodhouse Day Spa, located at 1521 Main Avenue, offers massages, skin care, body treatments, manicures, pedicures and the whole nine yards. Their hydrafacials and detoxifying mud wrap are just what the doctor ordered for the recovering skier.
The Spaaah Shop and Day Spa provides massages, facials, pedicures and treatments year-round, and some creative seasonal offerings during the winter. If you’re looking for a new and special way to pamper yourself, enjoy a hot chocolate massage with melted marshmallow whip, a hot chocolate and toasted marshmallow facial or a mocha coffee scrub for an energizing boost to your day.
If you’re looking for a more intimate salon experience, Madame Jasmine’s boutique is located on 1006 Main Avenue and offers facials, skin care treatments, microblading, waxing, haircuts, manicures and pedicures.
Gentlemen, don’t be afraid to book yourself the hair and beard trim of a lifetime at Durango’s barbershop/speakeasy, The Bookcase and Barber.
Wine and Dine on a Snowcat Dining Excursion at Purgatory
Magic happens after the Purgatory lifts close. The resort offers both scenic tours and dining excursions aboard the Snowcats. Watch the sunset on the Needles Mountains as you enjoy mulled wine or champagne on your cruise to the Powderhouse restaurant for a four-course meal. Check the calendar - Reservations must be made in advance.
Hit the Hot Springs
There is nothing like emerging from a steaming hot springs pool into the crisp, cold mountain air. Heal your body at Trimble Hot Springs and Spa. These natural mineral-rich therapy pools, varying in temperature from 100 to 110 degrees, are great for healing mountaineers, weary travelers or family vacationers. Enjoy a massage, the sauna, or even a stay overnight in the romantic Starlight room or guest house, where you can appreciate after-hour access to all the healing springs.
Go Fly Fishing
Snow or sunshine, the trout don’t care. Get outfitted with all the right gear and expertise at Durangler’s Flies and Supplies or San Juan Angler on Main Avenue. Their Winter Fly Fishing guided trip guarantees the best access to all the sweet honey holes along the San Juan or Animas Rivers.
If you’re looking to refine your skills, pop in and ask about their clinics and workshops, which focus on casting tips, fly tying and lessons.
Hike the Colorado Trail
While the 4WD Junction Creek Road experiences seasonal closures, access to the terminus of the Colorado Trail is still open. This thru-hiking trail climbs 567 miles to Denver, but you can take the trip as far as you’d like. Gudy’s Rest makes for an ideal half-day trek, at 8.1 miles out-and back. The spot was named after one of the trail’s most legendary founders, “the Mother of the Colorado Trail,” Gudy Gaskill.
Mountain Bike the Cowboy Trail
You’ve wanted to do it for years, and with so little snow on the ground, it’s time to pull the trigger. If you’re looking for an easy introduction into the world of mountain biking, the Cowboy Trail, part of the Telegraph Trail system, runs a short 2.7 miles. Snag a trail guide from Gardenswartz in town and cultivate your new favorite hobby.
Ride the Historical Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
This classic summer adventure transforms into a journey of winter wonderland proportions, even when there is little snow. The 26-mile-trip to Cascade Canyon is quintessential Durango, and provides unparalleled views of the scenic San Juan National Forest.
We take our après-ski time seriously here in Durango. And when the snow is lacking, the party block just gets bigger. Visit any of our six microbreweries, two distilleries, or one winery for locally-made craft beverages. Or, hit up any of our world-renowned and award-winning restaurants for a delicious meal and plenty of craft cocktails!
Test New Gear on the Slopes
The last thing you want to do is tear up your gear on the mountain. Demo Days, hosted at Purgatory Resort, have never sounded so good. For just $10, you can come try out the latest and greatest in ski and board technology, with unlimited demos from 9 AM to 3 PM. There are several designated Demo Days throughout the winter, with January 21st, 2018, being the next on the calendar.
Check the event calendar to check for participating dates.
Tour a Durango Brewery
With six beloved breweries in the Durango area, beer lovers are in for a real, hoppy treat. Stop in for a flight at the Animas Brewing Company or attend a brew tour at the wind-powered Ska Brewing World Headquarters to learn more about the processes behind beer making.
If you have several days, a loyal designated driver and lots of commitment, you may earn the coveted superfecta badge of sampling a flight at all six of Durango’s breweries, or expand beyond Durango's city limits and explore all of the Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado.
Attend a Backstage Music Event
The Balcony Bar and Grill is also home to the Backstage, one of Durango’s liveliest dance floors. Their live music schedule stays jam-packed during winter with events and activities of all varieties. And with one of the best upstairs patio views on main, this musical enclave is where the locals go.
Plan your Trip Around Durango’s Grandest Annual Party
Check out Durango's Newest Gym
The Jungle Gym is Durango's only obstacle course racing gym. We have a variety of obstacle for families to try like the warped wall, salmon ladder, rock wall, peg board and giant monkey bars! The whole family can play and test their skills with the help of our Jungle Gym Coaches! Come train like a ninja!