Things to do in Durango

Things to do in  Durango

Just the ticket

Southwestern Colorado’s historic hub, Durango has roots as an important mining town. Today, visitors can get a taste of its prospecting past with a ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which winds through canyons and past abandoned gold and silver mines. Outdoor adventurers will also find plenty to do in Durango, from hiking in the San Juan National Forest to skiing at family-friendly Purgatory Resort. It’s also an ideal base for exploring Mesa Verde National Park, the site of ancient stone cliff dwellings built by the Pueblo people.

Top 5 attractions in Durango

Animas River

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With the right gear, nearly anyone can experience the watery wilds of the Animas River, which flows right through the heart of Durango, Colorado. Starting at some 11,000 feet (3,353 meters), it winds for 126 miles (203 kilometers) down mountains, valleys, and shrublands in the southern part of the state. To best explore all that this mighty river has to offer, choose between fly fishing or tackling Class I, II, and III rapids in a kayak, canoe, or even a paddleboard or tube.More

Historic Downtown Durango

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Built by miners and railroad workers in the late 19th century, Downtown Durango—a nationally registered historic district—holds onto its Wild West flair. On its historic main street, you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and cowboy-toutin’ places of note, including the original Strater Hotel, built in 1887, and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic steam train that travels through the San Juan Mountains and straight into downtown.More
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Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum

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The historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad takes passengers on a spectacular 45-mile (72-kilometer) journey through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, connecting the two towns for which the railroad is named. The steam-powered locomotive is a vintage—though comfortable—train that makes you feel like you’re traveling back in time. It also provides access to extraordinary wilderness scenery and mountainous areas of Colorado that you can’t get to by car.More

Mesa Verde National Park

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In the southwest corner of Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park is known for its Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and boasts a landscape of mesas and canyons. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts history and archaeology buffs who go to marvel at the pueblos built into cliffs, which were inhabited from about 1190 to 1300.More

Colorado Trail

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The Colorado Trail offers an outdoor experience ranging from breathtaking to “life-changing,” according to people who have hiked all or even just a portion of its 500 miles (805 kilometers). Ideal for hikers, runners, and bikers alike, it runs from outside Denver to Durango, carving through eight mountain ranges and seven national forests.More

Top activities in Durango

12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango
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Durango Colorado - Rafting 2.5 Hour
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Durango Family-Friendly 2-Hour Rafting Trip
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Durango Colorado - Rafting 4.5 Hour
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Immersive Mesa Verde National Park Tour with Guide
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Zip Line - Rafting Package
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Zip Line - Rafting Package

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6
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$228.00
Mesa Verde Comprehensive Tour
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Durango Rafting - Animas River Adventure Day
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Durango Puzzling Adventure

Durango Puzzling Adventure

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La Plata Mountains - Half Day Tour
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All about Durango

When to visit

Though summer packs in the visitors, Durango is truly a shoulder-season standout. Spring (April–May) brings mild temps, smaller crowds, blooming mountain valleys, and events like Taste of Durango and Durango Wine Experience. Fall (September–October) is great, too, what with the equally pleasant weather, gentler river adventures, and the yellow-gold cottonwoods and red-orange scrub oaks lighting up the surrounding San Juan National Forest.

Getting around

If your Durango visit includes outdoor adventures, you’ll probably want a car—that way you can head into the surrounding forests and parks at your leisure. If you do forego wheels, you can get by with some mix of on-foot travel, rideshares, tours, and the Main Ave Trolley—a fun, inexpensive way to tour the city. And don’t miss the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which is based right out of downtown Durango.

Traveler tips

Even if you’re not usually the water adventure type, try to make an exception for Durango. The Animas River—which flows right through town—is the beating heart of this Wild West outpost, and experiencing it is a rite of passage. There are adventures for all ages and abilities, from gentle floats that lull you to sleep to whitewater thrill rides guaranteeing a healthy splash. Of course, just dipping your toes in counts, too.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
MDT (UTC -7)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
5
Tours
33
Reviews
3,440
EN
8b4913aa-963a-4050-8fad-a86780fcb72c
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People Also Ask

What’s Durango known for?

Durango has been called the “Hollywood of the Rockies” since the 1920s—dozens of films have been shot here, each taking advantage of the city’s Wild West vibes and diverse landscapes. This southern Colorado town is also known for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a steam-operated, coal-fired train that’s been operating for around 150 years.

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Is there anything to do in Durango?

Yes. There’s so much to do in Durango, you’d never guess the town has fewer than 20,000 residents. It’s the spot to float or paddle the Animas River, zipline through the San Juan National Forest, ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad—a steam-operated, coal-fired train that’s still operating some 150 years later—and more.

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How do I spend a day in Durango, CO?

With a day in Durango, hop aboard the steam-operated, coal-fired Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for an ultra-scenic ride through the San Juan National Forest, stroll and dine downtown, and explore the Animas River or surrounding San Juan Mountains.

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Is Durango good for kids?

Yes, Durango is incredibly family-friendly. Kids and adults tend to love riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad—a steam-operated, coal-fired train—for a scenic jaunt through the San Juan National Forest (and its onsite museum), dining downtown at Old West-style restaurants, and exploring the nearby San Juan Mountains or Animas River.

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Is there an old town in Durango?

While Durango doesn’t have an “old town” per se, its downtown comes close. Many buildings date back to the 1880s, and they’re still standing today. One of the most beloved examples of Durango’s Wild West past is the historic Strater Hotel, which has hosted notables from US Presidents to the Grateful Dead.

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What is the best time of year to visit Durango?

Spring (April–May) and fall (September–October) are usually the best times of year to visit Durango. You’ll get sunny days and cool temperatures between 60°F (16°C) and 70°F (21°C), without all the summer crowds. But autumn tends to be locals’ favorite season: That’s when Durango’s aspens turn shimmery gold.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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