Local Area Map
Durango Area Map
Durango was established in 1881 when Denver and the Rio Grande Railroad built a track to Silverton. Durango was named as the hub of the railroad system to transport ore from the mountains to smelters in Durango. Today, the city retains a "Frontier West" feeling. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains and set amidst reddish, sandstone bluffs, this town bustles with activity. Many of the original buildings constructed by Durango's pioneers are still in use today. They can be seen in the historic districts of Third Avenue and Main Avenue.
The famous Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is the country's only coal-and-steam-powered train operating daily. Chug along sheer cliffs, criss-crossing the Animas River on the 45-mile trip to Silverton. The train has been running for over 120 years, yet the Durango railroad depot looks the same as when it was constructed in 1882. The line was constructed to haul silver & gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon realized it was the view that was truly precious. Today, the railroad carries about 200,000 passengers per year.
Durango provides many water areas for recreation. The Animas River, or river of lost souls, has wild whitewater rafting during spring run-off and settles down in the summer for family jaunts. The river is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the Western United States. Rent a bike for a day and discover why this area is so popular with mountain bikers. Vallecito Lake, located 23 miles northwest of Durango, lies under the snow-capped peaks of the San Juan National Forest. This lake is an angler's delight -- fish for rainbow trout, Kokanee salmon and northern pike. Several boat ramps and docks surround the 22-mile lake shoreline.
The Vallecito Trail and the Pine River Trail give access to the Weminuche Wilderness where mountain bikes are strictly forbidden, but hikers and horseback riders are welcomed. Other activities in the area include kayaking, hunting, backcountry and mining tours, golfing, rock climbing, live concerts, gaming, art gallery walks and much more. 25 miles north of Durango is Durango Mountain Resort (FKA Purgatory Ski Resort), which offers the unpretentious skiing of the southwest.
Cyclists should also check out the Iron Horse Bike Classic, which began in 1972. The road bikers race the D&SNGRR to Silverton on Memorial Day weekend. It is the longest, continuously run, cycling event in the United States.
Durango Activities & Maps
National Parks and Monuments:
Chimney Rock National Monument
Mesa Verde National Park
San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway
Tracks Across Borders Scenic Byway
Music in the Mountains
The Colorado Trail
Rafting & Kayaking:
Animas River Rafting & Kayaking
Piedra River Rafting & Kayaking
Jeep & 4WD:
Durango Jeeping & ATV/UTV Trails
Durango Hot Springs
Ski Areas & Resorts:
Hesperus Ski Area
Purgatory Ski Resort
Durango Snowmobile Trails
Local Area Maps:
Durango Area Map
Vallecito Lake Area Map
More Activities & Information
Durango, Colorado includes: Bayfield, Hesperus, Ignacio, Lemon, Vallecito Lake