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Bringing your dog on vacation with you to Durango just adds to the fun! Durango is a very dog friendly town – with miles of river trail for walking and a dog park right on the Animas River to meet the local hounds. Many merchants put out bowls of clean water in the front of their store and also offer dog treats to pooches walking by.
Durango Colorado Vacations offers several vacation rentals that would be perfect for you, your family, and your furry friend. With a few easy tips and a little preplanning, traveling with your dog can be a fun experience for both of you. Bringing your dog also alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re gone.

Here are some travel tips for bringing Fido with you on your travels to Durango.

Exploring Durango

Dogs love new sights, smells, and sounds of new places. Upon arrival, make sure your dog has a chance to explore right away after being cooped up in the car. Also, don’t be afraid to bring you dog with you as you explore our wonderful town. Many of our local restaurants also welcome well behaved dogs on their patios.
Bringing your dog on a dog vacation can be a great experience for the whole family to enjoy. Taking the time to prepare and find the perfect vacation rental along with packing the basic necessities for your dog before you go will help in making ta fun and memorable trip for everyone.

Three Time Mountain Bike Olympian/Fourteen time National Champion

As a twenty-year resident of Durango, I can tell you we have some of the best riding you’ll find anywhere. If you a rider, and road or mountain bike, take advantage of some of our spectacular scenery and get a great workout. I’m going to let you in on two of my favorite rides, one road and one off road.
Durango is known as one of the premier outdoor towns in the world. One of the big draws is cycling. You don’t have to be a serious cyclist to enjoy my favorite road ride, known by locals simply as “the valley”. The valley is a loop that you can start from anywhere in town but going clockwise you take HWY 550 to CR 203. 203 parallels 550 heading north on the west side of the highway. It eventually runs back into HWY 550 and you continue heading north towards Purgatory for another three or four miles.
Just before you start climbing, make a right onto CR 250 and head back to town on the east side of HWY 550. Shortly after the run you’ll cross Baker’s Bridge. This is a favorite hang out in the summer and you will see people sunning themselves on the rocks below the bridge or even jumping off into the cool Animas River. You will follow the river most of the way back to town. CR 250 will eventually tee into Florida road and you can turn right and that will drop you back off in downtown a few gradual downhill miles later.
No valley loop is complete without a stop at Bread bakery located at the intersection of CR 250 and Florida road. They have the tastiest cookies in town and some great cappuccinos too. This ride is less than thirty miles and mostly flat. You usually have to deal with a head wind coming back but if you do it in the clockwise direction you will be somewhat sheltered by the looming red rock cliffs.
Now that you’ve knocked the cobwebs out of the legs after the trip to Durango it’s time to tackle what we’re famous for, mountain biking. Durango is known for hosting the first ever Mountain Bike World Championship at the Purgatory ski resort back in 1990. Trails 2000 is the local advocacy group responsible for building and maintaining the hundreds of miles of trails easily accessed with a short pedal from downtown.
One of my favorite rides is some variation of the Colorado Trail. The CO Trail runs all the way from Denver to Durango but for this ride we’ll be sticking close to Durango and riding about twelve miles.
You start from downtown by riding the bike path to 25th street. You head west on 25th and that road becomes Junction Creek road. As soon as the road turns to dirt, two or three miles the Colorado trailhead is on the left. The trail follows Junction Creek before crossing it and starting the long climb up to Gudy’s rest. Stop to take in the view of town from the high pines before continuing on for a few hundred yards. At this first trail intersection you will turn left onto Hoffheins Connect and it’s all downhill from here. You will enjoy some swoopy single track through the forest before coming to another trail intersection and making another left onto the bottom of the Dry Fork trail. This trail has more of the same but all too soon you’re at the trailhead. Turn right on the dirt road at the trailhead and continue downhill until you tee into a pavement road. Turn left and you will tee into HWY 160 in a few minutes. Another left turn will bring you the couple of gradual downhill miles on 160 back into downtown. You can jump on the bike path right before you tee into HWY 550 if you want to avoid the traffic and finish up along the Animas River. This ride has a substantial amount of climbing, probably two thousand feet, but usually takes me about one hour and thirty minutes and is entirely single track. Many new trails have popped up since I moved to town but this one has always been a staple of the system.
The reservation staff at Durango Colorado Vacations can find the perfect vacation rental for you and your family right on some of the best biking routes available. I use their properties for my high altitude training and find them extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Give them a call!

The situation with our precious river has been occupying a lot of our thought and attention lately. Many people have been emailing, texting, and calling about the mine spill into our river. Here is some current information about Durango.
Answers About the Animas River

When did this incident happen?
The Gold King Mine breach happened north of Silverton on August 5, 2015.

Is the drinking water safe?
Yes, the tap water is safe to drink. The Animas River always has been our secondary source of drinking water. The main source is the Florida River. City staff turned off and blocked the intakes from the Animas River last Wednesday before the plume reached Durango. The pumps will remain off until notified that the Animas is safe for pumping drinking water. Because the Florida River is now the sole source of drinking water, we encourage everyone to conserve water.

Is the river still orange?
No, the images of discolored water circulating in the media are from the initial discharge, almost one week ago. The Animas River remains closed; however, and the color has cleared from the river.

What about the river water quality? Is it still contaminated?
The latest water samples – taken Friday, August 7, 2015 after a mustard-yellow plume of mining wastewater moved through Durango – shows that both heavy-metal and pH levels have returned to normal conditions, as reported by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Dr Wolk also said, “At this point, we don’t feel there’s any potential risk for human health.”

How about the health of the river?
Our river is doing surprisingly well. Colorado Parks and Wildlife placed 108 fish in the Animas River on Wednesday, August 5th, well before the mustard-yellow plume arrived in Durango. The rainbow trout endured tainted waters for 6 days until Tuesday, August 11th, when they were removed from the river. The agency wanted to see if the fish would survive the polluted waters. Biologists checked on the three cages several times a day. With the exception of one that died immediately from unrelated causes, all the fish survived, said Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Also, a group of researchers with Mountain Studies Institute, which has an office in Durango, said insects on the river appear alive. Researchers caught a salmon fly, which is sensitive to pollution. Since the fly was doing well, researchers are optimistic that it bodes well for the river.

What about the air quality in the area?
This Gold King Mine situation was not an airborne contamination. The air quality in the area is not currently affected by this incident.

What does the river closure mean?
The Animas River is currently closed to recreational activities by Order of the La Plata County Sheriff until such time as the river has been deemed ultra-safe for contact and possible ingestion. The current schedule date for reopening is August 17, 2015.

Is the town of Durango closed?
No, the Animas River is only one aspect of our town. Durango and La Plata County are open with business as usual with plenty of activities. The Animas River is closed to recreational activities however there are numerous lakes and rivers for water recreation in the area.

If I still want to raft, fish or boat what are my options?
Vallecito Lake—18 miles from Durango, it is the largest body of water at this elevation or higher in Colorado. Fishing, boating, SUP, kayak, shoreline activities.

Water recreation and fishing: Electra Lake, Haviland Lake, Little Molas Lake, Andrews Lake, Upper Hermosa Creek, Navajo Reservoir, Cascade Creek, Potato Lake, West Lime Creek, San Juan River, Los Pinos River, Lemon Reservoir, Piedra River, La Plata River, Mancos River, Dolores River.

Fishing Guides:
Duranglers offers fly-fishing on the Florida River, Dolores and San Juan River. Still lots of waters to guide on. 1-888-FISHDGO, http://duranglers.com/florida-river-fly-fishing

San Juan Anglers offers guides for walk-in trips, San Juan trips, high-country tributaries and lakes. http://thesanjuanangler.com , 970-382-9978

You can continue to trust that the Durango Colorado Vacations will not compromise when it comes to providing safe and comfortable environment to our out of town guests and community.
Please call the office if you have any questions, 970-247-4292.

Tucked away in the colossal San Juan Mountains of Colorado is Purgatory, an unparalleled ski destination guaranteed to impress visitors of all ages and skill levels. Many factors combine to make this gorgeous area ideal for skiing, such as its remarkable weather and exciting surrounding areas.  Find out why Purgatory in Colorado guarantees the best skiing for the whole family!

  1. Best Ski Weather

Purgatory is known to have 300 days of blue sky a year, causing most people to consider it the best ski weather around!  Winter weather generally ranges between 10-50 degrees Fahrenheit; summers in Purgatory usually averages in the 80s and very rarely peaks above 90.  Purgatory in Colorado gets a gratuitous amount of snow as well, typically about 260 inches annually, usually falling the heaviest during the months of February and March.  Ski enthusiasts will be thrilled with the large amounts of powder throughout the many slopes of Purgatory.

  1. Variety of Slopes

Purgatory in Colorado has ski slopes designed for all skill levels and ages.  The terrain is divided into 20% beginner runs, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced, and 5% expert.  88 different runs are intertwined into the 1,360 acres of skiable terrain that Purgatory has to offer, the longest run being 1 mile.  A wide variety of terraces, rollers, and banks create an exhilarating rush all the way to the end.  Purgatory offers 10 lifts, including one high-speed lift that can carry up to 6 people.  For the visitors who aren’t as fond of skiing, there are many other snowy activities to participate in, such as ice climbing, dog sledding, tubing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and snowmobiling.

  1. Nearby Attractions

If you need to take a quick break from skiing, there are many local attractions to explore during your down time.  A ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will reveal scenery like no other; this train travels through the San Juan National Forest and along the Animas River, providing glimpses of authentic Colorado nature.  Mesa Verde National Park is another intriguing site displaying the beauty and history of Colorado; take a journey back in time by examining its ancient cliff dwellings and preserved archaeological sites.  Or if you need some rest after a long day of skiing, visit the Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs to relax in naturally heated waters surrounded by picturesque views of the mountains.  Their professional staff offers a variety of massages and body treatments as well to relieve any sore muscles!

  1. Food and Entertainment

Skiing can work up an appetite!  Purgatory in Colorado has many restaurants and bars located close-by where you can unwind and enjoy a fantastic meal.  The popular Bar D Chuckwagon offers a Western-style menu and also performs live comedy and music for the entertainment of their guests. 6512’ Restaurant and Lodge is another appealing hotspot near Purgatory in Colorado; frequently featuring a live band, 6512 offers mouthwatering entrees, an appealing happy hour, and a luxurious Sunday brunch complete with bottomless mimosas.  There’s also the Carver Brewing Company for beer lovers; this microbrewery has won a lot of attention for creating quality brews and excellent food, both made with the freshest local ingredients.

  1. Great Value

Money is always a key factor when planning a vacation.  Purgatory in Colorado offers affordable skiing and programs for everyone.  You’re also not restricted to visiting during limited times; Purgatory in Colorado is a great vacation destination no matter the time of year.  Activities such as zip lines, trampolines, climbing walls, mechanical bulls, and other fun amenities are offered during the warmer months, providing year-round entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Come and Stay at Durango Vacation Rentals!
Let us help make your ski trip to Purgatory in Colorado even better and easier!  Durango Vacation Rentals offers some of the most comfortable cabins in beautiful mountain areas, suited for families and groups of all sizes.  View our availability and plan your vacation today!

Photo by Up-Free / Pixabay

Due to its perpetually sunny weather, picturesque mountain scenery, and just the right amount snowfall, Colorado has time and time again proven to be an unparalleled ski vacation destination.  One area in particular, the territory surrounding the beautiful town of Durango, contains some of the best ski mountains in the country.  These ski areas provide a wide variety of different trails, ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels and encompassing all different types of terrain.  Discover which areas are the best fit for your ski vacation in Durango and plan your trip today!

Best Ski Vacation Spots in Durango, Colorado

Receiving over 260 inches of annual snowfall, Purgatory is considered to have the ideal amount and type of snow for the best skiing. Its variety of slopes, as well as the large number of other activities included in the area (such as sledding and tubing) make this destination a fantastic skiing experience for the entire family.San Juan Ski Company
With excellent cat-skiing and grounds spread over 35,000 acres, the San Juan Ski Company is a fantastic source for skiing and snowboarding.  This area is mainly meant for expert skiers that can handle 8,000-12,000 foot drops as well as intimidating bowls, cliffs, and chutes.
Silverton Mountain
Strictly an advanced level only ski area, Silverton Mountain offers a combination of heli skiing, snowcat skiing, and resort skiing to create the most unique skiing experience.  This environment is very rugged and untamed, providing the most adventurous runs for the daring skier!
Kendall Mountain Ski Area
This family-friendly hill is the perfect companion to Silverton Mountain; this mini-ski area in the San Juan Mountains has easier slopes and drops and as well as areas for snowshoeing and sledding.  Kendall Mountain Ski Area is much better suited for beginner and intermediate skiers who can’t quite take on the slopes of Silverton Mountain yet.
Chapman Hill Ski Area
This is an in-town ski and skate area great for families and parties.  The Chapman Hill Ski Area has a rink used for ice skating in the winter and rollerblading in the summer in addition to its ski hill.  They also teach skiing lessons great for beginners to learn the basics and for advanced skiers to sharpen their skills.
Mesa Verde Cross Country Skiing
A monumental natural display in Colorado, the Mesa Verde National Park is made of over 5,000 archaeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings which provide an in-depth look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo.  This astounding park offers many activities, including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.  This is a fantastic addition to your ultimate ski vacation; you can admire the amazing views of Colorado scenery and wildlife while traversing through this peaceful winter wonderland.

Stay with Us at Durango Colorado Vacations!

Now that you’ve chosen to travel to Colorado for your ultimate ski vacation, you can explore our many Durango vacation rentals! Durango Colorado Vacations offers luxurious houses, cabins, apartments, apartments, cottages, and villas, all fully equipped with the best amenities.  Every property is located within picturesque mountain scenery and vibrant wildlife.  Check our availability and book your stay in one of our amazing rentals today!
Photo by Hans / Pixabay

Isn’t it every skier’s dream to ski right out of your front door, without the need to drive anywhere for an afternoon of winter sports and activities?  If you’re planning a ski vacation to Colorado, you probably want to stay somewhere as close to the slopes as possible!  Durango Colorado Vacations has numerous amazing vacation rentals, all located within the most beautiful spots of this scenic state.  We also offer slopeside rentals, the most convenient spaces possible for any ski enthusiast!  Check out our five slopeside rentals around the Durango, CO, area to help you decide which one you want to stay in during your next ski weekend in Colorado!

5 Durango Colorado Vacations Slopeside Rentals

  1. 13 Elkpoint

Convenience is a key element of any vacation; here in 13 Elkpoint, you are just steps away from the intriguing shops and restaurants of the nearby Purgatory mountain village.  Relax in this four-bedroom, four-bathroom paradise within the mountains, complete with fireplace, wireless internet, a private garage, and cable television!

  1. Alpen Glow

Tucked away in Purgatory Mountain is Alpen Glow, a deluxe ski in/ski out lodge.  Opportunities for entertainment are endless here; not only are you located in the ideal spot for snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, but this home also has a game room (complete with pool table), and a private hot tub, perfect for unwinding after an exciting afternoon on the slopes.  You’ll love the space that this four-bedroom, four-bathroom unit provides; there’s even an attached two-car garage to store any gear you brought along.  Among the additional amenities here are a fully equipped kitchen, a large, flatscreen television, a fireplace, a washer and dryer, a BBQ grill, and a balcony.

  1. 6 Elkpoint

One of the greatest slopeside rentals you could ever hope to stay in, 6 Elkpoint in Purgatory contains pure extravagance with its 18-foot ceilings, stone fireplace, comfortable leather couches, and rustic Colorado decor.  Enjoy the entertainment room with its large television and foosball table, along with the grand kitchen, fireplace, balcony, BBQ grill, and more.  Ten people are able to comfortably stay in this four-bedroom, four-bathroom unit.

  1. 5 Elkpoint

There’s no better way to start your morning than gazing out at the colossal Needle Mountains of Colorado.  When you stay in 5 Elkpoint, you’ll be treated to a beautiful balcony, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, an entertainment room, a large family room with a fireplace, and more.  Those who love skiing will appreciate the ski slopes right in their backyard.

  1. 721 Durango Mountain Resort

Indulge yourself during your getaway to Colorado by staying in one of the most gorgeous slopeside penthouses around, 721 Durango Mountain Resort.  Nestled right in the heart of the Purgatory Village, this condo contains a balcony, hot tub, fully equipped kitchen, 3 bedrooms, and wood-burning fireplace.  Take advantage of the many benefits this unit offers and plan to stay here during your next ski trip to Colorado!

Come Stay with Us at Durango Colorado Vacations!

Now that you’ve received a glimpse of our many rental homes, don’t hesitate a moment longer!  Check our availability and book one of Durango Colorado Vacations’ luxurious vacation rentals today!