Things to Do in Durango, CO
There is never a shortage of things to do in Durango, CO while staying in any of our rentals. No matter the season, you will find an abundance of fun Durango activities to enjoy, ranging from winter skiing to summer white water rafting. Take a ride on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for some educational fun and breathtaking views. To ensure that your visit to our vacation rentals is one to remember, we have compiled all the best things to do in Durango for you. Feel free to ask our knowledgeable staff for more information about the area and discounts on these great Durango activities!
Outdoor Activities in Durango
Great skiing. Great weather. No lift lines. Durango skiing offers the same type of skiing most folks look for at a large resort, but in a quaint, charming setting. Read more about Durango skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding.
Durango offers some of the best whitewater rafting in the state. From serene family rafting runs to high-adrenaline extreme runs, there is something for everyone here! There are a couple of whitewater rafting companies offering guided packages, including Southwest Raft & Jeep and Peregrine River Outfitters.
Southwest Raft & Jeep has one of the best family rafting runs found anywhere. The run starts on the north end of Durango and heads south toward New Mexico on the Lower Animas River. The run is rated Class III with many exciting waves and rapids. This trip offers beautiful scenery and is an excellent way to enjoy the region.
Southwest Raft & Jeep offers both oar and paddle rafts to best meet your desires, and provides state of the art life jackets, self-bailing rafts, safety equipment and the best guides found anywhere. To reserve by phone, call (800) 989-9792.
In 21 years of service, we have provided our clients and customers some of the most diverse fisheries, experienced guides and knowledgeable staff in the country! Duranglers has been a source for area fishing in Durango, CO for years.
Durango Dog Ranch
Gretchen and Gregg are seasoned guides who have been training and running dogs for over 10 years. Join them for a dog powered exploration of the snowy peaks of Southwest Colorado. The enthusiasm of being whisked along the trail by Siberian and Alaskan huskies is a feeling you will not soon forget.
See the mountains as very few have ever seen them on picturesque mountain trails. Warmth and safety are of the utmost importance. Hot drinks, fresh snacks, and a camaraderie between human and canine are just some of the highlights. Enjoy a lifetime adventure. All tours are booked by advanced reservation by calling 970-259-0694.
Entertainment in Durango
Dinner Sleigh Rides
Twenty-five miles upstream from Durango is Durango Mountain Resort, formerly known as Purgatory.
Dinner sleigh rides are one of the best things to do in Durango, CO. Family-friendly and easy on the budget, this mid-size mountain offers 1,200 skiable acres, 11 lifts, 85 trails and two new terrain parks. It is Colorado’s southernmost ski resort and is known for mild, sunny ski days and frequent night-time snowstorms. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, you can try such other snow sports as cross-country ski excursions, ski biking, snow tubing, guided snowshoe tours and back country snowcat trips.
For an evening outdoor adventure, Buck’s Livery offers dinner sleigh rides to a cozy mountain cabin.
If you’re looking for some fun and you like to gamble, Sky Ute Lodge and Casino is only 20 minutes south of Durango on Highway 172. You can reach them at 970-563-3000 or 800-876-7017. Another local gambling venue is the Ute Mountain Casino, located 11 miles south of Cortez. You can reach them at 970-565-8800.
Durango Arts Center
The Durango Arts Center advances the visual and cultural arts for the enrichment of the individual, the community of Durango and southwest Colorado. For artists traveling to Durango, visiting the DAC is one of the best Durango activities around. Exhibits are at the core of what DAC provides its community. As presenter, the DAC hosts and facilitates a number of activities around the shows. Exhibits are held in the Barbara Conrad Gallery located on the first floor of the Durango Arts Center. Four types of exhibits are represented in the calendar, which are created to provide diversity, breadth and quality.
The Durango Arts Center is a nonprofit, community-based arts organization dedicated to advancing the visual and cultural arts for the enrichment of the individual and the community. The Gallery Shop is committed to providing a quality fine arts and crafts venue for the Durango area.
Durango Colorado Community Concert Hall
Durango loves live music. Frequent performances throughout the year at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College offer many outlets for musicians and their fans. Intimacy is what you’ll find from any seat in the house. Even the back row of the balcony is only 89 feet from the stage. You’ll leave the performance wanting to return.
Durango Colorado Old Fashioned Melodrama
Located next to the Historic Strater Hotel at 7th St. and Main Ave. in Downtown Durango, Colorado, the world famous Diamond Circle Melodrama is a wonderful excursion back in time and one of the best Durango activities, to a bygone era of heroines, villains, and oh yes, the hero too.
Independent and Art House Films
The Abbey Theatre in Durango, CO is a small, independent theater that features an eclectic blend of the best entertainment available in the Four Corners region and Nationally. The theatre operates as both a state of the art cinema, featuring primarily “art house” films; and an intimate live concert venue attracting national and regional acts.
Music in the Mountains
At the height of the summer season, the Durango community virtually hums with activity as musicians arrive from nationally recognized symphony orchestras and guest soloists descend from lofty venues in world capitals. Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Durango is home to Durango Mountain Resort , the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, among other popular Southwest attractions.
In addition, nearby Pagosa Springs hosts three concerts at the spectacular Boot Jack Ranch. Each of these destinations is transformed into a site for Music in the Mountains concerts, which include orchestral performances, chamber ensemble programs, conservatory recitals, a Pops night, free concerts for children and their families, and special events. All of the musicians who perform with the Festival Orchestra and the chamber music ensembles are professionals currently enjoying careers with nationally recognized symphony orchestras or noted musical organizations.
Many choose to come to Durango for the summer from the Dallas/Fort Worth area; some have come from as far away as the Canary Islands. Several others hold teaching positions at prestigious universities and colleges.
Gold Mine Tours
The underground world of the hard rock miner is rarely seen by “outsiders.” Now you, too, can go “on shift” and see the earth from the inside out. A one hour guided tour takes you 1/3 mile into Galena Mountain where you follow the vein and learn how mining was done. At The Old Hundred ™ you get to see and experience actual operating mining equipment in a real mine setting. Outside, the awesome scenery is worth the visit. At Durango, you can’t go wrong with explore old gold mines. This attraction is easily one of the best things to do in Durango. Located in Cunningham Gulch just minutes from historic Silverton and easily accessible by car or RV, wildlife and natural wonders abound. Beaver and brook trout can be seen in the ponds below the mine, and elk, deer, and bear are sometimes seen.
One of the best things to do in Durango is see it from another perspective, and you can do so with a helicopter tour. There are several different types of tours with varying times and locations. Read more about Durango, Colorado helicopter tours that are available.
Bartels’ Mancos Valley Stage Line takes pride in presenting our guests with the most authentic, historically accurate experience possible. Our knowledgeable western stagecoach drivers will give you a history of the stagecoach in the American West. The types of coaches used, structural integrity of the stage and how coaches were developed for specific purposes; the importance of the stage line in the expansion and settlement of the Old West’s frontier towns and other facts of interest. Read more about the stagecoach rides available in Durango.
Durango Silverton Train
Get a taste of the Old West on the Durango Silverton Train. It’s one of the best things to do in Durango. You can take a step back 100 years in the past while aboard the train. Today, the trail is still operated as a tourist train line called the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG). Read more about this train adventure through Durango.