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Overview

Durango doesn't quite have the international skiing reputation of northern neighbors Telluride, Aspen and Vail, but it does have Purgatory Village, the friendly little ski area inside Durango Mountain Resort. About 20 miles north of the city, Purgatory has an elevation of almost 11,000 feet and trails that start off bumpy but smooth out as you go — perfect for beginners. The village itself is packed with restaurants and bars, as well as the massive Lodge at Tamarron, on 750 acres in the woods. And Durango itself is well worth a visit: it's a college town with a lively Main Avenue, on the Animas River, underneath huge mesas; higher-end ...

Durango doesn't quite have the international skiing reputation of northern neighbors Telluride, Aspen and Vail, but it does have Purgatory Village, the friendly little ski area inside Durango Mountain Resort. About 20 miles north of the city, Purgatory has an elevation of almost 11,000 feet and trails that start off bumpy but smooth out as you go — perfect for beginners. The village itself is packed with restaurants and bars, as well as the massive Lodge at Tamarron, on 750 acres in the woods. And Durango itself is well worth a visit: it's a college town with a lively Main Avenue, on the Animas River, underneath huge mesas; higher-end hotels, restaurants and rows of shops have sprung up in recent years to supplement the growing tourist demand. The city is within 30 miles of Mesa Verde National Park and Four Corners — both open throughout the winter, albeit with shorter hours — as well as ski resorts such as Telluride and Silverton.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter for skiing, spring and fall for deals in good weather