Durango Winter Planning Guide

Best Christmas through mid-Winter Vacation
Durango, Colorado is the best place for your winter vacation. Maybe you are just seeking out the week-long winter party vibe of Snowdown 2014? Maybe this year instead of a romantic getaway, you've simply decided to celebrate your love for beer and breweries? Durango embraces Winter with everything from snow skiing to shopping. Stroll through over 500 unique shops of historic downtown. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out a snowmobiling adventure. Then, how could you forget the skiing and snowboarding scene of Durango's Purgatory Mountain located at Durango Mountain Resort  in the wintertime? The options in Durango are endless! There are plenty of things to do in this outdoorsy town, and every season has its highlights! Durango hosts everything from seasonal Holiday events, Durango Holidazzle, to the mid-Winter shenanigans entitled Snowdown.  So it's no surprise that HGTV  named Durango among their "Top 10 Christmas Towns." Did you know? Durango is one of the culinary hotspots of the southwest and features all of the finest restaurants. Visitors of any ilk have a great appreciation of Durango Colorado hotels, because they find everything from high-thread-count luxury linens to adorable roadside motor courts.

Durango HoliDazzle

The annual “HoliDazzle,” officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving– the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Gift certificates are given away as part of the comprehensive promotional program. HoliDazzle helps promote nearly 40 events or activities taking place in and around Downtown Durango. The effort is one of many organized to help sustain Durango’s Historic Downtown.Merchants put the “dazzle” in Holidazzle with the Window Decorating competition. Early word is that Santa Claus will also be making a visit to Historic Downtown Durango.

SnowDown 2015Whether you are a local or just someone who needs to attend a week-long mid-Winter party, Durango, Colorado is your kind of place. From the costume ball to the zany street parade, Durango plays host to some eye-popping shenanigans, and people flock to the SnowDown event. Be sure to follow the theme, and have a crazy good time. It is worth the trip. The SnowDown theme for 2015 is entitled "Steampunk Snowdown"

Slow down, reconnect and catch up with each other and rekindle your romance. How about a romantic room, and access to a natural hot springs and a couples massage? Enjoy a romantic ride on the Durango Train, and dinner for two. Build your own perfect vacation with this Durango Romantic Getaway package.

Liftopia

read more about Durango "Purgatory" Mountain ResortDurango Mountain Resort is not like most other ski towns where you basically ski into your hotel off the slope. The town of Durango is located about 30 miles away from the mountain ski slopes, and you do not want to miss the opportunity to experience downtown Durango! Durango Mountain Resort offers endless runs for snow enthusiasts of all skill levels. Durango Mountain Resort (Colorado) Lift Tickets from $48.99 (save 27%)

The resort's Purgatory Village is anchored by the new Purgatory Lodge and hosts a variety of shopping, dining, and guest services. On New Year's Eve, celebrate with a torchlight parade down Purgatory Mountain followed by fireworks at the base area--at dusk. The town of Durango and the nearby ski resort await you!

We also suggest taking a snowmobile adventure [ Outlaw Tours >>] through the San Juan Mountains. Just spend some unscripted time in nature, and breathe in the crisp mountain air.

Fantastic Snowmobiling Adventures

If weather cooperates, visitors can try crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing in Mesa Verde National Park. Outdoor enthusiasts consider Durango a top rock and ice climbing destination.

Hampton Inn

Beer Lovers Weekend ItineraryIf you're looking for fun things to do in Durango, then sampling beer will be one of the first things on your list. If you enjoy high quality microbrewed beer paired with delicious food, then this is the perfect weekend itinerary for you! Use this suggested itinerary to craft the perfect weekend! Experience the amazing breweries the city has to offer. Durango is home to a growing number of craft beer micro-breweries that have become very popular in recent years. Sample them all!

Historic Downtown Durango offers hundreds of unique boutiques, specialty shops, posh galleries, art markets, photography establishments, outdoor emporiums, groceries, and natural product stores.  Don’t forget the cozy coffee shops and great restaurants when looking for a shopping break.

Looking for Lodging in Durango, Colorado?

Winter Train

 

Winter Special

 

November 8 | What a Girl Wants - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm expo at LaPlata County Fairgrounds.

November 27 | Turkey Trot - 5-mile race and 1-mile fun run along a scenic course around Fort Lewis College. 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Registration at 9:00 am. 1:00 pm awards ceremony at the clock tower.

November 27 | Community Thanksgiving Dinner - 12:00 NOON - 2:00 pm at LaPlata County Fairgrounds. Everyone is welcome.

Durango Vacation Packages

December 5 | Noel Night - A special shopping night throughout downtown Durango's unique shops while you enjoy refreshments, caroling, free gift wrapping, entertainers, music, and a visit from Santa Claus. Be sure to visit the Welcome Center at 8th Street. and Main Ave.

December 5 - 7 | Festival of Trees - Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train Museum hosts Festival of Trees 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Enjoy beautiful decorated trees and wreaths + a silent auction. Enter a drawing for a chance to win a prize package valued at $400.

December 7 | Holiday Craft Bazaar - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Animas Museum. The solution to all of your gift giving dilemnas will be under one roof as area artists and crafters offer their best wares for sale. From jewelry to baked goods, there is sure to be something for everyone.

December 12 | Durango Winter Sports Foundation Snow Soiree - Durango’s premier winter celebration party you don’t want to miss! Festive formal gala to benefit the athletes of the Alpine, Freestyle, Free Ride, Nordic and Snowboard Teams. Presenting sponsor Durango Mountain Resort. Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones as we kick off the season with a celebration of winter. With cocktails, gourmet tastings, games, live performance by Vanilla Pop, dancing, prizes and unrivaled live auctions featuring the best items in sports, fitness, food and travel!!

December 12 - 14 | Festival of Trees - Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train Museum hosts Festival of Trees 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Enjoy beautiful decorated trees and wreaths + a silent auction. Enter a drawing for a chance to win a prize package valued at $400.

  Polar Express™ Package

Durango Train

In operation for over a century, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of the most unique ways to take in the spectacular views offered by the San Juan Mountains and the Animas River. Choose between an open-air gondola and a covered cabin, or for adults, there are Parlor Cars which come equipped with a full bar. Relax and watch the mountain peaks and river-cut canyons pass alongside the train.

Throughout the holidays, visitors enjoy The Polar Express™ - Ride the train on a magical journey to the North Pole! Children are actually encouraged to wear their pajamas and experience the same type of magical journey.
[ Visit Official Site Durango Train >>]

     
 
Durango Winter Sports

Durango Skiing and Winter Sports

Gear up to attend the Beach Bash at Durango Mountain Resort. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding with Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. You can save big on lodging, lift tickets, rentals and more! Experience the authentic southwest by staying in one of the Durango area's mountain lodges, rustic cabins, guest ranches, or luxurious old west resorts. Durango has a wide array of accommodations. Durango averages about 71 inches of snow per year, but the downtown area of Durango is quite manageable because it is in a low sun-drenched valley. Winter visitors love ample snow amounts for winter sports.

     
  Best Boutique Shopping in Colorado

Durango Shopping "Holidazzle"

The Durango Historic Downtown and central business district area boasts literally hundreds of boutiques and restaurants. Choose from unique specialty shops, or for the more ambitious, seek out an outdoor outfitter shop for gear to help you manage the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Experience the thrill of returning from your vacation and everyone asking you "Where did you find that?" Plan an escape that taps into your love for twinkling lights and winter strolling through boutiques and galleries during Holidazzle. Seasoned shoppers will find deeply discounted winter values to suit their most unique desires.

     
  Snowdown

SnowDown 2014

Whether you are a local or just someone who needs to attend a week-long mid-Winter party, Durango, Colorado is your kind of place. From the costume ball to the zany street parade, Durango plays host to some eye-popping shenanigans, and people flock to the SnowDown event. Be sure to follow the theme, and have a crazy good time. It is worth the trip. The SnowDown theme for 2014 is entitled "Safari So Good!"

     
  Mesa Verde National Park in Winter

Mesa Verde

If you are fortunate enough to be able to cross country ski or snowshoe in Mesa Verde National Park, you will not be disappointed. Two park roads are designated for cross country skiing and snowshoeing when snow permits. Skiing or snowshoeing in the backcountry of Mesa Verde National Park or other park roads is not permitted. With over 300 days of clear blue sky, Durango offers vacationers unlimited adventure. Forgo the traditional vacation spots and trendy theme parks.

     
  Durango is a top location for rock climbing

Ice Climbing

Durango offers unique geological formations found nowhere else in the world. Durango boasts “Whorehouse Ice Hose” at Eureka Canyon in Silverton. That’s not to say that beginners are not welcome. It is hard to learn Ice Climbing. On the contrary, the outfitters here in Durango would love to have you learn from them and would equally love to pass on all the knowledge they have gained through their years of experience. If you’re new to it, you’ve got a fun and exciting road ahead of you. Many popular areas for winter rock and ice climbing are near Durango, making it the ideal place to stay for all of your climbing adventures.

 

 

Featured Articles:

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Spring Powder for Durango - It is April 2, and you're not too late to capture the springtime snow and enjoy great skiing and riding!

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4 Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Durango this Spring and Summer - Our little Colorado city is the perfect place to get active outside!

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It's Not Too Late to THINK SNOW - Expect snowfall, and extended ski season, and a Beach Party!

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March Whitewater Rafting Giveaway by Mild to Wild - Enter for a chance to experience a half day of Lower Animas River Rafting.

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Fresh Snow Today and Powder All Weekend - More than 2 feet of snow is expected through Saturday, March 1st

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See the Stars at the Durango Film Festival - including Wes Studi and Judge Reinhold

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Durango Film Festival - 9th Annual Durango Film Festival takes place February 26 – March 2, 2014

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Meet the Brewers at DMR - Meet some local beer makers thanks to Meet the Brewers series at Durango Mountain Resort.

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Durango Snow Report - The recent series of storms over the past 12 days brought 44" of snow to the slopes of Durango.

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Eat Well and Train like a Winter Olympian on your Durango Vacation - Try your own moves on the slopes!

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Plan for Fresh Snow, and Venture Downtown - Snow is expected to continue through February 8, 2014.

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Happy Groundhog Day - To those who love Durango, it means six more weeks to pack in a fantastic winter vacation!

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Snow for Snowdown - Perfect timing for this mid-winter celebration of fun and light!

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A Magical Night in France - Enjoy a French-inspired 4-course dinner with wine followed by the movie Chocolat.

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Winterfest 2014 at Durango Mountain Resort - Winterfest at DMR takes place January 17 through January 20, 2014!

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Meaningful Vacation Idea: Dave Spencer Ski Classic - Explore more meaningful ways to enjoy a vacation while enriching lives.

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Unique 2014 Vacation Idea: Colorado Trails Guest Ranch - Consider a dude ranch vacation in Durango.

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Mark Your Calendars: Durango Chocolate Fantasia Coming Soon - La Plata County Fairgrounds on Friday, February 7, 2014

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Considering a Durango Destination Wedding? - Here in Durango, you’ll find everything you need to create your dream wedding.

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Snowdown 2014: Coming Soon - This year’s theme, Safari So Good, should bring a bit of wild fun to Durango.

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Durango Snowshoeing - Not big on the intensity of downhill skiing but love winter scenes? Snowshoeing is the perfect activity!

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Plan to Do Something Different in the New Year - Skijoring blends horseback riding and skiing.

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Durango's Own Mahogany Grille - Recently earning the 2013 Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine.

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Holiday Bustle on Main Ave. in Durango - Parking is a challenge, but downtown Durango is filled with holiday cheer.

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Celebrate NYE with Torch Light Parade - Even during winter’s darkest days, Durango is full of fun and light!

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Colorado Ski Season is Off to a Strong Start! - Interest in the slopes is increasing.

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Are you Ready to be Hollidazzled? - Make merry and experience the holidays with unrelenting, unique Durango style!

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Make Plans to Catch Some Freshies! - This latest blast of winter storms could possibly mean as much as 36 inches for the weekend.

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See Mesa Verde with Mild to Wild - Explore Mesa Verde National Park with a guided interpretive tour.

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Snowdown 2014: Safari So Good - Make winter’s short days and long nights a lot more fun with an epic celebration!

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Holiday Events at the Animas Museum - Preview of items December 6th 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, then bazaar on Saturday starting at 9:00 am.

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Ski Season Lifts Off Friday - Close to 30 inches of the white stuff now surrounds the hills around DMR

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The Polar Express™ Train - The Polar Express™ story comes to life November 23 - January 4, 2014

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Mesa Verde Luminarias - December 5, 2013 at Mesa Verde National Park 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in the Chapin Mesa area.

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Holiday Markets on Tap - Two special holiday markets give local gourmands a chance to stock up.

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Community Thanksgiving Meal - Everyone dines on turkey, trimmings, and homemade pies on Thanksgiving Day.

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Looking Ahead: Winter in Durango - Ski season is just a month away!

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Durangoans Ski Through March - 2012 - 2013 has been an exceptional ski season.

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100 Percent Chance of Snow and Entertainment - Expect powder March 8 - 9, 2013 + top entertainment in downtown Durango.

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Steampunk Stomp II Benefit - Saturday, March 16, 2013 6:00 pm to benefit the Durango Discovery Museum.

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Durango Snow Report - Snowflakes will fly on Durango ski slopes this coming Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday February 20 – 22, 2013.

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Volunteers Needed for DEVO Bike Swap - Also, see the DEVO kids in action at DMR Ski Bike Festival Februay 16 - 17, 2013.

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Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival - at the Strater Hotel in downtown Durango March 22 - 24, 2013.

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Fat Tuesday Powder at Purgatory - Five inches today and 3 inches for Fat Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

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Ski Joring in Silverton - Horseback riders pulling skiers. Wow!

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Exploring Possibilities - The Dave Spencer Ski Classic is life-altering good. Watch the video, and see why many volunteers are needed.

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Snow Accumulation and Venturing Downtown - Today, February 7th is sunny, but expect snowflakes to accumulate throughout the weekend.

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Snow is Falling, and Geeks Abound - DMR received 37+ inches, and it is snowing today, January 31st. Snowdown Geeks rule downtown.

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Snowdown 2013 Launch Sequence Activated - Get Your Geek On, and participate in Snowdown!

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Coffee Appreciation - With 10 places downtown dedicated to coffee, Durango has many options.

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Snowflakes On and Off Throughout the Weekend - New snow is predicted to begin midday today, January 24th.

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New Parks for More Family Fun - The 7-mile Animas River Trail lets you walk, run or ride without ever having to cross a street.

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Come Get Your Powder - This week is the perfect time to look for lodging and make plans to attend the annual winterfest celebration at DMR.

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Durango Film - southwest Colorado's premier showcase for independent film. Make plans now to attend!

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Snow Report - There's still powder to be found, and the resort is reporting that 92% of the terrain is open.

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Get Your Geek On! - When most people are hibernating, you’ll be having fun at Snowdown. Now is the best time to book your lodging

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Snowy New Year's Eve - Snow until 6:00 pm, then more powdery white snowflakes during the wee hours after "Auld Lang Syne."

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Ski Weekend in Durango - It is snowing at this very moment in Durango. Perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing this weekend.

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Snow is Dumping Today in Durango - Live in this moment, and book your Durango Lodging...plus discover the best rates on Lift Tickets.

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Full Operations December 21, 2012 at Durango Mountain Resort - Make plans to tackle the best powder after the big snow.

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Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee - Enjoy a preview of the awesome talent that is so beloved in Durango.

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Durango is the Number One Ski Value - Durango, Colorado was recently named the number one ski value by TripAdvisor®

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Santa Sleigh Ride - It's Santa sleigh ride time at the Rapp Corral. Take a ride December 17-24!

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Morning with Santa - Saturday, December 15, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in the Henry Strater Theatre.

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Durango a Top 10 Christmas-Crazy Town - Durango named by FrontDoor.com, which is HGTV's Real Estate website.

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Winter Solstice Artisans' Market - Opens this Friday, November 23, 2012 with a special reception 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

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Holiday Farmers Market - Saturday, December 15, 2012, 8:00 am until NOON at LaPlata County Fairgrounds.

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Snowdown 2013 - a weird and wonderful week-long winter celebration in Durango, Colorado January 31 through February 3, 2013

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Mesa Verde National Park Luminaria Open House - at Mesa Verde National Park. Enjoy luminarias and food on December 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

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Holidazzle - a special time of year in downtown that begins the day after Thanksgiving and lasts through New Year’s Day.

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Feature Friday - Silverpick Lodge - Hosting weddings for people from around the world with a reputation for excellent cuisine. 

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The Capitol Christmas Tree - Come out and enjoy free festivities at 8th and Main 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on November 9, 2012.

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The Polar Express Train
- Get on the train, and experience holiday enchantment as The Polar Express™ story comes to life.

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Winter Vacation Packages
- Durango comes alive during winter. It is the best winter vacation destination for skiing and winter sports.

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Hesperus Ski Patrol's Ski Swap
- Find inexpensive skis, poles, boots, jackets, goggles, gloves, hats and more.

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Mountainfilm
- a special film festival supporting Durango Nature Studies. 7:00 pm at Smiley Building Auditorium on Nov. 2, 2012.


Tips for Vacationing at High Altitude - Get your body accustomed to the high altitude. Durango, Colorado is 6,512 feet above sea level.


Feature Friday - Duranglers - a  fly fishing guide service and shop located downtown that matches client interests with fishing experience.


St. Patrick's Day in Durango! - St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday this year, so we're planning on taking full advantage by celebrating right! 


Snow Report - More Powder To Ya! - Looking for some awesome powder?  The snow finally showed up in Durango (a little late season)


Ski Mag Names Durango a "Dream Town" - 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains + nearly year-round opportunities.


GIVEAWAY - Mild2Wild Rafting Trip - Rafting giveaways to get your ready for your summer trip to Durango!


Valentine's Day in Durango - Romance on the Rails Brunch Train from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad!


Durango Back in the {Marathon} Running - The Durango Marathon is back! A successful event that hasn't been around since 2006.


Durango Named 1 of 7 Undiscovered Cities - in best-selling book, "1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die." 


Snow in Durango! - A weekend storm dropped almost a foot of snow at Purgatory! This brings mid-mountain snow depth to 43 inches.


Comedy Nights at the Hank - a three part comedy series at the Henry Strater Theatre with shows January - March


Plan Your 2012 Trip Today - If you're in need of a winter getaway, Durango is just the place!


The Holidays are Upon Us - HOLiDAZZLE is in full force and you will see beautiful window displays all around Downtown Durango! 


Durango Mountain Resort is Now Open - 2011 - 2012 ski season is upon us, and DMR is open for (weekend) business with plenty of snow! 


Feature Friday: Durango Lodge - Guests can walk to the restaurants and the main attraction in Durango, the Narrow Gauge Railroad.


Diapering Durango's Tiny Heinies - Through December 9th please bring diapers, formula and/or baby wipes to Durango locations.


The Lettermans & The D&SNGRR - David Letterman celebrated son Harry's birthday in Durango with a train trip to Cascade Canyon


Plan Your 2012 Trip Today - If you're in need of a winter getaway, Durango is just the place!


Thanksgiving & Durango.com - giving away one Durango.com DRO sticker every day November 8th through Thanksgiving Day!


Feature Friday: Silverpick Lodge - The only place you can stay a weekend with just your guests and never have to get back into your car.


Feature Friday: Purgatory Rentals & Caretaking - lodging options from large luxury ski in ski out townhomes to little cabins in the woods.


Feature Friday: Outlaw Tours - offers rafting trips, jeep and hummer trips, snowmobiling tours, and many other adventures!


Durango Tour de Brews - safe transport to sample four local breweries in a cool bus named "The Dude."

Beach Bash at Purg - the top destination for spring snow skiing and winter sports


Wild Wild West Chocolate - check out the Chocolate Fantasia event


Valentine's Day - Durango offers everything from hot springs to cuisine to romance on the rails.


Snow for Snowdown 2011 - this week for the annual Snowdown celebrations!


Groundhog Day 2011 Event - a very special tug-of-war match on E. Second Ave.


Durango, Colorado in the News - Durango added to two "top" travel destination lists


Durango Snow Report - Read full details about Durango Mountain Resort's Full Time Schedule


USA Today Names Durango a Top Weekend Getaway Spot - for its small town feel with plenty of things to do!


First Night/New Years Eve - with activities centered around the Crossroads Clock Tower at 11th St and Main


Bar D Wranglers - Durango's famous cowboy singers bring you a Christmas Jubilee


Noel Night - a very special event in Downtown Durango


Local Appreciation at Durango Train - Discounted price to local riders from November 28 - December 17


It's Almost HOLIDAZZLE Time in Durango! - HOLIDAZZLE officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving


Southwest Colorado Ranks at the Top of “North America’s 16 Best Ski Areas” by Outside Magazine

2010 - 2011 All Season Passes Now on Sale at Durango Mountain Resort

Durango, Colorado Named One of the Top Ten Christmas Towns by HGTV

Snowdown Theme Announced