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Enjoy the Journey from Durango to Purgatory

The trip from Durango to Purgatory Resort is just a 30 minute drive north up US 550 North. Even though 27 miles of highway separated the two mountain destinations, sometimes it's more about the journey than the end! Here's how you can make the most of the trip from Durango to Purgatory while making some memories along the way.

Driving Durango to Purgatory

Getting behind the wheel and making the drive from Durango to Purgatory is a great way to take in some scenic views of the San Juan Mountains. The trip is easy to navigate, just hop on Main Ave. and continue north up US 550 for approximately 30 miles. A trip up US 550 feels like a backroads adventure and features some of the most beautiful scenery you'll find along a highway anywhere in the country.

Purgatory Resort

The highway spans from Bernalillo, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado, and is part of the San Juan Scenic and Historic Byway. You'll see scenic mountain vistas, travel through tunnels, and even ride alongside rocky cliffs as you make the drive.

Million Dollar Highway

If you take US 550 even further north, past Purgatory Resort, you'll find a stretch of road known as The Million Dollar Highway. No one's quite sure how this 12-mile section between Silverton and Ouray got the moniker. It might be from the breathtaking San Juan scenery, the amount it cost to build the highway or the gold ore found during construction.

Million Dollar Highway

A regular front-wheel drive vehicle should handle the drive up 550 N. from Durango to Purgatory just fine during mild weather. However, if the weather is snowy or inclement you might be safer making the trip in an all-wheel drive vehicle equipped with snow tires or chains.

The trip from Durango to Purgatory resort takes you right through Trimble. This small community dates all the way back to 1893 and is named after Frank Trimble, a local cattleman who put this area on the map more than a century ago. Today Trimble is home to a golf course and a few small businesses. While Trimble's history is interesting, the area's hot springs are what make it truly special.

Durango Hot Springs

Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa is just 8 miles north of Durango and is unlike anything else you've ever experienced. The resort features 41 thermal water features all infused with healing minerals, from soaking pools to a rainwater tower. You can enjoy the springs year-round as the geo-thermal-heated water comes out at 120 degrees before cooling to a more comfortable temperature.

Durango Hot Springs
View from the Million Dollar Highway Durango to Purgatory

Durango to Purgatory Shuttles

It's easy to enjoy the drive from Durango to Purgatory Resort. But if you'd prefer to leave the driving to someone else, you're in luck. Chartered shuttles from Durango to Purgatory are available year-round, with only a few black-out days. Shuttles leave from the La Plata County Airport or downtown Durango. The shuttle needs to be reserved at least 24 hours in advance and can be a little spendy, starting at $87 each way. Contact Purgatory's Transportation Department for more information by calling (970) 426-7282.

San Juan Skyway

Other Ways to Get to Purgatory from Durango

Rideshare services Uber and Lyft both serve Durango. You might be able to snag a ride to get from Durango to Purgatory. Fares vary by demand and vehicle, starting as low as $40 to as much as $150 before the driver's tip. Local transportation services can also help you make the trip to Purgatory from Durango: Buck Horn Limosene, Animas Transportation, and Durango Cab.

Traveling from Durango to Purgatory is a great way to see the San Juan Mountains while experiencing the best of Southwest Colorado. For more ideas on how to make the best of your trip, be sure to follow us on Facebook. Start planning your next adventure today!

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