The lovely town of Durango, Colorado is nestled on the shores of the Animas River, where the U.S. Highways 160 and 550 meet. The city is very walking-friendly, as it covers only around 5.6 square miles of land. What is more, many of the unique shops, restaurants, adventure tour headquarters, and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are located in the downtown district along Main Avenue. Where Main Avenue and 14th Street meet southward all the way to where Main Avenue and 5 th street merge is considered downtown Durango. Here are some tips to help you get around.
Where Is Durango?
Durango, Colorado is located along the Animas River in southwestern Colorado just south of the San Juan National Forest and east of the Mesa Verde National Park. Durango is in the four corners a region of the United States consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, northwestern corner of New Mexico, northeastern corner of Arizona, and southeastern corner of Utah.
Ride The Durango Transit
The Durango Transit system consists of buses (called The Lift) and trolleys that run in three convenient lines weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:40 p.m. The Lift lines connect at College Drive and Main Avenue, Fort Lewis College, and Albertson’s. Any sign bearing the red Durango T logo is a bus stop, and the fare is typically $1. The historic Durango Trolley runs along Main Avenue from Days Inn to College Drive (6th Street) in 20-minute cycles from 7:00 a.m. to 10:40 p.m. each day.
Late nighters can catch the Late Night Weekend Bus Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The Late Night Bus will transport riders anywhere within Durango city limits north of the U.S. Highway 160/550 intersection. Remember, the last Late Night Bus leaves downtown Durango at 2:10 a.m. – don’t be left behind. Call the Durango Transit at (970) 259-5438 for more information.
Note: The city of Durango received an anonymous donation that allows veterans to access transit services free for 2021. Veterans can get their free pass at the Transit Center (250 W. 8th St.) with a photo ID and veteran ID card.
Parking is available at the Durango Airport. The first 30 minutes are free, then $1 per additional half hour with a maximum of $7 per 24 hour period. More information is available by calling 247-9501. Durango Parking in Downtown Durango consists of street parking and permit spaces. Municipal lots are available free of charge in the evenings after 5 p.m. and all-day on Saturday, Sunday, and U.S. Holidays. Parking is by permit only during weekdays.
Street parking is controlled by parking meters. Be aware that some meters are limited to 30 minutes, 3-hour, and 10-hour time limits. Trolley tokens may be used for payments to parking meters, which may be offered freely by local businesses as a courtesy to patrons. Tokens may be purchased in bulk at City Hall or participating banks for $9.00. A nine dollar roll contains ten dollars worth of tokens. Do not park alongside yellow curbs except for evenings after 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Parking alongside yellow curbs is permitted on Sundays all day with no fee. Curbs painted green are never available for parking. These are bus and trolley passenger stops.
The Central Business District has over one thousand metered on-street parking spaces and over 350 permit parking spaces in the city's off-street parking lots. Between the hours of 2 am and 5 am, on-street parking is not allowed in the Central Business District. Overnight parking is available at any of the municipal parking lots (at the Transit Center and along 2nd Avenue).
Permits can be purchased at City Hall, the Bank of Colorado, Wells Fargo, or the First National Bank of Durango for a fee of 15 dollars per month. Municipal lots can be found on 2 nd Avenue in Durango on the 600, 700, and 800 blocks. The largest lot is a car park at the 700 block of Camino Del Rio.
Vehicles that do not obey all parking rules are subject to violation enforcement. If you receive a fine for violation of parking regulations in Durango, you may pay your fine at City Hall. A box is available for fine payment outside. Questions about parking concerns or fees may be directed to the Parking Division office at City Hall.
Note: In order to encourage supporting local businesses, the City of Durango Parking Division has placed free parking signs in the spaces of some meters in the Central Business District intended for curbside food pickup use. Commercial loading zones may also be used for pickup with a max of 10 minutes parking time. They ask the community to use the honor system and use these spots for only their intended purposes.
Stroll Pedestrian-Friendly Streets
Put on your walking shoes and have at it! Downtown Durango is gorgeous, with a quaint, safe, and visually appealing downtown district and a sprawling river walk along the Animas River, you don’t even need a car to see and experience much of Durango. The Animas River Trail is nearly five miles of paved river walk along the Animas River in Durango.
The north end can be accessed near the intersection of 32nd Avenue and E. 2nd Avenue, and the south end of the Animas River Trail lies in the proximity of the Durango Mall. You can enter the trail at 9th Street and near the Durango Recreation Center as well.
Ride The Durango Train
Another great way to see southwest Colorado is the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been in operation for over 120 years and continues to offer train rides year-round. Ride to Silverton and enjoy the scenery along the way. Catch a ride into the national forest and spend the day fishing, hiking, or just enjoying the solitude. Book your train tickets four to six weeks in advance for this popular trip.
Durango Rental Cars
Rental car services are available at the Durango Airport, as well as at the Albuquerque International Airport. Rental agencies serving the Albuquerque international airport include Advantage, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Rental agencies from Durango’s regional airport include Avis, Dollar, Budget, Hertz, and National.
Durango also has a regional airport with jet aircraft service, the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The airport is served by three airlines. United Airlines serves Durango through Denver, American Airlines serves Durango through Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and Delta services Durango through Salt Lake City (beginning May 12, 2021). The airport is situated to the southeast of Durango. It is accessible from Durango by taking U.S. 550 South and then taking U.S. 160 East approximately 5.5 miles to Highway 172. From Hwy. 172, the airport is located on Airport Road, also known as C.R. 309, a right turn off of Hwy. 172.
The airport operates two parking lots for passengers. Both lots offer access to the terminal building and a $7 maximum fee per twenty four hours. The first half hour of parking is free in both lots.