By now we're sure you've heard that Durango has been named one of America's top 10 ski towns, best winter weather among North American ski resorts, and undoubtedly one of the best party spots when winter weather takes it's toll. But if you've been to southwest Colorado during the snowy season, then you've probably already hit the slopes at Purgatory Resort and other skiing spots near Durango. So what else is there to do in Durango during the winter months? The answer is: a whole bunch.
If you have more experience with summer activities and are unfamiliar with snowmobiling in Durango, imagine something like a jet ski for snowy terrain. While the sport is backcountry focused, it is definitely best to keep to the trails when you're exploring. You can find the latest trail reports for the Durango area from the San Juan Sledders website.
Explore the frozen beauty of the San Juan Mountains with a little help from some canine companions. You can be as involved as you like in the dog sledding process when you book with Durango Dog Ranch, a family-run kennel who's had mush on the brain for over 25 years. This a truly unique experience that you won't ever forget, and you might even get to snuggle some puppies afterward.
Check out the snowy mountainscape from a new vantage point: the helm of a dogsled. The guides at Durango Dog Ranch will help you handle the reins of Alaskan and Siberian huskies as they race through white evergreen forests.Sunset Magazine
If you're the kind of person who loves to stay active outdoors no matter the season, fat biking might be the winter sport for you. Cyclists on mountain bikes equipped with 4-5 inch wide tires on low tire pressure glide over surfaces like powdery snow or sand. Plus, you can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour with less recovery time than after an hour long run (See: 6 Reasons We Can't Get Enough Of Fat Biking), making this a great option for anybody itching for some solid exercise.
Winter Train to Cascade Canyon
One of our favorite excursions on the Durango train, the 26 mile journey to Cascade Canyon during the winter season will provide you with some of the most picturesque views of the San Juans of the entire year. The coaches are comfortably heated and cozy, and this trip is a great one for families and groups with children.
Bring out your inner child with a quick trip down a snowy hill on a giant inflatable tube. Our pick for best snow tubing in Durango is the Hesperus Tubing Hill, a local favorite mountain spot that's open seven days a week (4:00 - 9:00 pm on Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 9:00 pm on Saturdays, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm on Sunday). A single guest can tube for $10 per hour, and each additional guest is $5 per hour.
Okay, so this one is a little bit skiing - but certainly not like you've ever seen skiing before. Think water skiing, but instead of a boat you have a horse (guided by a rider) pulling the skiier through a series of obstacles. The thrilling spectacle historically draws around 3 to 4 thousand people to Silverton, Colorado every year. You can see the event for yourself this upcoming February.
Quite frankly, the energy and excitement it brings to the town, having cowboys, horses and skiers, is just something you don’t get to experience very often.DeAnne Gallegos, Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce
A snowcat is a fully enclosed, truck sized vehicle with tracks designed to move easily through snow, and there are several ways to enjoy an excursion in one of these babies. Daytime tours provide views of scenic backcountry vistas that you wouldn't get to see otherwise, while an evening journey into the snow followed by a candlelit dinner is a great option for a romantic date. You can check out Purgatory Resort's website for more details.
A custom horse drawn sleigh ride through a winter wonderland is a great idea for a cozy, romantic adventure for two. Rapp Coral will help you celebrate the hollidays with the horse bells jingling amidst the fresh mountain air and breathtaking scenery. Be sure to dress warmly with hats, gloves, and coats to get the most out of your ride. You can make a reservation by calling (970) 247-8454.
Snowshoeing is a popular winter fitness activity great for those who love hiking or running in the warmer months. It's not very difficult to get started (if you can walk, you can snowshoe) and it's much more versatile than skiing or snowboarding. No matter how much snow is on the trails, you can make the trip. Get started by deciding the type of land you want to conquer and find the right pair of shoes to do so. There are three basic categories - flat terrain, rolling terrain, and mountain terrain - and you can find all of them in various locations around Durango.
This one might seem obvious, but it still belongs on the list. A common saying in the world of snowsports is that skiing is easier to learn but harder to master, and snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master. So if you've got plenty of skiing under your belt and are up for something a little different, challenge your balance and go for a board on the slopes.