Winter Activities in Durango Colorado

skiing at purgatory resort - durango colorado

One of Americas Top 10 Ski Towns

Winter in Durango! Well, lets start by saying that Ski Magazine has honored Durango as one of Americas Top 10 Ski Towns and in a recent poll it was voted #1 for best weather among North American Resorts! Downhill skiing and snowmobiling may be the most popular winter sports in Durango, but lets not stop there! In Durango, you will have a true Rocky Mountain winter experience with snow-cat and backcountry skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, horseriding and horse drawn sleigh rides, dog-sledding, ice-climbing and even ice-fishing. The Chapman Hill Ski Area in town is the perfect terrain to play around with the kids, no chairlifts, just tow-ropes to a small slope perfect for beginners, with the added bonus of an ice-skating rink.

Purgatory Resort

With an average of 260 inches of snow a per year and over 300 bluebird days of sunshine, Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort) is Durangos local resort ski area, and only 27 miles north of downtown Durango with a wonderful variety of terrain to accommodate skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Named after the nearby Purgatory Creek, a tribute of the River of Lost Souls, Purgatory offers 1,525 acres of skiable terrain with 11 chairlifts servicing 92 runs of steep tree skiing, wide open cruisers, five terrain parks and majestic mountain views. Ranked as the second-least-crowded ski area on the continent, you wont find many lift lines here! Beat the mid-winter blues on the sun-soaked slopes with outstanding winter sports, world-class amenities and fun activities, with great shopping and restaurants in the village. We are confident that snow seekers of all abilities will want to come back for more!

Hesperus Ski Area

snow tubing in durango

Need more slope time at the end of the day? Try lighted, night skiing at Hesperus Ski Area! Only 11 miles west of Durango, Hesperus is a small ski resort with 160 skiable acres, 26 trails and only one double chairlift, yet still no lift lines. If you are new to skiing or travelling with small kids, Hesperus Ski Area is the perfect place to start. Small kids will love the rope tow on the beginners ski area and there are a few tough slopes for Dad to make some sharp turns! There is nothing fancy here, it is a basic family-friendly ski area with friendly staff, easy parking and access to lifts and incredible panoramic views of the La Plata Mountains. The bonus here is the Monday Saturday night skiing! A fun family activity just minutes from the comfort of your Durango vacation rental. We also offer vacation homes in the small town of Hesperus along the La Plata River, just 5 minutes from Ski Hesperus and the elegant Kennebec Caf.

Lets get EXTREME

Its not all magic carpets and groomed runs here in Durango. Expert skiers can enjoy one of the most incredible back country skiing experiences ever with the San Juan Ski Company, based at the Purgatory Resort. With more than 35,000 acres of terrain, this is the largest snow-cat ski terrain in Colorado and the 2nd largest in the USA! Rolling glades, wide open bowls, cliffs, chutes, gullies and trees this is the ultimate Cat Skiing experience. If you consider yourself an exceptionally skilled skier, ready to take on the highest ski area in North America rising from the wilderness to a summit of 13,487 feet, then Silverton Mountain is the place to be. A mere 54 miles north of Durango, this is raw nature! One chairlift, an easy hike across the ridge and you are in perfect powdery wilderness backcountry with no easy path down! Simply black diamond, adrenaline-induced skiing! Heli-skiing and private guides are available for the adventure of a lifetime! The nearby Kendall Mountain Ski Area is a great place to drop the less experienced skiers while you pursue perfect powder.

There is no better way to end your ski day than with a soak at Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs. Then, once you are settled into your Durango vacation rental, whether you choose a cabin at the lake, a historic home downtown or a condo at one of the ski resorts, there are plenty of outfitters and guides to ensure that your winter vacation in Durango is all you dreamed it would be.

As spring approaches and the snow melts away, muddy trails begin to warm and it is time to once again head to the waters and the wilderness. The rolling fairways invite you to return to execute the perfect shot and summer is around the corner with endless activities (hyper link to summer activities page) in our beautiful Rocky Mountain town!

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