We have lived less than 8 hours from Durango, Colorado for more than two decades, and after visiting this town I can’t believe we didn’t go sooner. Durango is a cool mountain town in Colorado’s southwest corner.
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Things to do in Durango Colorado
- Take a ride on the Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Explore Downtown Durango
- Walk the Animas River Trail
- Hike or drive the Scenic Campus Loop
- Drive the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway
- Drive the Million Dollar Highway
Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a popular attraction in Durango. This historic train has been operating since the late 1800’s. Originally used to haul silver and gold, it offers visitors spectacular views. For more information.
Explore Downtown Durango Colorado
Durango has such a nice walkable downtown area with plenty of shops, restaurants and art galleries to visit. You can take a stagecoach ride through the downtown.
All of the historic buildings in Durango contribute to the charm of the city. On 3rd street you can view elegant Victorian style homes. On main street check out the Strater Hotel. It has been a part of this town since 1887, as their website says it is a hotel and a living museum to the town’s past.
The Diamond Belle Saloon is located inside the hotel. For more information
Walk the Animas River Trail
The beautiful Animas River runs through Durango and their is a lovely paved walk that follows the river. There is parking at Schneider Park.
Campus Loop Scenic Drive
If you want the best views of Durango take East 8th street from downtown Durango to Rim road. You can hike the campus loop, however we had our bike so we drove Rim road around the Fort Lewis College. We even saw a few deer on the path.
The San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway
Take a ride on one of the most scenic drives in the country. The San Juan Sykway Scenic Byway is located in south west Colorado.
One of the most scenic drives in the country: the San Juan Skyway in Colorado forms a loop from Durango through Silverton, Ouray, Placerville, Telluride, Rico, Cortez, Marcos and then back to Durango. It forms a loop from Durango through Silverton, Ouray, Placerville, Telluride, Rico, Cortez, Marcos and then back to Durango. Not only was this 263-mile scenic loop one of the prettiest drives we have ever taken, it was a lot of fun on a motorcycle.
This 263-mile scenic loop was one of the prettiest drives we have ever taken and it was a lot of fun on a motorcycle. We stayed in Durango, so our ride started from there. We left the city following state highway 550 towards Silverton following the Silverton train. For awhile we were riding side by side.
Hwy 550 takes you past Baldy Mountain and winds through Hermosa, Pinkerton Springs and the San Juan National Forest. Past Purgatory and Cascade skiing resorts, the road has some fantastic curves.
You will be climbing up high winding mountain pass roads with no guard rails. There is a spot to stop and take photos at the second mountain pass Molas Pass Summit at 10, 910 feet.
Silverton is a former silver-mining town, it is now a national historical district. We grabbed a bite to eat at at Handlebar’s Food & Saloon. After lunch we left Silverton and started on the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray.
The Million Dollar Highway
The Million Dollar Highway is part of the San Juan Scenic skyway that connects the towns of Silverton and Ouray. Carved out of the Anvil Mountain it was built in the late 1800’s and is 25-miles in length. It is a six-mile stretch from Silverton to Ouray with million dollar views.
The views on the Million Dollar Highway are outstanding.
Durango Colorado makes our list of one of our favorite places in the USA. Can’t wait to visit again.