15 Best Places and Things To Do in Durango, Colorado

Durango, Colorado is a small town located in the southwestern region of the state. Known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and abundance of outdoor activities, Durango has become a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Durango:

1. Animas River

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This 7-mile paved trail runs along the Animas River and is perfect for hiking, biking, or running. The trail offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains, and is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the outdoors.

2. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

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Located in downtown Durango, this museum showcases the history of the railroad and its impact on the region. Visitors can learn about the construction of the railroad, its role in the mining industry, and its impact on the local economy.

3. Durango Hot Springs

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Located just outside of town, this natural hot springs resort offers several pools of varying temperatures. Visitors can soak in the hot springs and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

4. Powerhouse Science Center

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This interactive science museum is housed in a historic power plant building in downtown Durango. Visitors can explore exhibits on renewable energy, the human body, and more.

5. James Ranch

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This family-owned ranch offers farm-to-table dining experiences, as well as tours of the ranch and farm. Visitors can see the cows, pigs, and other animals that call the ranch home, and sample some of the delicious cheeses and other products made on site.

6. Durango Dog Park

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This spacious dog park offers plenty of room for dogs to run and play. Visitors can let their dogs off leash and enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

7. Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum

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This educational facility offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the fish and wildlife of the area. Visitors can tour the hatchery, see live fish and other animals, and learn about the importance of conservation.

8. Animas Museum

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This local history museum offers exhibits on the history of Durango and the surrounding area. Visitors can learn about the early settlers, the mining industry, and the impact of the railroad on the region.

9. San Juan National Forest

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San Juan National Forest is a national forest located in southwestern Colorado, near the town of Durango. The forest covers over 1.8 million acres of mountainous terrain and includes a diverse range of ecosystems, from high-altitude alpine tundra to low-elevation desert canyons. The San Juan National Forest offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing. There are over 2,500 miles of trails in the forest, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes that reach elevations of over 14,000 feet.

10. Animas Mountain

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The Animas Mountain Trail is a popular hiking trail located in Durango, Colorado. The trail is approximately 6 miles round trip and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Animas River Valley. Animas Mountain and is accessible year-round. The first half of the trail is relatively easy, with a gradual ascent through a forested area. As hikers climb higher, the trail becomes steeper and more rocky, with occasional switchbacks.

11. Santa Rita Park

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Santa Rita Park is a beautiful urban park located in the heart of Durango, Colorado. The park is situated on the banks of the Animas River and offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Santa Rita Park is fishing. The Animas River is a well-known fishing destination, and the park offers ample opportunities for anglers to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, and other species. The park also has several fishing piers, as well as areas for wading and fly fishing.

12. Lake Nighthorse

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Lake Nighthorse is a beautiful reservoir located just outside of Durango, Colorado. The lake was created in 2009 as part of the Animas-La Plata Water Project and has since become a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.

13. Palmer Quarter Horses

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Palmer Quarter Horses is a family-owned and operated horse ranch located just outside of Durango, Colorado. The ranch is home to a herd of over 100 quarter horses and offers a variety of equestrian experiences for visitors of all skill levels. Palmer Quarter Horses is horseback riding. Visitors can choose from a variety of guided trail rides, ranging from one-hour to full-day excursions.

14. Lemon Reservoir

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Lemon Reservoir The lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon. There are several fishing access points around the lake, as well as a boat ramp for those looking to fish from a boat. Boating is also a popular activity at Lemon Reservoir. Visitors can bring their own motorized boats or rent kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards from local outfitters. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, making it a great spot for a peaceful paddle or a thrilling water ski ride.

15. Hillcrest Golf Club

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Hillcrest Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole golf course located in Durango, Colorado. The course was designed by renowned golf course architect Perry Maxwell and first opened in 1969. It is known for its challenging layout and stunning views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. The course at Hillcrest Golf Club features a mix of long, open fairways and tight, tree-lined holes, making it a great test of golf for players of all skill levels.

Durango, Colorado is a wonderful destination for anyone looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local culture, Durango is sure to impress visitors of all ages and interests.