Durango, Colorado was founded in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railways and honors its Old West heritage in an unparalleled and authentic way. Visitors can hop on Colorado State Railroad and admire the sights and sounds of Colorado’s oldest and most famous railroad lines.
Take a hike and follow in the footsteps of the Pueblo ancestors who lived in Durango for thousands of years by visiting the amazing cliff-top dwellings. Explore the ancient ruins of Durango, one of Colorado’s oldest cities, and explore the history and culture of this historic Colorado River city in the western Rockies.
The Purgatory Mountain Resort is located 30 minutes north of the city and is one of the city’s main attractions and is considered a family-friendly resort. Fort Lewis College is also located in Durango, bringing a few thousand additional students to La Plata County.
The streets of downtown Durango are wide and lined with a fantastic variety of shops and restaurants in the city center as well as a number of bars and cafes.
Learn about Durango’s history and how gold miners made their living, and take a self-guided walk through the streets, with a few stops for lunch and a few drinks in some restaurants.
Durango is home to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the so-called Durango Narrow Gauge Railway, and is located about an hour’s drive south of Silvertown, which is about a half hour’s drive north. Today, this tour is known as one of the best ways to watch the fall foliage turn and delights all to ride it. Attached is a lovely museum and tours are available.
Mesa Verde National Park is a convenient day trip to Durango with great views of the Rocky Mountains and the San Juan River Valley. The San Juan Skyway 38 connects the Colorado River Valley with the Great Basin and runs for 236 miles through southwest Colorado.
Mesa Verde National Park
If you’ve never been to Mesa Verde, it’s magic should not be missed. The park houses some incredibly well-preserved cliff dwellings protected by the park, as well as a variety of wildlife such as mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, and mountain goats.
Mesa Verde is also home to one of the richest archaeological zones in America, which happens to be hidden in the mountains, just a few kilometers from the main entrance to the park. This makes it the home of the world’s largest collection of ancient rock dwellings, some of which date back to 2000 years ago.
Covering 52,000 hectares, the park is home to over 600 cliff-top dwellings, of which the Cliff Palace, considered the largest such residence on the continent, is the most famous and photographed. Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national park in 1906, it has been inhabited by humans since around 7500 BC and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded to preserve the prehistoric cliff population, it was declared a World Heritage Site by the US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) in 1978 and is one of the oldest national parks in America.
Mesa Verde is a mind-boggling treasure, that will awe visitors of any age or background, making this road-trip one of our favorite family adventures you can take. We’ll help you get there – contact an AMT Travel Advisor today!