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Purgatory Ski Resort


Durango sits at 6,512 feet above sea level. The lovely Durango climate is quite mild and moderate, with typical summer daytime highs in the 70s-80s, and nighttime lows in the 50s. Come prepared with light layers in summer, warm layers in winter. Durango is situated a short drive from “Four Corners” – the spot where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet. The surrounding landscape of Durango is diverse and often dramatic, spanning from red sandstone bluffs of the Animas River Valley to jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains, a few of which rise to elevations over 14,000 feet. To the west lie arid desert lands, and to the north and east of Durango lies the vast 2 million acre San Juan Forest

Durango is Colorado’s year-round playground! In the spring and summer, hike through fields of Colorado wildflowers, mountain bike endless miles of Colorado bike trails and raft the waters of the Animas River.

Feed your adventurous side on a Jeep or dogsled tour of the rugged San Juan Mountains. Ski the locals’ favorite terrain at Durango Mountain Resort (Purgatory), home to some of the most spectacular views you’ll see from any ski resort in Colorado.


At the turn of the 17th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the Durango region and began to interact with the native tribes. Many of these explorers were missionaries hoping to spread Christianity throughout the land, while others were traders who wanted to swap goods with the native people. These explorers passed through the region for more than 150 years, but it was during the 19th century that European settlers began to set their sights on living in the area. The discovery of gold in the mountains led to a rush of miners to the area. This was when life in Durango began to change significantly.

In the mid-19th century, a mining district had been developed in the region. By 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company decided to build a track in the region, and the shape of modern Durango was formed. The first building in the city was the train depot, and downtown Durango was quickly built around it. Before long, a narrow gauge rail track connected the mining town of Durango to the northern town of Silverton, which led to significant development. When the city was established in 1880, there were 2,400 residents. By 1910, nearly 4,700 people called Durango home.

Today, the narrow gauge railway that first connected Durango to Silverton is still in operation. However, it is not used by miners trying to get back and forth, but rather by tourists who want to enjoy a peaceful ride through the mountains. Tourism is a prominent industry in Durango, and the community relies on its visitors to come back year after year. Downtown Durango is filled with hotels, restaurants and local shops. Many residents of Durango work in the tourism sector. Fortunately, the charming downtown area coupled with the breathtaking views of the Colorado mountains makes this city an eternally popular place for people to visit.


A quick 30-minute drive from the heart of downtown Durango will get you to Purgatory Resort in Durango, CO where an annual snowfall of 260 inches blankets the mountain thoroughly, making sure that no matter what time in the season you find yourself there, you are sure to not only be completely satisfied, but also utterly amazed.

With over 100 ski & snowboard trails, 12 chairlifts and rarely any lines, it's simple to zip around the mountain and enjoy the spectacular scenery amidst the rugged San Juan Mountains. Other fun winter activities include snow tubing, Nordic skiing, alpenglow snowshoeing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and more!

Named as the Best Value Ski Spot in North America by TripAdvisor! Recognized as a Top 10 Emerging Ski Town in North America by National Geographic! Come find out for yourself why Durango, Colorado and Purgatory receive national attention as a great ski town!

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