Welcome to Durango
Modern living with old west roots
Nestled in the southwestern corner of Colorado, the town of Durango is positioned between the Animas River Valley and the San Juan Mountains. This charming town is the quintessential picture of an Old West Mountain Town. Dating back to 1880, Durango was founded by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company to serve the San Juan mining district. By July of 1882, the tracks to Silverton were completed, enabling the train to begin transporting both freight and passengers. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a significant piece of the town’s history, dating back to the early 1880s when it was used to transport ore from Silverton, Colorado.
Since its fascinating origins, this mountain town has become an ideal home base for unforgettable adventures. From local history and railroad museums to the natural beauty of Mesa Verde National Park, Durango is where the old west flair meets modern living.
What to Love
- A scenic ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Immersing yourself in nature at Mesa Verde National Park
- Exploring the historic downtown district
The town of Durango boasts a diverse culture with broad spectrums of lifestyles. People from across the state and all over the country are drawn to Durango and everything it has to offer. Home to 18,000 residents, this Colorado town still manages to retain its small-town charm and an overarching sense of community. The residents have gained a reputation for being friendly and welcoming, and newcomers are quick to pick up on this hospitable mentality.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
No visit to Durango is complete without a trip to the historic downtown district. A walk down Main Street will transport you back in history to a time when cowhands and outlaws roamed the streets. Historic buildings have been converted into local shops, top-notch restaurants, and boutique hotels, which flank Main Street. In fact, downtown Durango is recognized by the National Register as a Historic District.
Durango offers a wide array of exciting culinary options to choose from, which means you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy an upscale evening out at Ore House, which has been a staple of the community since its first opening in 1972. This chef-owned and operated restaurant offers a seasonal menu featuring sustainable meats, wild-caught seafood, and locally-sourced ingredients. East by Southwest specializes in Japanese-inspired dishes, blending both old and new influences and techniques. With a sleek interior complete with gold accents, this refined establishment is the perfect spot for celebrating an evening out. End your evening with a drink from Ska Brewing Company, famous for their expertly made craft beers.
No matter the season, there’s always something exciting happening in Durango. The town is proud to boast an array of festivals and community events throughout the year and the – Taste of Durango is one of the most anticipated events. This premier food festival features local craft breweries and countless samples of world-class cuisine. Other popular festivals include Snowdown Durango and the town’s Oktoberfest.
Unplug and connect with nature by spending time at Mesa Verde National Park. Explore archaeological sites and cliff dwellings from early civilization through tours and hiking. The Animas River Trail spans nine miles and offers ample opportunities for hiking, jogging, and outdoor exploration.
Embark on an incredible adventure when you take a trip on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Offering train rides year-round, guests can soak up beautiful views while simultaneously learning about the town’s history.
Durango is served by the Durango School District No. 9-R and is home to a number of top-notch educational institutions, including:
Animas Valley Elementary School, PK-5
Mountain Middle School, 4-8
Durango High School, 9-12