Durango, Colorado

La Plata County

Durango, Colorado: Hotel information

Durango, Colorado

In the southwestern corner of Colorado is a magical town called Durango.  This growing seat of La Plata County gives entry to the rugged San Juan mountain range to the north and access to the arid deserts hiding the ruins of ancient civilizations and cultures to the south.  The boundaries of its city limits exhibit a modern city of the new millennium but, yet, maintain the roots of its historic importance protected in its old town main street, shops and rail center.  Durango is worth the time to explore and experience the future and the past, all wrapped up in one place.

Vital Statistics

Durango is a growing city evidenced by its bubbling population growth:  from an estimated  13,922 in 2000, to well over 15,000 in 2006.  Males slightly outnumber females by a respectable 51% to 49%.  The median resident age is a young 29.2 years with a median household income for 2000 rated at $34,892.  A typical house value for the same year was $185,200.  Surrounding La Plata County hides around 44,000 people in the rugged canyons and mountainsides.


Location / Description 

Durango is located in the southwestern portion of Colorado.  Albuquerque, New Mexico is about 175 miles to the southeast.  Phoenix, Arizona is just under 400 miles to the south. The town is along the Animas River which drains the San Juan Mountains to the north.  To the south and west rest the high plateaus and desert areas of the four corners region.

Weather / Climate/ Elevation

Durango lies at 6,512 feet above sea level.  This wonderful elevation is a transition zone between semi- arid and mountain.  Summer daytime temps are in the 70's and 80's, nighttime lows in the 50's.  Humidity is characteristically low and provides an all around zone of comfort.


Durango was founded in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  The central location was ideal as a supply depot for the mining towns to the north and as a transfer point for shipping the rich ore to processing plants to the south and east.  The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was blasted through the deep canyons to the remote mining camps. Only tourists travel the historic line these days, evidenced by the 200,000 people who rode it last year.

Durango, Colorado

Things To Do 

Durango is loaded with exciting activities.  To the north the San Juan National Forest awaits with its myriad of hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting opportunities.  To the southwest lies the premier archeological center for the United States. Ancient dwellings once inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans at Mesa Verde National Park, Chimney Rock, and Hovenweep long to be explored.  Further study at the Anasazi Heritage Museum, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, all within an hour's drive of the Durango area, provide top notch museum quality artifacts and great photo opportunities. 

Other exciting activities include a ride on the fabulous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad mentioned above.  25 miles north of the city is Durango Mountain Resort providing both winter skiing and summer mountain activities.  A couple of Casinos are only thirty minutes south.  The area also boasts a number of museums, art galleries, and a unique art walk.

Where to Stay

Durango, Colorado: Hotel information

Parks & Monuments

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Chimney Rock Archaeological Site

Mesa Verde National Park



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