A natural “through-state” for road-bound travelers, the towering snow-capped mountain ranges, rushing rivers and streams, lush mountain valleys and rolling verdant foothills of the Colorado landscape make for an incredible scenic tour of one of the nation’s favored adventure and recreation destinations, even if the end-of-the-line is somewhere different. For years now, denizens of neighboring states, travelers from the far corners of the country, and foreign travelers alike have begun to flood happily into one of Colorado’s many culturally vibrant, intellectually active cities.
From from the Front Range cities of Colorado Springs, Trinidad, Fort Collins and Denver, to the world-class mountain towns of Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte and Breckenridge, the 38th state has so much to offer its visitors that many end up becoming full-time residents within just a few years. What about the state’s most recent adventurous honeypot? Durango, Colorado is a mountain town that enchants all of its guests. So what is it about the city that encourages so many to make it their permanent residence?
If you’ve been to any sort of patriotic function in your lifetime, or perhaps been a huge Ray Charles fan, you may have heard a familiar song called America, the Beautiful written by Katharine Bates. In that song, when Bates mentions “spacious skies”, “purple mountains majesty” and “amber waves of grain,” she was inspired directly by a brief sojourn in the heart of Colorado. Those very purple mountains are the focal point of the area and activity surrounding Durango including the majestic San Juan Mountains and Purgatory Ski area.
This beautiful Colorado city is endowed with a crisp “four-season climate providing a home to year-round outdoor activities and beauty whether on the trail or in the lodge.
Being the mountain town it is, Durango activities and communities revolve primarily around outdoor adventure and recreation such as skiing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, ice climbing and mountaineering.
Sporting a healthy mix of young adventurers, tourists, college students, and retirees, the city of Durango is intellectually active but relaxed. Equally welcoming to the technology-savvy, and the rustic cowboy, this mountain town is comfortably full of interesting individuals from all walks of life.
The San Juan Mountains
It might be a bit of a cheat to mention the San Juan Mountains again, but the edge of Durango takes residents into the most beautiful, rugged, and remote peaks in the country. Known for high its high peaks, some exceeding 14,000’ and plateaus, the San Juans provide a backdrop to beautiful forests, mountain lakes, and rivers perfect for exploring and capturing with a camera or on a canvass.
Durango is unique because unlike its mountain-town rivals, this sky city, comfortably nestled in the San Juans, sits on the edge of the American Southwest’s fascinating and alluring high desert county.
Beyond that, neighboring and nearby cities offer a wide variety of scenery, activity, culture, and fun. Ouray, Telluride, and Silverton are just north of the city, in the San Juan National Forest.
Durango is home to beautiful sunshine for a majority of the year. Occasional rain, reliable snow, full spring, and warm comfortable summer seasons all lend their way to variety with no lack of sunshine. On average, Durango sees around 266 days of sunshine per year!