15 Best Things To Do in Durango

Population wise one of the most biggest cities in Colorado, United States is Durango. The meaning of the word Colorado is Water Town. Stuart Roosa, the Apollo 14 astronaut and Tom Tully another well-known actor is the permanent resident of Durango. There are some great museums and parks in the place and is certainly one of the most celebrated tourist spots in the United States. A lot of festivals and fairs are held there too. If you are visiting the beautiful town of Durango, you need to know the 15 best things to do in Durango United States.

1. Walk Along the Animas River Trail

This is a seven miles trail, which runs along the Animas River. The starting point of the trail is the Animas City Park. On its way, you will find a lot of different parks as well as bridges. The lush green surroundings and the view of the free-flowing river is just wonderful for the eyes. You can also witness the railroads of the Silverton and Durango Narrow Gauge. A total of eight trains run on those rails every day. There are a lot of things which you can do there like a picnic, walking along the trails, or tube float over the river Animas.

2. The historical Narrow Gauge Railroad of Durango and Silverton

altImage Source: wikimedia.org

The founders of the town of Durango are the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. That is the reason, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum is one of the most viewed tourist places in Durango. Visitors like to visit the place due to the iconic landscapes too. There are guided tours available for visiting the place and you can also visit there by yourself.  

3. The Nostalgic Downtown

Downtown is one of the most historic tourist spots in Durango. This is the meeting point of Old West and Southwest. The place is filled with some of the greatest restaurants, hotels, shops, galleries, and museums. You will get some of the nicest local products in the area. Some good bars are there too for stopping by and having a drink. Some historic streets are there too, which attracts numerous tourists over the year.

4. The Heavenly San Juan National Forest 

Theodore Roosevelt was behind the creation of the San Juan National Forest in the year 1905. It is located in the Southwest part of Colorado. The total National Forest is spread on an area of 1.8 million acres. The Rio Grande National Forest and the Uncompahgre National Forest are bordering the San Juan National Forest. Usually, people are fond of forests so people of all ages come here and enjoy to their fullest. There are three different wilderness areas here, the Lizard Head Wilderness, the Weminuche Wilderness, and the South San Juan Wilderness.

5. Go to the Mountain Waters Rafting

We all know that water rafting is fun but if you are rafting with the Mount Waters Rafting, it just becomes more enjoyable. They provide Whitewater rafting, which is one of the best fun activities to do in Durango. People from all the ages are able to take part in this fun sport. The staff is expert and they will help you out. You can change the difficulty of your rafting as per your expertise. If you don’t want to raft, there are some more adventure packages for you like Mesa Verde National Park Tour and 4 x 4 Jeep trail tours. 

6. Witness the Beauty of River Animas

There is confusion in the original name of the River Animas. Some say it was Rio de las Animas Perdidas but according to some people, its previous name was Rio de las Animas, which was recorded by Juan Maria de, a Spanish explorer in the year 1765. This 126 miles long river is one of the most renowned tourist spots in the country. The river is a part of the famous San Juan River. There are a lot of stuff to do there like tubing, rafting, or kayaking.

7. A visit to the gorgeous James Ranch

There are a lot of things, which you will find in this valley, which attracts the tourists like grazing of the Jersey milk cows, flower garden, organic vegetables, a nursery of the spruce tree, and free-flowing crystal clear water. The valley covers an area of 500 acres. You can go there, see the local people and will be able to know about their lifestyles by talking with them. Some of the freshest stuff you can take home with you like eggs, chicken, pork, raw milk, artisan cheese, and grass-fed beef along with the great memories. The Harvest Grill is the best place to have your lunch at the James Ranch.

8. Learn about science in the Powerhouse Science Center

It is a nice place to spend a day with your family and learn about some scientific stuff. Located in a steam generated AC Power Plant, the Powerhouse Science Center has a lot of interesting activities and programs for the people who visit there. There is an ‘e-Tree’, which you should never miss while visiting there. After going to the Powerhouse Science Center, you will know that how power changed the lives of human beings for better.

9. Move Back in Times at Bar D Chuck wagon

This is a place which will take you back in the time with cowboys. From the performances here, you will be able to know how after a hard day, the cowboys gather in the evening and share their thoughts over a drink. They exchange stories, crack some jokes, and even sang songs. The musical and comedy performances at the Bar D Chuckwagon will display all of that for you along with some great food and wine. This place is famous among the tourists for over 50 years. Other than the shows and food, there are a lot of things which people like, a chapel, record shop, leather shop, gift gallery, blacksmith shop, java café, ice cream parlor, and chocolate shop.

10. The Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum

The place is run by the Colorado Parks since 1881. A total of 19 hatcheries are there. This is to improve the population of fish in Colorado. This place is for the full family and everyone will equally enjoy here irrespective of their ages. There is no entry fee to enter the place. You will get a great opportunity to feed the fish and also watch the local wildlife.

11. Float over the water with the Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Trail Tours

The Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Trail Tours is a great company which running with quite a reputation for the last 20 years. They are considered as one of the best rafting companies in the southwest. They provide a lot of tour and adventure packages for the visitors which are very safe. They also merged with some of the local businesses and provide some other different packages too like train experiences and jeep rides.

12. Rest among the glaciers in the Purgatory Resort

This amazing resort is located in the San Juan mountains. They are on a 25 minutes car ride from Durango. Due to the amazing view, the tourist absolutely adore this place. You can do a lot of different stuff while your stay here like chilling on the cruisers, ski down the trails, or just have a warm drink and relax. The total area of the skiable terrain is around 1360 acres. More than 88 trails are available there for exploring.

13. Ride the horses at the Rapp Corral

if you are a visitor at Durango during the summer, the best thing to do is ride a horse and if its winter, you can go on a horse carried sleigh. You can do both the activities at the Rapp Corral. They are in this business from 1982 and have a great reputation for having the best horses in the place. The experienced trainers and wranglers will help you out and you will get an experience of a lifetime and that too with complete safety.

14. Hiking on the Colorado Trail


The visitors like to hike through this 500-mile trail which is from Durango to Denver. Other than hiking, horse riding and bike riding can be done in this place too. The sceneries which you will see while your ride will be very beautiful. The total distance from Durango to Denver is 89,354 feet.

15. The Snowmobile Tours from Ice Pirates

The Ice Pirates will give you a snowmobile tour in an area which is spread way over 55,000 feet. There are different tour packages which are very safe as the staff here has a good knowledge of their work. You will get a nice look of the San Juan mountains from here.

Other than these 15 great places, there are some more places to visit in Durango like Pinkerton Hot Springs, Dalton Ranch Golf Club, Old Lime Creek Road, Durango Craft Spirits, Animas Chocolate Company, Animas Museum, Soaring Tree Top Adventure, and Henry Starter Theatre.


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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Durango, Colorado

Must see places in Durango ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Durango and point of interests to visit.

  1. Durango And Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad And Museum

    #1 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Durango And Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad And Museum Image

    Tags: Museum, Tour, Entertainment, Specialty Museum

    Address: 479 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The mountains surrounding Durango form a super-picturesque route for the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Strapped in the wilderness of the San Juan National Forest, one of the prime reasons w...Read more

  2. San Juan National Forest

    #2 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    San Juan National Forest

    Tags: Outdoors, Forest, View Point, Hiking Trail

    Address: Antonito, CO 81120, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated to the north of Durango is the San Juan National Forest, a lush green layer that spreads over mountains, peaks, river and lake sides. This forest is one of the top places for camping and hiki...Read more

  3. Historic Downtown Durango

    #3 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Historic Downtown Durango

    Tags: Museum, Outdoors, Town

    Address: 850 1/2 Main Ave. #2, Durango, CO 81301

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Downtown Durango is the hub of commercial activity for which the town was founded. Even today, most of these businesses are active, even though the town has changed considerably over the ages. This ar...Read more

  4. Animas River Trail And Animas River

    #4 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Animas River Trail And Animas River

    Tags: Trail, Walking Area, Water Sport

    Address: Downtown Durango, Colorado.

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A great way to unwind in Durango is to land up on the Animas River Trail. The 7-mile long track passes through some of Durango’s most frequented tourist destinations. It is situated right alongs...Read more

  5. Durango Fish Hatchery And Wildlife Museum

    #5 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Durango Fish Hatchery And Wildlife Museum

    Tags: Museum, Wildlife Park, Specialty Museum

    Address: 151 E 16th St, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:30 pm Details

    Colorado’s natural setting is home to many wild animals and special efforts have been taken by the citizens to conserve the species found in the wilderness here. One of the attempts is the Duran...Read more

  6. Pinkerton Hot Springs

    #6 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Pinkerton Hot Springs

    Tags: Hot Spring, Leisure

    Address: San Juan National Forest, 35554 US-550, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Pinkerton Hot Springs are nature’s gift to the tiny town of Durango. Located a few miles out of town on Highway 550, these springs were discovered in the early 1800s by James Pinkerton. The ...Read more

  7. Four Leaves Winery

    #7 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Four Leaves Winery

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Winery, Vineyard, Adults

    Address: 528 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 08:00 pm Details

    Four Leaves Winery is Durango’s very own boutique winery. Here you can get the best varieties of wine from all over the world. What is unique about the winery is that as a customer, you can make...Read more

  8. Powerhouse Science Center

    #8 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Powerhouse Science Center

    Tags: Museum, Science Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: 1333 Camino Del Rio, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 01:00 pm Details

    What was originally a power plant has now been converted into a museum of science and a city landmark. The Powerhouse Science Center was established by the Children’s Museum of Durango. It basic...Read more

  9. Rim Trail

    #9 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Rim Trail

    Tags: Trail, View Point, Hiking Trail, Adventure

    Address: Durango, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Being outdoors in Durango is a not a calculated choice; the town has so many things to see and explore that there is no reason for you to be inside a building. There are many trails around town for bi...Read more

  10. Animas Mountain Trail

    #10 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Animas Mountain Trail

    Tags: Trail, View Point, Hiking Trail, Biking Trail

    Address: Durango, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    One of the most popular trails in Durango is the Animas Mountain Trail. This 5-mile long loop track boasts of some of the most scenic views of Durango and its nearby forests and rivers. This trail is ...Read more

  11. Durango Craft Spirits

    #11 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Durango Craft Spirits

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Brewery, Adults

    Address: 1120 Main Ave #2, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Durango Craft Spirits actively works for creating spirits from locally-sourced grains. Their most famous spirit, the Soiled Doves Vodka, is made from ground white non-gmo corn that is grown in the Ute...Read more

  12. Cascade Creek Trail

    #12 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Cascade Creek Trail

    Tags: Outdoors, Trail, Hiking Trail, Adventure

    Address: Colorado, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Looking for a quiet place around Durango to go hiking? Head to the Cascade Creek Trail 30 miles away from main town Durango. Situated in the calm and lush environs of San Juan National Forest, the tra...Read more

  13. Potato Lake Trail

    #13 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Potato Lake Trail Image

    Tags: Trail, Adventure

    Address: San Juan National Forest, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Spending a few days away from civilisation in the lap of nature is a great way to rejuvenate. And taking your family along with you will make the trip even more memorable. The Potato or Spud Lake Trai...Read more

  14. Scenic Aperture

    #14 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Scenic Aperture

    Tags: Art Gallery, Photo Gallery

    Address: 708 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    A showcase of the works of celebrated nature photographer Frank Comisar, the Scenic Aperture Gallery should be a destination in your itinerary if nature photography is one of your passions. The photog...Read more

  15. Old Lime Creek Road

    #15 of 255 Things To Do in Durango
    Old Lime Creek Road

    Tags: Outdoors, Trail, View Point, Scenic Drive

    Address: San Juan National Forest, Durango, CO 81301, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Adventure junkies are likely to get a kick out of the Old Lime Creek Road. The trail extends for around 12 miles and is a rough route with cutting-edge turns and streams. If you are taking a car with ...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Durango

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Top Durango Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Durango. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Full-Day Mesa Verde Discovery Tour
    Full-Day Mesa Verde Discovery Tour5 Reviews

    Duration: 8 Hrs

    Explore the 700 years of history that the Ancestral Puebloans created in a Mesa Verde Tour. Mesa Verde National Park is hidde...

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  • The Upper Animas Silverton Section Full-Day Rafting Trip
    The Upper Animas Silverton Section Full-Day Rafting Trip

    Duration: 10 Hrs

    Triumph over non-stop Colorado whitewater rafting on continuous Class II and III rapids with intermittent Class IV and two Cl...

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  • Save 7% Jeep and Raft Combo Tour
    Jeep and Raft Combo TourNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 10 Hrs

    Come see what we do best. For over 34 years we have been adventuring in Durango. 2 amazing adventures in 1 day. At 8:00 am ta...

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  • Family Friendly Animas River Raft Trip
    Family Friendly Animas River Raft Trip7 Reviews

    Duration: 4 Hrs

    Rafting the Animas River is consistently rated as one of the highlights of visitors vacationing in Durango, Colorado. Enjoy a...

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Find more places to see in Durango

  • Colorado Ute Power Plant

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Durango High School

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Durango And Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Denver And Rio Grande Western Railroad Locomotive No. 315

    479 Main Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Lake Nighthorse

  • Pastorius Reservior

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  • Animas Museum

    3065 W 2nd Ave

  • Center Of Southwest Studies

    1000 Rim Dr

  • Durango Discovery Museum

    1333 Camino Del Rio

  • La Plata County Historical Society

    3065 W 2nd Ave

  • Children's Museum of Durango

    802 E 2nd Ave

  • Southern Ute Museum

    2 Highway 172

View On Map
  • Steamworks Brewing Co.

    801 E 2nd Ave

    American Bars Breweries
  • Lady Falconburgh's Barley Exchange

    640 Main Ave

    American Bars
  • Diamond Belle Saloon

    699 Main Ave

    Bars American Burgers
  • BREW Pub & Kitchen

    117 W College Dr

    American Bars
  • Palace Restaurant

    505 Main Ave

    American Seafood Bars
  • The Irish Embassy

    900 Main Ave

    American Bars
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  • United States Government, Postal Service, Mesa Verde National Park Post Office

    Natural Parks
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  • Durango Off Leash Dog Park

    Dog Parks
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  • Animas River Trail

  • The Colorado Trail

    25TH St

  • Animas Overlook Owners Association

View On Map
  • Duranglers Flies & Supplies

    923 Main Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Kling Mountain Guides

    1205 Camino Del Rio

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Over The Hill Outfitters

    4140 County Road 234

    Hunting and Fishing
  • San Juan Sky Outfitters

    43227 Highway 550

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Adventures Beyond

    4140 County Road 234

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Animas Valley Anglers

    264 W 22nd St

    Hunting and Fishing
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What To Do in Durango: Day-Wise Ideas

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