2023 Southwest Colorado Summer Guide

Page 1

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chief executive officer Carrie Cass

director of multimedia sales

Jamie Opalenik

manager of creative services

Tad Smith

special sections editor

Hunter Harrell

graphic designer

Gabriel Glenn

marketing coordinator

Megan Milstead

sales representatives

Kelly Bulkley, Joe Nelson, Carter Reed, Shell Simonson

advertising operations

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Gayle Vitarius

The Southwest Colorado Summer Guide is published once a year by Ballantine Communications.

Publication date: May 28, 2023

©2023 Copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

Published in the United States by Ballantine Communications, Inc.

1275 Main Ave., Suite 300 Durango, Colorado 81301.

Ballantine Communications uses reasonable effort to include accurate and up-todate information. Details are subject to change, so always check with the business or organization hosting the specific events. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this guide. We welcome suggestions and photography from our readers.

Cover photography by Ballantine Communications


Explore every experience

Travel typically takes tons of planning. Decided on the Four Corners area as your destination? Let us simplify booking accommodations, air travel or transportation, and of course, budgeting for experiences along the way.

Four Corners communities are centrally-located to an abundance of attractions and activities, cultural monuments, national parks and outdoor recreation. The expanse of preserved land includes incredible vistas, and provides the public with access to observe the native flora and fauna.

Exhibits and special experiences chronicle the region’s rich history. Artists, inspired by the beauty of the landscape, cultivate creative spaces and gorgeous galleries. Sustainable goods and gifts handcrafted by local makers are available on store shelves.

Entertainers dazzle audiences, and musicians make ‘em move. Locals socialize at various bars and venues, while culinary masters craft incredible drinks and dishes that will delight hungry guests.

When planning a weekend getaway or summer vacation in the Southwest, there is always more to explore. Don’t underestimate the adventures that await.


n We love to hear stories and see photos from your travels. Send us pictures and tell us all about your adventures to be featured in future magazines. specialsections@bcimedia.com

n Submit events to publish in Ballantine Communications magazines and newspapers. Email event details to: events@durangoherald.com events@the-journal.com

Table of Contents
WELCOME 5 Letter from the Editor 8 Fast Facts 10 Flying into the Four Corners 12 Town Travels 14 Scenic Drives 18 Road Trip Ready 21-41 OUTDOORS 21 Recreate Responsibly 22 National Park & Monuments 26 State Park Adventure Packs 27 Picnic in the Park 28 Off-Highway Twists & Turns 30 Endless Ways to Wander 32 High Country Hikes 34 Cruising on Two Wheels 35 Mountain Biking Mecca 36 Camping 38 Starry Nights 40 Rock Climbing 43-49 WATERWAYS 44 Fishing Spots 46 Lake Days 48 River Runners 49 Going with the Flow 6 | SUMMER GUIDE SOUTHWEST COLORADO 2023
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS 52 Animas River Trail 54 Family Fun 58 Guided Tours 60 Hot Springs 62 After Hours 64-78 ARTS & CULTURE 66 Public Art Tours 54 Family Fun 58 Guided Tours 60 Hot Springs 62 After Hours 68 Preserving the Past 70 Energizing Entertainment 73 Community Events Calendar 2023 SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER GUIDE | 7
COLORADO 11 National forests 8 National monuments 4 National parks 41 State parks COLORADO The Centennial State COLORADO 103,730 square miles of land 371 square miles of water 23 million acres of public land COLORADO 64 Counties COLORADO 300 Days of sunshine COLORADO 26 Scenic & historic byways NEW MEXICO National forests 5 National monuments 11 National parks 2 State parks 35 NEW MEXICO Land of Enchantment NEW MEXICO square miles of land 121,590 square miles of water 292 million acres of public land 22.9 NEW MEXICO Counties 33 NEW MEXICO Days of sunshine 280 NEW MEXICO Scenic & historic byways 25 WELCOME 8 | SUMMER GUIDE SOUTHWEST COLORADO 2023
COLORADO 30 Hot springs COLORADO 38th State 1876 Established COLORADO Denver Capital COLORADO 5,758,736 Population COLORADO 6,800’ Average elevation NEW MEXICO Hot springs 77 NEW MEXICO State 47th Established 1912 NEW MEXICO Capital Santa Fe NEW MEXICO Population 2,096,829 NEW MEXICO Average elevation 5,700’ COLORADO Lark Bunting State bird White & Lavender Columbine State flower Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep State animal NEW MEXICO State bird Greater Roadrunner State flower Yucca State animal Black Bear 2023 SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER GUIDE | 9

Flying into the Four Corners

The best escapes are off the beaten path. Fortunately, flying into the Four Corners isn’t as difficult as driving the infamous Red Mountain Pass, but it is every bit as exciting.

Durango-La Plata County Airport

1000 Airport Road, Durango

(970) 382-6050 | www.flydurango.com

The Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) offers flights from American Airlines and United Airlines daily. Nonstop service is available to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN) and Phoenix (PHX), with seasonal nonstop service available to Houston (IAH).

regional airports

Grand Junction Regional Airport

2828 Walker Field Drive

(970) 244-9100


Telluride Regional Airport

1500 Last Dollar Road, Suite 1

(970) 728-8600


international airports

Albuquerque International Sunport

2200 Sunport Blvd. SE

(505) 244-7700 | www.abqsunport.com

Denver International Airport

8500 Pena Blvd.

(800) 247-2336 | www.flydenver.com

Salt Lake City International Airport

3920 W. Terminal Drive

(801) 575-2400 | www.slcairport.com


n Pack luggage in accordance with TSA guidelines.

n Double check departure times.

n Arrive at least 90 minutes prior to departure.

Durango-La Plata County Airport flydurango.com Travel with Ease Now offering weekend flights to Houston, mid June-Sept.

Town Travels

A quick guide to getting around

To see the sights around the American Southwest and Four Corners, it is likely you will spend some time behind the wheel. Durango is located 20 miles north of the Colorado-New Mexico border at the crossroads of U.S. highways 550 and 160. This makes it a great base camp for all kinds of adventures.

Just Landed

Families that fly into the Four Corners can contact one of the various local taxis or rental car companies to reach downtown Durango. Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft are available, but extremely limited.

Mountain Driving

Can your car handle the mountains? Due to the elevation, vehicles will burn gasoline faster, so plan accordingly. With steep grades, expect to shift to a lower gear when going downhill to avoid unnecessary friction on brake pads. Be courteous of other drivers. And be extra cautious and give yourself more time and space to maneuver. It is not as easy to pass a vehicle on the steep grades.

Public Transportation


As the regional public transit hub, the Intermodal Transit Center located at 250 W. Eighth St. in Durango operates a variety of small buses and trolleys. It is an accessible and affordable way to get around city limits. The Main Avenue trolley runs from the north end of town to College Drive daily from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., arriving approximately every 20 minutes. Download the TransLoc app to track buses on other transportation routes.


n ADULT: $1 per trip

n DAILY PASS: $3 per day

n WEEK PASS: $10 per week

Free rides in June, July and August.


Scenic Drives & Destinations

Exploring the Southwest Colorado countryside in a vehicle is like taking a self-guided tour of tall mountain peaks and thick forests full of quaking aspen. Pick a direction and plot a course over steep mountain passes, past colorful canyons and around sloping switchbacks descending into the valleys that cradle our small communities. During a road trip, it’s easy to stop and snap a photo of the landscape along the way, grab a meal at a local eatery, browse an art gallery, visit a retail shop or find a trailhead to explore.


day trips from durango

Molas Lake

miles: 45

drive time: 2 hours

Want to enjoy a drive without spending too much time in the car? Follow the Million Dollar Highway to a pristine alpine lake for a picnic lunch and spend a little time in the sunshine. Located just over five miles south of Silverton, Big Molas Lake is a scenic body of water surrounding by forested mountain slopes. Located just two miles to the southwest of Big Molas at 11,000 feet in elevation, Little Molas Lake offers a more serene camping experience for visitors, while the developed campground at Big Molas Lake includes more amenities. The area is surrounded by hiking trails, where travelers can access the San Juan National Forest and the neighboring Weminuche Wilderness. The lake provides excellent fishing opportunities for anglers, and is an ideal spot for canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding.

Vallecito Lake

miles: 50

drive time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Driving to Vallecito is just half the fun. There are campgrounds and marinas that make this lake a great escape for as little as a day, or much longer. This is a place loaded to the shoreline with charm and opportunities to spend quality time with the whole family. The easy, 45-minute drive will show you an abundance of beautiful landscapes nestled in the alpine forest. To travel to Vallecito Lake from Durango, head east on County Road 240 along the Florida River into the Pine River Valley. Turn north onto County Road 501, and make your way to Vallecito Lake. To return, travel southbound on County Road 501 through the verdant Pine River Valley. When you reach Bayfield at the intersection of Highway 160, turn right (west) for the return trip to Durango.


Chimney Rock

miles: 105

drive time: 2 hours

Chimney Rock National Monument gives visitors a glimpse into the ancient world. It covers seven square miles and preserves 200 ancient homes and ceremonial buildings, which have been excavated for exploration. This scenic drive starts in Durango on County Road 240 along the Florida River toward the Pine River Valley. Turn south onto County Road 501 leading to Bayfield. At the intersection of County Road 501 and Highway 160 in Bayfield, turn east on Highway 160. Proceed through Yellow Jacket Pass to Chimney Rock. Turn right (south) on Highway 151. Continue south on Highway 151 through Arboles, Allison, Southern Ute Indian Reservation land and the northern edge of Navajo Lake. At the intersection of Highway 151 and Highway 172 in Ignacio, turn right (north) onto Highway 172. Continue past the Sky Ute Casino Resort and enjoy magnificent views of La Plata County farmland as you make your way back to Highway 160. Once at the intersection, turn left (west) onto Highway 160, back to Durango.

multiday trips

Trail of the Ancients

miles: 168 miles

drive time: 6 hours

This national scenic byway is known for its access to remote ruins and cultural monuments along the Colorado Plateau. The route takes travelers through Forest Service and tribal lands in Southwest Colorado and Southeast Utah. The total route takes 9 hours at a total of 480 miles, and you can get the full directions online at www.trailoftheancients. com. However, drivers can shorten the loop and hit these major

monuments along the way: Canyon of the Ancients, Lowery’s Pueblo, Hovenweep and Four Corners Monument, to name a few. Begin by taking Highway 160 west to visit Mesa Verde National Park, then following Highway 160 to the intersection of Highway 145. Follow Highway 145 north to Dolores. Visit the historical museum and stop to refuel on food and gasoline, then head west on Highway 184 and northwest on 491 to Lowry’s Pueblo. From Lowry’s, set the next destination to Hovenweep National Monument and shorten the loop with a drive to Four Corners National Monument through Montecillo and Blanding, Utah. From the Four Corners Monument, return to Cortez and follow Highway 160 east to Durango.


San Juan Skyway

miles: 236

drive time: 7 hours

The San Juan Skyway is the most spectacular scenic byway. It is best enjoyed over multiple days with the company of friends or family. The route takes passengers through Durango, Mancos, Dolores, Stoner, Rico, Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray and Silverton. These authentic mountain towns teem with historic Western charm, each with something special to offer travelers. From Durango, head north on Highway 550 to the town of Silverton. Stop to stretch your legs and visit the shops on Notorious Blair Street and pan for gold during a historic mine tour. Continue on Highway 550 north to Ouray. Here visitors can take a short 30-minute hike through the Box Canon Waterfall Park, browse the downtown retail stores and take a dip in the hot springs before settling in at a local hotel. To venture on, follow Highway 62 near Ridgway, go left and continue on Highway 62 to Placerville, then take Highway 145 to the southeast. Take a short detour to Telluride to shop and ride the gondola to Mountain Village. Then continue on 145 until you come to the junction with Highway 160. To return to Durango, travel east on Highway 160.

Historic Hot Springs Loop

miles: 720

drive time: 13 hours

Pump the brakes on rushed road trips. Slow down and soak in Colorado’s famous geothermal waters while taking the scenic route. The Historic Hot Springs Loop encompasses eight destinations where guests can wash away their worries. Travel through Chaffee County, Saguache County, Pagosa Springs, Durango, Ouray, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs for the ultimate relaxing road trip. Taste the local

cuisine and engage in the variety of free activities, such as community concerts and hiking trails, all along the way. From primitive pools surrounded by wildlife and wilderness to luxury resorts and spas, each soaking experience is unique. These locations include interesting features for guests, like vapor caves, cold and hot plunges, terraced pools and family-friendly aquatic facilities. Start from any one of these destinations and plan a route to discover the diversity of the Colorado landscape, craft beer and natural hot springs.


Road Trip Ready

The open road beckons many people, inspiring everything from extensive adventures to short weekend jaunts. Whether a road trip lasts a few weeks or a few days, certain items should be packed along for the ride to ensure safety and convenience.

Maintain the vehicle

Take the vehicle in for a tune-up and assess engine health before every adventure. Change the oil and check the fluids. Test the tires to make sure they’re in shape for a long drive. Proper tire pressure can save you on fuel. After every 1,000 miles, drivers should reassess tire pressure.

Bring important documents

Don’t forget to bring along the necessary documents for operating a motor vehicle, including your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Be sure that you have valid credit cards, as it may be challenging to find an ATM in some rural areas. Keep in mind that cash is often king, so have some bills stashed away when credit cards are not accepted. In addition, tuck away a paper map, as cell phone signals may not be strong in remote areas or where coverage is blocked for other reasons.

Don’t forget entertainment

Long drives require entertainment to keep passengers occupied, no matter the age. Playing cards, portable video games, books, puzzles, movies and more can

be brought along to pass the hours on highways and byways. Be sure to bring along various device chargers, cameras, power banks, GPS devices and any other gadget that can make traveling more convenient.

Invest in comfort items

Clear clutter from the car, and make essential items accessible, so you can enjoy the freedom of the open road. Make space for comfort items like travel pillows, window shades, a toiletry bag with antibacterial wipes, moisturizer and eye drops, sunglasses, slip-on shoes and sunscreen. Comfort items also can be customized depending on your preferences.

Pack safety items

Besides the basics of basic car maintenance, be sure you have the essentials in case you do break down. AAA membership is inexpensive and can really come in handy if you do need roadside assistance or a tow. Trips necessitate planning for the unexpected. When it comes to driving, that means certain maintenance tools and equipment.


n Jumper cables

n Spare tire/ car jack

n Antifreeze

n Motor oil

n Windshield washer fluid

n Flashlight & batteries

n Emergency blanket

n Spill-proof gas can

n Flares or traffic cones

n Plastic funnel

n First aid kit

n A gallon of drinking water

n Nonperishable food & snacks



We are home to a myriad of cowboys, craftsmen, artists, musicians, brewers & makers while being minutes from adventures like Mesa Verde, Phil’s World, Chicken Creek Trails, and Mancos State Park.

to a myriad of cowboys, craftsmen, artists, musicians, brewers & makers while being minutes from adventures like Mesa Verde, Phil’s World, Chicken Creek Trails, and Mancos State Park.


Featuring occasional cattle drives, Historic Opera House, Mancos Common Press, late 1800’s buildings, galleries, Restaurants, and lodging. For

House, Mancos Common Press, late 1800’s buildings, galleries, restaurants, and lodging.

featuring occasional cattle drives, Historic Opera House, Mancos Common Press, late 1800’s buildings, galleries, restaurants, and lodging.

Axis Health System is committed to providing dependable, accessible healthcare to everyone. Axis integrated healthcare offers comprehensive primary care, dental care, behavioral health care, crisis care, and substance use treatment. With individualized treatment plans, you can work with your provider to manage all your health needs in one place. To learn more about scheduling an appointment, visit axishealthsystem.org Supporting Your Health & Wellness Starts Here For visitor information (970) 533-7434 chamber@mancosvalley.com www. www.mancosvalley.com ENJOY ART & ADVENTURE We are home to a myriad of cowboys, craftsmen, artists, musicians, brewers & makers while being minutes from adventures like Mesa Verde, Phil’s World, Chicken Creek Trails, and Mancos State Park. VISIT OUR HISTORIC DOWNTOWN featuring occasional cattle drives, Historic Opera House, Mancos Common Press, late 1800’s buildings, galleries, restaurants, and lodging. Discover Mancos! #meetmeinmancos For visitor information (970) 533-7434 chamber@mancosvalley.com www. www.mancosvalley.com ENJOY ART & ADVENTURE We are home to a myriad of cowboys, craftsmen, artists, musicians, brewers & makers while being minutes from adventures like Mesa Verde, Phil’s World, Chicken Creek Trails, and Mancos State Park. VISIT OUR HISTORIC DOWNTOWN featuring occasional cattle drives, Historic Opera
Discover Mancos! #meetmeinmancos
For visitor information chamber@mancosvalley.com www. www.mancosvalley.com
Discover Mancos!
visitor information
www.mancosvalley.com 2023 SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER GUIDE | 19
(970) 533-7434 chamber@mancosvalley.com

From farm to table and vine to wine Eolus Bar & Dining offers the finest menu selections from Southwest Colorado’s bounty of farms, ranches, vineyards and breweries. Our historic dining room provides a comfortable, mountain elegant setting with tabletop and booth seating. Our covered rooftop patio presents premium views of the surrounding mountains for our guests, as well as private parties. Eolus Bar & Dining is a distinct Durango establishment where guests are invited to relax and enjoy locally-inspired cuisine, wine and other craft beverages.

1st Place Best Fine Dining 2nd Place Best Steak 2nd Place Best Restaurant

Recreate Responsibly

Remember to respect the land. Though most people do not intend to harm the environment, not all possess the knowledge to preserve and protect it. Before embarking on an outdoor adventure, read this reminder on health, safety and ethical recreation.

remember your abcs

Adjust to the altitude

Adjusting to the altitude could come with some side effects, including headaches and nausea. Drink more water, eat energizing food and limit caffeine. Know your limits and pace yourself.

Be prepared

There’s no bad weather, just bad gear. Carry a backpack with first-aid supplies, even on short hikes. Bring along plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a compass and map, too. Weather can change quickly, so pack extra apparel.

How to plan ahead and prepare:

n Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return before leaving, even as part of a group.

n Bring a map, and use it. Some roads in the high country are not suitable for standard vehicles, so do not rely on any GPS device for route-finding.

n Understand the requirements and rules regarding each area you visit.

Care for the land

Respect the landscape and its inhabitants.


n Dispose of all waste properly. If you pack it in, pack it out. This includes human and pet waste, so be aware of land regulations.

n Be aware of all fire restrictions, and keep fires small at all times. Use only established rings or mounds for campfires.

n Leave natural items alone. Preserve the beauty, including antlers, artifacts and wildflowers, for others to observe along their journey.


National Parks & Monuments

Accessible trails, diverse ecology, geographical marvels and breathtaking overlooks set the region’s parks and monuments apart from others across the U.S.

Arches National Park

Entrance located off Highway 191, Moab (435) 719-2299

fees: $30 for 1-day vehicle pass


With over 2,000 natural stone arches and hundreds of unique rock formations, Arches National Park is a geological wonder located five miles north of Moab, Utah. Explore natural bridges and spires while hiking or drive along the 18-mile scenic road, which provides travelers with access to points of interest and trailheads. Visitors can also enjoy cycling on the park roads, horseback riding and camping. Canyoneering and rock climbing are also allowed with a permit. A reservation is required to enter the park. If arriving during the summer season, plan the trip around peak times or expect delays and full parking lots.

Aztec Ruins National Monument

725 Ruins Road, Aztec (505) 334-6174

fees: free www.nps.gov/azru

Aztec Ruins National monument is a 900-yearold, wonderfully preserved archaeological site. The Great House has over 400 masonry rooms. Visitors can search the ancient mortar for the fingerprints of the past and listen for an echo of ritual drums in the reconstructed Great Kiva. A half-mile, selfguided trail winds through the Pueblo great house, the kiva and original rooms. Also at the site is a museum with artifacts, a Heritage Garden and a segment of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail that leads to the Animas River. The monument and visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

9800 Highway 347, Montrose (970) 641-2337

fees: $30 for a 7-day vehicle pass


Known for its narrow width and steep canyon walls, Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a natural gorge that is 48 miles long. The park encompasses 14 miles of the most scenic portion of the canyon, including Colorado’s tallest cliff, at 2,250 feet tall, the Painted Wall. Open 24-hours a day, this national park also offers adventurers a remote escape to enjoy activities such as backpacking, camping, hiking, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. The South Rim Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays.


Aug. 4 –Great American Outdoors Day

Sept. 23 –National Public Lands Day

Nov. 11 –Veterans Day

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Indian Route 7, Chinle (928) 674-5500

fees: free www.nps.gov/cach

Canyon de Chelly National Monument located in Chinle, Arizona encompasses 84,000 acres on the Navajo Nation. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking and scenic drives. There are two paved drives around the canyon with a total of nine scenic overlooks where travelers can enjoy the views of the spectacular site. The welcome center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Navajo Nation observes daylight saving time), and offers educational programs free of charge led by rangers. Private companies also offer hiking tours, horseback riding tours and vehicle tours for a fee.


Canyons of the Ancients

27501 Highway 184, Dolores (970) 882-5600

fees: free www.blm.gov/programs/ national-conservationlands/colorado/canyonsof-the-ancients

The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument covers 176,000 acres with a rugged and breathtaking landscape. More than 6,000 ancient sites including cliff dwellings, kivas and rock art have been identified. Just six miles from the heart of Cortez, the Canyons of the Ancients are accessible from many points along the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway. The visitor center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and details, visit the website.

Chimney Rock National Monument

3179 Highway 151, Chimney Rock

visitor center (970) 883-2455

special programs (877) 444-6777

fees: $20 for 5-day pass www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ sanjuan/specialplaces/ ?cid=stelprdb5390324


Experience a unique part of America’s heritage in the shadows of Chimney Rock’s twin spires. The site is accessible for selfguided walking tours from May through September. Throughout the summer, in partnership with USDA Forest Service and Pagosa Ranger District, the nonprofit Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) hosts educational events, including astronomy demonstrations, birding tours, educational storytelling sessions and much more. For more details and schedule of events, visit the website for the CRIA.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

1808 County Road 7950, Nageezi (505) 786-7014

fees: $25 for 7-day vehicle pass


Located in New Mexico’s high desert landscape between Albuquerque and Farmington, Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a remote area that preserves a collection of ancient architecture and culture. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From the visitor center, travelers can follow a 9-mile loop which provides access to short, self-guided trail tours of five major sites. More hiking trails to remote sites are also available to explore, and trails are open from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Colorado National Monument

1750 Rim Rock Drive, Fruita (970) 858-2800

fees: $25 for 7-day vehicle pass


View gorgeous, red rock canyons with smooth walls from years of exposure to the elements when visiting Colorado National Monument. The Historic Rim Rock Drive is a 23-mile road around the site with opportunities to access scenic overlooks. The protected landscape includes 40 miles of maintained trails to explore on foot or by bike, as well as opportunities to climb rocks and watch wildlife. Enjoy camping at Saddlehorn Campground or secure a permit from the Saddlehorn Visitor Center for remote backcountry camping. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Dinosaur National Monument

11625 E 1500 S, Jensen (435) 781-7700

fees: $25 for 7-day vehicle pass


Follow in the footsteps of giants at Dinosaur National Monument. Here, on the border of Colorado and Utah, remains of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth are embedded in the rocks, and petroglyphs from ancient settlers are preserved. The Quarry Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it is the perfect place to start a scenic drive around the site. The monument encompasses 210,000 acres and includes many miles of trails that lead hikers to spectacular vistas. The Green River and Yampa River both wind through Dinosaur National Monument, and visitors can participate in guided rafting trips.

Four Corners

Monument Navajo Tribal Park

597 Highway 597, Teec Nos Pos (928) 206-2540

fees: $8 per person www.navajonation parks.org

The state boundaries for Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico are celebrated with a monument in the rural Southwest, as it is the only place where guests can be in four states – and three nations (Navajo, Ute and United States) – at the same time. Located about 45 minutes from Cortez, Colorado, the monument is managed by Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation, and is open year round from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., sometimes later in the summer season. Expect to wait in line to snap a photo depending on how many people are there, then visit the vendors around the monument to browse traditional Navajo art for sale.

Great Sand Dunes

11999 Highway 150, Mosca (719) 378-6395

fees: $25 for 7-day vehicle pass


The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. Originating from large lakes that once covered portions of the San Luis Valley, the dunes now cover 30 square miles of the valley floor between the San Juan and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Three mountain passes in the Sangre de Cristo range keep the sands contained in the valley. Medeno Creek and Sands Creek also deposit sand carried with the mountain snowmelt. Visitors can also explore a variety of mountainous terrain, including alpine lakes, grasslands, wetlands, riparians and forests. Some of the most popular activities include backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, sandboarding, sledding and stargazing.


latitude 37° 23’ 8.8944” N longitude 109° 4’

31.4436” W

(970) 562-4282

Fees: free


The detailed construction and skill of the Ancestral Puebloan builders between A.D. 1200 and 1300, is highlighted in the six prehistoric villages that is Hovenweep National Monument. Once home to more than 2,500 people, Hovenweep is made up of multi-story towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. The trail system provides excellent views of the archaeological sites. The Square Tower Group features a two-mile loop beginning at the visitor center. The trail down to the overlook is paved but the trails along the canyon loop are primitive and lightly maintained with one end of the trail sloping down into the canyon along a rocky pathway. The entire loop takes at least 1.5 hours. This is a self-guided hike, but guided walks can be arranged for larger groups by contacting the park in advance.


Mesa Verde National Park

35853 Road H.5, Mancos (970) 529-4465

fees: $20 for a 1-day vehicle pass


Mesa Verde National Park is home to some of the most notable and best preserved sites in the United States. For more than 700 years, Ancestral Puebloan people lived in the cliff dwellings and sites. The park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde, Spanish for “green table” stretches over 52,000 acres across the Colorado Plateau. Before exploring the park’s trails or taking a selfguided tour, guests can stop in the visitor center to browse the museum, grab a trail map and purchase tickets to guided tours to cliff dwellings or the backcountry.

Rocky Mountain National Park

1000 Highway 36, Estes Park (970) 586-1222

fees: $25 for a 1-day vehicle pass


Rocky Mountain National Park sees millions of visitors per year, and is the third most visited park in the country. Yet, the park offers visitors a sense of serenity, familyfriendly fun and adventurous recreation opportunities. Take a scenic drive along Trail Ridge Road for high mountain scenery, participate in a ranger-led program, or book a commercial tour with a private company. Across the park’s 249,126 acres, the protected landscape includes over 300 miles of hiking trails and incredible opportunities to see native wildlife in diverse ecosystems. Activities such as camping, cycling, fishing and horseback riding are also permitted.

White Sands National Park

1750 Rim Rock Drive, Fruita (970) 858-2800

fees: $25 for a 7-day vehicle pass www.nps.gov/whsa

Between the Sacramento Mountains and San Andres Mountains sits the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico, where White Sands National Park preserves an oasis for plants and wildlife in the Chihuahuan Desert. Covering 275 square miles, the environment’s rainfall and wind carrying water-soluble gypsum sand have shaped the landscape into this magnificent dunefield with over 4.5 billion tons of sand. Visitors enjoy sand sledding, in addition to camping, cycling, hiking and horseback riding. Park rangers often lead educational programs, seasonal activities and tours for groups as well.

Yucca House County Road 20.5, Cortez (970) 529-4465

fees: free


An integral and unique part of Southwestern Colorado, Yucca House National Monument is one of the largest archaeological sites in the region. Yucca House was first thought to be built by the Aztec, but is known today as an important center for Ancestral Puebloan people from 1150 to 1300. This site includes a large traditional pueblo with around 600 rooms, over 100 kivas and a great kiva that could have served the entire community. It has remained largely untouched for the past 800 years, leaving the site preserved in its beauty and integrity for future visitors and scientists.


State Park Adventure Packs

Looking for ideas to help you plan your next outdoor adventure in Colorado? The answer could be as close to home as the local library. While libraries and outdoor adventures may not be synonymous, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has partnered with the Colorado State Library to offer the Check Out State Parks program. Available state-wide, the program is designed to encourage Coloradans to visit any of the 42 state parks at no cost. Over 300 Colorado libraries are participating in the Check Out State Parks program, including the Colorado Talking Book Library.

How it works

The goal of the State Parks program is to expose new patrons to new areas to explore and the expansive services that modern libraries offer. The program is easily accessible and provides a backpack filled with educational materials, as well as a free park pass. Library patrons can check out the backpack and park pass for up to seven days, and may use it to visit any Colorado state park.

Families can use the interactive contents of the pack to help imaginations soar or provide more structured exploration. Each pack invites curious outdoor-lovers to immerse themselves in nature and develop new skills while exploring unique landscapes.

Where can I get an adventure pack?

Head to the Durango Public Library or the Fort Lewis College Library to check out an Adventure Pack. Other local libraries include those in Mancos, Cortez, Ignacio, Silverton and Ouray. Visit www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/ checkoutcoloradoparticipatinglibraries for a complete list. Several park visitor centers also offer activity packs for day use only, including Jackson Lake, Mancos, Navajo and Ridgway. Don’t forget to share photos of your adventures with #CheckOutColorado on Twitter or Instagram.


n Colorado State Park Pass for free park entry (hang tag)

n Your Guide to Colorado’s State Parks (book)

n An activity ideas list

n Binoculars (optional)

n A Leave No Trace –Outdoor Ethics Card

n Fishing Basics instruction sheet

n Colorado Trees and Wildflower Guide

n Colorado Wildlife Guide

n Colorado Birds Guide


Picnic in the Park

One advantage to the summer season is the opportunity to enjoy more meals outdoors. While the Four Corners is filled with al fresco dining options, couples and families that are traveling to various attractions may find it easier to meal plan by packing a picnic. The abundance of local parks and public lands makes it even easier to find a scenic and shady location for the perfect picnic. Plus, spending more time in the sunshine can improve health and mood. Stay happy, healthy and hydrated on-the-go by packing picnics for outdoor adventures.

How to pack a picnic

First, find a basket, backpack, tote or cooler to transport the food. Bring a blanket to spread across the ground for seating.

Pack plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Remember to bring a cutting board and knife for cheese, fruit, vegetables and bread, as well as a corkscrew or bottle opener if packing alcohol.

Keep food at a safe temperature to consume by freezing water bottles and drink them after the ice melts.

Bring an empty, separate bag for trash. Always pack out anything brought in, including food.


n Chips, crackers, pretzels, salsa and hummus

n Jerky, cheese and nuts

n Fruits and vegetables

n Bagels and ingredients for sandwiches

Granola bars and trail mix


Off-Highway Twists & Turns

Scenic treasures rest behind soaring peaks and evergreen forests or sand dunes and scrub brush. See beautiful vistas hidden among the crags and crevices of the landscape.

The road less traveled

The roads that lead to the backcountry can be rocky and often tumultuous. This kind of travel requires a four-wheel drive and an unflinching driver. However, if you want to experience the pure untamed beauty that is Colorado, a trusty four-wheel drive or licensed off-road vehicle is the way to go.

Explore with a guide

Uncomfortable navigating jagged mountain passes? Fear not. There are countless professional guides that navigate the winding roads for you while providing anecdotal and historical information about the areas they explore.

Black Bear Pass

This is one of the most famous four-wheel drive roads in Colorado, and also one of the most treacherous. The road begins with a sign that reads, “You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road – but it helps!” The loose shale base, sheer drops, hairpin switchbacks and rocky narrow path make this pass best left to experienced drivers. Better yet, hire a guide for this journey.

Ophir Pass

With a summit of 11,789 feet, this is one of the highest four-wheel drive paths in the Southwest. Look for the turn-off about 5 miles after Red Mountain Pass. Your journey will take you 10 miles to the small mountain town of Ophir while presenting you with incredible views of Lizard Head Peak in one direction and the San Miguel Valley to the other. Aside from a segment known as The Shelf, Ophir Pass is one of the easiest roads to navigate.

Alpine Loop

One of the easiest ways to experience a variety of mountain passes is to drive the Alpine Loop. This circular route navigates through towering elevations, including Cinnamon Pass at 12,640 feet and Engineer Pass at 12,800. The route connects the towns of Silverton and Ouray with Lake City. Though the road will take 5 to 7 hours to complete, allow extra time to explore the abandoned mines and ghost towns along the way.

Glade Run Recreation Area

Experience the Land of Enchantment in all its majesty when you journey to New Mexico for the backcountry trails at Glade Run Recreation Area. With thousands of acres of wash runs and rock crawls, this high desert playground exceeds all expectations. At an elevation of 5,669 feet, drivers will find sandy arroyos, slick rock, rolling foothills and mountain trails.



Equestrians: Always let other trail users know if they should use extra caution to pass by your horse safely. Slow the horse and give other trail users plenty of space to pass.

Hikers: When approaching a horse, call out to the rider to let them know you are going to pass. Slowly proceed to avoid spooking the animal, and speak softly to calm the horse. Always wait until the rider gives you the right of way.

Cyclists: Bikers should always yield to hikers and equestrians on the trail. Only pass a horse if the rider has given the OK, and proceed slowly to avoid spooking the animal.


Endless Ways to Wander

One of the advantages to keeping the West wild is the access to serene nature areas and vast trail networks to explore. There’s no better way to experience the beauty of the countryside than being immersed in it. In fact, spending time in nature is good for your health, and the abundance of public land makes it easy for anyone to take to the outdoors. The best part is many of the trails are designated for multiuse, meaning users can enjoy activities like biking, hiking or horseback riding in the backcountry.


Trekking across the terrain on foot is a popular way to access outdoor spaces and establish a connection to your natural surroundings. There are an overwhelming amount of trails that surround each town in Southwest Colorado. For a mountain experience and panoramic views, try hiking anywhere near Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Dolores or Pagosa Springs. These areas offer amazing pine and aspen covered hiking trails. For more desert wilderness, Cortez and Farmington are the places to go. Grab a pack, lace up some boots and hit some of the best trails around the region.


Traveling across the landscape on two wheels is an energizing experience that unveils incredible views in greater detail. The Four Corners region is known for its iconic Iron Horse Bicycle Race and superb singletrack trails scattered across rocky desert mesas and forested mountain ridges. From Farmington’s infamous Alien Run to Phil’s World four miles from Cortez, adrenaline-pumping, pedalpowered fun awaits riders of all ages and fitness levels. Road cyclists can also find an abundance of paved and gravel routes to train for races. Before strapping on a helmet for the ride, swing by one of the region’s bike shops that offer equipment, maintenance, rentals and expert advice.

Horseback riding

Saddle up, and travel across the landscape like the pioneers. Southwest Colorado is home to dozens of outfitters and ranches which can help visitors make the most of their trail riding experience. Soak up the sunshine and scenery while covering more miles of mountain or desert trails on horseback. Most outfitters offer options for short, hour-long trips as well as half-day, full-day and even multiday journeys. Before departing on a horseback riding adventure, participants should express any physical limitations because longer rides require more physical exertion.


High Country Hikes

Animas Mountain Trail

5 miles roundtrip

Enjoy an incredible vista without traveling far from downtown Durango. The terrain is moderately challenging, but these views of the Animas River Valley and La Plata Mountains are worth the work. Under the cover of the canopy, follow the trail to a section of switchbacks leading up the slope for about 2.5 miles. Take in the views from the top, then descend the loop another 2.5 miles back to the trailhead.

getting there: Walk or drive to the trailhead located on West Fourth Avenue near 32nd Street in Durango.

Potato Lake

2.7 miles roundtrip

This is a very easy trail for hiking, a good choice for children to explore alongside, and visitors looking for a wilderness adventure that is not too strenuous, but still beautiful. The trailhead is located right next to a large beaver pond. The trail is easy to follow and the lake is good for fishing. Campsites are scattered. There are no facilities, so pack in and pack out.

getting there: From Durango, head north on Highway 550 for roughly 27 miles. Turn right onto the Old Lime Creek Road (591). Follow this dirt road for about 6 miles. High clearance and four-wheel drive is recommended. There will be a large pond directly to the south at the trailhead. There is limited parking at this trailhead and a wooden sign that reads “Spud Lake.”

Engineer Mountain Trail

4.4 miles roundtrip

Engineer Mountain trail is a well-marked trail that makes for a challenging, but fun hike with panoramic views. The most direct ascent starts at Coal Bank Pass on Highway 550 and goes up the Pass Creek Trail. The hike climbs up the moderate switchbacks then a steady uphill to the base of Engineer Mountain.

getting there: From Silverton, head 13.5 miles south on Highway 550. Look for a small dirt road on the west side of the highway. Coal Bank Pass has a pull off spot with restrooms and the dirt road to the west has a parking area near the trailhead. Do not park at the restroom facility on the east


Below, left to right

Blue Columbine

Oxeye Daisy

Silver Lupine

Black-Eyed Susan

Alpine Primrose


Indian Blanket

Mountain Blue Bell


Western Indian Paintbrush

Rocky Mountain Iris


Coyote Hill Loop

3.6 miles roundtrip

As part of the Turkey Springs Trail System, Coyote Hill Loop is a great hike for beginners and families. Follow the path from the trailhead on Piedra Road through the open meadows and ponderosa pine forest. An abundance of wildflowers sprout in the spring and summer.

getting there: Drive 6.5 miles north on Piedra Road (CR600/FS 631) from Highway 160 to the trailhead on the east side of the road.

Sand Canyon Trail

6.5 miles (one-way) from trailhead in McElmo Canyon

Sand Canyon trail is a singletrack, dirt trail that crosses slickrock marked with rock cairns. There is a very steep section with 30 switchbacks about 4.5 miles into the pathway. The trail is open to hiking, biking and horseback riding. The upper section is rugged and uphill. Turn around at any time to trek back to the vehicle.

getting there: To reach the McElmo Canyon trailhead, head south from Cortez on Highway 491. Turn right (west) on County Road G at the signs for the airport. Go 12 miles down to the trailhead parking on the north (right) side of the road. No water, toilet or other services are available.

Hope Lake

6.4 miles roundtrip

Those looking for an out-and-back trip near Telluride have hope. The Hope Lake trail starts out in deep forest with plenty of rushing streams, waterfalls and a verdant landscape of mosses, grasses and wildflowers. The lush, thriving landscape is home to an abundance of wildlife. Better yet, the route leads to a beautiful alpine lake. getting there: From Telluride, drive 3 miles west on Highway 145 and then turn south to continue on Highway 145 for 8.5 miles. Turn left on County Road


Cruising on Two Wheels

Riding a bicycle is a popular hobby and sport in Southwest Colorado. Not only is cycling a great way to exercise and spend time outside, it is also an opportunity to slow down and see the sights along the way.

family - friendly paved paths

Animas River Trail

13.7 miles

Thanks to the Animas River Trail, it is easy for cyclists to navigate Durango and avoid vehicle traffic. Take a leisurely ride along the scenic river.

Telluride Bike Path

6.6 miles

A great trail for beginners, this asphalt path runs parallel to Highway 145 in Telluride. Pedal gently and gaze at the aspen-covered slopes, towering trees and colorful wildflowers.

Uncompahgre River Trail

7.6 miles

A family-friendly and ADA accessible trail that connects the town of Ridgway and Ridgway State Park Dallas Creek Area. Visit Dennis Weaver Memorial Park along the way to enjoy the flora and fauna.

lengthy road rides around durango

Bakers Bridge Loop

20 miles

Riders departing from town in Durango can ride north on Main Avenue, turn right on 32nd Street near City Market and proceed to the intersection of County Road 250. At the intersection, turn left, staying on course to the bridge. Travel south, over the bridge and straight to the intersection of Highway 550. Turn left on Highway 550 and ride past Honeyville to Hermosa. Take County Road 203 on your right, just past the railroad tracks to return to Durango.

Elmore’s Loop

25 miles

Beginning on East Third Avenue in Durango, head north on Third and merge right onto Florida Road. Florida Road will turn into County Road 240. Riders will have a steady 6-mile climb that ends at Edgemont Ranch. About a mile after Edgemont Ranch, at the bottom of the descent, take a right on County Road 234 at the fire station. County Road 234 connects with Highway 160 after about 12 miles. Head west on Highway 160 back to return to Durango.

Wildcat Canyon

35 miles

Take Highway 160 west until you see signs to County Road 141 and turn left. Take the canyon road out as far as you wish. It eventually intersects with County Road 140, where you can continue south or turn right to get to Hesperus and take the highway back into Durango. This ride offers a terrific view of the La Plata Mountains. Be extremely cautious of cars, because the roads have little-to-no shoulder.


Mecca for Mountain Biking

Mountain slopes create thrilling theme parks for enthusiastic cyclists. There are so many incredible places to ride. From the high desert to the forested mountainside, the diverse landscape offers a variety of terrain with leisurely moments, difficult climbs and swift descents. Visit these popular places to shred, or consult local trail guides and community members for more advice on where to ride.

Overend Mountain Park

This 300-acre playground filled with multiuse trails is a mountain biker’s paradise. With plenty of obstacles and bends, the downhill track offers great views of the city. Many locals refer to Overend as the Test Tracks because it is a great place to try new skills and techniques on terrain that is fun to ride again and again. There are multiple trails in this area, so pick the one that suits your skill level.

Church Camp Loop

Located in the Falls Creek area, Church Camp Loop begins at the trailhead off County Road 203 (marked by a large boulder) and continues through a grassy meadow surrounded by the Hermosa Cliffs. At the far end of the meadow, turn right at the intersection and follow the trail up to the top of the hill, which continues to climb up to the north along the ridge. Descend past an elusive waterfall on an old dirt road. From here, the loop continues along the other edge of the meadow and back to the parking area.

Phil’s World

Located three miles east of Cortez, Phil’s World is one of the most popular places to ride singletrack through multiple loops. The trail

system includes nearly 15-miles of trails that are organized and directional, so all loops are ridden clockwise and trailheads are clearly marked with a wooden sign. The trails are easy to moderate, but offer a variety of technical challenges and BMX style jumps.

Boggy Draw

Weaving through scattered ponderosas and meadows, Boggy Draw Loop is a popular ride for beginners. The trails are mostly flat, but cover more than 25 miles of terrain near the town of Dolores. The Boggy Draw trailhead hosts three other trails that offer more advanced riders with a range of obstacles.

Ridgway Area Trails

Thanks to Ridgway Area Trails (RAT), bikers now have over 20 miles of a multiuse trail system to explore. Established in 1989, RAT is a local chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association that plans and constructs multiuse trails for non-motorized recreation. Grab a map and enjoy exquisite weather and more miles of Rocky Mountain riding. For more information on area rides and future trail projects, see www.copmoba.org.



n Tent with a rain cover

n A warm sleeping bag

n A pillow and sleeping pad

n Camp stove and/or waterproof matches

n Drinking water, water purification tablets or tools

n Layers of clothing, including a waterresistant coat, wool socks and long underwear

n Flashlights, headlamps or lanterns

n Sunscreen, bug spray, first-aid kit, and toilet


Few experiences are quite as unique as sleeping under the stars in the Southwest. Whether you’re looking to go car camping on Missionary Ridge or primitive camping in the Bisti Badlands, our region has it all. Opt to rough it and commune with nature or seek out creature comforts in a woodsy setting. No matter your style, here’s a breakdown to help you decide how to get off the beaten path.

Types of Camping Dispersed camping is the traditional primitive experience. To access dispersed camping sites, you may have to hike to a spot, and generally won’t have access to bathrooms or other amenities. The upside of dispersed camping is that it allows you to stay in a more remote, natural setting. Car camping is generally done at an assigned campsite with your vehicle close at hand. Benefits of car camping include the fact that most campgrounds provide restrooms, trash services and sometimes even showers.

Glamping is camping’s trendy, more glamorous sister. Most glamping sites feature tents permanently pitched on decks in a scenic setting. They usually feature beds, bathrooms

and other luxuries. Additional perks range from Wi-Fi to stocked kitchens.

RV/Van camping is the perfect answer for people who want to get out in nature but aren’t comfortable sleeping outdoors. An RV or van can provide creature comforts like a bed, kitchen, bathroom and full power. Some parks in the area offer dedicated RV sites with full hook-ups, others offer boondocking only.

Backpacking is the most adventurous form of camping. Spend the day hiking or biking through nature until you reach a desired campsite. Before setting out on a backpacking trip, remember to let someone know where you’re hiking and when you expect to return.



n The weather in this region can change without warning, especially in the summer months. Be prepared with proper dry gear, and always dress in layers.

n Depending on your location, you may be required to purchase a pass or permit. Review your destination and plan ahead.

n Be aware of your location. Obey all posted signs and notices at campgrounds and trail entrances.

n Popular campgrounds can be booked many months in advance. It’s best to make a reservation sooner than later.

n Expect that you’ll run into wildlife ranging from lizards and squirrels to rattlesnakes and bears, depending on where you camp. Familiarize yourself with safety guidelines and etiquette of wildlife encounters in the area where you plan to camp.

n Remember to care for the delicate ecosystem by recreating responsibly. See more at www.lnt.org.


Starry Nights

Look up at the night sky and prepare to be starstruck. On clear nights, you can marvel at the infinite universe filled with planets, moons and constellations.

Preserving nature for everyone to enjoy is a priority in the Four Corners region, and the view of the night sky is no exception. It’s incredible what you can see with the naked eye when not surrounded by an urban glow.

Thanks to work by the International Dark Sky Association to prevent light pollution and protect natural ecosystems, you can see up to 15,000

Molas Pass

Located in the San Juan National Forest just seven miles south of Silverton, Molas Pass is a popular destination for campers, hikers and explorers in off-road vehicles. There is a campground near the lake where visitors can stay the night and enjoy the breathtaking views of the starry sky reflecting off the water.

Alta Lakes

stars in the sky, compared to just 500 in more urban environments.

The wide open spaces out West are ideal for getting a glimpse at the galaxy. Many of these spots are protected spaces, like national parks and monuments, worthy of exploring during daylight too. For your stargazing session, bring along a map and a star chart. Binoculars also can help enhance the experience.

Travel through a ghost town in the Uncompahgre National Forest to a series of lakes just six miles south of Telluride. Enjoy hiking, fishing or paddling on non-motorized watercraft like canoes and kayaks. Stay overnight at one of the dispersed campsites available near Lower Alta Lake or schedule a reservation at the privately-owned Observatory Lodge.

Mesa Verde National Park

By day, dozens of visitors marvel at the ancient architecture at Mesa Verde National Park. At night, the 52,000-acre national park is the perfect place to go stargazing because it is also a designated International Dark Sky Park. The park often hosts educational programs led by rangers in the summer season, and visitors can stay the night at Morefield Campground or Far View Lodge.


Plans: The darkest skies offer the best views. Go stargazing during a new moon, or when the moon is below the horizon. Use NASA’s night sky planner page for more information.

Lights: Using a cellphone, flashlight or vehicle lights hinders night vision. Red light does not have the same effect. Use a flashlight with a red-light feature or red bulb.

Adjustments: It takes our eyes about 20-30 minutes to adjust to darkness, so be patient after dusk.

Maps: Always bring along a map in unfamiliar terrain. A star chart is also helpful to identify


Mancos State Park

Anglers enjoy fishing for yellow perch and rainbow trout at Jackson Gulch Reservoir, while the calm waters call to paddlers in canoes and kayaks. A 5.5 mile trail system in the park connects with a network of trails on Forest Service land. The park is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the constellations overhead surrounded by ponderosa pines. Stay overnight at one of two campsites or reserve a yurt for a cozier camping experience.

Canyons of the Ancients

National Monument

Visiting Canyons of the Ancients Museum and National Monument, located just six miles from Cortez is an interactive educational experience. Explore the museum’s exhibits and enjoy a guided tour of cliff dwellings, kivas and rock art. After the sun goes down, the stars overhead engulf the remote park. On occasion, special programs for starviewing will be hosted by park rangers on-site. Dispersed camping is available in the backcountry at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.


National Monument

Stretching across 20 miles of mesmerizing mesa tops and canyons, Hovenweep National Monument protects and preserves six historic villages as well as dark skies. Nearby the year-round Hovenweep Campground has 31 campsites for tent and RV camping. Daytime bird watching and hiking are popular activities at

this Designated Dark Sky Park in the summer season, alongside ranger-led evening astronomy talks and telescope viewings.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Daytime adventures at Chaco include biking and hiking near ancient ruins and guided tours. At night, evening campfire talks and night sky programs highlight the incredible view of the heavens above the Designated International Dark Sky Park. From April through October, staff members host presentations on cultural history and archaeoastronomy. The campground here allows for tents and RVs for overnight guests.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Towering sand dunes are the centerpiece of this national park and International Dark Sky Park. Seeing thousands of stars twinkling above the alien landscape is unmatched. Beginning

Memorial Day, park rangers will lead summer programs to help guests understand astronomy and nocturnal ecology of the region. The visitor center also provides free star charts and mood calendars for self-guided stargazing. Open from April to October, the Pinon Flats Campground features 88 campsites which guests can reserve online.

Chimney Rock National Monument

An archaeological site on the Southern edge of the San Juan Mountains covers seven-square miles preserving around 200 ancient dwellings and ceremonial buildings. In addition to guided tours along interpretive trails, guests can enjoy educational lectures and programs from time to time. Volunteers at Chimney Rock National Monument host special night sky programs to educate guests about astronomy and its cultural significance to ancient people.

Slumgullion Center

The Slumgullion Center Dark Sky Park is an undeveloped, 58-acre area in the Uncompahgre National Forest perfect for studying the night sky in serenity. The wilderness area near Lake City, Colorado includes a campground where guests can access motorized trails to enjoy activities like off-roading, biking, hiking and fishing. The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy is an organization that is currently crafting programs to share with visitors soon.


Rock Climbing

The Rocky Mountains have been a popular climbing destination for decades. The geology of this mountain and desert nexus yields a surprising variety of rock climbing opportunities for climbers of all skill levels and disciplines to enjoy.

Safety brief

Rock climbing can be a very safe activity, but there is no substitute for knowledge and training. Local guiding services can introduce you to the sport or new aspects of it, if you’re looking to expand.

There is no room for using inappropriate or degraded gear. Make sure you know the how, what, why and where of equipment like harnesses, helmets, ropes etc. Local gear shops can help you determine the best fit for your needs.

Awareness can be overlooked when we’re out having a good time. Keep a close eye on your partners, other climbing parties, the top and bottom of climbs and the weather. Bear in mind the elements can quickly turn a nice day nasty.

Make sure you have appropriate amounts of water, food as well as a first aid kit and cell phone for emergencies.

Rock climbing as a term covers different aspects of one sport, let’s look deeper.


Bouldering uses no safety ropes and is relegated to boulders. Climbs focus on difficulty of movement. In lieu of ropes, foam pads are placed below climbs and spotters (think gymnastics) also help protect the falling climber.

Top roping

In toproping the rope is secured at the top of the climb before the climber begins. As they ascend, the slack rope is pulled taught by the

belayer, who also holds the resting or falling climber and lowers them to the ground.

Sport climbing

In sport climbing, a climber starts on the ground with their rope and as they climb they clip it into bolts that are permanently drilled into the stone. Since they are fixing the rope as they go there is potential for falling farther and belaying is more intensive.

Traditional climbing

Traditional climbing is similar to sport except the climber places removable gear such as camming devices for protection instead of pre-drilled bolts. Since the protection is removable afterward, this style is generally considered the cleanest.


Via Ferrata

A via ferrata, Italian for “iron way,” is a climbing route with a series of steel cables, rungs, ladders and anchors fixed to the rock for navigating a cliff face. Conquering via ferrata makes for an authentic and thrilling mountain adventure. Even those with limited climbing experience can take part in the sport with a guided tour on one of the regional via ferrata.

Ouray Via Ferrata


Choose between the downstream route or the more challenging upstream route. Equipment rentals are available at regional outfitters. While access to the Ouray Via Ferrata is free, guests should consider hiring one of the seven permitted guides.

Telluride Via Ferrata


Access to the Telluride Via Ferrata is located at the east end of the box canyon on the south-facing wall below Ajax Peak. The route includes technical elements and requires more climbing experience than the Ouray Via Ferrata.


Climbing harness, helmet, via ferrata specific lanyard (with shock absorbing arms), at least three locking carabiners, hiking shoes, food and water. Bringing along a headlamp and rain gear is also highly advised, just in case.





128 E. College Drive, Durango (970) 764-4661 www.theroostdurango.com
Photos by Kelly Roelke at Kelly Rae Photography


Colorado’s known for its snowy ski slopes. But when the snow melts, it cascades from the cliff sides, where it flows into streams and finds its way to area rivers and reservoirs. It gives the locals a wide array of recreational options. Find reprieve from the summer heat with a cool water activity, whether fishing or floating on one of the regional waterways.


Fishing Spots

The Four Corners region is an angler’s paradise. The San Juan and Animas Rivers and Vallecito Lake in Southwest Colorado are included on the state’s list of Gold Medal Waters. The fish in these waters include kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, brown trout, northern pike and walleye.

Local outfitters can assist novice and experienced anglers obtain a fishing license and the necessary gear. For the most up-to-date information on water conditions and fishing reports, talk with staff members at the Colorado

Department of Wildlife. Call the San Juan National Forest office at (970) 247-4874 for information on high mountain waters and fishing, or visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife fishing page at www.wildlife. state.co.us/fishing.

Be educated on park fees, fishing licenses, regulations and bag limits.


Lake Nighthorse

Just more than four miles southeast of Durango, Lake Nighthorse opened this year for fishing and recreation. It’s stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout and kokanee salmon.

McPhee Reservoir

Located 15.8 miles from Cortez, McPhee Reservoir is one of the largest in Colorado. Fishermen will find a variety of fish, including large and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, perch and northern pike to name a few.

Haviland Lake

Situated in the San Juan National Forest, 18 miles north of Durango. A no-wake lake, there is an accessible fishing dock located on the lakeshore. Anglers cast for rainbow and brown trout.

Andrews Lake

To access Andrews Lake wildlife, go 29 miles north on Highway 550 to the access road, then a half-mile east to the parking area. Rainbow and brook trout are abundant here.

Vallecito Lake

Fishing is a year-round activity at Vallecito Lake, located 18 miles northeast of Durango and home to various large species such as northern pike, brown and rainbow trout.

Jackson Lake

Located on Highway 160 west from Durango 27 miles to Mancos, turn north on 184 and follow signs to the park. Jackson provides excellent fishing opportunity yearround for trout and yellow perch.

Navajo Lake

The second largest state park in New Mexico, the marina is situated on the southern region of the lake, which stretches 35 miles over northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Fishing is done by boat or off the bank. Navajo Lake offers a guided fishing service. Call (505) 632-3245 for more information.

Animas River

The Animas River flows from Silverton through Durango and into New Mexico. The best fishing is generally south of Durango. Specific areas are limited to catch and release, and flies and lures only. Please observe the signs.

San Juan River

Located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, the San Juan River is world renowned for providing some of the most rewarding trout fishing you will ever experience. A four-mile stretch of river below Navajo Lake Dam is a consistent producer of both rainbow and brown trout averaging 16 to 18 inches.

Dolores River

Take Highway 160 west to Mancos, about 27 miles. Turn right onto Highway 184 and drive 18 miles until you reach Dolores. The Dolores River flows from McPhee Reservoir. It begins about 50 miles north on Highway 145 at the base of Lizard Head Pass.

Cascade Creek

Take Highway 550 north about 27 miles, just past Cascade Village at the base of Coal Bank Pass. The creek flows into the Animas River north of Haviland Lake.

Dutch Creek

Take Highway 550 north to Hermosa, turn left at the sign for the Lower Hermosa Creek Road, following it to the end, about four miles.

Hermosa Creek

Take Highway 550 north to Hermosa, about 11 miles. Turn left onto Lower Hermosa Road and travel about four miles. The creek flows along the same path as Hermosa Creek Trail, and joins the Animas River just south of Hermosa turn off 550.

Junction Creek

Travel north on Main Avenue to 25th Street. Turn left and follow the road, which will become Junction Creek Road, to the large parking area. Junction Creek flows along the Colorado Trail.

Lightner Creek

Take Highway 160 West from Durango, and turn right at Lightner Creek Road. Lightner Creek flows along the road for several miles.

Lime Creek

Take Highway 550 north about 27 miles, just past Cascade Village. Turn right onto Lime Creek Road. The upper entrance to the creek is further north on Highway 550, ascending Coal Bank Pass.


Lake Days

Lake Nighthorse

Located just two miles from downtown Durango, Lake Nighthorse attracts more than 80,000 visitors annually. Open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, the public space offers incredible recreation in a very convenient location. However, Monday, Wednesday and Friday are reserved for wakeless recreation only. Visit the lake for laid back beach days, casual boating and fun fishing. Rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or sailboat. Picnic under the pavilion or walk the 2.3mile out-and-back scenic trail.

activities: Biking, hiking, motorized and non-motorized boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing

amenities: Restrooms, guided fishing, various rentals, swim beach and aqua park

fees: Vehicle day pass $10 vehicle entrance, bike/walk $4

more info: https://co-durango. civicplus.com/lakenighthorse

Navajo Reservoir

Located on the border of Colorado and New Mexico in Navajo State Park, Navajo Reservoir hosts more than 300,000 each year and supplies water to more than 110,000 acres of the Navajo Reservation. The state park is open 24 hours for camping and fishing, and from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. for daily use. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about the variety of accommodations and activities available for individuals, families and even larger groups.

activities: Biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorized and non-motorized boating, fishing, swimming and scuba diving, water skiing

amenities: Restrooms, camping facilities and other accommodations, picnic areas, various rentals, marina, showers, visitor center

fees: Vehicle day pass $10

more info: https://cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/Navajo/Pages/ default.aspx

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Jackson Gulch Reservoir is a haven for wakeless water recreation located in Mancos State Park. The 217-acre picturesque lake in the woods is surrounded with 5.5 miles of trails, which are popular for biking, hiking and horseback riding. It is also a popular yearround fishing hole stocked with yellow perch and rainbow trout. Peacefully float with a canoe, kayak or paddleboard.

activities: Biking, hiking, wakeless motorized and non-motorized boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding

amenities: Restrooms, self-serve station at entrance, amphitheater, camping facilities, picnic sites

fees: Vehicle day pass $10

more info: https://cpw.state.co.us/ placestogo/parks/Mancos/Pages/ default.aspx


Vallecito Reservoir

Located 20 miles northeast of Durango, people enjoy both motorized and non-motorized boating on the 2,720-acre Vallecito Reservoir. Guests can rent equipment from pontoons and fishing boats to canoes, kayaks and paddleboards from Vallecito Marina. It is a popular place for anglers to fish year-round, and stocked with northern pike, walleye, trout and kokanee salmon. Since Vallecito is surrounded by multi-use trails, there are parking areas and dayuse facilities available, and private campgrounds and cabins nearby accommodate overnight guests.

activities: Biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorized and nonmotorized boating, camping, fishing

amenities: Camping facilities, restrooms, marina, various rentals, trails

fees: Vehicle day pass $5

more info: www.prid.special districts.org

McPhee Reservoir

As the fifth largest body of water in Colorado, McPhee Reservoir is 4,470-acre lake with 50 miles of picturesque shoreline surrounded by pinon, juniper and sagebrush. A campground elevated 500 feet above the reservoir offers incredible views for overnight guests. McPhee is the perfect launchpad for paddling, picnicking and other family-friendly fun. Doc’s Marina is open from April through October for supplies, fishing gear, depth finders and boat rentals.

activities: biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorized and non-motorized boating, water skiing, camping

amenities: Camping facilities, restrooms, marina, picnic areas and playgrounds, various rentals, trails

fees: Free

more info: www.docsmarina. wordpress.com

Ridgway Reservoir

Located just 15 miles north of Ouray in Ridgway State Park, the calm waters of the Ridgway Reservoir are a great backdrop for a variety of adventures. Enjoy recreating on the 14 miles of multiuse trails surrounding the reservoir, and bring pets along to this dogfriendly park.

activities: Biking, hiking horseback riding, motorized and non-motorized boating, camping, swimming

amenities: Camping facilities, marina, picnic areas and playgrounds, swim beach, trails, visitor center

fees: Vehicle day pass $10

more info: www.parks. state.co.us/ridgway


River Runners

Colorado is a natural amusement park filled with thrilling attractions you can’t find anywhere else, such as whitewater rafting in mountain runoff. Soak up some sunshine and test your paddling prowess on the region’s rivers. But first, check out these five things to know about rafting.

Rafting is for everyone

Floating is a fun activity for both laid-back vacationers and those who seek adrenaline-filled adventures. From beginners to experts, there are a variety of trips designed to provide the best experiences for a wide range of skill levels. Best of all, most trips will feature the best of both whitewater worlds, calm currents and roaring rapids.

Rafting guides are experts

Choosing a rafting trip with a local rafting company is the best way to guarantee a safe, yet spectacular ride on the river. Not only do these businesses prepare guests with everything they need for a fun experience, the outfitters also provide valuable advice, insight and historical information about the river.

Water levels vary

The speed and depth of the water varies throughout the year. The mountain rivers here swell when the snowmelt reaches its peak. As the river fills, the waters flow faster. Low and high water levels offer different types of challenges, but the same incredible views and lots of fun.

Rapids have ratings

The American Whitewater Association created a scale that establishes the difficulty of a river rapid and the skill needed to navigate a section of the river. Rapids are ranked from Class I, being the easiest, to Class VI, which is difficult and dangerous. Different portions of the region’s rivers will be rated accordingly.

Any trip can be customized

Many rafting companies have permits to run different sections of the rivers in our region. This means they can offer exclusive experiences that range from just a few hours, to half-day, full-day and multiday raft trips.


Animas River

Dolores River

Gunnison River

San Juan River

San Miguel River



Going with the Flow

The Animas River runs for 126 miles from its headwaters near Silverton, through the San Juan Mountains, the Animas Valley and into New Mexico, where it meets the San Juan River. Journals from a Spanish explorer who led the earliest known expedition through the region in 1765, Juan Maria Antonia Rivera, referred to the river as “Rio de las Animas” which translates to “river of souls.”

Tips for river runners

Start out slow. Experts classify rapids on a scale of one to six. Choose an adventure on this scale, based on previous rafting experience. The Upper Animas ranges from Class 3 to 5, while the Lower Animas features primarily Class 3 rapids. Wear proper wet gear. Expect to get soaked. And to stave off chafing, pack a pair of gym shorts or water-resistant shorts for a barrier to the raft. Wear synthetic materials because cotton pulls heat away from the body. To protect feet, wear water shoes or shoes that secure to the feet opposed to crocs or flip flops.

Don’t bring expensive items. Leave jewelry, electronics and cash in the car. A good rule of thumb: if it gets lost or wet and would ruin the day or be difficult to replace - don’t bring it.

Wear sunscreen. Logging a solid day in the sun requires some sunblock application. Especially cover the thighs, neck and face. Pack a change of clothes, a towel and plenty of drinking water.

Keep a lifejacket on at all times. Floatation devices are not only for safety, they also make it easier for group members to get a person back onto the raft after a swim.


Oxbow Park

33rd Street

29th Street at Memorial park

Recreation Center

Ninth Street at Schneider Park

Santa Rita Park

Cudiff Park

High Bridge

Dallabetta Park

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Activities & Attractions

A Four Corners vacation entails more than national parks and outdoor adventures. It is an opportunity to be immersed in the arts, culture and history of the American Southwest. Explore the plethora of educational and family-friendly exhibits and experiences available around every corner.


Animas River Trail

The Animas River Trail is a hard-surface route that follows the Animas River through the heart of town. The multi-use path is the centerpiece of the city’s trail system and offers easy access to other natural surface trails, as well as more than a dozen city parks and other family-friendly facilities.

Rotary Park

Rotary Park has plenty of open space to soak up the sun, as well as serene spots shaded by towering trees. Kids will love rolling down the grassy hill or dancing in the Victorian gazebo.

Animas River Brewery

points of interest

Durango Community Recreation Center

Squeeze in a regular workout, play sports, go swimming or climb a rock wall inside the Durango Community Recreation Center. Snag a day pass, which will cost five to seven dollars, depending on age. Towel rentals are an additional dollar.

Durango Botanic Gardens

Take a free tour the Durango Botanic Gardens, located outside the Durango Public Library. Ample signage ensures that individuals can learn more about the diverse flowers, trees and plant life.

Durango Public Library

The local library is a space to learn, create and meet. It can also be a great place to relax on a hot day to pass some time. Stop by the Common Grounds Café inside to grab a treat to enjoy alongside the available literature and media. Pick up a brochure from the front desk to take a self-guided tour of the artwork displayed by Durango Public Art Commission.

Quench thirst and appease a growing appetite at Animas River Brewery, a family-friendly restaurant and brewery that features a menu of craft beers on a rotating tap, appetizers, comfort food and signature burgers. Customers can dine inside to escape the heat, or enjoy the breeze on the outdoor patio.

Wildlife Museum & Fish Hatchery

For a fun and educational experience, visit the Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum, which showcases species of creatures that complete Colorado’s ecosystem. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday from May 15 to Sept. 15. And as the oldest state-owned hatchery in Colorado, it raises millions of fish every year. For 25 cents, toss in a handful of food to watch a feeding frenzy. The hatchery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

White Rabbit Curiosities

Booklovers know you can pack a lot of pages into a small space, and this little bookshop on the Animas River Trail is filled from floor to ceiling with a wide variety of new and used titles. This specialty shop at 128 West 14th St., C2 also has hand-blown glass pendants and pens, journals, jewelry and other collectibles.

Santa Rita Park Durango Community Recreation Center AnimasTrailRiver Durango Botanic Gardens Durango Public Library Rotary Park Animas River Brewery Wildlife Museum & Fish Hatchery White Rabbit Curiosities The Powerhouse Schneider Park Animas River Beer Garden Dog Park AnimasTrailRiver 550 550 NORTH HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DURANGO Animas River AnimasRiver Map not to scale ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS 52 | SUMMER GUIDE SOUTHWEST COLORADO 2023

The Powerhouse

As an interactive museum with rotating exhibits and experiments to discover, people of all ages will enjoy exploring the Powerhouse, named for its location in the historic Durango Light and Power Company building. Not only does this science center offer hands-on learning opportunities for children, it offers special camps and programs for local youth. Admission is $9, and the museum is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday only.

Schneider Park

One of the most popular parks along the Animas River Trail is located at 950 Roosa Ave. Schneider Park stretches across nearly 7 acres, and includes a fishing area, river access, restrooms, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, a playground and a modern skatepark, complete with rails, ramps, stairs, bowls and more.

Animas River Beer Garden

Sip and savor the beautiful sounds and views of the water while watching people pass by on the Animas River Trail from the patio behind the DoubleTree Hotel at 501 Camino del Rio. The seasonal bar and restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to late September.

Santa Rita Park

On the southern end of the Animas River Trail, Santa Rita Park includes open space, areas to play soccer, volleyball and basketball, horseshoe pits, playground equipment, picnic tables and a shelter. In addition to activity areas, this park also has restrooms and river access near the infamous Whitewater Park. Hang out on the rocks by the water to watch people on rafts, kayaks and paddleboards navigate the rapids.

We are passionate about sharing the garden with the community, creating a sense of place, peace, solitude and relaxation as well as education. Visit, plant, grow, join us! Located at the Durango Public Library, 1900 E. 3rd Ave, Durango CO 81301 970.880.4841 DurangoBotanicGardens.org

Family Fun


Located two miles from historic downtown, Durango Adventures allows people to huck hatchets at targets after some professional instruction is provided. For $30 per person, individuals age 12 and up can throw axes in one of the four regulation-size cages. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Guests can bring their own beverages and food, and those who do not want to participate can still observe the entertainment for a $5 fee. Blondie’s Trophy Room located at 45 East Main in downtown Cortez, is an awardwinning bar and restaurant includes an ax-throwing venue with unique digital overlays for targets that transform the activity into a new game, like Battleship or Tic-TacToe. It costs $20 per hour per person, ages 18 and above only.

Open Wednesday to Thursday 5-10 p.m., Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 3-11 p.m. and Sunday 3-9 p.m.


Set em’ up and knock ‘em down at bowling alleys in the Four Corners. Rolling Thunder Lanes at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio features 24 lanes, an arcade and concessions. Lakeside Lanes at 290 Lakeside Drive in Cortez offers customers bowling and billiards. In Farmington, Bowlero, located at 3704 East Main St., is a classic-style bowling alley with an arcade, pool tables, batting cages and a full-service bar and diner. Farmington Lanes at 27 Fifth St. is also a bowling alley with a full-service bar and restaurant. Hours and prices vary for each establishment based on their individual league schedules, so call or visit online for more information.

Disc golf

If it is hard for families to keep kids engaged on hikes, try testing your tossing skills on regional disc golf courses. The goal of disc golf is to toss a flying disc into a basket in as few turns as possible. To play, begin at the tee area and throw the disc toward the target, which is an elevated basket. Players add a point for every toss, and the player with the lowest score wins. The Four Corners is filled with scenic places to enjoy disc golf, including Fort Lewis College, Purgatory Resort, Kendall Mountain Recreation Area, Centennial Park, Reservoir Hill and Cloman Park


Electric bikes & scooters

Rent an e-bike that provides pedal-assisted power to riders. Children and adults of all ages can enjoy cycling around downtown and along the Animas River Trail. Riders can reserve bikes for as little as two hours, or rent them out for a full week. Pricing at various outlets usually starts at around $40, but will vary depending on the length of the rental and type of bike.

Cruising around Pagosa Springs on a fleet of electric scooters provided by Scootz is a fun option for groups of adults. Anyone 18 years old or over can rent and ride a scooter from restaurants and shops to the area hot springs. The cost to rent a scooter starts at $20 for one hour and increases by $10 per hour, up to six hours.

Escape rooms

Decipher clues like a detective and work with a group to solve a series of puzzles in a race against the clock to escape from a locked room. There are several family-friendly experiences for newcomers and seasoned escape artists.

At Pagosa Escape Zone, guests can choose from three themed puzzle rooms designed for groups of two to eight. Admission is $30 per person. Located in the Animas Valley Mall in Farmington, Escapology offers five immersive scenarios of various difficulty levels for groups of two to six players. Cost is $29 per person.

Miniature golf

Pause the adrenaline-filled adventures to relax with a round of miniature golf. In Southwest Colorado, there are four venues to enjoy putt-putt courses, weather permitting. Try the shady Durango Park course near Serious Texas BBQ located at 650 South Camino del Rio or Shooters & Shenanigans located in Pagosa Springs at 23 Pike Drive. Purgatory Ski Resort north of Durango and Sky Ute Resort & Casino in Ignacio also have mini golf courses where guests can enjoy some friendly competition.

Photo courtesy of Purgatory Resort

Indoor climbing

When climbers aren’t able to get a grip on wet rock due to weather, many of them retreat to practice indoors on climbing walls. Indoor rock climbing is not only a great tactic for beginners to learn safety skills and techniques before embarking on outdoor adventures, it is also a safe way for families to be active and engage in a classic Colorado sport.

With 4,000 feet of climbing space, Gravity Lab located at 732 County Road 233 in Durango is the perfect place to reach new heights. Day passes cost $20 for adults and $16 for children ages 4 to 17. Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There are also rock walls at the community recreation centers in Durango and Cortez for families that want to enjoy separate activities, such as games, sports and swimming.

Trampoline park

Burn some energy by bouncing at Fly High Adventure Parks in Farmington. The attraction includes a variety of activities for people of all ages, such as super launch pads with foam pits, obstacle courses,

bouncy basketball and dodgeball courts, and an activity playground with wall-to-wall trampolines. Guests can purchase a pass to access the park for one or two hours. Cost varies by age, and memberships are available for regulars. Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m.11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. See more online at fmn.flyhightrampolinepark.com.


Chapman Hill is the beloved ski hill and ice skating rink in the heart of town at 500 Florida Road. In the summer season, the indoor rink is open to the public for roller-skating. The admission is $5. The rink provides rental skates and blades for an additional $2 fee.

The Rock n Roller Rink is a family-friendly entertainment center and roller-skating rink in Farmington at 2125 Bloomfield Highway. The rink is a popular place to host birthday parties, so rink hours vary during the summer season, and there are special events hosted weekly. For more information, go online at www.rocknrollerrink.com or call (505) 258-4288.


Fly through the forest surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife with a zipline adventure.

In addition to ax-throwing, Durango Adventures has two options for ziplining just one mile from downtown Durango. The sixzipline tour includes a 10-minute uphill hike and close to two hours of soaring about the landscape. The 12-zipline tour includes a 15-minute uphill hike and nearly 3 hours of stunning views.

Soaring Tree Top Adventures is an established business located on 180 private acres surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. This unforgettable zipline experience includes a first class train ride on the D&SNG train to the remote location. The full-day ziplining experience includes five hours of adventure and a four-course gourmet lunch served on a platform overlooking the Animas River.

Telluride Canopy Adventure offers a three-hour zipline experience featuring five ziplines, two aerial bridges and two rappels. Guests depart from Telluride Adventure Center. To review restrictions and tour times, visit www. tellurideskiresort.com.


more amusement at area resorts

Purgatory Ski Resort

Enjoy a scenic chairlift ride to access more biking and hiking opportunities. Paddle around Twilight Lake with resort partners Durango Boat and Board on one of several canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or a pedal boat. There’s an aerial obstacle course, gyrosphere and ziplining, too. Try the thrilling gravity coaster attractions, the Alpine Slide and Inferno Coaster.

Telluride Ski Resort & Mountain Village

Explore hiking and mountain biking trails for all skill levels. Ride the gondola that connects the town of Telluride with Mountain Village from Oak Street Plaza to Mountain Village Center suspended over the ski slopes. Enjoy other activities like bouldering, jumping on a bungee trampoline or panning for precious stones at the mining experience.

Tico Time River Resort

The hybrid RV park and entertainment venue next to the Animas River Tico Time River Resort invites guests to enjoy a wide variety of seasonal activities all in one place, including beach volleyball, disc golf, paddleboarding, river tubing and ziplining. The riverside resort is also hosting a variety of gatherings and festivals year-round.


Guided Tours

Want to know more about the region, or feel more connected to the community? Guided tours are guaranteed to please.

Up in the air

For a bird’s eye view, schedule a tour of Colorado in a helicopter or hot air balloon. The mountain landscape features beautiful fields of flowers and alpine lakes in the valleys between the towering peaks. From a helicopter or hot air balloon, tour guests can experience the views without boundaries.

Alpine Heli Tours by Colorado Highland Helicopters allow customers to choose from one of three tours, Mountain Peaks, Mountain Lakes and Animas City, while Telluride Helitrax takes passengers on 15-minute flyovers above Telluride Ski Resort and Ophir Needles.

For a more peaceful experience in the sky, try a hot air balloon ride with Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures in Pagosa Springs or San Juan Balloon Adventures in

Ridgway. Though flight times are varied, both companies offer a celebration meal after the tour.

History’s mysteries

Guided history tours are also popular attractions in tourist towns. Visit Animas Museum to learn more about self-guided walking tours of areas such as Animas City and Historic East Third Avenue, or learn even more from local guides with a passion for history. Both Ghost Walk Durango and Horsefly History offer guided walking tours of downtown Durango. Prices for these historical tours range from $20 to $35 per person. Cortez Tours offers historic walking tours of downtown Cortez, sunrise tours near Mesa Verde as well as nature and history tours in Montezuma County. See more tour information and book reservations with these businesses online.

Mining adventures

Go underground and experience a day in the life of a miner. Southwest Colorado has a rich mining history, and these tours take guests into the tunnels beneath 13,000-foot peaks.

The Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour is a one-hour guided mine tour in Silverton. Guests can see colorful minerals, ride a vintage electric powered mine train, see equipment in action and go panning for copper, gold and silver.

The Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour on Gold Hill in Ouray, Colorado begins with a miner’s breakfast at an outdoor cafe, followed by panning for gold in the stream nearby. The tour then follows a gravel path to the Syracuse tunnel for an underground tour of the active mining operations. Tours cost between $10-$30 per person depending on age.

Scenic train ride

Ride in a vintage locomotive on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train carries passengers 45 miles from Durango to Silverton, passing by ranches in the valley and old mining camps in the mountains. D&SNGR also hosts many special events and experiences for people of all ages year round. For departure times, tickets and more information, visit the website www.durangotrain.com.

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is also a product of the mining era. In 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad wanted to create an extension to the south of the D&SNGR. The 64-mile excursion carries passengers through valleys and over steep mountain passes, by ranch lands, rolling meadows, cascading creeks and an abundance of wildlife. The excursion includes lunch in historic Osier, Colorado. For more information on excursions, visit the website www. cumbrestoltec.com.

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Hot Springs

Soak in healing waters

People have been enjoying hot springs since well before the advent of civilization. It’s a steamy tradition that spans the ages and continues to be a staple for spas, resorts and campgrounds around the world. Some people swear by the rejuvenating powers of geothermal springs. Soaking is not only relaxing, but it can also have health benefits. Fortunately, the geology of the Rocky Mountain region makes Southwest Colorado a perfect place to experience the benefits of soaking in natural hot springs.

Renew the skin

Soaking in hot springs can be a great way to naturally detoxify the dermis, and the high silica content can smooth and soften the driest, roughest skin. Meanwhile, the mineral content of a sulfur spring has been shown to help chronic conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.

Improve circulation

When soaking in a natural hot spring, there’s a boost in the hydrostatic pressure all around the body. In simpler terms, when you enter a pool, it improves blood flow which increases cardiac output and metabolism. This is due, in part, to the heavy mineral content of the water being soaked up by our bodies, improving circulation and overall oxygen flow.

Reduce stress and tension

Geothermal waters reduce stress by relaxing tense muscles. Additionally, the body temperature rises during a soak then cools upon exit, which can relax the mind and body for a more restful night’s sleep. In fact, it’s been shown that people who bathe in hot water sleep more soundly and have lower levels of stress. The study by the National Library of Medicine even suggests that hot-water bathers have good subjective health and happiness in general.

Relieve pain

Soaking in a hot spring can reduce pain and ease the fatigue caused by chronic pain. The heat of the water blocks pain receptors, while buoyancy allows for free movement and joint support. Even people with ailments as severe as arthritis and fibromyalgia have seen pain mitigated after soaking. In fact, the treatment of ailments with hot sulfur water has such a rich history, we even have a word for it: balneotherapy.

disclaimer: It’s always recommended that you talk with your physician before taking up a hot springs habit, to ensure that the practice is safe for you.

After Hours

When the sun sinks below the jagged horizon, it’s not time to head home. Hit up a local hotspot for happy hour, dine out at regional restaurants, enjoy concerts and other special events, catch the latest movie or cash in casino chips.

Happy hour

While there are more than 200 established breweries in the state of Colorado, the Southwest region as a whole also boasts creative spirits who distill liquor and patient growers who cultivate wine. Sip wine in regional vineyards, sample beers at local breweries and meet the makers of award-winning booze. The region’s independently-owned dining establishments often support local beverage makers by stocking their products.

Dining out

The culinary scene offers diversity for hungry customers. Whether searching for a classic American diner or authentic global cuisine, there is an eatery for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss the opportunity to try something new from a small, independent business. Hungry and in a hurry? Order ahead for takeout or make reservations online. Pick up Flavor Four Corners Dining Guide to see more information on regional restaurants.

Live music

Local musicians perform regularly at various venues in Four Corners communities. From community parks and indoor theaters to local bars and street corners, music can be heard coming from every other block, it seems. Many artists play original tunes and popular cover songs throughout the gig. Don’t miss the chance to hear live music by consulting the community calendar starting on page 73.


Similar to country clubs, casinos are specialized spaces for socializing. But in a casino, the main attraction is gaming and entertainment rather than golfing. Most casinos feature a wide variety of card games and stateof-the-art slot machines, where players can gamble cash or casino chips. Many casinos host live entertainment throughout the year, and offer guests lodging and restaurant service.

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Fine Arts

Expression adds value and vibrancy to life. Enjoy live entertainment by actors, circus performers, comedians and musicians in a beautiful venue. Local artwork is distinctive and fun, which enlivens the aesthetic and identity of our communities. Whether visiting a city park, the public library or local coffee shop, look high and low for fine art in all its forms.

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Public Art Tours

Galleries galore

Whether searching for paintings and pottery or jewelry and stained glass pieces, the Four Corners is filled with interesting collections of one-ofa-kind artwork. There are over 50 galleries in Southwest Colorado alone to visit.


Murals pop up around town in alleyways, brightening bland buildings. Painted by local artists, these colorful and creative pieces add a vibrancy to well-traveled walkways. Thanks to the Cortez Public Arts Advisory Committee, residents and visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of over 30 murals.

Sculptures & statues

Interesting structures provide beautifully crafted and curated collections art that act as landmarks around our landscape. Around the city of Durango alone, there are more than 30 public art installations in public buildings and open spaces like trailheads and parks.



Trout Wall

Mosaic fish with lively leaps greet trail users in town. See this special piece of art on the Animas River Trail.

artists: Keith Wlzak, Kelly Hurford, May Anne Griffin, Sandy Bielenberg, Christ Loftus

location: 1521 Main Ave., behind Woodhouse Day Spa

Whinney & Friends

In front of the D&SNG Train Depot, this bronze sculpture of three horses is a favorite for family photo ops.

artists: Joyce Parkerson

location: 479 Main Ave., Train Depot

Puck & Mudra

Puck and Mudra are two life-size bronze sculptures located on the east side of Second Avenue. Become your own work of art by trying to replicate their poses.

artists: Elizabeth MacQueen

location: Seventh and Eighth blocks on East Second Avenue


This metal sculpture is a centerpiece of the town and an homage to the cycling culture in mountain communities, which host a variety of professional riding events.

artists: Joshua Wiener and Chester Haring location: roundabout near 500 Florida Road


Panning for Gold

Inspired by Western heritage, this mural on the side of Garcia & Company Jewelers features scenic mountain mining.

artists: Mariah Kaminsky and Susan Hansen Staves

location: 450 E. Main Street

Designated Driver

On the west side of the Cork ‘n Bottle, this intriguing mural adds some edge to the public art culture that primarily showcases the area’s scenic beauty.

artists: Automne Mosher and Arica Dean location: 443 E. Main Street

Five Horses

The artist, Karen Kristin, captures magnificent hues of Southwestern sunsets in this mural at Sky Art, her art gallery.

artists: Karen Kristin

location: 105 N. Sligo

Tree of Life

This mural’s leitmotif is inspired by a local, private textile collection, and showcases traditional customs from residents here.

artists: Mariah Kaminsky

location: 201 E. Main


Preserving the Past

Uncover the tracks and traces of those who came before us. Explore ancient ruins. Revel in Western lore and strike gold with mining tales. From the very first people to call this landscape home, to the settlers and ranchers who left their own footprints, today’s communities still reflect a rich cultural heritage. These exhibits and experiences invite visitors to step back in time.

Animas Museum

In Durango, one of the best places to learn more about the area’s history is the Animas Museum. Historic classrooms now hold the rich history of our railroad town. The La Plata County Historical Society owns and operates the history museum offering a variety of exhibits, events and special programs. The museum features a turn-of-the-20th-century classroom and an original 1870s log cabin, and also houses a research library and photo archives.

Aztec Museum & Pioneer Village

The Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village lets visitors experience pioneer life in the American West. Learn about life in the early days of Aztec by climbing aboard a caboose, touring an old schoolhouse and taking a self-guided walking tour of the historic downtown.

Center of Southwest Studies

The Center of Southwest Studies provides opportunities to explore, study and experience the heritage of the Southwest. Located on the campus of Fort Lewis College, the rotating exhibits highlight different pieces of culture through a collection of historic artifacts and artwork.

Cortez Cultural Center

The Cortez Cultural Center is a community hub for arts and culture events and education. The small museum and gallery is full of historic artifacts and modern artwork from local residents. The nonprofit hosts a variety of activities year round, such as lectures, live music, plays and performances. View the schedule of events online.

D&SNG Museum

Visit this 12,000 square-foot museum, housed in eight of the stalls of an old roundhouse. Learn more about the history of railroading, specifically the establishment of the D&RGW line and its legacy. Better yet, book a trip north to Silverton on the vintage locomotive. The museum exhibits steam locomotives, railroad cars, memorabilia and artifacts from the region, while the gift shop features a large selection of books on the history of the railroad.

D&SNG Silverton Depot

Just a few blocks from downtown sits the Silverton Depot. Built as a temporary structure, it still stands today, a testament to tenacity. Stroll through the depot to see the waiting room, ticket office, coal room and coal dock. Outside the depot is Locomotive 493, built in 1902, forlorn but not forgotten.

Historic Jail & Mining Museum

Dubbed by its curators as the best mining museum in the country, the Mining Heritage Center in Silverton is filled with cool relics of the past, including a collection of hats and


helmets worn by miners through the years, antique tools crafted by local blacksmiths and much more. The museum covers a wide range of daily life in the mountains and mines, while the old jail showcases what life would have been like for law breakers residing there.

Montezuma Heritage Museum

The Montezuma County Historical Society works to educate, enrich and inspire residents. Enjoy a variety of temporary and permanent exhibits at the Montezuma Heritage Museum, as well as short films and historical literature about local people and places.

Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS) Museum

The Ouray County Museum is housed inside an old hospital for miners, which was built in 1886. The building is three levels and contains 27 rooms filled with 38 exhibits on topics such as the history of mining, ranching and the railroad in Ouray County. Some artifacts on display date all the way back to Ouray’s earliest days in 1875.

Ouray Alchemist Museum

This space functions as a pharmacy for nonprescription medications and also an artistic gallery that houses relics of Western medicine from snake oil salesmen. The retired pharmacists behind the tour share stories behind

patents for historic medicine with visitors. Call to schedule a tour of the historic collection of artifacts and artwork.

Pine River Valley Heritage Museum

See a rural school room filled with relics from the past and stories of students, or ranching tools made by blacksmiths on display. The Pine River Valley Heritage Museum has a variety of interesting exhibits that explore the history of rural life in the Pine River Valley and the pioneers that settled there.

Rio Grande Southern Museum

This railroad museum and gift shop is housed in a replica of the Rio Grande Southern Depot and operated by the Galloping Goose Historical Society in Dolores. It showcases historical photos, interpretive displays, a model of the town of Dolores in the 1940s and the world famous Galloping Goose No. 5.

Southern Ute Cultural Center

Browse the state-of-the-art gallery spaces at the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center in Ignacio to learn more about the history and current traditions of the Southern Ute tribe, Colorado’s longest continuous residents. The permanent exhibit chronicles the story of the Ute people from prehistory to modern times presented through photographic panels, audio-visual presentations and interactive electronics to enhance the experience for visitors of all ages.

Telluride Historical Museum

The Telluride Historical Museum gives guests the opportunity to learn more about the town’s mining heritage in addition to its ski culture and festival history. With ten themed rooms and interactive exhibits, museum visitors can get a glimpse of historic Telluride. The museum also hosts several events including walking tours, fireside lectures and historical hiking programs.


Energizing Entertainment

Whether looking for something new to do on date night or ways to entertain children on summer break, consider the engaging and energizing entertainment available at local venues across the Four Corners.


Indoors or outdoors?

That’s the only question you will need to ask when looking for live music to enjoy. There are orchestral performances, festivals filled with fun lineups and bands playing at local bars and breweries. Check for music listings and various community concerts and jam sessions.

Theatrical performances

The show must go on, and the talented actors in our region bring their best portrayals of classic characters and stories to the stage year-round. Check out the schedule of summer shows produced by the troupes at various performing arts venues.

Specialty shows

From singing cowboys at the Bar D Chuckwagon, to the incredible stunts by the Secret Circus Society, the options for entertainment are truly endless. Attend a variety of shows that feature spectacular individuals and energizing performances.


n Animas City Theatre

n Bar D Chuckwagon

n Community Concert Hall

n Durango Arts Center

n Farmington Civic Center

n Henderson Fine Arts Center

n Pagosa Center for the Arts

n Palm Arts

n The Sunflower Theatre

n Sheridan Opera House

n Wright Opera House



Durango Stadium 9

900 Translux Drive, Durango (970) 247-9799


Gaslight Twin Cinemas

102 E. Fifth St., Durango (970) 247-8133

www.allentheatresinc.com/theater/ gaslight_twin_cinema


23 W. Main St., Cortez (970) 565-9003


Liberty Theatre

418 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs (970) 264-4578


16 –
AM – 5 PM
Second Ave · Downtown Durango
the largest outdoor fine-arts festival in the Four Corners region! durangoarts.org
West Music and Comedy Show and Chuckwagon Supper
favorite family enter tainment since 1969
17, 2023 10
ticketing, and shops open by 4:30 pm Supper is at 6:30.
or Shine
Day weekend thru September Reservations Required www.bardchuckwagon.com 970-247-5753
The Bar D Wranglers perform in Concert after supper with songs of cowboys and the old west, comedy, and lively instruments to please the whole family.

September 8th - 10th, 2023

Silverton Creates! is a weekend-long celebration of the arts held high in the San Juan Mountains in the charming historic town of Silverton, Colorado.

Come enjoy the fall foliage and immerse yourself in a variety of uniquely “Silverton” creative experiences!

• Free, Live Open-Air Concerts

• Open Studio Tours

• Heritage Activities

• Hands-On Art Workshops

• Demonstrations

• Performances

• Healing Arts

• And More!


Community Events Calendar

May 26-28

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, various times and locations. The beloved annual tradition returns. See more information online. www. ironhorsebicycleclassic.com

RiverFest, three-day festival hosted by River Reach Foundation at Berg and Animas Parks in Farmington. This free, festive celebration includes live entertainment and music, family-friendly activities, food and drinks. See the full schedule of events online. www. riverfestnewmexico.com

May 27

Old Aztec Walking Tour, 9-11 a.m. Aztec Museum & Pioneer Village, 125 N. Main Ave, Aztec. Tickets cost $10 adult and $6 youth. Tour historic downtown Aztec learning its history, buildings and the interesting people who built it! Advance registration required as space is limited. Call (505) 334-9829.

May 28

Music in the Shade, 4-7 p.m. Wines of the San Juan, 233 Highway 511, Blanco. Enjoy food from Hangover Cafe and The Twisted Chicken while General Feel plays groovy covers ranging from Cage the Elephant and Bob Marley and rock originals.

May 31

Daybreak Rotary Club of Durango, 7 a.m. Pine Room at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Free. Come learn how the world’s largest civic organization makes a difference locally and globally. www. durangodaybreakrotary.org

GED Graduation, 6-7 p.m. Durango Adult Education Center, 701 Camino Del Rio, Suite 301, Durango. Free event to celebrate our GED graduates as they receive their high school equivalency certificate. For more information contact the hosting organization at (970) 3854354 or info@durangoadulted.org.

June 1

Cottage Food Safety Training, 1-5 p.m. Online. CSU-Extension hosts three-to-four hour long training sessions for food safety certification and resources to help you launch your homemade food business. Cost is $50. Go to https://engagement. source.colostate.edu/2023-cottagefood-safety-trainings-for-sellinghomemade-homecooked-food

Acoustic Open Mic with Yves, 6-8 p.m. Zu Gallery, 48 W. Main St., Cortez. Free event open to the public. www.zugallery.com

June 2

Girls Gone Golfing, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Hillcrest Golf Club, 2300 Rim Drive, Durango. Join the Durango Chamber of Commerce for the 16th annual Girls Gone Golfing event. See more information online at www. durangobusiness.org

The Fearless Peasants, 5-8 p.m. Durango Craft Spirits, 1120 Main Ave., Durango.

June 2-4

Animas River Days, 8 a.m., Santa Rita Park, 149 S. Camino del Rio, Durango. Schedule and registration online. www.animasriverdays.com


June 3

Homebuyer Education Class, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fort Lewis Campus, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango. $15 workbook fee. Learn what it takes to become a homeowner and access local down payment assistance funds. www.homesfund.org/attenda-class

BBQ and Bonfire, 6-9 p.m. JackA-Lope Acres, 7195 County Road 318, Ignacio. Tickets cost $30. Live music by Tyler Gummersall and yard games. www.jackalopeacresfarm. com

June 4

Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m., VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans.

Music in the Shade, 4-7 p.m. Wines of the San Juan, 233 Highway 511, Blanco. Enjoy food from The Twisted Chicken and rock tunes by Rob Webster.

June 5

Tab Benoit & Matt Andersen, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets from $40-$45. www. animascitytheatre.com

June 5-8

2023 Summer GOAL: Integrity and Self Confidence through Art, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Ave., Durango. Very special educational program for people ages 11-17 featuring established artists as mentors. Tickets cost $275. See more information online. www. durangoartscenter.org

June 6

Coffee Connections with Durango Botanic Gardens, 8 a.m. Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., Durango. Monthly learning series exploring a wide range of topics. Please RSVP for this free event. web. durangobusiness.org/events

June 6-9

Free Health Careers Institute, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango. High school students from the Four Corners area are invited to apply for summer Health Careers Institute to learn about exciting positions in this field. www.swcahec.org

June 7

Daybreak Rotary Club of Durango, 7 a.m. Pine Room at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Free. Come learn how the world’s largest civic organization makes a difference locally and globally. www. durangodaybreakrotary.org

True Western Roundup Rodeo Series: CO Pro Rodeo, 5 p.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the event begins at 6:30 p.m. Buy tickets online. www. truewesternroundup.com

June 8

Human Resources Workshop, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Center for Innovation, 835 Main Ave., Durango. Durango Chamber of Commerce presentation on hiring, retaining and firing. Pricing varies. Tickets available online. www. durangobusiness.org

June 9

BID Coffee and Conversation, 8:30 a.m., TBK Bank Community Room, 259 W. Ninth St., Durango. Check the website for the meeting agenda. www.downtowndurango.org/ meetings

The Fearless Peasants, 5-8 p.m. Durango Craft Spirits, ADDRESS, Durango.

Music at the Museum featuring Best Brass of Summer, 7 p.m. Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village, 125 N. Main Avenue, Aztec. Free event where guests can enjoy 11 professional musicians playing Sousa, Joplin, Mozart and more! For more information call (505) 334-9829.

June 10

Steamworks Half Marathon, 8 a.m.noon, Point-to-point route ending at Durango Sports Club, 1600 Florida Road, Durango. Register online for $89. https://runsignup. com/Race/Events/CO/Durango/ steamworkshalf

Mad Hatter Project presents A Rave New World, 6-10 p.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. All-ages event featuring a laser show and dance performances. Costumes encouraged. Tickets rand from $15$20. www.aravenewworld.com


Leslie Mendelson Live at The Light Box, 8 p.m. The Light Box at Stillwater Music, 1316 Main Ave., Durango. Tickets cost $20. Grammy nominated Leslie Mendelson live in concert at The Light Box. https://stillwatermusic.org/ thelightbox

June 9-11

Mountain Archery Festival, 7 a.m.8 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Social event and archery competition, including activities like the backyard bash and cornhole tournaments. www. mountainarcheryfestival.com

June 11

Music in the Shade, 4-7 p.m. Wines of the San Juan, 233 Highway 511 Blanco. Enjoy food from Hangover Cafe and musical entertainment by the Ben Gibson Duo.

Durango Cowboy Gathering Barn Dance, Picnic and Silent Auction, 5-8 p.m. River Bend Ranch, 27846 Highway 550, Durango. Tickets available online or at the door for $20. www.durangocowboygathering.org

Circles Around the Sun, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets from $35. www. animascitytheatre.com

June 15

Durango Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m. Sky Ute Casino Resort, 14324 Highway 172, Ignacio. Join Durango Chamber of Commerce and Sky Ute Casino for an evening of connections, celebrations and fun. Tickets and more details available online. www.durangobusiness.org

June 17

Wild Plant and Mushroom Identification Walk, 9-11:30 a.m. La Plata Canyon, County Road 124, Hesperus. Slots are limited, so RSVP. Cost is $45. https:// www.osadha.com/classes-list/ Mancos BurroFest, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Downtown Mancos. A gathering that celebrates burros and life in rural Colorado. The event includes demonstrations and donkeys, as well as art, live music, food and fun. www. mancoscreativedistrict.com/events

Men Who Grill, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Buckley Park, 1250 Main Ave., Durango. Kick off the official start of summer with a grilling contest. www. wrc.org

Water Lantern Festival, 5:30 p.m. Boardwalk Park 100 N. Fifth St., Windsor. Youth admission is $12.98 and $26.98 for adults.

June 18

Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans. Music in the Shade, 4-7 p.m. Wines of the San Juan, 233 Highway 511 Blanco. Enjoy food from The Twisted Chicken and live entertainment from Dan Carlson and Nina Sasaki.

June 21

Regenerative Landscaping Speaker Series, 6 p.m. James Ranch, 33846 Highway 550, Durango. Discussion featuring Brooke G. Safford of Blooming Landscape and Design LLC. www.projectdungbeetle.org/ greenlandscaping

June 24

Mac & Cheese Fest, 1-5 p.m., Berg Park, Farmington. A cheesy and delicious fundraiser benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Farmington featuring food, drinks, music, games and vendors. Get tickets to this event before they sell out. www.macandcheesefest.com


June 24-25

Scrapin’ in the Rockies, 8 a.m.6 p.m., Sky Ute Casino, 14324 Highway 172 North, Ignacio. Incredible car show. See more details to register your ride online. www. scrapintherockies.com

June 25

Music in the Shade, 4-7 p.m. Wines of the San Juan, 233 Highway 511 Blanco. Enjoy food from Hangover Cafe and music by Ryan Woodward.

June 26

The Fast and The Curious 5k/10k Fun Run, 8-11 a.m. Santa Rita Park, 149 S. Camino Del Rio, Durango. $35 for the 5k, $45 for the 10k, Kids 15 and younger can run the 5k for free. Choose your race and shave off time by taking a quiz. Prizes, refreshments, and vendors. Email Kirsten with questions. kchesney@ durangoadulted.org Learn more and register online. www. durangoadulted.org/fun-run-event/

June 28

Lunch and Learn Workshop, noon1 p.m. TBK Bank, 259 W. Ninth St., Durango. Public Relations strategies for small businesses with Theresa Blake Graven from Treehouse Communications. Tickets and details available online. www. durangobusiness.org

Jun. 29

Durango Green Drinks, 5-7 p.m., 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave. For details: www. sustainableswcolorado.com

June 30

The Burroughs, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets are $20. www. animascitytheatre.com

July 1

BBQ and Bonfire, 6-9 p.m. Jack-ALope Acres, 7195 County Road 318, Ignacio. Tickets cost $30. Live music by Tim Sullivan and yard games. www.jackalopeacresfarm.com

Gasoline Lollipops, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets are $20. www.animascitytheatre.com

July 2

Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans.

July 6

Acoustic Open Mic with Yves, 6-8 p.m. Zu Gallery, 48 W. Main St., Cortez. Free event open to the public. www.zugallery.com

July 7-9

Four Corners Gem & Mineral Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Adult admission is $3 per day. Children under 12 admitted free with an adult. Fun and free activities, a wide range of workshops and dozens of vendors from across the nation.

July 8

Mancos Grand Summer Nights, 4-8 p.m. downtown Mancos. Free gallery walk and entertainment.

July 8-9

Big Mountain Enduro, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Watch nearly 400 racers compete. www.purgatory.ski/ event

July 13-16

Sangha Fest, Tico Time River Resort, 20 Road 2050, Aztec. Celebration of health and wellness, conscious community and personal development through yoga, breathwork, music, meditation, movement, art, dance, nature, ceremony and play. See more information online. www. ticotimeresort.com

July 15

Summer Brew, 1-4:30 p.m. Enjoy your favorite seasonal Coloradomade brews at this fun festival featuring live music from State 38. Tickets are $27 for adults, and free admission for children. www. purgatory.ski/event

Mancos Grand Summer Nights, 4-8 p.m. downtown Mancos. Free gallery walk and entertainment.


July 16

MonteZUma Mutts Calendar Open Call, 9 a.m.-noon. Zu Gallery, 48 W. Main St., Cortez. Free. Dogs must be on leashes. Owners must live in Montezuma County. Free 5-inch by 7-inch print. www.zugallery.com

July 20

Mixing Mocktails, 1 p.m. Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., Durango. Demonstration and tasting for those curious about crafting nonalcoholic cocktails. Register online. www.durangopubliclibrary.org

Regenerative Landscaping Speaker Series, 6 p.m. Durango Public Library Room 2, 1900 East Third Ave., Durango. Discussion featuring Taylor Hanson and Chris Cullaz of Table to Farm Compost. www.projectdungbeetle. org/greenlandscaping

July 22

Christmas in July Holiday Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango, Admission $5. Support local artisans, find one-of-a-kind gifts, and get holiday shopping done early. Contact Georgiana Hallock for vendor and sponsor information at ghallock@bcimedia. com or 970-375-4599. See more details online. https://bci-events.com/events/ christmas-in-july-july-2023/

Mind Body Spirit Fair, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., VFW Post 4031, 246 West Park Ave., Durango. Free event with workshops from holistic health professionals, raffle prizes and much more. www. inspirechangecj.com/events

Mancos Grand Summer Nights, 4-8 p.m. downtown Mancos. Free gallery walk and entertainment.

July 27

Durango Green Drinks, 5-7 p.m. 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave., Durango. For details: www. sustainableswcolorado.com

Silent Disco with DJ Squoze, 9-11:30 p.m. 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave., Durango.

July 28-30

Mancos Days, three-day community festival. Downtown Mancos and Boyle Park. This family-friendly event features fun for everyone, including a parade on Grand Avenue, a classic car show, a book sale, arts and crafts vendors and the annual softball tournament. See schedule of events online. www. mancosdays.com

Aug. 1

An Evening with Andy Frasco & The U.N., 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets are $40. www.animascitytheatre.com

Aug. 4-6

Carve Wars, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Don’t miss the greatest chainsaw carving contest in the Four Corners on Friday. Then return to bid on your favorite carvings during the auction starting at 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. www. purgatory.ski/event

Aug. 5

BBQ and Bonfire, 6-9 p.m. Jack-ALope Acres, 7195 County Road 318, Ignacio. Tickets cost $30. Live music by Ian Lennox and yard games. www. jackalopeacresfarm.com

Aug. 7

Regenerative Landscaping Speaker Series, 6 p.m. James Ranch, 33846 Highway 550, Durango. Discussion featuring Jonathan Bartley and Adrian Lacasse of DuranGoats. www. projectdungbeetle.org/greenlandscaping

Aug. 8

Cottage Food Safety Training, 1-5 p.m. Online. CSU-Extension hosts threeto-four hour long training sessions for food safety certification and resources to help you launch your homemade food business. Cost is $50. Go to https:// engagement.source.colostate.edu/2023cottage-food-safety-trainings-for-sellinghomemade-homecooked-food Satsang, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets available online. www. animascitytheatre.com

Aug. 9-13

La Plata County Fair, 9 a.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Celebrate the county’s best animals, garden products, food and crafts at the annual fair. See a full schedule of events and more information online. www. laplatacountyfair.com/event-schedule

Aug. 18

Mushroom & Wine Dinner, 6:30-9 p.m. Purgy’s, 24 Sheol St., Durango. Enjoy an exquisite five-course dinner with wine pairings presented by Vectra Bank. Each course features mushrooms sourced locally from the San Juan Mountains. Purchase tickets online. www.purgatory. ski/event



Aug. 19

Mushroom Hunt, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Join expert guides for an educational exploration of edible and non-edible mushrooms. Register online. www.purgatory.ski/ event

Mancos Summer BrewFest, TBD, Mancos Brewing Company. See more details online. www. mancosbrewingcompany.com/events

Aug. 24

Souls of Mischief, 7 p.m. Animas City Theatre, 128 East College Drive, Durango. Tickets are $30. www.animascitytheatre.com

Aug. 25

Durango Brew Train, 10 a.m. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, 479 Main Ave., Durango. Hop aboard the historic train at Rockwood Station bound for Cascade Canyon. Enjoy lunch, live music and brews. www. durangotrain.com/events/brew-trains

Aug. 25-26

San Juan Brewfest, two-day festival at Buckley Park, 1250 Main Ave., Durango, The annual festival and fundraiser for United Way of Southwest Colorado features a lineup of live music and samples

from more than 30 breweries from the Four Corners region. Tickets available online. www. sanjuanbrewfest.com

Aug. 31

Durango Green Drinks, 5-7 p.m. 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave., Durango. www. sustainableswcolorado.com

Aug. 31-Sept. 4

Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, five-day festival at various locations in La Plata County. Enjoy long motorcycle rides, live music, flat track races, dirt drag races, a custom-builds bike show and so much more.

Sept. 1

Durango Veterans Run, 8:30-9:30 a.m. 45 Stewart St., Durango. LPEA parking lot. Tickets online for $20$30. Motorcycle ride, poker run, prizes, coins, patches, music and raffle to benefit our veterans. www. dgoveteransrun.org

Sept. 3

Motorcycle Hill Climb, noon-4 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Don’t miss the exciting addition to the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally. www.purgatory. ski/event

Sept. 9-10

Downhill Rockies, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Join the action or come watch as riders take on the trails. www.purgatory.ski/event

Sept. 16-17

Autumn Arts Festival, East Second Ave., Durango. Free event hosted by Durango Arts Center.

Sept. 23

Mountain Marmot Trail Run, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. A trail race of 12.2 miles. Register online. www. purgatory.ski/event

Sept. 23-24

Downhill Rockies, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Purgatory Resort, #1 Skier Place, Durango. Exciting races and costumed revelry. www. downhillrockies.com

Sept. 26

Regenerative Landscaping Speaker Series, 6 p.m. Durango Public Library Room 2, 1900 East Third Ave., Durango. Discussion featuring Mandy Magill of Project Dung Beetle and Get R.E.A.L. Food. www.projectdungbeetle.org/ greelandscaping

Sept. 28

Durango Green Drinks, 5-7 p.m. 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave., Durango. www. sustainableswcolorado.com

Sept. 28-Oct. 1

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, four-day festival at various venues across La Plata County. Special comedy, poetry and singing performances, a group trail ride, motorless parade and an authentic chuckwagon breakfast. www. durangocowboygathering.org

See and submit events online at: www.thedurangoherald.com/community-calendar www.the-journal.com/community-calendar



Glacier Club

600 Glacier Club Drive, Durango, CO 81301


(970) 382-7800

Quality Inn 191 Fifth Ave., Ouray, CO 81427

www.choicehotels.com • (970) 325-7203


Farmington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

3041 E Main Street, Farmington, NM 87402

www.farmingtonnm.org • (505) 326-7602

Ghost Walk Durango

10 Morning Glory Ave., Durango, CO 81303

www.ghostwalkdurango.com • (970) 759-9393

Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

721 County Road 4A, Silverton, CO 81433

www.minetour.com • (970) 387-5444


City of Farmington

800 N. Municipal Drive, Farmington, NM 87401

www.fmtn.org • (505) 327-7701

Durango Botanic Gardens

10 Town Plaza #460, Durango, CO 81301 (970) 880-4841


Scenic Aperture 708 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 (970) 385-5853 • www.scenicaperture.com


Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

101 E. Bauer Ave., Mancos, CO 81328

www.mancosvalley.com • (970) 533-7434


Durango Organics

72 Suttle St., Suite F&G, Durango, CO 81303

www.durangoorganics.com • (970) 259-3674

The Green House

730 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301


(970) 721-2970


Axis Health System

185 Suttle St., Durango, CO 81301



Desert River Guides

Mountain Landing Suites & RV Park 345 County Road 600, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

www.mountainlanding.net • (970) 731-5345

Tico Time River Resort 20 Road 2050, Aztec, NM 87410

www.ticotimeresort.com • (970) 903-0681

Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club 2351 N. Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301

www.durangorocks.org • (970) 385-6850

Gravity Lab 732 County Road 233 Durango, CO 81301

www.gravitylabclimbing.com • (970) 247-1809

Sky Ute Casino 14324 Highway 172 North, Ignacio, CO 81137

www.skyutecasino.com • (970) 563-7777

Durango Arts Center

802 East Second Ave., Durango, CO 81301

www.durangoarts.org • (970) 259-2606

Music in the Mountains 515 E. College Drive, Durango, CO 81301 www.musicinthemountains.com • (970) 385-6820

Silverton Creative District P.O. Box 372, Silverton, CO 81433 www.silvertoncreativedistrict.org • (970) 749-3244

• (970) 335-2444

109 E. Pinon St., Farmington, NM 87401


• (505) 427-7734

Grady’s Cannabis

111 N. Main Ave., Aztec, NM 87410


Durango Rec Room

• (505) 333-7456

145 E. College Drive, Durango, CO 81301

www.durangorecroom.com • (970) 764-4087

Durango Hot Springs

6475 County Road 203, Durango, CO 81301

www.dhsresort.com • (970) 247-0111



Bar D Chuckwagon 8080 County Road 250, Durango, CO 81301

www.bardchuckwagon.com • (970) 247-5753

Eolus 919 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 www.eolusdurango.com • (970) 259-2898

River Liquors

300 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301 (970) 375-0351


The Roost 128 E. College Drive, Durango, CO 81301 www.theroostdurango.com • (970) 764-4661

Raider Ridge Cafe

North, Durango, CO 81301 www.honeyvillecolorado.com • (970) 247-1474

Lilia Floral Design Limited Liability Company 2075 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301

www.durangoflorist.com • (970) 247-1633

Nature’s Oasis

300 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81303


(970) 247-1988

Gandolf’s Smoke Shop 2165 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 (970) 385-8477


Grease Monkey 10 River Road, Durango, CO 81303

www.greasemonkeyauto.com • (970) 247-4422

Cuckoo’s Chicken House & Waterin’ Hole 128 East College Drive, Durango, CO 81301 www.cuckooschicken.com • (970) 259-6322

Jack’s Meat Market 300 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81303 www.naturesoasismarket.com/jacks-meat-market/ (970) 247-1988

The Joint & Elevated Eats 939 Highway 3, Durango, CO 81301

• (970) 403-3696

The Weminuche Woodfire Grill 18044 County Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122 www.weminuchegrill.com • (970) 884-7153

Jimmy’s Music & Supply 1239 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 jimmysmusic.supply • (970) 764-4577

Mountain Bike Specialists 949 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301


Old Gold 1537 Florida Road Suite 107, Durango, CO 81301 www.oldgolddurango.com • (970) 247-1700

La Plata County Airport 1000 Airport Road, Durango, CO 81301 www.flydurango.com • (970) 382-6050

509 E. Eighth Ave., Durango, CO 81301 www.raiderridgecafe.simdif.com • (970) 375-9727 SHOPPING & RETAIL Affordable Framing 955 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301 affordableframingdurango.com (970) 382-8963 Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. 871 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 brownsshoefitco.com • (970) 247-5542 Browns Sport Shoe 870 Main Ave., Durango CO 81301 www.sportshoedurango.com • (970) 247-9707 Dietz Market 26345 Highway 160, Durango, CO 81301 www.dietzmarket.com • (970) 259-5811 Durango Outdoor Exchange 3677 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 www.durangooutdoorexchange.com (970) 259-0171 Guild House Games 835 Main Ave. #203-204, Durango, CO 81301 www.guildhousegames.com • (970) 403-3064 Honeyville 33633 Highway 550
www.mountainbikespecialists.com • (970)

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