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Adventure Guide: Durango, Colorado


Are you ready for some fresh mountain air in the gorgeous state of Colorado? If so, it’s time to take a road trip to Durango! This awesome town is in the perfect location for tons of outdoor adventure. If you enjoy hard-charging skiing, peaceful hikes, and any other outdoor activity you can think of, this place is calling your name.

Keep reading to learn more about Durango, Colorado, including what makes this destination a top pick for outdoor adventure seekers!

About Durango, Colorado

Durango is located in southwestern Colorado near the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The city sits 6,512 feet above sea level, and the population is currently around 20,000 people. One of the highlights of the area is Purgatory Resort, which offers world-class skiing and snowboarding.

While there are several amazing hotels in Durango, camping in the wilderness is a much better option! There are numerous campgrounds and spots for your campervan, RV, trailer, or tent!

Where to Stop Along the Way

Durango offers tons of outdoor activities for the whole family. But before you get into town, you’ll want to check out a few destinations on the way over.

Visit the following areas to experience a road trip like no other:

Driving North

On a northern trek to the area, consider stopping at a few cool destinations in New Mexico and Arizona. Flagstaff, AZ, is just a 5-hour drive from Durango, featuring a peaceful mountain town with a ski resort and quaint downtown. Another fantastic place is Sedona, AZ, which offers an abundance of unique hiking trails among beautiful red rocks. In New Mexico, consider stopping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park to see some epic caves and rock formations!

Heading West

If you’re headed west, think about stopping at a few spots in Missouri and Kansas. In southwest Missouri, you have to check out Big Spring. It’s actually one of the largest springs in the world! Also, visit Onondaga Cave State Park and The Fugitive Beach. When passing through Kansas, some notable attractions include Pawnee Rock State Historic Site, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, and Swanson Park in Wichita.

Driving South

Heading south on your journey? If so, you’re in for a special treat. Depending on where you start, you’ll consistently have the breathtaking Rocky Mountains right outside your window. Some of our favorite places to check out in this region are Telluride, Silverton, Aspen, and Breckenridge. These areas have epic views, tons of outdoor adventure, and some of the best skiing on the planet!

Heading East

If you’re cruising east into Durango, there are many excellent places to stop. In California, Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are a few must-see destinations. The views are some of the best in the world! If you’re looking for some city fun, make a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada. And as you drive through southern Utah, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park should be on your list.

Outdoor Adventures and Attractions in Durango

From breathtaking views to comfortable weather, there are several reasons to visit Durango. And if you ski or snowboard, Purgatory Resort does not disappoint.

Check out the following popular outdoor activities in the area:


If you love to hike, Durango has you covered. Situated just south of the San Juan Mountains, hiking trails are found all over the area. Some people even consider these mountains some of the most beautiful in the country! One popular route is the Animas Mountain Trail, which offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Durango. And it’s only a short drive from town!

Here are some other amazing hikes in the region:

  • Spud Lake Trail
  • Raider Ridge Overlook
  • Goulding Creek Trail
  • Colorado Trail & Junction Creek
  • Purgatory Trail

No matter the hike you choose, you won’t be disappointed!

Water Activities

Looking to cool off at a refreshing lake or river? Durango is the perfect place for that! With many lakes and rivers in the area, there are several opportunities for a relaxing day on the water. Durango is even a popular place for river rafting!

Here are a few of the lakes and rivers in the region:

  • Animas River
  • Vallecito Lake
  • Lemon Reservoir
  • Lake Nighthorse

As temperatures can get warm in Durango, these waters are the ideal place to take a dip!


Biking trails are found all over the area. Whether you’re a downhill racer or a road biker, this place has it all. In fact, Durango has over 2,000 miles of mountain biking trails and hundreds of miles of road biking opportunities. Some of our favorite road biking trails include Wildcat Canyon Loop and Trimble Loop. For mountain bikers, check out Horse Gulch Trail or Hermosa Creek Trail.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Durango is known as one of the best skiing destinations in the Southwest. The main resort is huge, the snow is plentiful, and the vibes are always just right. Also, you’ll find terrain for all ability levels! Purgatory Resort offers 10 lifts and 85 groomed trails, and the mountain’s skiable terrain spans over 40 miles!


Camping is another beloved activity in the Durango area. There are several backcountry camping opportunities, as well as comfortable and accommodating campgrounds. Many spots even include all the RV hookups you need! The nearby San Juan National Forest is a popular choice among campers.

Check out the following campgrounds and RV parks in the Durango area:

  • Alpen Rose RV Park
  • United Campgrounds of Durango
  • Westerly RV Park
  • Lightner Creek Campground
  • Bayfield Riverside RV Park

Nothing beats parking your campervan and spending time in the pristine wilderness! Durango can make your camping dreams a reality.

Travel Tips

Looking for a trip you’ll remember for decades? To make the most of your Durango adventure, here are some travel tips to keep in mind:

  • Check the weather: Winter conditions can be brutal, and the summer months can bring heat and rain showers, so plan accordingly.
  • Visit Mesa Verde National Park: See the amazing ancient cliff dwellings and archaeological sites.
  • Pack your hat, shades, and sunscreen: With over 300 days of sunshine every year, you’ll want to stay protected from those powerful rays.
  • Most adventures are north of Durango: Keep this in mind when planning your trip and booking campgrounds.
  • Try the local food and drink: As Durango has the most restaurants per capita in the country, there is no shortage of food options. Make sure to give them a try!

By following the tips above, you can have a Durango adventure you’ll never forget!


Check out the following details about the area’s top outdoor activities:

Hiking Trails
Ski Resorts


Hidden Gems

If you want somewhere off the beaten path, Durango has you covered. There are several activities and areas with fewer crowds. Check out the following hidden gems in the region:

  • Junction Creek for hiking, biking, or trail running
  • Hesperus Ski Area
  • Durango Dog Park
  • Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
  • Hesperus Peace Park
  • Sliderock to Kennebec Pass hiking trail

If you want to avoid the tourists and find some peace and quiet, add these spots to your list!

Find Your Dream Campervan Today!

Durango is the ideal place for an outdoor adventure. To have an unbelievable road trip, Rec Van is here to help! We carry a wide variety of new and used campervans for any outdoor excursion.

Check out our available campervans today, and call us if you have any questions!