Durango Spring & Summer Planning Guide




Durango’s spring season typically consists of snowstorms followed by sunny days where the temperatures get up into the high 50s and 60s. Since the spring weather in Durango is pretty mild you can enjoy riding the slush at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort one day and spend the next mountain biking, hiking or shopping around downtown. You might want to take a ride on The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train resumes a daily train ride schedule in the spring featuring their Winter Cascade Canyon Train along with many fun additional springtime specialty train rides.

Spring in Durango is also filled with lots of fun springtime events and fun things to do. The Durango Bluegrass Meltdown is a popular Durango spring event held in April that’s dedicated to bluegrass music. There is always bluegrass music playing all over Durango, on stages, in barns, in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and breweries! Springtime in Durango is a dream, but summer is when the town really comes alive! The beauitful sunny days are just asking for people to raft the Animas, zipline through the trees or spend your days relaxing outdoors near Vallecito Lake…a favorite spot for horseback riding. You don’t want to miss out on summertime in Durango, Colorado!

March 4 – 8  | Durango Independent Film Festival – An independent film festival throughout downtown Durango. There isn’t a better time to take in the outdoors, take in films, and experience all that is Durango, Colorado. For more information, visit www.durangofilm.org.

March 6 – 8  | SheRide Snowboard Camp – Learning snowboarding at Durango Mountain Resort surrounded by women. It is such a safe and different experience from trying to forever “keep up with the boys.”

March 12 – 15  | Durango Celtic Festival – Come get your Celt on in Durango. Three days of workshops and festivities at the Henry Strater Theatre + other venues in town. Enjoy lots of great music + the headliner band is RUNA. More information at www.DurangoCelticFestival.com

March 14 | The Wailin’ Jennys – Canadian folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse – three distinct voices that together create an extraordinarily perfect vocal sound.  7:30 pm at Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall.

March 14 | Steampunk Stomp – Continue your Steampunk adventure at the Powerhouse Science Center in Durango. Prepare to enjoy a fun evening of steampunk fashion combined with stomp dancing to benefit the Durango Discovery Museum.

March 16 – 20 | Durango Bach Festival – Enjoy a wonderful week celebrating the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Includes student recitals, Bach’s Lunch (weekday half-hour recitals at noon followed by lunch from Carver’s), an midweek concert on Wednesday and the closing concert on Saturday.

March 20 – 22 | Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival – Takes place at the Strater Hotel in downtown Durango, CO. Take part in this 3rd Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival!  World-renowned performers will be Swingin’ It Up at the historic Strater Hotel for three entertaining days filled with live music, silent film comedies, dance lessons, and after hours parties! Call 1-800-247-4431 for reservations and information.

March 22 | Ed Kowalczyk – Lead singer of the multi-platinum rock band, Live, Ed Kowalczyk comes to the Concert Hall with a new, unplugged production of rock’s most profound anthems.

March 24 | The Blues Hall of Fame Tour – Charlie Musselwhite and his band, with an individual and collaborative performance from the legendary John Hammond.

April 4 – 5 | Duranglers Fly Fishing Festival – Takes place at Duranglers Fly Fishing Shop 970-385-4081 Join us and our industry friends for two days of fun, education, clinics, deals, and demos! Also enjoy doorbuster specials and drawings.

April 4 – 5 | Diggin’ it in Durango – USAV Sanctioned Girls Volleyball Tournament. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For details and information email huntfishvolley@yahoo.com

April 4 | Wear the Love Campaign –Wear the Love is a unique campaign to raise support and awareness for the women and children served by the Volunteers of America Durango Community Shelter and the Southwest Safehouse.

April 4 | Peanuts™ The Easter Beagle Express – Ride in premium-class seating in the rear half of our train. Enjoy crafts, storytelling, musical entertainment, games, refreshments and other Easter-themed activities onboard. Everyone will receive a take-home souvenir mug that can be refilled ALL DAY with non-alcoholic beverages from the Concession Car! Call 1-888-872-4607 or visit www.DurangoTrain.com

April 14 | Annual Strater Open House – Join us at the Strater Hotel in downtown Durango for special 2015 room dedications, hotel tours, hors d’oeuvers and live entertainment.

April 17 – 19 | Durango Bluegrass Meltdown – Bluegrass artists from across the country descend on Durango. The lineup includes Balsam Range, Shawn Camp, The Special Consensus, Rebecca Frazier & Hit and Run, Finnders and Youngberg, The Railsplitters, Locust Honey String Band,  Caribou Mountain Collective,   John Stickley Trio, Six Dollar String Band, Running Out of Road, La La Bones,  and Lawn Chair Kings. Enjoy bluegrass jam sessions, great local venues throughout downtown Durango, an old-time family barn dance.

April 23 – 25 | Durango Wine Experience Enjoy three days of educational seminars, wine dinners and unique tastings featuring hundreds of wineries, artisan spirits and craft beers. The Friday Walk-About Durango is the signature event. It is casual, multi-location stroll through downtown Durango 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. What a great showcase for top local chefs, breweries, and distilleries. Attend the grand tasting on Saturday.

April 25 – 26 | Durango Home & Ranch Show – Discover everything for the home Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at LaPlata County Fairgrounds in Durango, Colorado. This event is brought to you by Four Corners Expo. Call 970-375-4511 or visit www.durangohrs.com

April 26 | San Juan Symphony –  Maestro Post’s unique final concert weaves together diverse musical and spiritual traditions to explore music’s timeless pathway to the soul. Come experience the reverential harmonies that comforted believers in baroque cathedrals, radiant textures that evoke the splendor of the natural world, the penetrating chants of an 80’s alternative-rock icon, and the Native American-inspired soundscapes of a brilliant young Colorado composer. This rare concert was born from spirit, and will bring us home to spirit.

May 1 | Narrow Gauge Days Join in the fun and festivities as we celebrate continuous train operation to Silverton since 1882! Enjoy hot dogs 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and dance to the beat of Durango’s beloved Bar D Wranglers.

May 9 | Durango Farmers Market Join us in the parking lot of First National Bank to kick off the 1st Farmers Market of 2015. Durango Farmers Markets take place each Saturday 8:00 am until noon in the parking lot of First National Bank in downtown Durango. Call 970-903-1176 for more info.

May 17 | Taste of Durango Durango’s Premier Food and Beverage Event on Main Street to celebrate the culinary skill and culture that helps define Durango. Join the culinary extravaganza 11:00 am – 3:00 pm between 8th and 12th St. in downtown Durango.

May 21 – 25 | 44th Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic – General Registration for the Tour and Men’s Road Race categories are sold out. Lots of other events are still available! Enjoy a full weekend of events every Memorial Day! The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic has over 3500 participants in 5 events. Not bad for a town of only 16,000 people nestled in the mountains of Southwest Colorado!

May 28 – 30 | Animas River Days – Animas River Days is dedicated to celebrating the Animas River’s role in Durango by providing a venue for public gathering with whitewater competitions as well as community outreach about river resources and conservation. Events take place throughout downtown Durango. For more information, call (970) 259-3583.

June 3 | True West Rodeo – A pro rodeo series that celebrates the western heritage of Durango. 2015 will feature 6 rodeos with the last rodeo being held during the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railorad’s Railfest weekend. Western evenings at 7:00 pm, traditions are brought back to life with broncs, bulls and Wild West entertainment. June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, and August 16.

June 6 | Durango Farmers Market Join us in the parking lot of First National Bank to enjoy these farmers markets throughout 2015. Durango Farmers Markets take place each Saturday 8:00 am until noon in the parking lot of First National Bank in downtown Durango. Call 970-903-1176 for more info.

July 1 | True West Rodeo – A pro rodeo series that celebrates the western heritage of Durango. 2015 will feature 6 rodeos with the last rodeo being held during the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railorad’s Railfest weekend. Western evenings at 7:00 pm, traditions are brought back to life with broncs, bulls and Wild West entertainment. July 1, July 15, July 29, and August 16.

July 4 | 4th of July Activities – Rotary Park and Main Ave. in downtown Durango. Participate in a 5K run, breakfast and July 4th readings followed by a Kids Flea market, a 6:00 parade on Main Ave. A street dance and fireworks following the parade.

July 4 | All American Gourmet Breakfast – Celebrate America while enjoying Durango’s finest southwestern cuisine at this gourmet breakfast in Rotary Park beginning at 7:30 am to 11:00 am.

July 4 | Durango Elks Lodge Family Barbeque Savor great American flavors at the Durango Elks Lodge 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm at 901 E. Second Ave.

July 4 | Stars & Stripes Parade Line up and watch this patriotic parade down Main Ave. in Durango at 6:00 pm.

July 4 | Salute to America Fireworks – Look to the skies and enjoy the Salute to America Fireworks Show beginning at 9:15 pm in downtown Durango

July 11 – 12 | Gem and Mineral Show – Discover exciting gems and minerals at this exciting 2-day event at LaPlata County Fairgrounds

July 12 – August 2 | Music in the Mountains – Now in our 29th season, Music in the Mountains is Southwest Colorado’s classical music festival featuring orchestra, chamber and conservatory performances of classical and world music. From classical to Pops,  there is something for everyone. Come hear what it’s all about! Tickets will be available for this summer’s performances mid-April. Performance locations vary from venues throughout downtown Durango to Durango Mountain Resort. Call 970-385-6820 or e-mail  info@musicinthemountains.com

July 24 – 31 | Durango Fiesta Days – Established in 1935 and always the last week of July, this is a special week when Durango Celebrates Spanish and Native American history and ranching heritage with rodeos, a downtown parade, barrel races, chuck wagon cook-off, pie contest, pancake breakfast, street dance, and many more activities throughout downtown Durango and the LaPlata County Fairgrounds.

August 6 – 9 | LaPlata County Fair – Come out to LaPlata fairgrounds to experience a traditional county fair  which features livestock showing, agricultural demonstrations, pies, quilts, fairest of the fair pageant, and demolition derby.

August 13 –  16 | True West Railfest – The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will again partner with True West Magazine to bring you the 2015 True West Railfest celebration of railroading and the western lifestyle. Watch for new, exciting events!

August 16 | True West Rodeo – A pro rodeo series that celebrates the western heritage of Durango. 2015 will feature 6 rodeos with the last rodeo being held during the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railorad’s Railfest weekend. Western evenings at 7:00 pm, traditions are brought back to life with broncs, bulls and Wild West entertainment. July 1, July 15, July 29, and August 16.

August 29 | San Juan Brewfest – Visit Buckley Park at the intersection of 12th St and Main Ave. in downtown Durango for fun, beer, food, and music. This is a special time of year when Durango celebrates its stature in the craft brewing industry.

September 4 – 7 | Four Corners Motorcycle Rally – Ride the Four Corners Labor Day Weekend! Featuring great music and events, the 2015 Four Corners Motorcycle Rally is hosting its 23rd Annual Party from September 4 to September 7, 2015 in the heart of the Rocky Mountains—Ignacio, Colorado—including activities in neighboring Durango.

September 19 – 20 | Durango Autumn Arts Festival – A juried art show plus special music, food, and drink on the streets of downtown Durango at 2nd Ave.

 September 26 – 27 | Durango Oktoberfest – Plan on enjoying elements of  Bavaria: beer, brats, music and more… all while raising money for a good cause.


Outdoor Adventures in Durango

When the temperatures rise and snow starts melting in the mountains, that’s when we know summer is right around the corner in Durango. The Animas River starts filling up and the rafting companies start preparing for a great season on the river! Summertime in Durango is mostly spent outdoors. The beautiful weather filled with sunny days is perfect for every outdoor activity imaginable. Rafting, ziplining, horseback riding and biking are some of the most popular Durango outdoor activities in the summer. Of course the D&SNGRR is a huge tourist attraction and is always busy in the summer, so be sure to plan accordingly if you want to take a ride on the train.

Durango Train

In operation for over a century, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of the most unique ways to take in the spectacular views offered by the San Juan Mountains and the Animas River. Choose between an open-air gondola and a covered cabin, or for adults, there are Parlor Cars which come equipped with a full bar. Relax and watch the mountain peaks and river-cut canyons pass alongside the train.

Durango Horseback Riding

Durango offers plenty of horseback riding options from one hour rides to entire day trips. You will find a number of great places that offer guided horseback rides for beginning riders, children and experienced riders. You will also find horse rentals in Durango that will rent only to the experienced riders where you will choose from variety of trail rides to take the horse for the day on an unguided tour. Durango area Dude and Guest Ranches feature many horseback riding options.

Durango Farmers Market

Also, the Durango Farmers Market is on a regular schedule where you can get fresh local produce once a week. Historic Downtown Durango is full of history and culture and you’re sure to have a great time exploring downtown on your next summer trip to Durango.

Hiking in Durango

The Durango area boasts literally thousands of miles of incredible hiking trails. Choose from trails that promise an enjoyable afternoon stroll, or for the more ambitious, seek out a trail that clambers across the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Both new seasoned hikers will find things to do and trails to suit their hiking desires in Durango.

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

A very popular Durango event is the Durango Iron Horse Bicycle Classic where you bike the 50 miles over the two mountain passes from Durango to Silverton. The race has been a Durango tradition since 1971 and has a really cool story about how the two brothers Tom and Jim Mayer started the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

Fly Fishing in Durango

The clear, cold waters of Durango promise challenging angling for vigorous trout. For the casual fisherman, the waters of the Animas flowing through downtown Durango promise fishing. Serious fishing expeditions can take anglers deep into the mountains in search of the cool headwaters where trout thrive. Or, take advantage of the alpine lakes of the Durango area.