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 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.

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.

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.

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

August 13 –  August 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!

September 4 – September 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.



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.