As winter bids us farewell, Purgatory Resort is wrapping up its 2017/2018 ski season. Closing day at Purgatory is this weekend, and Sunday, April 29, marks the last day of scheduled winter operations. Sad, right?
Well, dry those eyes, people, because summer season at Purgatory Resort starts May 26! As much as we all love to ski and snowboard and snowshoe and take Snowcat tours at Purgatory, the Durango ski resort is also a haven for summer fun.
In the summer months, Purgatory mountain becomes Purgatory Bike Park with a slew of bike trails criss-crossing the ski slopes. The resort has miles of singletrack trail accessible from the base area, Lift 1 and Lift 4. Fourteen trails range in difficulty from easiest to “expert only,” so there’s something for all experience levels and everyone in the family. Purgatory Bike Park is home to Divinity Flow Trail, Durango’s only lift-served downhill flow trail, and the first World Mountain Bike Championships.
Purgatory Resort also offer mountain biking lessons for first-timers, beginners and intermediate riders to help them learn new skills and gain more confidence. Lessons start June 17th and happen twice daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Instructors cover balance and body positioning, shifting and speed management, cornering and other basic techniques. Family lessons and bike rentals are also available.
Alpine Slide and Mountain Coaster
New this summer is Purgatory’s Inferno Mountain Coaster! The 4,000-foot rail-car coaster will zoom passengers through nine switchbacks, one 360-degree loop and multiple dips while descending over 300 vertical feet. The coaster will be open in both summer and winter, so riders can experiences the rush pretty much year-round.
Take a scenic chairlift ride up the mountain and enjoy even more scenic views coming down the slopes on the Alpine Slide during a half-mile descent. The slide is more like an Olympic luge — a sled on a track — while the coaster is a car on rails.
Zipline and Ropes Course
Brave the Purgatory zipline when you step off the Purgatory Village Tower! The zipline zips riders over Purgatory Beach at speeds of up to 35 mph for the length of a football field.
Test your skills and your will at the Sky High Adventure Family Ropes Course! Guests will have to navigate obstacles and challenges as they’re suspended in the air. The course requires people to climb over wooden beams, rope ladders and wooden steps, cross a suspended skateboard and more.
Jump, jump, jump!
The truly fearless can get a taste of being a Hollywood stuntman on Purgatory’s Big Airbag Jump. The 50-foot x 50-foot inflated airbag gives adrenaline junkies a cushy landing after they free-fall jump — no ropes or safety harnesses here — from the 18-foot platform onto the airbag, the same kind used in freestyle athlete training and movie stunts.
Kids can jump to their heart’s content in Purgatory’s Bounce House or get an even bigger rush on the Bungee Trampoline that allows guests to strap into a harness and jump and flip and do as many aerial somersaults as their stomachs will allow.
There’s a whole bunch of other Purgatory summer activities as well, such as panning for gold, summer tubing (like in the winter, but without the snow), riding a gyro chair, playing miniature golf or trying out the 24-foot-tall climbing wall.
Total Adventure Tickets
The Total Adventure Ticket allows guests to choose from either five or 10 summer activities at Purgatory Resort. It’s less expensive to buy in advance than walking up on the day of, so save yourself some moolah and buy your tickets online.
You can also save some moolah by staying with us during your Durango summer vacation! The Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is a great value and makes a great home base for all your summer fun. Whether you’re heading to Mesa Verde, the Durango train or to Purgatory (just 26 miles due north of our hotel — seriously, the only turns you have to make are out of our parking lot and into theirs), we’re one of the best Durango hotels to be your jumping-off point, so book your room today!
Train season has arrived in Durango! Well, technically, every season is train season in Durango, but the time has come for the Durango train to start running all the way to Silverton for the summer.
Narrow Gauge Day
exhibits and check out a crowd favorite: the model train. If you haven’t been for a while, you can’t miss the museum’s new 600-gallon aquarium that houses Colorado River Cut Throat Trout!
Ride the First Train of the Season!
Stay with us!
As the snowmelt starts, so does the meltdown — the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, that is. The annual Durango music festival is now in its 24th year, and the three-day weekend April 20-22 is filled with concerts, jam sessions, workshops and shows. You definitely don’t want to miss it because you’ll be missing out.
There are three main venues where bluegrass bands and acts will take the stage throughout the weekend: Henry Strater Theatre, Durango Arts Center and Wild Horse Saloon, although other venues include the Powerhouse Science Center, Animas City Theatre and the Durango Elks Lodge as well as a slew of bars and pubs around town.
Lineup and Headliners
This year’s Meltdown lineup is massive with nearly 30 bands on the docket and massive names on the marquis. Headliners include the Becky Buller Band, the Molly Tuttle Band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and Mile Twelve.
In 2016, Becky Buller made bluegrass music history when she won both instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, making her the first person ever to win both.
Molly Tuttle is an award-winning songwriter and singer who has toured extensively with her band at many prominent festivals including Rocky Grass Festival and Wintergrass Festival, and who received a 2016 IBMA Momentum Award as Instrumentalist.
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass quartet that “remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.”
Mile Twelve’s five members formed the band in 2014, and the group has made big moves in a short time. They won the 2017 IBMA Momentum Award and have been touring extensively through the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including sets at major festivals such as FreshGrass Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival.
Noon-6 p.m., Saturday, April 21
Durango Elks Lodge
The Band Showcase has been a staple since the beginnings of the Meltdown. The showcase gives a stage to bands who might shy away from the spotlight or don’t feel ready for the “main stage.” And the showcase is a little more flexible when it comes to the bluegrass part of the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown; other toe-tapping music genres are welcomed and are always entertaining. Always a favorite during Meltdown, the showcase is also free to the public and will take place downstairs at the Durango Elks Lodge, from noon to 6 pm on Saturday.
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Henry Stater Theater
The name says it all: It’s a jam. It’s super. It’s Super Jam. Catch the in-the-moment music magic as musicians from different bands come together to jam. Get a bunch of pickin’, playin’, fiddlin’ musicians together, and you never know what will happen — or what kind of music they’ll make. Former Durango local and longtime bluegrass lover Annie Savage will be hosting the event and is sure to throw together some incredible collaborations for the stage.
Old Time Barn Dance
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Durango Elks Lodge
The Old Time Barn Dance is actually a newer addition to Meltdown — as in it’s only been around for 12 years. The barn dance is a family-friendly community favorite and has become a Meltdown must-do since it debuted in 2006. Six Dollar String Band will be playing tunes for you to kick up your heels and swing up your skirts in the Elks Lodge dance hall. Admission is free with either a Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband, or it’s $10 at the door.
Springtime means birds and bees, budding trees and allergies — dang, we’re poets over here at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites. But spring is also the season for Durango whitewater rafting.
As the snow melts off, the rivers rise — and that means it’s time to go rafting on the Animas River.
The Animas River is one of the prime rafting rivers in Colorado. Visitors of all ages and abilities can go whitewater rafting on the Animas because the river offers a wide range of rapids, from family-friendly to technical and somewhat terrifying. (OK, “terrifying” is a subjective term.)
The Lower Animas is better for easy floats because that stretch is less intense than rapids found on the Upper Animas. Depending on water levels and time of year, the Lower Animas is usually rated Class 2 to Class 3 rapids. Rafters will float along some nice, calm stretches while still getting to bounce through some exciting (but not terrifying) whitewater, such as the Pinball, Smelter and Santa Rita rapids.
Newbies may want to think about their options before taking on the Upper Animas River. This 12-mile stretch of river ranges from Class 3 to Class 5 rapids as it winds through the narrows of Animas Canyon, past several of the San Juan Mountains’ 13,000-foot peaks. When the water is running high, the Upper Animas ranks as one of the nation’s most advanced stretches of commercial river. Adrenaline-pumping rapids on the Upper Animas include sections called “Dinner Gorge” and “Lunch Box.” Yikes.
Durango is the perfect home base for your whitewater rafting trip. Water levels are usually highest in May and June, but now is a good time to start planning your Durango rafting trip because floats do fill up. There are simply too many Durango rafting companies to list, so we won’t try, but there are some darn good ones to choose from. It’s kind of impossible to go wrong.
While you’re in Durango for your whitewater rafting trip or your summer vacation, you should stay with us at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango! We’re one of the best Durango hotels and getting even better under new ownership. We’re located on Main Avenue, just a short drive or quick trolley ride north of downtown Durango and only 30 minutes south of Purgatory Resort. So book your room with the Durango Econo Lodge today!
Ah, Easter. Eating the ears off your chocolate bunny. Licking the center out of a Cadbury egg. Dying Easter eggs, hunting Easter eggs, cracking open plastic Easter eggs to find jellybeans and chocolate goodies inside. If you’re looking for things to do in Durango to celebrate this Easter, look no further because we rounded up the best Durango Easter happenings for your egg-hunting pleasure!
Ski-Easter at Purgatory Resort
PEANUTS™ The Easter Beagle Express Durango Train
Peanuts The Easter Beagle Express aboard the Durango Train is an annual Durango Easter tradition, and there’s no better way for you to celebrate Easter with your little kiddos. Hop aboard the Peanuts Easter train Saturday, March 31, for the special themed trip to Cascade Canyon. During the ride, attendants will be on board to help children as they enjoy games, crafts, music and prizes. An on-board musician will meander between two Easter-themed passenger cars playing songs and reading the “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” story to the kids.
At Cascade Canyon Wye, everyone can get off the train to take pictures with beloved Peanuts characters. After the train ride, kids can participate in an Easter egg hunt at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge museum! All Peanuts Easter train passengers will also received a souvenir mug. This Durango train excursion is wildly popular, so make sure you book your tickets today!
Durango Easter Egg Scramble
The annual Durango Easter Egg Scramble is a hugely popular (and free!) event, and this year won’t disappoint. The Easter Egg Scramble will be held at 9:45 a.m., Saturday, March 31, at Smith Sports Complex at 1480 E. Eighth Ave. in Durango. The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance to start off the egg hunt for each age group, which will range from toddler to 8-year-olds. Kids can also take pictures with the Easter Bunny! Be sure to bring your basket to carry all your eggs and goodies, but leave your pets at home (pets are not allowed).
If you’ll be visiting Durango over Easter weekend or will be hosting family for the holiday, be sure to book a room (or two or three) with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites! Guests rate us among the best hotels in Durango, and we’ll be sure the Easter Bunny knows where to find your room. Book your stay today!