Durango is in the southwestern part of the Rocky Mountains state of Colorado. It is perhaps most famous for the historic narrow gauge railroad that connects Durango with Silverton.
The town is well connected by highways from all major compass points, but some care should be taken if driving here from the east via US Highway 160. This spectacular highway crosses high Wolf Creek Pass (nice ski area nearby) east of Durango, in an area that receives a great deal of snowfall, and is often closed for a time during the winter.
Durango is nestled in the Animas River Valley surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. The Animas River—El Río de las Animas Perdidas or the River of Lost Souls—runs through downtown and boasts gold medal fly fishing waters, and is very popular for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Durango is an outdoor activity paradise—hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-roading, year-round fishing, kayaking, rafting and golfing—to name just a few.
In the winter, Durango has easy access to five major ski areas, including Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort, located just twenty-five minutes north of downtown. Located thirty-five miles west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings.
Durango is also home to the Snowdown Festival, an event which includes fireworks and a parade. The parade is the centerpiece and usually occurs the last Friday of January or the first Friday of February. The city is also home to the annual Music in the Mountains summer music festival, which features performances by many of the world's finest classical musicians.