Are you ready for a real summer adventure? Ditch the devices and pack up the car for a road trip to Durango, Colorado.
A town rich in history and culture, Durango is the perfect place to explore with your family.
Only a few hours from some of the state’s most popular attractions, like Mesa Verde National Park and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Durango makes for a great basecamp to explore all that southwest Colorado has to offer!
What are the best things to do in Durango during the summer? Here are our top picks for the ultimate Durango summer adventure:
1. Relax in the Durango Hot Springs
When you think of Colorado, you probably think of mountains and skiing. But did you know that the state is home to some fantastic hot springs?
The hot springs of Durango offer a unique way to relax and rejuvenate. There are a variety of springs to choose from, each with its own benefits. The mineral-rich water is said to help with everything from muscle aches and pains to skin conditions.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience, book a treatment at the Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, there are several free and pay-to-use hot springs in the area.
2. Take a Scenic Drive
There’s no better way to see the sights of Durango than by taking a scenic drive. The San Juan Skyway is a 236-mile route that will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.
The Skyway starts in Durango and takes you north to Silverton before looping around and heading south to Ouray. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see alpine lakes, mountains, valleys, and more.
3. Take On a Phil’s World Biking Adventure
Colorado is a veritable mecca for mountain biking, and Phil’s World is one of the state’s most beloved trail systems.
The trail system sits atop a southwest desert mesa approximately four miles from Cortez and consists of classic single-track riding intermixed with segments of challenging slick rock.
Trail difficulty ranges from beginner to intermediate. Most trails within the system are mildly technical, with limited extended uphill sections.
Riders seeking a playful ride experience will find plenty of mountain bike-optimized features throughout the system. Phil’s World is the perfect place to enjoy a day of mountain biking in Colorado’s stunning landscape.
4. Explore Mancos State Park
Mancos State Park is a hidden gem in southwest Colorado. The park sits on the edge of the San Juan Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
The park is home to various hiking and biking trails and many camping and picnicking sites. And keep your eyes peeled while visiting – you may stumble across some ancient Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites!
5. Catch the Big One at Vallecito Reservoir
Fishing is a popular pastime in Colorado, and Vallecito Reservoir is one of the best places to catch the big one. The reservoir is stocked with various fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and northern pike.
There’s no better way to enjoy a summer day in Durango than by spending it on the water, fishing rod in hand. So make sure to add Vallecito Reservoir to your list of things to do in Durango this summer!
6. Feel the Breeze while Ziplining through the Mountains
Want to create a memory you won’t soon forget? Make sure to add ziplining to your list of things to do in Durango.
Ziplining is the perfect way to get your adrenaline pumping while taking in the stunning scenery of southwest Colorado. Across the city, various zipline tour companies offer different experiences.
Soar through the air and take in the views of the San Juans on a zipline tour of Durango. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
7. Drop Down into Purgatory Sport’s Alpine Slide
Purgatory Resort is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders in the winter. But did you know that the resort also offers several summer activities?
One of the most popular things to do at Purgatory in the summer is to ride the alpine slide. The slide is a thrill ride that takes you down the mountain on a toboggan-style sled.
It’s the perfect activity for those looking for a bit of adventure in their day. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Durango this summer, add the Purgatory Alpine Slide to your list!
8. Visit Mesa Verde National Park
No trip to Durango is complete without a visit to Mesa Verde National Park. The park is home to some of the country’s most well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites.
Visitors can explore a variety of cliff dwellings, including Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House.
Several hiking trails wind through the park, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Tips for the Perfect Durango Summer Vacation
Now that you know some of the best things to do in Durango this summer, it’s time to start planning your trip! Here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect vacation:
- Book your lodging early. Durango is a popular summer destination, so hotels and campgrounds fill up quickly. Book your accommodation well in advance to ensure you have a place to stay during your trip.
Durango is known for its sunny days and mild temperatures. However, the city can also see rain and thunderstorms. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for all weather conditions.
- Bring your hiking boots. Durango is home to many hiking trails, so bring your hiking boots! Comfortable shoes are also a must, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking while exploring the city.
- Don’t forget your camera. Durango is a beautiful city, so bring your camera to capture all the memories.
- Have fun! Durango is a great place to relax and have fun. So, make sure you take advantage of all the city offers and have a great time on your trip!
Enjoy Your Colorado Summer with Deer Hill Expeditions
Make this year one that your teens will never forget. We are committed to providing teens with the best possible summer camp and outdoor experiences at Deer Hill Expeditions.
If you want to experience a proper Colorado summer, contact us today and learn how a Deer Hill Expeditions trip can make that happen!
Check out our website for more information on our summer experiences!