Things to do in Winter in Durango + Mancos, Colorado

Winter in Durango and Mancos is a magical time. The snow-capped mountains are a sight to behold, and the cities of Durango and Mancos offer a wide variety of activities to keep you busy. Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, the two towns offer a unique experience for visitors and locals alike.

While you may think of Durango or Mancos as ski and snowboard destinations, there’s much more to do in the winter months. From dog sledding and snowshoeing to ice skating and tubing, there’s something for everyone in Durango and Mancos. And, of course, let’s not forget about the hot springs!

Here are some of the top things to do in Durango and Mancos during the winter – for the family on the move or the adventurous traveler.

1. Ski or Snowboard at Purgatory Resort

You knew that on a list of top things to do in Durango and Mancos during winter, skiing or snowboarding would have to be included! Purgatory Resort is one of the most popular ski destinations in Colorado – for a good reason.

The views from the top of the slopes are breathtaking, and there is a wide variety of trails to suit all skill levels. If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, you can take lessons at the resort.

outdoor adventure program in snowy colorado2. Go Snowshoeing or Dog Sledding

There are plenty of places to go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Durango and Mancos. If you’re looking for a challenge, try one of the many trails in the San Juan National Forest. For a more leisurely experience, head to one of the many lakes in the area.

Suppose you want to take in the sights with the aid of a furry friend – head over to Durango Dog Ranch, a family-run kennel that has been offering dog sledding tours for over 25 years! Their dog sledding tours will put you in the shoes of Iditarod mushers as you sled your way through the snow-covered forests of the San Juans.

3. Hop on the Polar Express

Want to take a step into your favorite Christmas story? You can hop on board the Polar Express at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This festive train ride takes you and your kiddos on a magical journey to the “North Pole” workshop via the picturesque Animas Valley. 

Kids and adults alike will love the experience of hot chocolate and cookies served onboard by dancing elves, listening to the Polar Express story, and meeting Santa Claus himself!

4. Grab A Hot Coffee or Chocolate Treat

Durango is known for its quick access to many outdoor activities and vibrant downtown area. One of the best things to do on a cold winter day is to explore Durango’s downtown shops and stop for a warm drink.

For coffee or a baked good, visit Durango Coffee Company, Animas Chocolate & Coffee Company, or Durango Joes to grab a treat. With your coffee in hand, you can take in some of the downtown Durango shopping the city is known for.

5. Soak in a Hot Spring

The temps can tank in the winter, so why not warm up in one of Durango’s hot springs? There are plenty of options to choose from, including the famed Durango Hot Springs & Spa. Choose from one of 26 different soaking pools with different temperatures to accommodate your preferences – and bring along a special someone to snuggle with in one of the private hot springs!

6. Travel in Sleigh Style

The Animas Valley offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado, and there’s no better way to take it all in than from a horse-drawn sleigh. This unique and romantic activity is perfect for couples or families. Sit back, relax, and take in the views as you travel through the snow-covered landscape – with the help of a friendly team of horses!

7. Try and Catch a Frozen Fish

Durango and Mancos are known for drawing crowds for fly fishing, but did you know that you can also ice fish in the winter? 

Head to one of the many lakes in the area and try your hand at catching a trout. The Lemon and Vallecito Reservoirs are some of the best spots to drill down below the ice and try your hand at this winter sport.

8. Sample the Seasonal Wines

When it’s time to warm up, grab your friends and check out some of the area’s best wineries. 

Fox Fire Farms or Four Leaves Winery are all located in Durango and Mancos areas and offer a wide variety of seasonal wines to try. Make sure to grab a few bottles to take home with you! While you are there, check out some of the incredible views.

9. Attend a Winter Festival

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, consider attending one of the many winter festivals in Durango and Mancos. From the Snowdown celebration to the Winterfest in Silverton, there is sure to be a festival that everyone will enjoy. These festivals offer a great way to break from the cold and have fun!

10. Get Away From It All

Are you looking to take in the holiday in peace? The Willowtail Springs Lakeside Cabins in Mancos offer the perfect setting to do just that. 

These remote cabins offer stunning views of the nearby lakes and mountains and are the perfect place to relax and unwind this winter. Plus, you can journey into nearby Mesa Verde National Park for some hiking and sightseeing.

Enjoy Colorado Year-Round with Deer Hill Expeditions

With so much to see and do in Durango and Mancos during the winter months, it’s no wonder that Colorado has become a year-round destination. And with Deer Hill Expeditions, you can experience all the area has to offer – no matter what time of year it is!

Deer Hill Expeditions brings the beauty and wildness of the San Juan Mountains to you, whether you’re looking for a winter adventure or a summer getaway. We offer a variety of guided tours and expeditions, so you can choose the perfect way to experience all that Durango and Mancos have to offer.

Connect with nature in a new way and experience all that Colorado has to offer with Deer Hill Expeditions. Contact us today to book your next adventure – and enjoy your Durango or Manco winter!