The weather is cooler in the morning but it warms up throughout the day offering lots of opportunity to soak up the day with glorious mountain sunshine. But don't get stuck without your layers! This is Colorado after all so make sure you are prepared for all kinds of weather for any outdoor activities. Here is a quick guide to some of the activities you can enjoy in Durango this spring.
Durango is filled with many beautiful hiking trails for various skill levels. With over 300 miles of trails there is something for everyone! Check out our hiking guide for some of the popular trails in our area. All trails in Durango are multiuse. This means they are open to horses, hikers, runners, and cyclists. Please be aware that everyone should yield to horses, and cyclists should yield to people on foot.
Hiking in the spring can be a little challenging because of the trail conditions and some trails are closed for seasonal wildlife. Before heading out check the trail conditions and listed trail closures from our friends at Durango Trails. The wildlife seasonal closures go through April 15.
For more information on trails and hiking please visit the Durango Welcome Center, located at 802 Main Avenue in Downtown Durango.
Durango is the mountain bike mecca offering miles of single-track trails, rugged downhill rides, and flow trails. Durango offers some of the best mountain biking in the state and offers trails for beginners to advance riders. There are many local favorite trails that are an easy access from Downtown or just a short drive away. Check the DurangoTrails.org website for a full list of bike trails. There are several local bike shops that offer all the gear you may need for your ride and bike rentals. Check our full list here.
In the spring, please check the trail conditions and listed trail closures before heading out on the trail. Remember that the weather in Southwest Colorado can quickly change. Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out and wear layers and bring rain gear.
Animas River Trail
The Animas River Trail offers a great outdoor activity no matter the season. Stretching approximately 9 miles, the trail meanders along the Animas River. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon and take in all the surrounding views. Along the river trail you can access several of our city parks, the Durango Botanical Gardens, and Durango Skate Park. Other attractions along the river trail are the Durango Fish Hatchery ad the Powerhouse Science Center. Download the Animas River Trail map Here or pick one up at the Durango Welcome Center.
Once all the snow has melted, and the roads are clear, the Jeeping season has begun! A Jeep tours is a great way to get high into the mountains to take in all the spectacular views, see some wildlife and get out in nature! We have multiple companies in town that rent jeeps or offer jeep tours. Tours usually start around the first of May. Click here for a full list of companies offering Jeep tours and rentals.
There is an abundance of diverse waters for great fishing in Durango. You will find everything from mountain creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs in our area.
There are multiple lakes within a half hour radius of Downtown. Some of the most popular spots include Lake Nighthorse, Haviland Lake, Pastorius Reservoir, and Vallecito Reservoir.
Lake Nighthorse is the closest option to town with options for motorized boats. The reservoir opens to the public on March 31 for non-motorized recreation Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Daily operations will begin on Friday May 12. Motorized Recreation begins May 15 and Guarded Swim Beach opens on June 1.The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout and kokanee salmon. A fishing license is required for individuals 16 years and older. Check here for lcoations to purchase a fishing license.
For river fishing, there are many options to explore including the Animas River, San Juan River, Dolores River and Piedra River. Durango has two fly shops in town stocked with equipment and supplies. They also offer guide services as well. Be sure to visit Duranglers Flies and Supplies at 923 Main Avenue or The San Juan Angler at 600 Main Avenue, Suite 202 (upstairs) for all your fishing needs.
There are multiple options for getting out on the water in your kayak or paddle board. Options include the Animas River and multiple lakes and reservoirs.
The Animas River offers some calm waters on the north end of town that are perfect for paddle boarding. These calm waters can be accessed from Oxbow Park located in the North Main District. Duckies or inflatable kayaks are another popular option for going down the Animas River. There are several companies in town that offer guiding services or rentals for duckies.
Durango also offers multiple lakes within a half hour drive of Downtown Durango. These include Lake Nighthorse, Haviland Lake, Pastorius Reservoir, and Vallecito Reservoir. Lake Nighthorse is the closest option to town with options for motorized boats. The reservoir opens to the public on March 31 for non-motorized recreation Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Daily operations will begin on Friday May 12. For more information on the lakes in our area, please visit the Durango Welcome Center, located at 802 Main Avenue in Downtown Durango.
On a side note, please keep in mind that the water is really chilly in the spring from the snow meltoff from the mountains. Make sure to be prepared with the right gear! There are several businesses that rent or sell paddleboards, kayaks and inflatable kayaks. Click here for a full list. If your looking for some used gear check out Durango Outdoor Exchange in the North Main District.
Don't miss out on cruising through the spring waters. Rafting in the spring is a thrilling experience and is when the water is the highest from the snow melt. Spring rafting season starts in May with many local companies offering trips down the Animas River. Whitewater rafting trips provide a thrilling rapids and Class I, II & III rafting. From the river you can see some historical landmarks and often the guides will tell some stories about the history of Durango. Most companies offer some quick two hour trips and also half day trips. See a full list of Rafting companies here.
Durango's beautiful Recreation Center offers a variety of activities for the entire family, including an expansive aquatics area with a 160 ft. water slide and play structures. The kids will enjoy scrambling on the 30-ft. high rock-climbing wall. And do not forget the racquet ball courts and gymnasium. The Rec Center also provides a youth games space with fun activities such as air hockey, pool table and ping pong. Located at 2700 Main Avenue in the North Main District.
Explore Downtown Durango
Spend a day exploring Downtown Durango. Historic Downtown Durango is filled with many unique shops, galleries, and restaurants, and strolling Downtown is a great way to spend a warm spring day. Durango offers everything from unique boutiques to souvenir shops to Western apparel and more. And make sure to stop in at one of the many world-renowned galleries featuring everything from handmade jewelry, Native American art, to Western art and contemporary art. Stop by one of our coffee shops along Main Avenue or pick up a sweet treat at Animas Chocolate Company Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or Fuzziwigs. Visit our directory for a full list of shopping options in Durango.
After you shop til you drop, you'll find an abundance of restaurants to choose from up and down Main Ave. and East 2nd Ave. It's known as a foodie paradise - everything from fine dining to fast and casual dining and everything in between. Visit our dining guide to find just the right spot. The hardest part is knowing which one to choose first.
Durango Craft Breweries
Any season is a great season for drinking beer especially when you are in Durango! Our region is fortunate to have great options for craft beverages including breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries. Durango is home to six fantastic breweries, all with unique signature (and award-winning) brews that are sure to enthuse any beer lover. There are three breweries located downtown including Steamworks Brewing Co., Carver Brewing Company and Animas Brewing Company. Head up to the North Main District, to find our newest brewery, Durango Beer and Ice Company and High Trestle Brewing. If you're seeking spirits, stop by Durango Craft Spirits in Downtown Durango, Durango's first grain-to-glass distillery since Prohibition, offering innovative cocktails featuring spirits distilled from high quality regional ingredients. And for the wine lovers, stop by the quaint boutique winery located in the 600 block of Main Ave. Four Leaves Winery. The proprietors import the highest quality grapes and blend all their own wines. Stop in for a wine tasting or pick up a bottle to take home, and check out their new outdoor patio! If you like ciders, try EsoTerra Ciderworks new tasting room Downtown at store at 558 Main Avenue. See our Beer Wine and Spirits Tour for more information on each location.