Twenty minutes from the Durango Mountain Resort (or, as locals still call it, Purgatory Ski Resort), and home to the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train, Durango, Colorado is the place to visit if you’re into skiing, snowboarding, hiking, fishing, jeeping, whitewater rafting, horseback riding … and practically anything else you can think of to do outdoors. During the winter, snow festivals are in constant supply and during the summer, Durango hosts Music in the Mountains. A college town with gourmet restaurants and art in abundance featuring a distinctive southwest and Native American influence, Durango really does have it all for the culture seeker as well.

Within short distance of Durango are also Mesa Verde National Park, world-renowned home of the Ancestral Puebloans (or, as locals will tell you, the Anasazi), and it’s within driving distance to Telluride, home of the stars and some of the best skiing in all of Colorado.


Have I got your interest yet? Great! Now, here’s your guide to the best places to stay, and some of the attractions you won’t want to miss during your visit to Durango.

Durango, Colorado Accommodations

The four-corners area of Colorado, made up of Durango, Cortez, and a few small towns in-between, lives almost solely on tourism. Despite this, there’s nothing “touristy” about the place – in the smaller towns of Ouray and Telluride, you’ll find that many shops close after lunch and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone dressed to the nines. Instead, you can expect a lot of friendly faces, and locals happy to see you around.

With this sort of influence, it’s no wonder that finding really great accomodations is easy. To get the best, though, you need to make reservations in advance – during peak seasons (during the middle of winter for skiing and summer for all the outdoor beauty), actually booking a place in one of these spots can be tricky. Plan on settling a reservation at least a month in advance, just to ensure that you get the place you’re looking for.

Apple Orchard Inn

How great is this bed and breakfast? It’s actually awarded the AAA Four-Diamond Award for Excellence every year since 2003, and was selected as “Colorado’s Best Bed and Breakfast” by the Denver Post in 1999.

As for location, this inn has the best of everything. It’s located about fifteen minutes from town, providing plenty of mountain views and beautiful flower gardens right on site, but close enough to the best attractions that you’ll never feel pressed for time. The inn’s award-winning landscaping includes trout ponds, waterfalls, and streams and every day begins with a full breakfast prepared for guests.

Sitting on 4 1/2 acres, the orchard-lined inn boasts a large farmhouse-style home with four guest rooms, and six cottages for guests who prefer more seclusion. In the main house, the comfortable sitting room boasts of a large river rock fireplace, original artwork, exposed beams and large windows. From the dining room and patio, you can enjoy the mountain views while watching the historic Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train steam its way up the switchbacks of the valley.

Each of the guest rooms are trimmed with exquisite hardwoods and furnished in elegant country simplicity, including featherbeds and comforters, private baths, and handcrafted armoires. Four of the cottages boast fireplaces, oversized whirlpool tubs, and king-size beds. The Wolf River Cottage has its own, private outdoor hot tub sized for two. And in the evenings as the sun sets in a brilliant array of orange and pink, you can rock in the swings under your covered porch or relax on your private patio.

Learn more about the Apple Orchard Inn at their official website,, or call them toll-free at 1-800-426-0751. Their address is 7758 County Road 203 Durango, Colorado 81301 for mailed correspondence.

Durango Mountain House

Want to really get away from it all? This is no bed and breakfast, the Durango Mountain House is built as a vacation home sitting high in the Rocky Mountains at about 9,000 feet elevation. It’s surrounded by the San Juan National Forest and features some of the most stunning views you are likely to ever see in Southwest Colorado.

When visiting this mountain house, make sure that you are using the right items and wearing the right gear like the best hiking boots. This will allow you to have comfort and convenience when getting into things awesome destination. With the right gears, you can certainly enjoy the moment and have fun.

As for amenities, the Durango Mountain House will keep you very, very comfortable with more than 1800 square feet of living space, a large, open living room and dining area, a huge stone fireplace with all the firewood you might need stocked, satellite TV and DVD intact with a movie library. As if you’ll really want to sleep in the beauty of this place, you get 2 queen beds, a sleeper sofa, and a large master bath with a spa tub. Overlooking the views of the San Juan National Forest are walk-out balconies right from the loft. Downstairs are two more bedrooms with private baths, and a full kitchen. Drooling yet? Well, now picture this: An 8-person outdoor spa with fiber optic lighting and mist system, new wood floors, a gas bar-b-q, and leather furnishings.

Even though this mountain vaction home is remote enough for full privacy, it’s located close to everything. You’re only two miles from Durango Mountain Ski Resort for all the skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and sledding you can imagine in the winter, or you can enjoy rigorous mountain biking, boating, fishing, and golf in the summer. The Cliffs at Tamarron, only 10 minutes away, features a 27 hole golf course in an Arthur Hill design.

Learn more about the Durango Mountain House at their official website,, or call them at (949) 498-9027. You can also hit an email to them at or send a snail mail to the owner’s address, 3164 Inclinado San Clemente, CA 92673.

Elkstone Inn and Day Spa

The same privacy, luxury, and down-home friendliness of the other accommodations mentioned, the Elkstone Inn and Day Spa has a touch of something that you won’t find anywhere else: Debby Verheyden. With 22 years in the health and medical field, this certified massage therapist will treat your hiking or ski-weary bones to Swedish massage, sports treatments, deep tissue massage, and foot and facial massage before you kick back in the hot tub or enjoy the finest quality oils, body lotions, and natural treatments available.

Seriously one of the finest lodging experiences, you’re treated to luxurious accommodations set right in breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The Inn itself is a beautiful mixture of oak wood floors and cherry wood cabinets, granite islands and 10 foot ceilings with exposed beams. Picture windws open up on mountain views in every direction, and there’s more than 6,000 square feet of this beauty.

During the summer, you can pick up one of the Verheyden’s hiking guide books or enlist their advice on the best hikes in the area. They’ll also lead you to great horseback riding, by the hour or on great cliff rides for packers. There’s also white water rafting, Music in the Mountains, Mesa Verde National Park, Mountain Biking, and a Silver Mine Tour right at your fingertips.

Visiting during the winter? You can choose from downhill and cross country skiing – but make sure to ask the Verheydens for information, as they offer some great discount packages. There’s also sleigh rides, guided horse rides, and dinner rides year-round. Other activities include snow shoeing, snowmobiling, the Durango-Silverton train ride, or try your luck at either the Sky Ute Casino or the Ute Mountain Casino.

For more information about the Elkstone Inn and Day Spa, call toll-free at (888) 753-3557 or shoot an email to You can also send postal mail to their address, 34940 U.S. Highway 550 North Durango, CO 81301