Everyone knows there’s excellent alpine skiing and riding at Purgatory, but there are other fun ways to explore the San Juan Mountains! Here are just a few of our favorite winter activities…
Snowcat Skiing and Snowboarding
Spend the day skiing or riding untracked powder with San Juan Untracked, which offers guided backcountry skiing and riding in remote areas of the San Juan National Forest for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Permitted to operate on more than 35,000 acres of steeps, trees and high alpine terrain, San Juan Untracked is the largest snowcat skiing and riding operation in Colorado. Trip includes powder skis or snowboards, avalanche safety gear (beacon & shovel pack), lunch and water. For more information and reservations, call 800-208-1780. www.sanjuanuntracked.com
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
View the beautiful San Juan National Forest via horse-drawn sleigh from Buck’s Livery! Bundle up in a blanket with your loved ones while Belgian and Percheron Draft horses take you on a picturesque tour amongst spruce and aspen trees. Sleighs depart the base area in the late afternoon and each sleigh can hold 10-12 people. For reservations and more information, call 970-749-0858 www.buckslivery.com
Snow Coaster Tubing Hill
The Snow Coaster Tubing Hill offers three lanes of high-speed, on-snow fun for the whole family. Rent a tube from Purgatory’s fleet, hike up the hill and whoosh down the snow-covered lanes. Personal tubes are not allowed. Children 6 and older can ride a tube on their own. Children ages 3-5 years must ride with an adult. 970-385-2168.
Regular tubing hill hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 2-7PM. Tube rental is $10 per hour. You cannot bring your own sled or tubes and must use our rental tubes to use the tubing slope. We also have lights on the hill for evening tubing fun!
Experience a dog-powered exploration of the San Juan Mountains! Get whisked through the forest by a team of 8 Siberian and Alaskan huskies and view stunning scenery of the snowy Rocky Mountains along the Old Flume Trail. Enjoy hot beverages along with plenty of interaction with these friendly canines who love the snow. Hour-long dog sled adventures depart from the resort's base area and are perfect for all ages. Brought to you by the Durango Dog Ranch. 970-259-0694 www.DurangoDogRanch.com
Take a snowmobile excursion into the Colorado Rocky Mountains on more than 75 miles of spectacular trails that start right at Durango Mountain Resort. Snowmobile Adventures offers a variety of one- to four-hour guided tours that are fun for all ages. Kids 4-6 years old ride free. Call for availability, pricing and reservations. 970-385-2141 or 970-259-7293 www.snowmobileadventures.com
All you need is a sense of adventure to explore the backcountry on snowshoes! Durango Mountain Resort offers guided snowshoe tours of the scenic San Juan National Forest for all ages and ability levels. Snowshoe rentals, poles and a guide are included. Experience 2-3 miles of rolling terrain with opportunities to view wildlife and scenic vistas, and learn about geology, flora and fauna. Bring water-resistant boots, layered winter clothing, hats, gloves and water. And don’t forget the camera. Easier or more difficult tours may be offered by our qualified guides upon request. Tours leave at 9:30am and 1pm daily. 970-385-2147
After Hours Scenic Snowshoe Tours
Enjoy the scenery as you take the last chairlift up the mountain. Guides will then take you snowshoeing back down to the base area after the slopes are closed to skiers and riders. Enjoy the serenity of the slopes as the sun sets behind the mountains. Don’t forget your camera! Tours are 3:30-5pm. Call for dates and reservations. 970-385-2147
Alpenglow Snowshoe Tours
Available on designated evenings, guests can take the last chairlift up the mountain and enjoy a guided snowshoe tour of the backcountry. Guides will point out wildlife and their tracks, geology, flora and fauna. Then snowshoe down to the on-mountain facility, the Powderhouse Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate for the kids and wine and beer for adults, complete with cheese, fruit, cookies, crackers and a deli tray. Guides take you snowshoeing down the slopes that are now closed to skiers and you’ll watch the beautiful sunset and the awe-inspiring Alpenglow on the Needles Mountain Range - a truly unique experience. Call 970-385-2147 for more information on dates and to make reservations.
Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing
The Nordic Center at Purgatory features 18 km of scenic forest trails, groomed for classic cross-country and skate skiing or 6 km of snowshoeing trails. Enjoy the rustic atmosphere of our warming hut, complete with pot-bellied stove. Pack a picnic to enjoy on one of the tables along the trail with incredible scenic views. Located across Hwy. 550, just north of the Durango Mountain Resort entrance, the Nordic Center offers on-site equipment rentals of skis and snowshoes. Call for more information. 970-385-2114
Experience something new and unique this winter. Located at Purgatory Village, Kling Mountain Guides leads families on adventures to some of the most spectacular places, right from Durango Mountain Resort. Professionally trained and certified guides will take beginners to advanced abilities ice climbing in nearby Cascade Canyon, a natural ice park. The warmer days and arctic nights provide a prime setting for waterfalls to freeze into perfect cascades of ice, ideal for all levels of climbers. Cascade Canyon is conveniently located less than two miles north of the Resort. Adventurers are provided equipment, including ice picks, boots and crampons and given ice climbing instructions. The season is typically end of December through mid-March. January and February tend to be the best months for ice climbing in this area. Reservations are required by calling 970-259-1708 or www.klingmountainguides.com.
Backcountry Skiing and Riding
Kling Mountain Guides offers guided backcountry skiing and riding in remote areas of the San Juan National Forest for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Permitted to operate in premier Colorado backcountry, American Mountain Guides Association trained and certified guides will take you backcountry skiing so you can earn your turns on the steeps, trees and high alpine terrain with the experts from Kling Mountain Guides. Custom tailor your guided trip, from the "first-time-in-the-backcountry-skier" to "big mountain free skier," KMG will give you a ski adventure you’ll talk about for the rest of your life! For more information or reservations, call 888-981-SNOW or 970-259-1708 or www.klingmountainguides.com
Purgatory has long been a leader in the country of the latest trend in winter sports – snowbiking! Great for all ages and abilities, snowbiking is a fun way to explore the slopes for those who do not ski or snowboard or for skiers and snowboarders looking to try something new. Snowbiking is easy to learn in one short lesson and can be as relaxing or as exhilarating as you prefer. Brenter Snowbikes are available for rent at Purgatory Rentals. All riders must be certified or take a certification course from the Purgatory Ski and Ride School before snowbiking at Purgatory. Call 970-385-2149 for more information.
Massages and Spa Treatments
Take time to relax, rejuvenate and revive your body and soul! Located in Purgatory Lodge, the Trimble Spa at Durango Mountain Club provides therapeutic massage and body treatments by certified massage therapists. An outdoor hot tub and heated pool are just around the corner from the massage rooms, and locker rooms with showers are conveniently located nearby. Guests staying at Durango Mountain Resort can enjoy in-room service which is also available for 60- and 90-minute massages. For appointments, call 970-247-0212.
Altitude O2 Oxygen Bar
Stop by Altitude O2 Oxygen Bar outside the Ticket Office and see what everyone is raving about! Experience the benefits of 95% pure oxygen that will leave you feeling alert, refreshed and full of energy. Recreational oxygen has been shown to reduce stress and lessen the effects of altitude sickness, hangovers and headaches. Choose from eight aromatherapy scents to enhance your experience. 970-903-4830