Durango Mountain Resort

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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Twenty-five miles north of Durango lies Durango Mountain Resort in the San Juan Mountains.

Making fresh tracks at Durango Mountain Resort. (Courtesy Durango Mountain Resort)

The resort gets over 260 inches of snow annually, many times during night. The phenomenon has even earned Durango the #1 ranking in North America for winter weather. You have to ski a week full of bluebird skies to believe it!

Glaciers carved the mountain into what it is today- benches, headwalls, double fall lines, glades and cruisers with panoramic views.

The front side of the mountain, also called Purgatory, has trails named after or inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, including Pandemonium, Paradise, Catharsis, Demon and Divinity.

The front side is also where to go for mogul runs and groomed beginners slopes. The grooming at Durango Mountain Resort is some of the best in Colorado.

The back side at Purgatory has the signature runs Dead Spike, Peace and Sally’s Run. They are a mix of groomed runs and steep bumpy trails like Elliott’s, Wapiti, and Bull Run. Paul’s Park is where to head if you love tree skiing.

Durango Mountain Resort has three terrain parks, Paradise Freestyle Arena, Pitchfork Terrain Garden and Divine Comedy (DC). The features include a 400-foot half pipe, hits rails, drops, tabletops and gaps.

Overall, there are 1,325 acres to ski at Durango Mountain Resort, which has a base elevation of 8,793 feet and a peak of 10,822 feet. The vertical drop is 2,029 feet.

Snowmaking is possible on 250 acres. Ten lifts serve the 85 runs at Purgatory: one high-speed six-person lift, one high-speed quad, four triples, three doubles and one magic carpet.

The Terrain is rated as 21% beginner, 46% intermediate, and 33% advanced/expert.

The Village is the heart of the resort, where you can stay, shop dine and even get a suntan off the slopes.

Other activities in the area include train rides, sleigh rides with dinner, Snowcat Skiing, snowmobile tours, ice climbing, cross-country skiing, snowhoeing, and testing Lady Luck at the casino. Alpine SnowCoaster is a fun hill for tubing with a fantastic view of Mesa Verde National Park.

Purgatory lifts are open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Half days start at 12:30 p.m.

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