Remember summer vacation? Remember Christmas break? Remember Spring Break? Man, being a kid was great. Now, you’re lucky if you get PTO and even luckier if you ever get around to using it. So why not now? Whether you have kids who will be on Spring Break or are just looking to take a break from adulting, Durango is the place to be! Here are some great ideas for Spring Break activities in Durango:
Hit up Purgatory Resort to squeeze in some spring skiing and snowboarding before the mountain closes for the season. Purgatory has extended its season through April 30, so Spring Breakers have plenty of time to fit in a few hours or a full day on the slopes. Purgatory will remain open for daily operations through Sunday, April 2, (pond skimming day!) then will be open on weekends only, Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, April 14-16, April 21-21 and April 28-30. The Durango ski resort added the extra days in April to take full advantage of the insane amount of snow the San Juan Mountains have gotten, so closing day is now April 30, weather permitting.
Mesa Verde National Park
Spring Break is the perfect time to force your kids to learn something under the guise of vacation. Let’s call it “eduvacation.” Mesa Verde National Park is an ideal way to do that. The park is a wonderland of ancient cliff dwelling where visitors can actually walk the same paths of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived there for more than seven centuries, from roughly 600 AD to 1300 AD. Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America and the park’s most famous, is closed to self-guided this spring until a recently discovered rockfall above the site is cleared. However, the Cliff Palace Loop Road is now open, and all overlooks and Soda Canyon Overlook Trail are open daily. Spruce Tree House also remains closed for the foreseeable future because of safety concerns regarding rock falls. However, there are plenty of other dwellings to explore, tours to take and views to see.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
If there’s one thing you can’t miss during your visit to Durango, it’s a ride on the historic Durango train. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot in downtown is home base for your trip, which departs from the depot with a historic steam engine chugging along the tracks through the Animas Valley and the Animas Canyon. The train will make its way to Cascade Canyon wye (train-talk for “turnaround spot”), turn around and come back to Durango. The shortened trip is offered during the winter months until the snow can melt and clear the way to Silverton.
Silverton is a perfectly preserved Victorian-era mountain mining town. The Main Street is lined with colorful late 1800s building facades and false fronts where visitors will find local cafes and boutique shops. One of the coolest things to do is tour the Old Hundred Gold Mine. The hour-long guided tour takes guests one-third of a mile into Galena Mountain where visitors can follow the vein, see colorful minerals and crystals in hand-blasted tunnels and watch demonstrations of mining equipment, including air-powered drills, slushers and mucking machines dating to 1930s. Outside, visitors can pan for silver, copper and gold (and keep whatever they find) in the Old Hundred sluice box.
I don’t know about your parenting style, but this isn’t really for the kiddos. You can create your own brewery tour by hitting up a few, several or all of Durango’s craft breweries for a pint or a flight. Do it on bikes, get an Uber or designate a driver as your make your way from Durango Brewing Co. to Animas Brewing Co., Carver Brewing Co., Steamworks Brewing Co., Brew Pub & Kitchen and Ska Brewing Co. Collect a pint glass, souvenir coozie or T-shirt at each to show everyone you made it to all Durango’s breweries!
Make the Durango Quality Inn your home base for Spring Break in Durango! We’re right on Main Avenue, a short trip and a straight shot north of downtown Duarngo. The Quality Inn Durango is one of the top-rated Durango hotels. Enjoy our updated rooms (each with a chalkboard wall we invite you to scribble on), our convenient location, our heated outdoor pool, indoor hot tub and free breakfast buffet! Book your room today!