Q? What is the weather like in Durango?A: Beautiful! Average is approximately 266 sunny days per year. Average summer temperatures are mid 70sF to mid 80'sF with occasional "hot days" in the 90'sF. Rainfall is more often seen in the spring (March - May) and in the later summer during the monsoons (July - August). Most of the rainstorms begin in the late afternoon and are finished by evening. Winter averages are in the 30'sF and 40'sF with occasional "cold days" that can go below zero F. Snow can begin to fall as early as October but winter generally kicks in by December with largest snowfall amounts seen in late January through March. Durango (city) gets on average approximately 70 inches of snow seasonally. The nearby mountains have substantially more snow and extremes of weather than the city of Durango does and it is advised to always check current weather and snow conditions when planning a trip.
Frequently Asked QuestionsPeople visiting or planning to visit Durango often have questions about the area that they would like to have an answer to and listed below are a few of them.
Q? What is Durango's elevation?A.6512 feet above sea level. People visiting from lower elevations should be aware of the need to acclimate before attempting strenuous activities especially any that are 8000 feet or more above sea level. Some of the symptoms of altitude sickness are; headache, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and sometimes fainting. About 20% of people experience mild elevation sickness and if symptoms persist or get extreme; seek medical attention immediately. Usually you can just rest for a few minutes and remember to drink plenty of water and the symptoms will subside. The "Web Md" website has some good supplementary information on the subject and can be quite useful. Higher elevations also make it easier to sunburn, especially in the winter when the snow is reflecting extra sunlight so it is very important to use plenty of sunscreen.
Q? What is Durango Colorado's population?A. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the population is 17,069.
Q. How did the city of Durango get its name?A. It is named after the city Durango in Mexico. There is also a city in Northern Spain that shares the same name. Durango means "water town".
Q? Do I need a license to fish in Durango?A.Yes in most cases. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife has regulations and fees that apply in order to fish in the State of Colorado. Durango has some incredible fishing all year round in pristine lakes and rivers. The Animas has a large section of designated Gold Medal Waters that is great for catching brown and rainbow trout. The Animas River Trail even has some good spots setup for wheelchair access! The DuranGO Outdoors Fishing page offers good information on Lakes, Streams and fish species in the Durango area so be sure to check it out!
Q? Are there any 14ners near Durango?A.Yes! Lots n lots of them! Several are also accessed by taking the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train to the trailhead. Windom Peak (14,082ft), Sunlight Peak (14,059ft) and Mount Eolus (14,083ft). The other three closest 14ners are; Wilson Peak (14,017ft), El Diente Peak (14, 159ft) and Mount Wilson (14, 246ft). There are others still located in the San Juan Range but closer to Lake City. Mount Sneffels (14,150ft), Wetterhorn Peak (14,015ft), Uncompahgre Peak (14,309ft), San Luis Peak (14,014ft), Redcloud Peak (14,034ft), Handies Peak (14,048ft) and Sunshine Peak (14,001ft). The latter are a bit further away but Durango still makes a good base city to start from.
Q? Does Durango have wild animals in the City?A.Yes. It is very common to see wild deer lounging around in people's yards and walking along the streets. Elk sometimes venture onto the golf courses and bears are not uncommon. Please remember that these are wild animals and while they have become tolerant of close proximity with people; they are still wild. Treat them with respect, enjoy their beauty and go ahead and take their picture but do NOT approach or try to touch them.
Q? When do the deer turn into elk?A. They do not. Elk and deer are two different species and its quite funny how often this question comes up. You are just as likely to see rabbits turn into grizzly bears. Aint happnin. You can visit our wildlife section for more information about deer and elk in the Durango area.
Q? Will my parents Subaru make it there?A.This type of question comes up quite often when people are trying to reach a trailhead, lake, ghost town or a good camping site and are looking on a map at what appears to be a "road". While the counties do an outstanding job of maintaining a lot of the gravel roads in the Durango area that you can take a "car" or light duty SUV on, there are some locations that require more clearance and lower gearing. "OHV" stands for Off Highway Vehicle and 4x4 means you should have four wheel drive, good ground clearance and have some experience negotiating around obstacles. If you are on a gravel road and you see signs that say 4x4 recommended or 4x4 ONLY ahead of you, your parents might not appreciate you taking their Impreza WRX any further. All wheel drive is not quite the same and you might do some serious damage. This is just one example and the rules hold true for any vehicle and drivers should stay within its capabilities. Use good judgment.
Q? When driving on a narrow mountain road (4x4 road or trail) whom has the right of way? The uphill driver or the downhill driver?A.The uphill driver in most cases. This is mainly etiquette and courtesy practiced by motorists and being a safe driver is important. If you are climbing up and there is a safe pull out spot closer to you than the person coming down; be nice and pull over. Do Not force somebody to back up or take unnecessary risks and be aware of your situation and surroundings at all times. If you are coming down and you see traffic coming up and there is a spot to safely let them by; you should do so. Again take note of pull out spots both in front and behind and be aware of your own situation.
Q? When mountain biking on a trail which riders have right of way? Uphill riders or downhill riders?A.Uphill riders. Etiquette and courtesy dictate that downhill riders need to yield and you will find that local riders in Durango are very good about following this rule. "We have some of the friendliest riders around". Also remember that bike riders need to yield to pedestrians whether climbing or descending unless specific trail rules apply like in the case at Alien Run. The Alien Run Trail is specially setup for cyclists and hikers need to yield. Riders should yield to horseback riders as well and use caution so as not to spook the animals.
Q? What time does the 8 o-clock train leave for Silverton?A. The train still prides itself for being on time and leaves right on schedule. If it says "departs at 8am" on the ticket, the train should be moving down the tracks at that time. Hopefully you got there early and are moving down the tracks with it. Woo Woo!
Q? Why did they build the Mesa Verde Ruins so far away from the highway?A.Well… since the ruins are over 800 years old one might ask "why did we build the highways so far away from the ruins"? The road to the main entrance to Mesa Verde National Park follows along steep rock canyons and had to be built in locations that would not disturb any artifacts. Plus, the park is huge covering over 81 square miles. The drive is still not that far and only takes about 1.5 hours to make it from Durango into the park. Well worth it!
Q? Where is Durango, Colorado?A: Durango is located in the Southwestern part of Colorado.Nestled at the base of the La Plata Mountains in the San Juan Range, Durango is close to lush high mountains and wide open deserts. It is not too far from the four corners of the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Durango is about 236 miles southwest of the State Capital, Denver Colorado and about 215 miles northeast of Albuquerque New Mexico. The distance from the La Plata County Airport (DRO) to Durango is about 15 miles.