About Durango, Colorado

Welcome to Durango!

Did you know that there is more than one Durango on the planet? There is one in Spain, one in Mexico and one in the U.S., Durango, Colorado.

Durango, Colorado was named after the town in Mexico. However, the word Durango derives from “Urango”—which originates from the oldest and most unique language, Basque—meaning “water town.” It’s a befitting name for this quaint but vibrant mountain town in southwest Colorado that sits alongside the last free-flowing river in the United States, the Animas River.

Durango was originally founded by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) in the fall of 1880. Formed to serve the San Juan mining district during the silver and gold mining booms, Durango became an invaluable source for transporting supplies for the, then, isolated area. By the late 1890s, Durango was the premier smelting center of the region. Following World War 2, Durango’s Uranium mill operated from the early 1940s until it closed in the 60s.

Today, the town of Durango is an energetic hub of dynamism for locals and visitors alike.

The Animas still flows strong. Fly fishing, river rafting, and tubing are but a few of the fun Animas to-dos in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. While the sun is out and the days are warm, Durango is bustling with hikers, off-road adventurers, and zip-lining enthusiasts. When winter arrives, skiers and snowboarders dust off their gear. With Purgatory Mountain sitting only 27 miles north of town and the smaller Hesperus only 15 miles to the west, lovers of the slopes can enjoy all that snow all season long.

The heartbeat of Durango lies within its cosmopolitan Downtown district. Its boutiques and consignment shops, bookstores and breweries with beer gardens, street tacos, and fine dining, afford something for all to appreciate and experience. Grab the kiddos a sweet treat from Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory and hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. The D&SNG—formerly the D&RG—still operates after 125 years. This historic locomotive will traverse 45 miles from Durango to Silverton, where it stops to allow its passengers a 2-hour stint in the town of Silverton, Colorado. It is a fantastic experience at any time of the year.

No matter the season, whether you’re traveling alone on business, with your sweetheart or the whole family, dogs included, Durango, Colorado is one for the bucket list. Let Essential Durango be your guide.

Essential Durango shares with its readers all the best that Durango has to offer. Our publication reflects the community that is Durango and the surrounding areas. From the heart of downtown, through the historic neighborhoods and across the mountainsides, we present to you the people, the businesses, the non-profit organizations, and community hotspots.

We invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy a local brew while flipping through our pages. We suggest you then venture out to explore the magnificent Durango, be it by ATV, raft or kayak, motorcycle, bicycle, or on foot. And when you wave farewell to this extraordinary place, take us home with you because Essential Durango is, “More than a magazine, it’s a souvenir.”

Durango, Colorado


Welcome to Durango!

Did you know that there is more than one Durango on the planet? There is one in Spain, one in Mexico and one in the U.S., Durango, Colorado.

Durango, Colorado was named after the town in Mexico. However, the word Durango derives from “Urango”—which originates from the oldest and most unique language, Basque—meaning “water town.” It’s a befitting name for this quaint but vibrant mountain town in southwest Colorado that sits alongside the last free-flowing river in the United States, the Animas River.

Durango was originally founded by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) in the fall of 1880. Formed to serve the San Juan mining district during the silver and gold mining booms, Durango became an invaluable source for transporting supplies for the, then, isolated area.
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