Settled atop the Animas River Valley—less than 20 miles due north of Durango’s historic downtown district—an exclusive, picture-perfect community exists. This unspoiled landscape, where undulating hills give way to Ponderosa pine-lined horizons, is all encompassed by primal mountain ranges whose sharp and stark peaks magnificently contradict the crystal blue Colorado skies. Enter the iconic Glacier Club. At Glacier’s center—winding through the community of breathtaking homes—are not one but two of the most organically scenic golf courses. Coiling and curling through some of Mother Nature’s most superior settings in southwest Colorado, the courses appeal to novices and pros alike and offer challenging fairways that are never lacking jaw-dropping views. These links are what drew Jim Goodman—Glacier Club’s Chief Operating Officer—to the community back in the early 2000s when he first worked in real estate and marketing at Glacier.
“I grew up as a golfer, playing with my father, then went on to play competitively through high school and during college at the University of Arizona,” Jim shared. After working at several of the country’s top golf communities, including Scottsdale’s Boulders Resort and Mammoth in California, he returned to Glacier in June 2019 to manage the club and carry on its legacy of excellence. Jim’s wife, Heidi, and their two sons have also returned to the San Juans, and Jim is wasting no time grooming his boys—who also love to ski—into top-notch golfers. The Valley Course, the first of the two, was designed in 1976 by renowned architect Arthur Hills. It is an 18-hole wonder—modernized with new bunkering, hazards, fast-rolling greens, and tee-to-green strategic playing options. Golfers will find many elevation changes and challenging doglegs protected by trees and surrounded by dramatic mountain views.
Opening in 2004 as a nine-hole course, the Mountain Course—designed by Todd Schoeder and three-time U.S. Open champion, Hale Irwin—expanded in 2017 to a full 18-hole course. “It’s at the back of the community and spectacular. It’s carved out of the cliff sides, with panoramas of the Hermosa Cliffs and Missionary Ridge,” Jim shared, noting how it was designed to maximize the land’s dramatic terrain and extraordinary location. Together, the two courses have placed the resort on multiple Top 50 lists, including ones in Golf Digest and Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. Don’t worry if it sounds a little intimidating. The club has a highly respected team of instructors to guide all levels, and the program’s director, Alex Fisher, was named a Best Young Teacher in America by Golf Digest.
There’s no shortage of birdies and praise for those who love to tee off, but Jim pointed out that there’s much more to club membership than just golf. Beyond the greens, there are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spa, tennis and pickleball courts, and two clubhouses. The clubhouses each feature a restaurant and would also serve as a beautiful wedding or special event venue. Come snow season, winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the community’s private cross-country trails, or hit Purgatory Ski Resort—just a few minutes up the road—with on-demand transportation services for residents and visitors. Recently, Glacier expanded membership options to attract non-residents of Glacier living in the surrounding Durango area.
Glacier features several memberships types and levels designed to fit your lifestyle and the amount of golf you play. The Alpine Sport membership, for example—with initiation fees starting at $3,000 and monthly dues starting at $139—is excellent for area residents or second homeowners who want to access the club’s amenities though may not require unlimited access to the golf courses. A more traditional country club experience, on the other hand, begins with the Aspen Sport membership. Initiation fees start at $17,500, with monthly dues from $582. This membership provides exclusive access to the private Mountain Clubhouse, affords priority tee times on both courses, and offers multi-generational benefits for the whole family.
But when all is said and done, Jim—like a perfect golf swing, sharp and precise—cut straight to the core of why people choose to settle and invest in this Southwestern Colorado gem. “While most of our members could be anywhere they want, they’ve chosen the Glacier Club and Durango. It’s the town, the people, the college and the environment. They could be in Aspen, Vail or Telluride, but they’re specifically choosing not to be there. Instead, they’re going for a laidback, rustic luxury. We’re a Western club, and we celebrate that heritage,” Jim explained.
When asked to describe the scenery surrounding Glacier, Jim laughed and said, “I’d try, but words don’t do it justice.” He gestured to the red cliffs, snowy peaks and towering Ponderosa pines. “The cliffs and mountains, and the historic train steaming through the valley...the views here speak for themselves.” Ice Age glaciers—and more recently, the rapids of the Animas River itself—have carved a path through the rugged mountains that embrace Glacier, exposing ancient igneous and metamorphic crimson cliffs. Time and nature have perfectly framed breathtaking views for the residences and clubhouses that comprise the Glacier community.
Real estate opportunities here are prime, with a variety of options abound. Glacier worked with award-winning architects to design three, distinctive residential cabin models—all of which can be customized or purchased already completed. The Ironhorse Cabins feature single-floor living in two and three-bedroom configurations while the larger Glacier Pond Cabins boast vaulted living rooms (listings available now through the Wells Group Durango, starting in the $800s). All designs blend classic mountain elements—thick wood beams and ceilings, large stone fireplaces—with modern architecture, high-end finishes, and some with smart technology. These turn-key residences are perfect second homes, offering a lock-and-leave lifestyle with security ensured by the gated community.
If something more substantial and more dramatic suits you, the community also presents million-dollar-plus properties, like a 6,720-square-foot, four-bedroom, six-bathroom retreat set on more than an acre—the price tag, just a cool $2.95 million. Select from available acreage options to build your own custom dream home or let Glacier’s development professionals do the work for you.
“It’s not your typical club,” Jim declared. “Everyone is very social, very outgoing. It’s not about what you do professionally, but about what you want to do tomorrow.” Jim continued, “Want to Jeep over Ophir Pass? Want to go golfing? That’s the attitude that makes us unique.” So, whether you are looking for a full-time residence, vacation home, or just a club membership, Durango’s Glacier Club offers world-class golf and amenities, panoramas for miles, luxury residences, and new membership opportunities for a range of lifestyles, all with a laidback charm. Forget the stuffy clubs of the past; at Glacier, the welcome is as open as the skies.
“We know some people choose to live down on the river closer to town or have large acreage elsewhere in the area, so we have different memberships that allow those folks to also participate in the club.” - Jim Goodman, COO at The Glacier Club
Story written by: Ray Dennison Photos Provided by: The Glacier Club