Living in Durango, ColoradoIyna Bort Caruso
Durango is the largest town in southwestern Colorado, a short drive from the Four Corners where the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet. It is enveloped by a landscape of red sandstone bluffs, archaeological sites
Three hundred days of sunshine mean time spent out of doors. Durango is a four-season playground with whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing and Rocky Mountain skiing. A two-mile stretch of the Animas River is “gold medal,” waters considered by the state’s Wildlife Commission to be of the highest quality for large trout. The town is a favorite of cycling enthusiasts, too. Every Memorial Day for more than 40 years, the Iron Horse Classic draws mountain bikers from around the country to race 50 miles against the steam-powered train that runs between Durango and Silverton.
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is intricately tried to the town’s history. Durango was founded in 1880 when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad extended it line from Durango to Silverton to haul metals from high country mines. With the railroad, Durango’s growth soared. Today the fleet of vintage locomotives and coaches is a heritage railway operating through the canyons of the San Juan National Forest strictly for tourists
Since the turn of the 20th century, Durango has enjoyed a tourism-based economy. Main Avenue in Downtown Durango is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The area draws active retirees and vacation home buyers to exclusive subdivisions, riverfront ranches and hunting compounds with fishing ponds and waterfalls, some within minutes of downtown. Other luxury properties are nestled in the red cliffs with views of the San Juan Mountain Range and feature classic mountain architecture incorporating local stone and wood found in abundance.