There is so much to do on your Durango, Colorado vacation, that the only problem you will have is finding the time fit it all in!
PARKS AND RECREATION
Mesa Verde National Park
Just thirty minutes from the Ranch, Mesa Verde National Park is considered the top Historic Site in the United States. Take a picnic lunch-you can have one made at the Absolute Bakery in Mancos (970)533-1200, and plan on spending the day. Mesa Verde National Park.
The Ute Mountain Tribal Park
Probably the area's best-kept secret, this Ute Mountain Indian owned and operated private park's six times larger than Mesa Verde and contains some incredible archaeology sites-left just as they were found. You must go into the park with an Indian guide - which makes the adventure even more special. The East Entrance to the park is just sixteen miles from the Ranch, and the guides are happy to meet our guests there at around 10:00 am. The tour is usually over around 3:00 pm. You'll need to take a picnic lunch and water.
Heading to Moab?
Visit our friends at Sorrel River Ranch , southern Utah's only Four Diamond Resort.
Toll free: (877) 359-2715
Crow Canyon Archeological Center
Have you ever wanted to be an archeologist for a day? The Crow Canyon Archeological Center can make your wish come true.
Other archeological sites, the Aztec, Hovenweep, Lowrey, and Salmon Ruins are all less than an hour from the Ranch and except for the Aztec Ruins, you'll see very few visitors at these splendid sites.
TOURS & ACTIVITIES
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
This scenic trip is a must for visitors to the Southwest. The little train has been in operation for over 100 years and winds through the San Juan National Forest. We suggest taking the train one way and the bus (provided by the train and covered by roundtrip ticket) one way. This cuts about two hours off the trip, and the views from the bus are spectacular. Ask for the canyon side of the train and take the bus up and the train back. Toll-free 888-872-4607.
High Country Elk Adventure
A fascinating safari-like tour of the Cervid Elk Preserve just a couple of miles from the ranch. Sight some of the largest elk bulls and families in the west from a secure, open top tour vehicle. Toll-free 800-409-7295.
San Juan Mountain Llama Treks
Guided llama trekking through the majestic San Juan Mountains. Day and overnight trips available. 970-565-2177
Blue Lake, the Ranch's private, small lake, is stocked with trophy Rainbow and Brook Trout. We have a catch and release policy (use barbless hooks). There is also fishing in the La Plata River (small holes), and at Shirley's parents' Ranch on the Animas River - 2 miles of excellent private fishing. The Ranch is also less than an hour from the San Juan and Dolores River. Guides are available at:
Animas Valley Anglers
Dog Sled Tours
Hesperus locals Gretchen and Gregg are seasoned guides who have been training and running dogs for over 10 years. Join them for a dog powered exploration of the snowy peaks of Southwest Colorado. The enthusiasm of being whisked along the trail by Siberian and Alaskan huskies is a feeling you will not soon forget.
San Juan Skyway
Spend a day driving the circle from the Ranch to Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. This five and a half hour driving time trip is spectacular in the spring, summer, and fall. Visit this link for a great map.
Let some one else do the driving as you see the High Country from the top. Tours can be arranged by calling Outlaw Tours (970)259-1800
Durango and the Four Corners Area abound with great events year round. Visit these links for updated information.
Snowdown - Durango's own week long winter festival. Fun and activities for all ages!
Durango Independent Film Festival
Durango Bluegrass Meltdown
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
Durango Fiesta Days - a parade, rodeo and more!
Music in the Mountains - a classical music festival and conservatory.
Railfest - The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad celebrates with special trips and activities
Four Corners Biker Rally
Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Durango Heritage Celebration
The Durango Area Tourism Office keeps an updated Calendar with these and other events.
Annual Shiprock Navajo Fair
This is among the oldest and most traditional of the Navajo fairs. It features dancing and singing, a parade, and arts-and-crafts exhibits. The fair is held in Shiprock, New Mexico, just sixty miles south of the Ranch in early October. Call Farmington Convention and Vistors Bureau 800-448-1240 or 928-656-3280 for details.
There are places to hike on the Ranch itself, including a two mile stretch of the La Plata River, and the Ranch is just minutes from mountain hiking in the La Plata Canyon and along the Colorado Trail.
Colorado Hiker's Guide
Kling Mountain Guides offer Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Back Country Skiing and more.
Mountain bikes are available for rent in Durango, and there are many places to bike in the Durango area. Our guests enjoy biking on farm roads near the Ranch and up the La Plata Canyon.
Cliffside Ski & Bike
Hassle Free Sports
Seasonally available. This can be a great family adventure and a good way to see the country.
Mountain Waters Rafting
Mild to Wild Rafting
Durango Rafting Company
There are two public courses in the Durango area.
Dalton Ranch Golf Club
Hillcrest Golf Club
Forty minutes south of the Ranch lies Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, NM. Recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the top public courses in the country, our guests rave about the 18-hole course. (505)326-6066
Winter offers a large variety of activities including some of the area’s best skiing. Guests enjoy cross country skiing on the Ranch. The lake is also available for ice-skating. We are close to Cross Country ski trails open to the public. Downhill skiers can ski at the family oriented local Hesperus Ski Hill seven miles away or the larger resorts of Durango Mountain Resort & Purgatory or Telluride.
Purgatory and Durango Mountain Resort
Wolf Creek Ski Area
Telluride Ski Resort
Trimble Hot Springs
Continuously heated and refreshed by a large natural spring, Trimble Hot Springs, 7 miles north of Durango provides a beautiful natural setting for swimming, soaking, and relaxing. There are also beautiful grounds to enjoy a picnic lunch or dinner. Call ahead to book a massage. Hours 8 am - 11 pm in the summer. (970)247-0111
Durango has many locally owned stores and factory outlets offering the finest in Western wear, cowboy hats, décor, and designer wear. Ask our staff for particulars.
The Ranch is perfectly located for a circle drive taking in several of the Region's top Trading Posts. The great ones are sometimes hard to find. The Blue Lake Ranch staff will help you find them.
Passing through Bluff, UT?
Twin Rocks Trading Post offers an extensive selection of museum quality, uniquely handcrafted Native American and Southwest art.
Toll free: (800) 526-3448
Here are some of our favorites!
The Kennebec Cafe
Ken and Sue's
Guido's (gourmet Italian)
The Irish Embassy
Tequila's (great Mexican and margaritas)
East by Southwest (sushi)
Durango is host to a number of fantastic art galleries !
Open Shutter Gallery
Sorrel Sky Gallery
Just type in our zip code 81326 and a local weather forecast will be displayed.
Road Conditions- The Colorado Department of Transportation