Fifteen miles to the north of Durango in the San Juan Mountains is the Durango Mountain Resort. There are eighty-five trails which include two terrain parks, the Pitchfork Terrain Garden and the Paradise Freestyle Arena. There are a total of eleven ski lifts at the Durango Mountain Resort that include a six person lift and a high speed quad lift at the facility that first opened during 1965.
The name of the Durango Mountain Resort was originally called Purgatory which came from the Spanish Expedition that Silvestre Velez de Escalante led during 1776. During this trip there were a number of explorers lost on a close by river and the bodies were not found. A belief among other explorers was that the souls would be in Purgatory.
Miners gave the ski area the name of Purgatory Ski Area during the 1890's; the base was once known as Purgatory Flats. The toll road to Silverton from Durango cost fifty cents for miners to use it. The ones that could not afford it were stuck and considered the area a place of limbo which is where the name of Purgatory came in because they could not go back or continue even though they were so close to where they were trying to get.
The average snowfall for the San Juan Mountains is two-hundred-and-sixty inches each year with a fifth of the mountain having artificial snow placed on it. The summits' elevation is over ten thousand feet and the drop is over two thousand feet. The Purgatory Village is in the middle of the Durango Mountain Resort offering a number of restaurants and shops in addition to the opportunities to ride and ski down the mountain.
The Durango Mountain Resort has the first half of the Purgatory Lodge open. The 130,000 sq. ft. development has easy access to the Village Express Chairlift which has a variety of amenities for skiers. There are upgraded services for skiers, rental outlets, a newly designed restaurant and full service spa and salon to name a few. There is a plaza that holds pedestrian events such as concerts and daily activities.
The Durango Mountain Resort offers snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing as well. The resort also offers the Durango Mountain Club which has a lounge with a stone fireplace, buffet that provides coffee, hot chocolate and a continental breakfast. A ski valet will prepare skis and boards for you.
The Durango Mountain Resort also offers visitors to the area a number of options for shopping. Guests at the resort can find a variety of ski appeal at various shops at the resort. There are even ski lessons for adults and children. Beginners can get morning or afternoon lessons for a cost of $60 during the regular season and $65 during the holiday season for those ages thirteen and up. Group lessons for skiers of all experience levels can be gotten for $50 during the regular season and for $55 during the holiday season.
Anyone that wants a relaxing ski vacation should visit the Durango Mountain Resort in Durango, Colorado.