Don’t let Purgatory’s name fool you – it’s a friendly, lively Colorado ski resort. Nestled in the mountains of Southwestern Colorado, Purgatory Ski Resort has a plethora of trails with tough terrain that challenges the most experienced skiers. In fact, the vertical makes Purgatory one of our favorite resorts.
However, you don’t have to stay at the Purgatory Resort, or even ski much, to have fun there. If you’re a beginner skier or just want to experience resort life, Purgatory offers several other fun activities and unique locales.
Take off your skis and go for a walk or hike around nearby Mesa Verde National Park. Conveniently located 35 minutes from Durango, it’s home to 1400-year-old cliff dwellings you won’t find anywhere else. Nat Geo calls them “the visit of a lifetime.”
When you’re ready for a tougher athletic challenge, try one of Purgatory’s many tubing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing tours. These include the San Juan Untracked tour, which boasts 35,000 skiable acres. It’s also home to a large cat skiing operation. If you’ve never been cat skiing, it involves using a ski hill grooming machine rather than regular skis to transport you on hills and trails. Cat skiing can accommodate up to 12 ski guests per machine.
TRY SOME UNIQUE FOOD
Dining in Purgatory is somewhat limited compared to other locations, but it still has several great choices. Purgy’s, a modern American diner, is a favorite among most guests, as is The Paradise Pizzeria. The Village Market and Deli is a popular stop for breakfast and lunch, as is the Bear Bar & Grille.
Of course, if you’re staying in Purgatory for several days, you may want to increase the scope of your dining experience. Durango has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco, so you have a plethora of options. The Carver Brewing Company is one of its top eateries, with delicious options such as lemon pasta, Navajo tacos, and homemade pie of the day.
VISIT A RAILROAD MUSEUM
The Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum gives tourists a great look at Colorado’s proud railroad history. The scenery is gorgeous, and you can take a scenic train ride (both open and enclosed cars are available). Canyons and narrow ledges make the rides adventurous, but don’t worry – you and your family will be safe the entire time. Several visitors’ packages are available, including adventure packages and regular tour packages for events like the Historic Silverton Mining Tour. Consider taking your spouse or significant other for a ride on the Romance on the Rails Brunch Train.