To celebrate winter, Durango Mountain Resort is hosting the annual Winterfest celebration — a festival full of winter fun! Winterfest is an opportunity to try ice climbing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and more on Sat., Jan. 19 and Sun. Jan. 20 at Durango Mountain Resort. Created by winter-fun experts at Purgatory, Winterfest is the perfect occasion for the whole family to participate in these and many other winter sports and activities at low or no cost.
Here’s a snapshot of the activities during Winterfest weekend:
Get whisked along a trail via sled dog and take a ride on a scenic loop with the Durango Dog Ranch. An adventure for all ages, you’ll love these guided sled rides as pups pull you along the winter wonderland. Special pricing on this day only. Meet in the Gleande parking lot. Call 970-259-0694 for more information.
Sat., Jan. 19, 9am-3:30pm.
$25 per person
Strap on some ice climbing boots for a change of pace and do some climbing on the natural ice formation in Cascade Canyon with Kling Mountain Guides. Cascade Canyon is a 100 percent natural ice park due to the area’s warmer days and arctic nights. Trained and certified guides will provide you with an understanding of how to use the tools, positioning your body for balance and control and other ice climbing techniques. This ice park is perfect for beginners to experts. Limit of 8 people per session, first come first served. Pre-register by calling 970-259-1708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Day of registration at Backcountry Experience in the Village Plaza.
Sat., Jan. 19 and Sun., Jan. 20, 9am-noon and 12:30-3:30pm.
$25 per person
Head over to the Snow Coaster Tubing Hill in the Columbine area at Durango Mountain Resort for three lanes of high-speed, on-the-snow, tubular fun for the whole family. Rent a tube from Purgatory’s fleet and let ‘er rip. Please note that personal tubes/sleds are not allowed. Tickets may be purchased at the Ticket Office in Purgatory Village Plaza or at the Columbine Ticket Office. 970-385-2147
Jan. 18-20, 2-7pm
$10 per tube/per hour
Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides
View the beautiful San Juan National Forest and Needles Mountains Range via horse-drawn sleigh from Buck’s Livery! Bundle up in a blanket with your loved ones while Belgian and Percheron Draft horses take you on a picturesque tour amongst spruce and aspen trees. Sleighs depart the base area in the afternoons at 4, 5 and 6pm and each sleigh can hold 10-12 people. For reservations and more information, call 970-385-2110, or stop by the Adventure Center in Purgatory Village Plaza.
Jan. 18-21 4, 5, and 6pm
Snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing
The Nordic Center at Durango Mountain Resort features 18 km of scenic forest trails, groomed for classic cross-country and skate skiing. The Nordic Center also has dedicated snowshoeing trails. Enjoy the rustic atmosphere of the warming hut, complete with pot-bellied stove before heading out on the trails. Pack a picnic to enjoy on one of the tables along the routes and take in the incredible scenic views. Complimentary demos available from Backcountry Experience at the Nordic Center. Located across Hwy. 550, just north of the resort entrance, 970-385-2114.
Sat., Jan. 19, 9am-12:30pm.
Complimentary demos by Backcountry Experience
Alpenglow Snowshoe Tours
Take the last chairlift up the mountain and enjoy a guided snowshoe tour of the backcountry. Guides will point out wildlife and their tracks, geology, flora and fauna in the area. Then snowshoe down to the on-mountain facility, the Powderhouse Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate for the kids and wine and beer for adults, complete with cheese, fruit, cookies, crackers and a deli tray. Guides then take you snowshoeing down the slopes that are now closed to skiers, where you’ll watch the beautiful sunset and the awe-inspiring Alpenglow on the Needles Mountain Range – a truly unique and scenic experience. Call 970-385-2147 for more information. Reservations highly suggested.
Sat., Jan. 16, 3:30-7pm.
$60 includes uplift, snowshoes, guide, beverages & appetizers
Backcountry Experience Igloos
Snow igloos built by Backcountry Experience in the Village Plaza for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Free fun for everyone!
Wish Lantern Glow
Make your wish and set it free with the Wish Lantern Glow at 5:30pm Saturday on the Ski Beach. Lanterns may be purchased for $3, or two for $5 starting at 4pm that day. Watch the night’s sky light up as the lanterns are released, weather permitting.
Sat., Jan. 19, 5:30pm
Free to watch and $3 for one lantern or two for $5
Celebrate the weekend with the Torchlight Parade at Durango Mountain Resort! Watch the parade light up the mountainside as they wind down the slopes at 6:30pm on Sat., Jan. 19. The best location to see the action is from the Purgatory Ski Beach in the base area.
Sat., Jan. 19, 6:30pm
Free to watch
Snowshoe Guided Tours
All you need is a sense of adventure to explore the backcountry on snowshoes! Durango Mountain Resort offers guided snowshoe tours of the scenic San Juan National Forest for all ages and ability levels. Snowshoe rentals, poles and a guide are included. Experience 2-3 miles of rolling terrain with opportunities to view wildlife and scenic vistas, and learn about geology, flora and fauna. Bring water-resistant boots, layered winter clothing, hats, gloves and water. And don’t forget the camera. Easier or more difficult tours may be offered by our qualified guides upon request. 970-385-2147.
Daily, tours leave at 9:30am and 1pm
Nordic Skate Skiing Clinic
The Nordic Center at Purgatory will be holding a skate ski clinic at 1pm. Classes are available for skiers of all ability levels. The cost of the clinic is $15 for Nordic Center season pass holders or $25 for other skiers. Rental equipment is available at the Nordic Center. For more information or to sign up for the clinic please call 970 385 2114.
Sat. Jan. 19, 1pm
$25 (or $15 for Nordic Center season pass holders)
Entertainment & Dining
After being out in the winter wonderland, warm up at Creekside Italian Kitchen with their Hot Cocoa and S’mores Bar. Custom make your favorite flavor of hot cocoa and savor a delicious S’more, 3-8pm on Jan. 19 and 20.
Purgy’s offers great entertainment, food and libations as your meal-time and après ski headquarters. Join the co-founder of Steamworks Brewing Company from 3-5 pm on Sat., Jan. 19 for après beer on tap, including Colorado Kosch, Third Eye Pale Ale and Backside Stout (named for Purgatory’s backside of the mountain). Enter for your chance to win a new Osprey Karve Ski/Ride Packs. Then on Sun., Jan. 20, be sure to stop by Purgy’s once again for a refreshing Ska beer and enter for your chance to win a signature Ska-Venture Snowboard. Drawing is at 4:30pm, must be present to win.
Childcare for Kids Who Love Playing in Purgatory’s Backyard!
Durango Mountain has a great kids’ program designed for parents who want to get out and experience the slopes but want to ensure the kiddos are safe and having fun as well. The SnowMonsters Den is a quality, licensed childcare facility for those too young to hit the slopes. Kids ages 2 months to 4 years old will have a blast in this fun, interactive environment while being under the care of experienced childcare staff. The SnowMonsters Den hours of operation are from 9 am to 4 pm. Reservations are required. 970-385-2144. Prices range from $25/ hourly to $90/all day.
Winterfest offers a chance to get outside and experience all that winter has to offer! All ages and abilities are invited to come play during Winterfest. Find out more information at www.durangomountainresort.com/winterfest.