Durango is the county seat and largest municipality in La Plata County, with a population of around 19,000. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad organized the town in 1881 to service the San Juan mining district and to reach Silverton, Colorado. It was named after Durango, Mexico by ex-Colorado governor Alexander C. Hunt. Several archaeological sites are near the town, including Mesa Verde National Park, Chimney Rock National Monument, Durango Rock Shelters Archaeological Site, Spring Creek Archaeological District, and Talus Village.
A popular attraction here is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, letting you ride along the banks of the Animas River as you make your way to the historic mining town of Silverton. The historic downtown showcases the old west heritage with eclectic shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
Visit the 12,000-square-foot Roundhouse Museum, which showcases items relating to the railroading history of the town and region. The Durango Hatchery & Wildlife Museum off E 16th Street offers a glimpse into the workings of the state's hatchery and animal conservation efforts. Durango's Animas Museum offers exhibits relating to the area's local history.
Durango offers some true eatery gems, including the French cafe cuisine at Michel's Corner Crepes, which rates highly among patrons. The Ore House on E College Drive is a good choice if you are in the mood for American food in a steakhouse format, and it has vegetarian-friendly options. Make sure you grab a drink at the Diamond Belle Saloon or Steamworks Brewery.
Alpen Rose RV Park has 100 sites starting at $51 per night, with variable weekly rates as well. Its pull-through sites have full RV hookups, 20- and 50-amp power, cell reception, and free Wi-Fi. Alpen Rose RV Park is accessible to big rigs, and your children and pets will find it accommodating.
Another Durango facility is Westerly RV Park, with 26 pull-through sites that start at $37 daily. This smaller park offers full RV hookups, 30- and 50-amp power, picnic tables, cell reception, and Wi-Fi service. There are no showers or bathrooms on-site, but it does have a pet area.
Nearby Molas Lake Campground offers 58 pull-through sites for $20 per night ($30 on holidays). There are shower facilities on-site, and you will have access to picnic tables, a fire ring, and a grill. Potable water is available, but other amenities like cell reception are limited.
Nearby Mesa Verde National Park is only a 36-mile road trip west of Durango and offers multiple days' worth of exploration. The 52,000-acre park contains over 600 cliff dwellings and 4,300 archaeological sites. Humans have inhabited this area since 7,500 B.C., and this park showcases well-preserved Ancient Puebloan ruins. The weather at the park is temperate, but you might experience strong thunderstorms in the summer's monsoon season or possible snow during the winter months. When you finish with the visitor center, the museum, and driving the Mesa Top Loop, there are RV and tent sites at Morefield Campground in the park.
A 119-mile road trip north of Durango will place you at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The feature that draws tourists here is the 12-mile-long Black Canyon, carved over the millennia by the Gunnison River. Visitors find the climate mild, with the highest temperatures in July reaching 91 degrees and the lowest temperatures dropping to 18 degrees Fahrenheit in January. You will find two developed campsites in the park, North Rim and South Rim (South Rim has electric hookups). Enjoy the sites along the overlooks on Rim Drive, or take a strenuous hike through the inner canyon if your skill allows. Rock climb among some of the oldest exposed rocks in North America or enjoy fishing and kayaking on the water.
Located 163 miles northwest of Durango, Arches National Park covers over 100 square miles of terrain in Utah. Its high desert climate produces weather extremes that can shift by 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 24 hours. Spring and fall offer the best daytime weather to explore the region, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. The Devils Garden Campground has grills and toilets, and you will want to start your exploration with a stop at the Arches Visitor Center. Landscape Arch is the longest in North America and is a must-see attraction. Other formations worth a look at include Balanced Rock and the Windows Section.
Navajo State Park sits near the border with New Mexico, 42 miles southeast of Durango. The attraction for most is the 24 square miles of water on Navajo Lake. On the water, activities involve personal watercraft, powerboats, sailboats, and sailboards. You will find many houseboats parked in the marinas as well. Besides fishing and water sports, you can hike or bike several trails and enjoy nature viewing. There are 118 sites at the park campgrounds with electrical, sewer, and water hookups. The park is fun to visit year-round, but fall is a great time to see the colors of autumn.
Nearby Mancos State Park is only 33 miles northwest of Durango by road. The park sits in the four corners region and offers activities throughout the year. Summer temperatures can climb to 87 degrees, while days in the winter average 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Several single-track biking trails connect to other U.S. Forest trails and the Denver-to-Durango Colorado Trail. Birding is popular here as well. The top draw for many visitors is the wakeless boating, kayaking, sailing, and fishing in Jackson Gulch. Ice fishing, snowshoeing, and skiing take center stage during the winter months at Mancos State Park.
Take an 85-mile road trip north of Durango to enjoy Ridgway State Park, home of Ridgway Reservoir. Summers here range between 45 and 80 degrees but prepare for heavy snowfall and temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit during winter. RVers should note that there are 258 RV-friendly campsites available between April and October, but the number drops to 20 RV sites the rest of the year. Activities include biking or hiking the 14 miles of trails in the park, birding opportunities with over 140 species, fishing, and various watersports on the reservoir. Wildlife viewers might glimpse bobcats, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, elk, mountain lions, mule deer, red foxes, and yellow-bellied marmots.
A 37-mile trip south into New Mexico will bring you to Aztec Ruins National Monument. Once home to a bustling Pueblo community, the monument showcases the 900-year-old stone buildings they left behind. A reconstructed kiva helps you visualize traditional ceremonies, and three easy-rated trails help guide you through the area. Make sure to stop in the visitor's center to see artifacts used by the Pueblo people, learn about the area's history, and watch the documentary video.
Yucca House National Monument is 57 miles west of Durango and showcases what was once home to a large group of Ancestral Pueblo people. The site is unique compared to other Ancient Pueblo monuments because it is still pristine; a lack of excavation allows you to view the site as it appeared before explorers entered the region. This park does not get the foot traffic others do, offering you a chance to explore its history with a thinner crowd. Use the easy-rated hiking trails to explore the Great Kiva, Lower House, West Complex, and Upper House.
An 89-mile drive west into Utah brings you to the ruins of another ancient Pueblo site, Hovenweep National Monument. The mesa has been used by humans for over 10,000 years, with the ruins dating back over 800 years. Explore an area that was once home to 2,500 ancient Pueblo people. You can use the campground as a base to hike around the towers here, and you will find it a place of solitude since large groups of people rarely visit the site.
San Juan National Forest is a short road trip north from Durango. It covers almost 1.8 million acres, with terrains ranging from desert mesas to alpine peaks. RVers can drive several scenic byways or explore areas on foot or horseback. Other popular activities include camping, fishing, geocaching, hunting, rock climbing, and star gazing. Spring and fall are great times to visit, with the latter offering you the chance to enjoy the turning of autumn leaves.
You will need to head 135 miles north of Durango to get to Uncompahgre National Forest, which offers less crowded conditions than other Colorado forests if you want better opportunities for solitude during peak visiting season. There are hundreds of miles of trails within Uncompahgre's boundaries, some created by Native Americans centuries ago. Camping, hiking, and scenic drives are popular during warmer months. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling dominate activities in the forest during the winter. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can see birds, bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, mule deer, moose, and mountain lions.
Rio Grande National Forest is 104 miles northeast of Durango, covering 1.86 million acres of land. It holds the world's largest agricultural alpine valley, as well as one of the world's largest high deserts. Its diverse ecosystem offers plenty of fauna and flora to identify, and you can glimpse antelope, black bears, Canadian lynx, cougar, mule deer, elk, red foxes, and one of the largest herds of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
In most areas, the price to rent a motorhome is around $200 a night and the price to rent a towable trailer is around $120 a night.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Durango, CO RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Durango, CO?
Durango has freeway access to make RV driving a breeze. Inside the city are ample parks, trails, and bodies of water to visit. Be sure to include time in your plans to explore the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Purgatory Resort, or Mesa Verde National Park.What are the RV rental requirements in Durango, CO?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites. if you are unsure about traveling there and any regulations they may have, double-checking with the state will provide some peace of mind!What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Durango, CO?
Renting an RV in Durango, CO means endless blue skies and wide open roads. With all the wide-open Colorado space between destinations, make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. Because of the warm summers, you'll find plenty of RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or go off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Durango, CO?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Durango, CO RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Durango, CO?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Durango, CO RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Durango, CO?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.