Just 56 miles west of Pagosa Springs is the town of Durango, Colorado; home to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad as well as Purgatory Ski Area at Durango Mountain Resort. This historic mountain town has a different "flavor" than the quiet town of Pagosa Springs. It's bigger in population, has more restaurants, hotels, more structured activities and considerably more shopping. Durango is also busier with tourists and in our opinion, although it is beautiful, Pagosa Springs is "jaw dropping sensational" when it comes to sensational mountain scenery. Because Pagosa is smaller and situated more like a peninsula in the San Juan National Forest, the access to outdoor activities is easier and certainly less crowed.
Durango is nestled in the Animas River, The Animas River runs through downtown and boasts gold medal fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Durango is also popular for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-roading, year-round fishing, kayaking and golfing. 25 minutes north of downtown is Purgatory Ski Area at Durango Mountain Resort which offers great skiing in the winter and scenic chairlift rides in the summer. You can even hook a mountain bike (easily rented in several locations) to the back of the chair lift and take one of several trails down - from easily & leisurely to rugged and difficult. There is also an exciting Alpine slide at Durango Mountain Resort as well as a rock wall, bungee trampolines and mini-golf. Most days at the resort you will hear the musicians practicing in the music pavilion for the well known "Music in the Mountains" concerts which take place from July 1 - August 31.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic railway which travels from Durango to the old mining town of Silverton, Colorado. The sights along the way defy description. This is certainly one of the most beautiful journeys you could ever take and you can only do so by train. Most of the route is inaccessible by car. Once you are in Silverton, you will disembark the train for a couple hours of lunch and shopping and then head back to Durango via the train or motor coach. "Helpful Locals Hint" - take the motor coach back! The scenery is different, it's more comfortable and faster. 35 miles east of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, a historical site known for its Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. Whether you are staying in Pagosa Springs or Durango, these two activities should be on your "must do in Colorado" list.
Both Pagosa Springs & Durango have great fly-fishing, river activities, trail rides, golf and a multitude of summer activities. Durango has the train, Pagosa has the fabulous "Pagosa Hot Springs". Durango has more restaurants, Pagosa more outdoor activities. Come winter, Pagosa ‘s ski area, "Wolf Creek Ski Area" is known to be a slightly better mountain for skiing & snowboarding. The area gets more snow and has fewer runs with southern exposure which tends to melt the snow. It is easier in the winter to access the San Juan National Forest from Pagosa Springs with many areas bordering the forest and an abundance of public access areas close to town. This makes for easy snow shoeing, cross country skiing & snowmobiling.
Overall, Pagosa Springs is quieter, a little slower paced and a little more relaxed. Durango has "the buzz" associated with a college town - Fort Lewis College is right on the bluff above town. You can stay in Pagosa and visit Durango or vice-versa. People tend to be split 50-50 in which town they prefer. The good news is the towns are close enough to enjoy both! If you considering relocating or purchasing a vacation home in either area, Mike Heraty knows the inventory in both places and understands the uniquely different real estate markets.
To search various price ranges of single family homes and condos in Durango, click the links below. This will take to to the "Results" page of this search which will have all homes, condos & townhomes in the price range which may be too many to view all at once. To further specify criteria (bedrooms, baths, square footage, acreage), click the tab in the upper left of the page next to "Results" which says "Search". From here you can set your perimeters to reduce results: