Photographer Jim Bommarito shot this photo of Pigeon and Turret Peaks in early spring, from just south of Purgatory. Bommarito has been sharing his images with Durango Magazine for more than 30 years.


Skiing Comes First: Purgatory's Guiding Principle
by Indiana Reed
Reed writes after an extensive interview with James Coleman, owner of Purgatory Ski Resort. Coleman is the managing partner of Purgatory’s parent company, Mountain Capital Partners, based in Durango at the Purgatory Sports building on north Main Avenue. Coleman says, “If you put the skiing first, then everything flows from there.” Offering an increasing amount of intermediate and expert terrain, Purgatory announces new trails on both the front and backside of the mountain, as well as a midway loading zone off the Needles triple chair, Lift 6.

Relax, Refresh, Renew: Something Just for You

by Indiana Reed
Durango is known as a destination for skiers, cyclists, railroad fans and history buffs. And, it is also now emerging as a hub for unique spa and aesthetic treatments, for both women and men. With a variety of experiences, a Durango vacation (or “staycation”) can be transformative. The options for locals and visitors to look and feel good fall into three general categories: the luxury day spa, mineral pools and saunas, and medical aesthetics. According to The Woodhouse Day Spa owner, Leisha Terhune, “I believe that in a couple of years, Durango’s spa facilities ... will be counted among the reasons why people come to Durango, like the ski resort and the train. The experiences we offer our guests are incredible.”

Charming the Snake: Winter's Backcountry Adventure
by Sven Brunso
Spectacular photos help Sven Brunso tell the story of a daring backcountry ski adventure: climbing to the summit of Mount Sneffels north of Durango to ski down the backside, an expedition Brunso and photographer Grady James did last spring with mountaineering guide Josh Kling. At more than 14,000 feet in elevation, climbing Sneffels is a challenge for most, made incredible with the addition of snow. And the formidable Snake Couloir, reached via a rappel down the rocky north face, awaits. Brunso, a professional big-mountain skier, has traveled the world over the past decades, with his image on more than 100 magazine covers.

Giving Back: The La Plata County Humane Society
by Jen Reeder
Jen Reeder, president of the Dog Writers Association of America, knows about animals. She tells the story here of a local organization that does amazing work in a town rumored to have a population of more than 8,000 dogs. In the article, Reeder says some 3,000 animals are rescued each year by the venerable nonprofit that has served Durango for 46 years. While the bulk of the animals rescued are dogs and cats, the shelter also accepts “pocket pets” like guinea pigs, turtles, rabbits and snakes—and even finds new homes for horses. Best of all, Durango’s Humane Society shelter hasn’t euthanized a dog because of space constraints in almost 10 years.


In Addition ~ Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace ethics are guidelines for behavior in the out-of-doors. Developed in 1987 by the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, the ethics remind us to be considerate at all times of other visitors and to share the trails.

Where in the World?
asks readers to share photos of themselves with their copy of Durango Magazine. With nearly 60,000 copies printed and distributed each year, readers around the world enjoy stories of Durango life and times. Publishing for more than 30 years, the publication reaches hundreds of thousands of readers annually.

Excursions ~ Winter Expeditions on the D&SNG
One of Durango’s largest visitor attractions, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers the perfect passport to winter’s wonderland. Not many adventures top the experience of chugging into the wintertime San Juan Mountains aboard the heated, steam-powered train cars of the D&SNG. With last-minute train tickets available most days, many visitors and locals can take advantage of these scenic and unique train treats. 

Top Picks ~ What's New to See and Do
A selection of ideas for what to see and do around Durango, this issue features commencement ceremonies at Fort Lewis College, a view of Mesa Verde National Park in the winter and tips for observing the winter solstice from the popular Aztec Ruins National Monument. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s founding member John McEuen performs this spring at the Community Concert Hall and artist Maria Samora shows at  Sorrel Sky Gallery. Holiday shoppers enjoy the Durango Arts Center, especially in December when the Solstice Artisans’ Market is presented. Snowdown’s celebration hits its 40th anniversary this February with A Black Tie Affair playing to sold-out crowds. Nearby, the Kendall Mountain attraction in Silverton is the perfect, small-scale, family ski area for affordable enjoyment. At the Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO), passengers are finding new snow-removal machines gearing up for the season of snow. In 2017, the airport reports that flight cancellations were under 1.5 percent of all scheduled departures.

Champions ~ Olympic Connections
by Benjamin Brashear
Author Ben Brashear writes about how Durango is connected to the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. Held in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February of 2018, the games will feature 102 events in 15 sport disciplines. Dr. Patrick Mclaughlin of Animas Spine in Durango tells his story. click here for full article

Diversions ~ Selected Area Events

Galleries and Goods ~ Eye on the Arts Scene: Nighthorse Studio
With a list of shopping options in Durango that showcase fine art or unique accessories, Galleries and Goods is a useful tool. The featured gallery this edition is Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s home studio, toured by patrons of the Center of Southwest Studies this past September.  The Eye on the Arts calendar is a schedule of upcoming artist shows and gallery exhibits.

Dining Showcase ~ Mahogany Grille
Handcrafted from the Flavors of the West
by Indiana Reed

With phenomenal food that is crafted from the “flavors of the West,” the Mahogany Grille is explored in this article by Indiana Reed, from its elegant Strater Hotel location to its new chef de cuisine, Neal Drysdale. Third generation, historic hotel-owner Rod Barker says the restaurant’s menu needed a bit of a facelift, and now there’s a new selection of entrées, with the menu spiked nightly by the freshest and best ingredients to come through the door.

Dining Guide
A complete alphabetical listing of area restaurants.


Living in Style



Looking at Books

Nordic Trails

Dream Home

Giving in Style





Looking at Books ~ Jabber the Steller's Jay
by Sylvester Allred
Celebrating the first year of life for a bird called Jabber, this is a children’s book illustrated by Diane Iverson and written by Durango author Dr. Sylvester Allred. Published by WestWinds Press, an imprint of Graphic Arts Books of Berkeley, California, the book is one of five written by the retired biology professor from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Nordic ~ Chicken Creek Trails
by Margaret Hedderman
The cross-country ski trails near Mancos offer woodsy skiing with an air of quiet and solitude. Just an hour from Durango, the area sits at 7,600 feet in elevation and offers some 14 miles of trails.

Dream Home ~ Modern Life at Twin Buttes
The first home built in the new neighborhood of Twin Buttes, just five miles west of downtown Durango, this residence at 192 Wood Rose Lane has clean lines and a modern design. At 2,344 square feet, the featured three-bedroom home was designed and built by Steve Gates Architect/E-Terra Construction. It is for sale and listed by Beth Anderson with Keller Williams Realty/Southwest Associates, LLC.

Giving in Style ~ A Place for Compassionate Care
Mercy Opens HOME

by Indiana Reed
With an opening celebration and dedication of the new facility held in September at Mercy Regional Medical Center, hundreds toured the care center and applauded the 11,000-square-foot addition. Attached to Mercy’s main hospital building, the hospice is eight private patient rooms designed for those who are in the final days of their lives, and for their loved ones who choose to be present. Karen Midkiff, chief development officer for the Mercy Health Foundation, led the effort over the past six years that raised $5.6 million to build the new hospice facility.


Advertiser Index
Featuring the best of Durango, the magazine’s advertisers are listed here

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