Resort Review: Durango Mountain Resort, CO

4x4 and Chains Only Beyond This Point In January of 2004, my first snowboarding adventure in Colorado took me to a place most commonly known as Purgatory. The park is now officially known by the more conservative name of Durango Mountain Resort. I prefer Purgatory.The town of Durango rests at 6,580 feet. The base elevation of the mountain is 8,793 and the peak reaches up to 10,822 feet. The 1200 acre park has 85 trails and 11 lifts. The park also boasts some nice terrain parks; however, these were closed during our stay.The resort was far less commercial than most of the resorts I’ve visited. My group of 4 ended up staying in an older slope side unit with two beds, a fireplace, and a kitchenette. Room and lift tickets for three days cost us less than $200 per person. This was, by far, the best deal I’ve found at any snow park. We found the resort itself to be more than adequate. While our unit was slightly older, everything was clean and in good repair. We had access to hot tubs as well as an indoor/outdoor heated pool.

Two feet of fresh powder fell the night before we arrived. As we entered the park, a sign read “4×4 and chains only beyond this point”. I was stoked! Inches of snow continued to fall at periodic times during our stay.

The first big day time snow storm lead me and my girlfriend to another good surprise. Being blinded on the mountain and in need of some good goggles, we headed down to the strip of shops at the base of the mountain. Traditionally, mountainside shops tend to be expensive. For about $20 each, we both walked away with a very comfortable pair of good quality goggles. In general, we found all the shops to be fairly well priced. Even better, we found most of the merchants and employees to be very pleasant.

The resort and shops were fantastic, but you probably want to know about the mountain. In short, it’s fantastic. The mountain was huge with a wide variety of trails. I was please to find a wide variety of long runs and various levels of challenge. I was only disappointed by one thing; as I mentioned, the terrain park was closed during our visit. The snow cats were busy building a new park on the front side of the mountain as they flatted out the one in the back. On the other hand, the park was littered with a wide variety of small jibs, jumps, and side trails through the trees.

There is but one more wonderful aspect of Purgatory I’d like to discuss. More so than any other park I’ve ever attended, Purgatory was packed with exceptional riders. Watching the performance of riders with mad skills can make a good trip even better. Given the large number of extremely talented riders, I tend to think Purgatory may have a large local hardcore snowboarding community.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 9.