When the sun shines its warmth through the San Juan mountains and into the Animas Valley, it’s hard to imagine a more idyllic place to enjoy the summer than Durango. Nestled between the mountains and the desert, Durango, Colorado is a unique paradise and a Colorado goldmine with regard to summer fun. Team North Star would like to share the top reasons why we think Durango summers are as good as it gets!

What’s SUP?

Paddleboarding on Lake Nighthorse and Vallecito

For the unfamiliar, standup paddleboards (or SUPs) are like an oversized surfboard you use a paddle to control. Standing up and paddling requires strength and balance without being overly taxing, so with practice you can exercise and relax simultaneously, and no outing is complete without stretching out on your SUP to soak up some Colorado sunshine. Rentals are available, including at Lake Nighthorse and Vallecito.

Two miles from downtown Durango, Lake Nighthorse’s proximity to town makes it a convenient day or afternoon getaway. Check the Lake Nighthorse calendar for important dates and information.

Eighteen miles from Durango, Vallecito is the largest body of water above 7,800 in elevation in Colorado. With the mountain views, camping, and year-round community, it’s an alpine retreat.

Music in the Mountains

Classical music, at altitude

For over 30 years Music in the Mountains has been bringing world-class performances to the area for a music celebration of the highest caliber. Throughout the month of July, there are multiple performances at various locations including family events, dinners, and more. A variety of musicians and conductors collaborate to provide audiences with unforgettable experiences.

Once based at Purgatory Resort north of town, Music in the Mountains now hosts most of its events at the Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall. In addition to the festival, there is the Music in the Mountains Goes to School program, offering local students educational opportunities. Over 4,600 students have benefitted from this enriching program.

Hiking in the Wildflowers

Surround yourself in nature’s beauty

Every summer, the slopes and fields of the Colorado mountains bloom into a breathtaking, colorful palette of wildflowers. The San Juan Mountains are home to a variety of high-altitude flowers, including the Columbine, the state flower. Getting to a higher altitude helps beat the heat, and the beauty of the flower-covered mountain landscape is truly special. There are a number of areas to explore, here are a few:

Molas and Coalbank: Head north on Highway 550 to go over these paved passes. There are a variety of trailheads and roads offering great access to wildflowers, such as Andrews Lake.

Missionary Ridge: North of Durango in the Animas Valley, Missionary Ridge Road to Henderson Lake is a nearby outing that has over 20 miles of breathtaking views.

La Plata Canyon: Half an hour east of Durango, the La Plata Mountains are a paradise all their own. With numerous trails to enjoy, this is yet another destination that can’t be beat.

Telluride Up the Road

Summer festivals and stunning views

Known worldwide for its mountain lifestyle and celebrity residents, Telluride is located a scenic two-hour drive from Durango. A renowned winter destination due to its ski resort, Telluride summers are a perfect seasonal counterpart. You can bike, hike, and ride the free gondola, enjoying the resort’s summer in a variety of ways. Numerous festivals are also held in town, including the Jazz Celebration, Blues and Brews, and the Telluride Film Festival.

Outside of Telluride, there are a number of hikes and 4WD roads to explore, and a via ferrata for those looking for even more adventure and altitude. You can explore waterfalls, mountain summits, old mines, wildflowers, and more before retiring to town for dining and entertainment.

If this sounds like your kind of summer, Team North Star is prepared to help you find a home for sale in Durango, Colorado. We’re honored to be your trusted real estate broker when you’re ready to buy a home and have summers like this at your fingertips!