Purgatory Ski Resort

Purgatory Ski Resort

Durango, CO is known for many outdoor activities including hiking, biking, rafting, skiing and snowboarding. Purgatory Ski Resort is the primary resort in the Four Corners region and provides year round family fun.


The History

Originally opened under the name Purgatory - Durango Mountain Resort in 1965, new owners simplified it to Purgatory “Close to Heaven, Full as Hell” in 2015. Purgatory offers beginner to advanced trails with an overall intermediate difficulty. The terrain has tight tree runs right next to wide open groomers. Currently, Purgatory encompasses 105 trails across 1,600 skiable acres serviced by 11 lifts. Terrain parks, competitions, and secret hideouts can be found throughout the mountain. Dante’s Backside Bistro, The Powderhouse, Purgy’s, and the Bear Bar are scattered across the area for dining with a view. 


The front side of the mountain facing the highway, includes the bunny hill, main base, and lifts 1 and 4 servicing trails like Paradise, Styx, Tinker’s Dam, Catharsis, Pandemonium, Westfork, The Easy Way Down, and Demon, with mid-mountain lift 2 another option. On the backside, lift 3 services Peace, Boogie, Zinfandel, and Where, just to name a few. Lift 5 takes you directly to Dante’s and runs such as Deadspike, Bull Run, and Wapiti. For intermediate and experts only, lift 8 only has access to blues and blacks including Chet’s (after one of the founders), Sally’s, Poets Glade, Elliot’s, Ray’s Ridge, Blackburns Bash, and Legends. The resort offers ski and snowboard rentals as well as lessons for visitors or weekly Snowburners classes. Purgatory Ski Resort is also a part of the Power Pass Group offering pass holders access to other regional ski resorts. 

Needle Mountains from Purgatory Slopes


Just 25 miles north of Durango on the San Juan Scenic Byway, Purgatory is on the west side of the highway offering stunning views of the Needles Range, Spud Hill, and Engineer Mountain. Situated in the San Juan National Forest, Hermosa Creek Road leads you back behind the resort into Hermosa where camping, fishing, hiking, and biking trails can be found, including the Colorado Trail. Cascade Creek is just north of Purgatory adding deep valleys carved into the landscape. Silverton, CO is an additional 22 miles farther north with many backcountry skiing opportunities all around.


Things To Do


With an average of 260 inches of snow every year, Purgatory truly comes alive in the winter. Skiing and snowboarding takes the spotlight but the mountain offers many other adventures. Neighboring the bunny hill, the tubing hill offers a long ride for all ages to enjoy. Snowshoeing offers a slower paced activity and grants you access to some amazing views. Snowcat tours, skiing, and dining all create an unforgettable experience as untouched backcountry terrain can be accessed from these cats. Snowmobiling tours take you into Hesperus and give you a different perspective on the mountain. Across the highway at Durango Nordic Center, there are many miles of groomed trails for nordic skiers to enjoy. 



A perfect day trip in the summer, there are plenty of activities to enjoy without the snow. The Alpine Slide is a Purgatory classic with dual tracks to race your friend. You control your speed as you go down through the trees on the tracks following the mountain’s descent. Similarly, the Inferno Mountain Coaster lets you control your speed, but the metal rails give steeper inclines and declines with faster possible speeds to give you a thrill. The Mountain Coaster also remains open in the winter!  The ski trails in the winter become downhill mountain bike trails in the summer. These single tracks are built at different difficulty levels and are accessed by the main chairlift. Twilight Lake, located across the highway, is a great place to kayak, canoe, paddle board, and fish. The go-karting track and UTV/RZR/Jeep rentals and tours give drivers a thrilling experience on four wheels. For a more relaxing adventure, the scenic chairlift provides some unmatched views from the top of the mountain which can then lead on to a hike in the San Juan Forest.

Summer Lift at Purgatory Ski Resort


Throughout the year, Purgatory hosts many events. From classics like pond skimming or the New Year's Eve torchlight parade to Uncle Clyde’s Run and Slide, there is always something to look forward to. Live music is easy to come by at Purgy’s and giveaways and demo days are scattered throughout the winter season. Of course events like Snowdown, the Super Bowl, and MardiGras all get special Purgatory events too! Holidays are celebrated mountain style with “family-style” dinners and snowcat dining excursions.



Purgatory offers hotel lodging at the main base. These rooms provide very easy access to the lifts and other mountain activities. Restaurants, shops, and a spa are also available on site. Not a part of the resort but accessed from Purgatory, there are multiple condo units under their own HOAs such as Elk Point, Brimstone, Angel Haus, Eolus, and East Rim. There are also units and houses that are not a part of these associations but offer similar ski-in/ski-out conveniences. Many of these are vacation homes and serve as short term rentals for visitors. 


Directly across the highway on the west side is Tacoma Village. These are luxury duplexes built around Twilight Lake. Cascade Village, a mere 2 miles up the road, provides additional Colorado getaways including primary homes, second homes, or vacation rentals. Additional neighborhoods/complexes in the resort area include Silverpick, Needles, Glacier Club, and Tamarron. There is a wonderful mixture of simple to modern luxury and everything in between.


As you explore the many opportunities that Durango and Purgatory offer, please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in buying a home or investment property in Southwest Colorado.


Learn more about other places to ski near Durango here.

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