For many, fall is the best season in Durango. The weather turns slightly cooler, but it’s still possible to get outside and enjoy outdoor activities before snow covers the ground. This is also the time of year the leaves turn a gorgeous array of colors, and the mountains are picturesque. There is still time to see the colors, even if some of the high elevations have already peaked. There are several ways to enjoy the sights—a hike, a four-wheel drive, a picnic, and even a color drive.
The San Juan Skyway is one of the most popular routes. It can be done in a loop, or just portions of it. From Durango, the drive goes through Mancos, Dolores, Rico, Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray, and Silverton. There are so many charming places to stop and enjoy—from scenery to restaurants to historic buildings. Durango makes a great starting point, even if you choose to do only a section. Some people will do an overnight trip to enjoy the entire route and the quaint mountain towns along the way. The Dolores River Valley has long stretches that will no doubt offer gorgeous colors, and the lower elevation may have more to show right now.
One of our favorite spots to see fall colors is La Plata Canyon. With its proximity to Durango, it’s an easy drive, and the canyon is beautiful. Even if some of the leaves have already peaked, visitors can even stop for a meal at Kennebec Café for an enjoyable full-day trip.
As the seasons turn and days become shorter, we love to take advantage of the beauty around us, which always makes us thankful for the place we live and the fact we get to enjoy four seasons.