Summer at Purgatory (Durango Mountain Resort, Colorado)
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy. After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort. Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities… You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails. You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water.
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest. The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person. But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer. And you will definitely be glad you came.