20 Attractions to Explore Near Animas Museum
The Animas Museum is a small, local history museum owned and operated by the La Plata County Historical Society. Its mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the history, culture and heritage of the San Juan Basin, with a focus on La Plata County. It also offers a wide variety of exhibits and educational programs to people of all ages; a research library and photo archive; a gift shop; award-winning gardens; and a restored pioneer log cabin.
The Durango Botanic Gardens are located on the Animas River Trail on the north and east sides of the Library. Bring a picnic, sit on the grass, listen to the river, wander the paths and enjoy the ambiance of a Botanic Garden. The Gardens are open 24/7 and are free.
This is an interactive science center located in Durango, Colorado. The plant was a very early alternating current power plant, the power we use today, meaning the town of Durango had AC powered street lights before many large cities in the East. The renovated Mission-style powerhouse is a state and national historic place. Today, the original boiler room remains intact and serves as the science center's theater.
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train provides historic and entertaining vintage train rides to the public year round. It is a 3 ft narrow-gauge heritage railroad that operates on 45.2 mi of track between Durango and Silverton, in the U.S. state of Colorado. The railway is a federally-designated National Historic Landmark and was also designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1968.
Smelter Mountain is part of the La Plata Mountains range which is a subset of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Smelter Mountain rises over 1,200 ft above the town, and the lower slope of the mountain was home to the Durango smelter, hence the name of the mountain. A 1.2 mile hiking trail leads to the summit, and other recreational activities include hunting and paragliding.
Lake Nighthorse is a reservoir created by the 270 feet high Ridges Basin Dam southwest of Durango in La Plata County Colorado.The lake is full and the surface area is approximately 1,500 acres at maximum elevation and the reservoir area includes a total of approximately 5,500 acres. The reservoir site is two miles from downtown Durango and provides a significant recreational amenity to the area.
Dalton Ranch Golf Club is a semi – private 18 hole golf course located in the magnificent Animas Valley, north of Durango, Colorado.This isn’t only a place to get a spectacular round of golf in - the Club hosts multiple programs for children and families. Swimming lessons, pickleball, and golf classes are available for children.
Bar D Chuckwagon are a stage performance quartet presenting a blend of Western music, cowboy poetry, and rollicking Western humor. They are based at their chuckwagon-style restaurant near Durango, Colorado, and perform there and at mostly regional venues. They have performed internationally in Japan. The Bar D Wranglers perform in concert after supper with music and songs of old west cowboys, comedy, and lively instrumentals. The show is fun for the whole family.
Hesperus Ski Area is 8,880 feet above sea level. 80% of the skiable terrain is lighted for night skiing. It has 13 runs, of which 30% are beginner difficulty, 20% are intermediate and 50% are of expert difficulty. It also features one rope tow and one double chair lift. There is also a full service snack bar, ski and snowboard rentals, ski and snowboard lessons and a tubing hill.
The Hermosa Creek Trail is one of the best and most popular trails in the Durango area. There are several route options including an out and back on the singletrack portion of Hermosa Creek Trail. The main trail is very obvious. You will see several trail junctions along the way, but the main Hermosa Creek Trail is always the most well-worn route.
Pinkerton Hot Springs are nature’s gift to the tiny town of Durango. Located a few miles out of town on Highway 550, these springs were discovered in the early 1800s by James Pinkerton. The actual spot from where the water gushes out from the earth are covered by a man-made rock pile. The water’s minerals have made the rocks colourful with time.
La Plata Canyon is located west of Durango in the San Juan National Forest area of southwest Colorado. Rugged mountains and snow-melt waterfalls await visitors to this verdant, river-cut canyon.Although this trail is not singletrack, it offers nice views and wildflowers the further up you go, making the climb worth it. This trail is approximately 9.25 miles in length from the main parking area and gains over 2,800 feet.
The Camp Bird Mine was a gold and silver mine located in Ouray County. It was one of the most productive mines in the San Juans, and at its peak, it employed over 400 workers. The mine operated for over 20 years, until it was finally closed in 1991. During its time, the Camp Bird Mine produced over $50 million worth of gold and silver. Today, the mine is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can take a tour of the tunnels and see the equipment that was used to extract the precious metals.
The earthen dam is a project of the United States Bureau of Reclamation and was completed in 1963, at 284 feet high and 1,360 feet long at its crest. The dam impounds the Florida River for flood control and irrigation water storage, operated by the local Florida Water Conservancy District. 120 kW of hydroelectric power is generated here.
This magnificent trail cuts straight up through the Kennebec Valley, curving back and forth with the mighty river while overlooking woods and mountains. It runs from Embden to Bingham and makes for very comfortable travel. The surface of the trail is crushed gravel, and it's ideal for bikers, walkers, skiers, snowmobilers - just about anyone.
Lemon Dam is a zoned earthfill structure with a structural height of 284 feet and a crest length of 1,360 feet. This beautiful reservoir offers a wealth of incredible outdoor activities to enjoy while vacationing. The dam impounds the Florida River for flood control and irrigation water storage, operated by the local Florida Water Conservancy District. 120 kW of hydroelectric power is generated here.
Hesperus Mountain is the highest peak in Montezuma County. The mountain is located in the San Juan National Forest, and its summit offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Hesperus Mountain is popular with hikers and campers, and there are several trails that lead to the top. The summit can also be reached by car, and there is a small parking lot at the trailhead. Visitors to Hesperus Mountain are sure to be impressed by its beauty, and the hike to the top is well worth the effort.
Haviland Lake is an 80-acre, no-wake lake with excellent boating, canoeing and fishing opportunities. The campground is situated on the shore of Haviland Lake, among shady, towering ponderosa pines, at an elevation of 8,705 feet. Visitors enjoy the area for its canoeing, fishing and hiking opportunities in a scenic, natural setting. The popular campground is beautiful any time of the year.
Vallecito Dam is on the Pine River, 18 miles northeast of Durango. The dam is a zoned earthfill structure 162 feet high and 4,010 feet long.It impounds the Los Pinos River for irrigation water storage. The dam is owned by the Bureau and is operated by the local Pine River Irrigation District. Recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, boating, camping and hiking.
The Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is an iconic facility highlighting the Southern Ute people through cultural, historical, and current event exhibits. It’s found in the town of Ignacio, just a thirty minute drive southeast of Durango.The building features contemporary materials reminiscent of traditional structures and fills in missing elements in design awareness across the Western Hemisphere's Indigenous architecture. The museum also houses 1500 artifacts.
The San Juan National Forest is located in southwestern Colorado and is composed of 1,867,800 acres of mainly coniferous forests and alpine meadows. Camping or hiking, you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime in the San Juans; it’s an outdoor paradise, with huge alpine peaks and endless forests. The forest contains two alpine wilderness areas; the Weminuche and South San Juan, as well as the Piedra Area. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad passes through the National Forest.