– Only 19 miles east of Durango along HWY 160 on the way to Pagosa Springs. At 6,925 elevation the Town of Bayfield’s population is approximately 1,800 residents with 900 rooftops currently being served by town utilities. It serves as a hub for rural County residents offering a historic downtown on Mill Street with eateries, and a Business Park with banks, hardware store, restaurants and grocery store on the opposite side of the highway. Since 2000, the Town has also added several new residential subdivisions. In addition, Forest Lakes Subdivision
, just 7 miles north of town on CR 501 to Vallecito Reservoir, has 1,528 residential lots in the tall Pines of which not all lots have homes. Forest Lakes residents enjoy Lake Simpatico, a man-made private lake stocked annually for fishing and non-motorized water sports.
Vallecito Reservoir is only 16 miles north of Bayfield on CR 501. This pristine mountain lake with over 22 miles of shoreline boasts year-round fun with a marina, boating/fishing, ice fishing, Nordic skiing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking, ATV adventures, camping (tent, RV, and cabins) and a number of other outdoor activities. There are several restaurants/bars and markets for essentials. At an average of 7,800 ft. elevation, Vallecito experiences a longer winter than in-town Durango at only 6,512 ft. With access to the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan National Forest, you can get into the high-country quickly from here. This community has year-round and summer-only residents.
Lemon Reservoir – Tucked away in the upper Florida River Valley, Lemon Reservoir, the smaller of two area reservoirs is located just 16 miles northeast of Durango. This beautiful man-made reservoir offers fishing where you can cast off from 10 miles of shoreline, along with camping, non-motorized water sports and quick access into the San Juan National Forest. Subdivisions north of the lake at about 8,200 ft. in elevation (and higher) offer infrastructure and year-round access.
Hermosa is a small township at the north end of the Animas Valley that is about 6,622 ft. in elevation. The 10-mile long Animas River Valley is a sunny, pastoral valley formed by a glacier that is now flanked by red cliffs on the east and west side. Directly north of Durango City Limits, the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR) can be seen carrying passengers through the valley into the high country to Silverton an hour north of Durango. This gorgeous valley is home to Dalton Ranch Golf Club, a semi-private golf club with restaurant just 6 miles from downtown along the Animas River. Nearby is Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa (formerly, Trimble Hot Springs), the infamous 100-year old Honeyville making specialty honeys, jams, sauces, and gift products , and the sustainable, organic James Ranch Grill & Market.
Purgatory and Mountain Resort Areas – north of the Animas Valley the elevation changes from 6,622 ft. to 8,900 ft. at the base of Purgatory Ski Area at Durango Mountain Resort. Located in the heart of the stunning San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, Purgatory Resort features uncrowded slopes (unlike the I-70 corridor in middle Colorado), family-friendly activities, an epic backcountry skiing operation via snowcat, and it is still affordable compared to other western ski resorts.
PURG offers slope-side condos and resort homes with a convenient shuttle service. Skiing, boarding, snow shoeing, X-country skiing, tubing and sleigh rides make up the winter fun, while summer is filled with mountain biking, paddle boarding, Inferno Mountain Coaster, and zip lining. As you drive through the tall pines into rugged mountains in our RESORT area on your way to Purgatory you pass Glacier Club Golf Resort, which is a private golf course with a gated residential community, adjacent to The Lodge at Tamarron and resort community. Further north is Haviland Lake State Wildlife Area Campground on the banks of San Juan National Forest and Electra Lake Sporting Club, which is a private club formed in 1910. There are beautiful housing communities in the woods along the HWY 550 corridor all the way to the San Juan County line.
Ignacio and Navajo Lake – Ignacio is a tri-ethnic community within the Southern Ute Indian Reservation of around 800 residents southeast of Durango about 24 miles at 6,453ft. above sea level. Just south of Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO), Ignacio has a rich living culture and still celebrates their past traditions. Located along the Los Pinos River, Ignacio’s largest attraction is Sky Ute Casino with their 140-room hotel and RV Park, and the Southern Ute Cultural Center housing museum exhibits and guided tours year-round. Fox Fire Farms Winery offers handcrafted wines from their cold climate vineyard located on a 910 acre ranch near Ignacio. About 20 minutes southeast of Ignacio is Navajo State Park with a canyon filled reservoir expanding 20 miles south into New Mexico offering power boating, fishing, and camping.
Hesperus is an unincorporated community with gas station, Post Office, churches and residences just 11 miles west of Durango on HWY 160 towards Cortez. Hesperus Ski Area, near beautiful La Plata Canyon, offers 26 trails on 60 skiable acres up to 8,888’ summit, with 150 inches of annual snowfall offering tubing and night skiing, too. The alternate route from Durango to Hesperus via CR 210 to CR 141 takes you past Lake Nighthorse only 2 miles from Durango. This pristine, turquoise, high-mountain lake at 6,882ft. elevation offers fishing, motor boating, sailing, paddle boarding and swimming.
Mancos, Cortez and Dolores are nearby high desert communities in adjacent Montezuma County, home to Mesa Verde National Park which is the largest attraction and on the UNESCO World Heritage List of international treasures.
Pagosa Springs at the base of Wolf Creek Pass on the Continental Divide is a charming mountain community with amazing geothermal hot springs for soaking in adjacent Archuleta County just 60 miles east of Durango. Surrounded by majestic mountains and large ranches along the San Juan River that flows through the center of town on its way to Navajo Lake State Park, this community is popular with year-round residents and vacation homeowners.
Aztec, New Mexico is a small community along the same Animas River that flows through Durango. Just south of Colorado in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico, attractions include Aztec Ruins National Monument, mountain biking, hiking to natural arches and fly fishing in nearby lower San Juan River. We have business relationships with knowledgeable Brokers licensed in New Mexico. Please check with us about a professional referral to assist you in New Mexico.