SOURCE: Durango Area Tourism Office

August 03, 2011 13:45 ET

Cool Summer Adventures in Durango

Escape the Heat for an End of Summer Vacation

DURANGO, CO--(Marketwire - Aug 3, 2011) - Beat the heat during the sizzling summer with a cool stay in Durango, Colorado! Nestled in the San Juan Mountains at 6,500 feet above sea level, Durango offers a break from the sweltering temps of summer. Enjoy cool mountain nights and over 300 days of sunshine under blue bird skies. Relax, refresh and reinvigorate in our year-round playground.

Rafting, Kayaking, Fishing and Animas River Fun
Enjoy the refreshing water of the Animas River on raft, inflatable kayak or tube on guided trips ranging from 2 hours to full day. Enjoy a refreshing adventure as you bounce through fun-filled Class II and III rapids. It's a great trip for first-time rafters and veterans. Known for its Gold Medal waters, the Animas River is a fly-fishing destination fishery with rainbows, browns, cutthroat and brook trout. A paved trail follows the rambling river for hiking, biking, strolling and running.

Durango Mountain Resort
Summertime at Durango Mountain Resort adds an element of cool. Take one part incredible scenic views, add in some cables, harnesses, trolleys and helmets; connect it to the tallest tower in Durango and what does it produce? Screams of delight, heart-thumping exhilaration with breathtaking views from Durango Mountain Resort's new zipline, the "Purgatory Plunge." Thrill in the sensation of literally "plunging" off the tower as zipliners experience both vertical and horizontal motion. The adventure starts near the top of the Purgatory Village tower and features two parallel lines that let you soar for more than the length of a professional football field at speeds in excess of 35 mph.

Soaring Tree Top Adventures
Create your own breeze as you sail through the Aspen groves and over the Animas River on the largest zipline in North America. Soaring Tree Top Adventures offers over 34 eco-friendly platforms, with 27 spans ranging from 56-1400 feet and several unique elements to get into and out of the trees. During the exhilarating 5.5 hour adventure, guests Soar over 1.5 miles of zipline spans, stop for a water/snack break, and have time to enjoy a four-course gourmet lunch in the trees overlooking the river. Accessed only by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, this adventures offers two experiences in one.

Vallecito Lake Resort
"Lake of the Little Valley," just 22 miles Northeast of Durango, Vallecito Lake is nestled in a secluded valley 8,000 feet above sea level. This mountain hamlet is one of the largest lakes in Colorado and offers an array of activities including fishing, hiking, biking, boating, floating, water sports and old-fashioned relaxing. It's a local favorite get away!

Some cool turns: Motorcycle Touring in the San Juan Mountains
Getting to Durango by motorcycle is a breeze and offers the opportunity to experience the storied "purple mountains majesty" of Colorado up close and personal. With the San Juan Mountains as your test track, the Durango area offers the most spectacular motorcycle riding in the country. Ride winding mountain roads, over steep passes, and though deep valleys. Along the way, stop at the numerous motorcycle-friendly towns that dot the mountain landscape and enjoy unique restaurants, charming hotels, and thrilling events in the Durango area. Enjoy miles of curves and uninterrupted riding through one of the most celebrated landscapes in the U.S.

Durango Recreation Center Water Park
Still feeling the heat? Cool down and getaway with family fun at the Durango Recreation Center. Pools and play area include a 3-story water slide, outdoor water park for children, indoor pools and water play land. An affordable outing guaranteed to cool you off!

Let us help you cool off and plan your vacation to Southwestern Colorado at or call 1-800-GO DURANGO.