Animas Valley

Welcome to The Animas Valley

Picturesque scenery and a rich historical past make the Animas Valley unique

 

Located in southwest Colorado, the Animas Valley is known for its rich history and scenic beauty. Much like the rest of western Colorado, the Animas River Valley began to be developed in the 19th century. This happened after prospector Charles Baker and his party discovered gold flakes in the San Juan Mountains. The town of Durango, the largest town in the valley, was established in 1880. By 1882, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was completed, stretching between Durango to Silverton. While the original purpose of the railroad was to transport gold and ore, it’s now used to give passengers tours of the jaw-dropping Animas River. In fact, some of the valley is only accessible by train and the public can look forward to historic and entertaining rides on this vintage train. 

 

 

What to Love 

  • Enjoying a winter wonderland at Purgatory Ski Resort
  • Charming mountain towns with a western flair 
  • Close access to nature and endless outdoor activities 

Local Lifestyle 

Nestled in nature and endless beauty, living in the Animas Valley is perfect for those who crave close proximity to the great outdoors. The valley is known for its peaceful and private nature, which can be hard to find elsewhere. It appeals to individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds, offering a slice of the idyllic, small-town life. It’s home to families with young children, working professionals, or outdoor enthusiasts. 

 

 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Grab a bite to eat at Hermosa Creek Grill, located in Durango. This laid-back eatery specializes in American fare, all served in a homey and welcoming environment. James Ranch Grill is another favorite amongst locals and offers a memorable farm-to-table dining experience. If shopping is your guilty pleasure, then you’ll be sure to love all that’s waiting for you in downtown Durango.

 

For some family-fun entertainment, spend the day at Purgatory Ski Resort. Located just 25 miles north of downtown Durango, this acclaimed ski resort offers over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain, 105 trails, and 11 lifts. Skiers can look forward to a varied mix of steep tree skiing trails and wide-open cruises, all with stunning views along the way.

 

 

Things to Do

No matter the season, there’s always something exciting taking place in the Animas Valley. If you’re new to town, be sure to check out the Animas Valley Balloon Rally, a widely-attended event that takes place each fall. Watch as colorful hot air balloons are launched into the sky, creating a kaleidoscope of colors. You might also want to check out Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, one of Colorado's oldest biking traditions. Taking place over Memorial Day, this event consists of a myriad of biking activities.

 

Make plans to experience the Cascade Canyon Winter Train, which will take you on an unforgettable journey through the San Juan Mountains. Spanning 26 miles each way, this five-hour trip is celebrated for its magnificent views of the Animas River.

 

If you’re looking for a place to host a special occasion, River Bend Ranch is the perfect spot for you. This wedding and event venue is nestled in the beautiful Animas Valley and features 250 acres of inspiring views.

 

Book a tee time at Dalton Ranch Golf Club, nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the heart of the Animas Valley. This premier club offers a restaurant, pro-shop, driving range, link-style golf course, outdoor pool, and fitness center. 

 

 

Schools 

The Animas Valley is served by the Durango School District and provides its students with access to a number of top-notch educational institutions, including: 


  • Animas Valley Elementary School, PK-5
 

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