Welcome to Southwest Colorado

Southwestern Colorado can be a heady place to play. Some of the finest powder skiing in the world melts to reveal winding singletrack and hiking trails in summer. Vineyards are sprouting up on the western slope. A sense of remove keeps the Old West alive in wooden plank saloons and aboard the chugging Durango railroad.

With all that fresh mountain air, local attitudes – from the ranch hand to the real-estate agent – are undoubtedly relaxed. Dally a bit under these ultra-blue skies and you will know why.

Top experiences in Southwest Colorado

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Southwest Colorado activities

$65 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Animas River 4-Hour Rafting Excursion with Guide

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, Durango, ColoradoPark for free, check-in with office, get ready for trip, go rafting!Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Animas River, Durango, ColoradoRafting!Duration: 3 hoursPass By: Animas River Trail, Durango, ColoradoAnimas River Trail runs most the length of this tripStop At: Santa Rita Park, Durango, ColoradoStandard snack spot - whitewater parkDuration: 30 minutes

$148.73 Outdoor Activities

Full-Day Mesa Verde Discovery Tour

Mesa Verde Discovery Tours are led by knowledgeable and qualified guides so that you can experience the full tour! With their guidance you will learn about the history, culture, and architecture of the sites and dwellings you will visit. Tour vehicles are air conditioned and comfortable. Save car entrance fees and gas, while you sit back, relax and take in all the historic sights and intriguing information! You will meet at the main office in the early morning. Then you will sit back and relax on the scenic 30-minute drive to Mesa Verde National Park. Your first stop is the visitor center, inside the park, for a great orientation. Next, discover Cliff Palace, believed to hold special significance to the Ancestral Puebloans. Enjoy a delicious boxed lunch catered by a favorite bakery. Then explore Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling in the park. Return to the main office in the early evening.

$65.27 Tours & Sightseeing

Half-Day Family Rafting in Durango

Everyone meets at the main office checks in, signs release forms and get dressed for the river. Next is a shuttle to the river for your safety orientation and rafting instructions. Then it's time to hit the river. You will tackle the “Train Bridge Rapid,” “Baby Smelter” and the exciting Class III “Smelter Rapid." Then it's time to refuel with a river side snack of fresh fruit and granola bars. After you rest you're back on the river to tackle “Santa Rita,” “Sawmill” and “Pinball” (depending on flows). The trip ends with a shuttle back to the main office. You will arrive back to the office approximately 4 hours after your departure time.

$49 Water Sports

Durango 2-Hour Rafting Trip

Departing from downtown Durango at 724 Main Ave, your guides will take you north of town and begin your journey down the lower Animas river. Experienced guides will teach you all about this incredible area, while expertly leading you through sections of river with rapids ranging from class II-III+. With a minimum age of 4 years old, this really is a great trip for the whole family! With two boat options to choose from, your guides will make sure you have the best adventure possible. After the trip is finished, you will be returned to your original departure point in downtown Durango, with the opportunity to purchase photos from your day.

$85 Day Trips & Excursions

Kennebec Pass 4x4 Tour

Your trip will depart in open-air 4x4 vehicles from downtown Durango, and head west towards Mesa Verde. At the top of the hill, you'll turn off the highway and make your way into beautiful La Plata Canyon where you will pass old mining towns and get a taste of the past. You'll then continue on up through the canyon, taking in the beauty and seclusion of the rivers, streams and waterfalls along the way. See old mining equipment and abandoned structures, and go where you would never dare to take your rental car: to the top of Kennebec Pass, a beautiful scenic overlook at 12,000 feet and gateway to the Colorado Trail. You'll then make your way with your guide back down to Durango to arrive at the same location 4 hours after departure.

$97.37 Outdoor Activities

La Plata Canyon Jeep Tours from Durango

Explore the spectacular La Plata Canyon and its beautiful U-formation created by glaciers on a Colorado jeep tour. Several small waterfalls and cascading rivers follow the rugged Jeep trails in the springtime along with lots of wildlife. On your guided jeep tour, you will see numerous wildflowers, high-alpine meadows and avalanche gullies. Following the La Plata River to La Plata City, an old mining town established in 1875, you’ll discover the remnants of old mining claims. Then, you’ll continue to the peak of Kennebec Pass at 12,000 feet above sea level (also above tree-line). Majestic mountain vistas can be seen all the way to Cortez and Telluride from the top of the pass. High mountain peaks, spruce-fir forests, river valleys, and high alpine-meadows can be observed from a bird’s eye view. The trip returns on the same route so that guests will be sure not to have missed anything.

Southwest Colorado in detail