Durango is southwest Colorado's largest town, with a population of approximately 15,000 (45,000 in La Plata County). Durango is the regional hub of shopping, dining and cultural activities for Southwest Colorado.
Durango sits at 6,512 feet elevation, nestled between red sandstone bluffs of the vast Animas River Valley. To the north lie the peaks of the San Juan Mountains, which rise to an average elevation above 10,500 feet. To the west and south are the desert lands of the Colorado Plateau.
Durango was founded in 1880 as a railroad and smelting center for the high country mines. Today, Downtown Durango is a vibrant mix of historical architecture, exciting shopping, intriguing galleries, and a fabulous collection of restaurants that you would expect in a much larger town.
- City of Durango
- Durango Chamber of Commerce
- Interactive Map of Durango (Google)
- Durango Downtown
- Durango School District
- Fort Lewis College
- The Durango Herald
- The Durango Telegraph
- Durango Mountain Resort
- Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Durango Arts Center
- Durango History
- Music in the Mountains
- Mercy Medical Center
- Durango Weather on CNN
The town of Bayfield is located in the heart of the beautiful Pine River Valley just 18 miles east of Durango and 10 miles south of Vallecito Lake. Bayfield has a population of about 1,800 and a market area of about 7,500 people. With its small town charm and history, Bayfield is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Bayfield's earliest residents were the Ute Indians. Non-Indians settled the valley in the late 1800s and the first cattle were brought into the valley in 1875. The valley opened up as more ranchers discovered the fertile land. The Town of Bayfield was established in 1906. Bayfield has since served as a supply town and social center for farmers and ranchers, and as a bedroom community for Durango.
Vallecito, Spanish for Little Valley is the area largest reservoir and located only 22 miles northeast of Durango.
Vallecito Lake has over 12 miles of shore line and is surrounded by over 2.5 million acres of public land.
The mountain lake lies at 8,000 feet above sea level and offers a wide variety of activities year round. Vallecito Lake offers seven National Forest Campgrounds that are serviceable for much of the year.
The area offers a variety of places to stay from comfortable or modern cabins to campgrounds and RV parks, there are also motels units and guest ranches.
The Ignacio Area is a multi-ethnic community situated in a long ranching valley with the La Plata Mountains to the north. The early residents were the Ute Indians, primarily the Weminuche band.
In 1899, unallotted land in the eastern portion of the reservation was made available to non-Native Americans. At this time the Hall brothers were running the trading post and post office. This and the narrow gauge rail station to the south were all that existed in the way of a town. Hans Aspaas purchased the trading post in 1908. At the same time the Ute wife of a Civil War Veteran, John Taylor, died and the 169 acre allotment that he inherited was immediately sold to the Halls.
June 1910, both the Hall and the Aspaas lands were filed with the La Plata County Clerk and in 1913 Ignacio was incorporated.
Today the town is a supply center for the surrounding Southern Ute Indian Reservation and ranches and a crossroads for the gas and oil industry.