Purgatory Ski Resort
The Purgatory Ski Resort can't quite decide on it's name! First it was Purgatory and then the Durango Mountain Resort, except all the locals still called it the Purgatory Ski Resort. Then in 2015 under new ownership the name officially reverted back to Purgatory Resort. Either way, the name “Purgatory” is far from apt, as skiing there could never be considered as a place of temporary punishment, torment or suffering!
Purgatory Resort doesn’t receive as much snowfall as some of its neighbouring resorts, and whilst you might not get the glamour and the celebrity sightings that you get at the big Colorado ski resorts
, the plus is that you don’t get the big crowds.
Purgatory Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Even though 2009-10 saw the unveiling of 125 acres of new expert tree skiing, the reputation of Purgatory Ski Resort as a mountain that is mainly suited to beginners and intermediates still stands. Whilst 35% of the trails are rated as black or double black, the majority of these are bumps runs, so advanced riders will need to really, really love moguls to enjoy Purgatory Mountain Resort. Unfortunately the tree skiing is very limited and the ski area is completely below the tree line so there are no alpine bowls.
Durango Mountain Resort a.k.a. Purgatory is particularly fabulous for strong intermediate skiers and boarders, and one of the stand-out characteristics of the ski area is the many terraces, rollers and banks. Some of the runs feel like a mini boarder cross course or a rollercoaster, and it’s fantastic to catch air off some of the lips (so long as that’s your intention!). Twin-tippers will also enjoy the three terrain parks and the halfpipe.
The 1,360 acres (536 hectares) of ski terrain at Purgatory Resort
is serviced by 10 lifts including one high speed 6-person lift and a high speed quad chair.
Where is Purgatory Colorado?
Purgatory (Durango Mountain Resort) is hidden away in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado in the four corners area. The Purgatory ski resort is 27 miles (about a 30 minute drive) north of the town of Durango, and there are shuttles between the town and resort.
Durango has its own airport, the La Plata County Airport, with flights from hubs such as Denver, Albuquerque, and Phoenix. See the how to get to Purgatory
page for more information.
Purgatory Resort has a range of lodging options including condos, vacation homes and a hotel. Purgatory Resort lodging
can be rather expensive, but just down the road at the Silverpick Lodge
it’s possible to find quality accommodation at a fraction of the price. The other option is to stay in the historic town of Durango where there are a range of Durango hotels as well as lots of very inexpensive motels.
Purgatory Accommodations Listings
Durango is a college town so it’s got plenty of life with great pubs, restaurants and shops. The ski resort has various activities such as snowmobiling with Snowmobile Adventures
, snow biking, tubing, and spa treatments. Other Durango winter activities
include fly fishing, museums, a soak in the Trimble hot springs, a historic train ride, or a trip to the Mesa Verde National Park. The park is home to fascinating ancient Indian cliff dwellings that date back more than 800 years.
Cat Skiing near Purgatory Ski Resort
For powder hounds who are seeking fresh powder, Purgatory Colorado has the major drawcard of having two cat ski operations nearby. Cat skiing
is guided backcountry skiing serviced by a snowcat, a grooming machine with a cabin on the back. San Juan Ski Co
is conveniently based at Purgatory Resort and they have a massive 35,000 acres in which to play. Silverton Powdercats
(formerly El Diablo Snowcat Skiing) is only 20 minutes northeast of Purgatory Ski Resort. Be warned though, powder skiing is very addictive!
Why Ski Purgatory?
Whilst Powderhounds.com have not rated Purgatory particularly highly as a powder hound resort, the ability to mix resort skiing with cat skiing is a huge plus for those obsessed with powder.
And the resort does score really highly (5 out of 5 paws) for its family friendly approach. The Purgatory ski resort is very family oriented with a great ski school programme, plenty of activities, inexpensive child care and low cost skiing. Students and others who appreciate an inexpensive ski vacation are also attracted to the resort, particularly if they stay in off-mountain lodging.
Tours near Purgatory Resort