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Durango's Enduring Beauty

DURANGO, COLO. – Founded 130 years ago as a railroad town, Durango, Colo. endures today as a destination spot for outdoor recreationists and history buffs alike. It’s a four-season getaway that especially shines with the rich colors of approaching autumn. If it’s a trip back in time you’re looking for, attractions include a century-old narrow gauge railroad and the historic Strater Hotel where Louis L’Amour once wrote. Durango also offers wildflower scenery and a chance to get even closer to nature on mountain bike trails or rafting the Animas River. Other reasons Durango endures in the fall and year-round is the nearby Mesa Verde National Park, with cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people, and the two-million acre San Juan National Forest. The Durango area also offers the dramatic, scenic landscape of the San Juan Mountains, which rise to more than 14,000 feet in elevation. The city of Durango itself sits at an elevation of 6,512 feet above sea level, so visitors are encouraged to come prepared with light layers of clothing even in summer months. Situated a short drive from the famed “Four Corners” where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet, Durango is home to 16,000 people and is the largest town in southwest Colorado. For more information on Durango, or to plan a sight-seeing venture there, visit www.durango.org.

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Photo by Photo courtesy durango.org

Mountain vistas near Durango, some rising as high as 14,000 feet, take on a dramatic appearance during fall. Prime time to see the colors are late September and into early October.

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Photo by Photo courtesy Durango Rafting Company

A favorite color in fall is white, as in the whitewater rapids of the Animals River near Durango.

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Photo by Photo courtesy Trails 2000

Mountain bike trails, whether for the competitor or vacationer, abound in the Durango area thanks to efforts by the group Trails 2000.

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Photo by Photo courtesy durango.org

Breathtaking colors can be enjoyed along leisurely paths in the Durango area.

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Photo by Photo courtesy durango.org

Relive history and enjoy the fall colors in Durango, Colo. all at the same time by taking a ride on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad.

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Photo by Photo courtesy durango.org

Enjoy Victorian splendor at Durango’s Strater Hotel, built in 1887 at a cost of $70,000. Well-known frequenters of the hotel and its saloon – which still carries on old west traditions today – include novelist Louis L’Amour.

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