Purgatory Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Jack Lee
Located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado, Purgatory Mountain Resort is a super friendly south western ski resort, ideal for families and skiers that want to kick back on Colorado ski vacation. Skiing on Purgatory Mountain sprawls across 1,360 acres with ten lifts flanking the Front and Back sides, wrapping East to West with 88 trails, 5 terrain parks, plus a few steeps and heart pumping glade trails. Purgatory Mountain Resort offers a convenient, well-planned ski base and a small pedestrian village with The Purgatory Lodge as its centerpiece - the place to stay during your Durango Colorado ski vacation.
The Purgatory Lodge, opened in 2008 (part of a $50 million improvement), is the closest to the lift as you can be. This full-service hotel offers suite lodging with large condo style units steps from slopes all styled in rich Rocky Mountain décor.
Purgatory Lodge features ski lockers just a few steps from the Purgatory Express six passenger lift - so it's easy to get first and last tracks. Purgatory Lodge units range from spacious two-bedrooms to four-bedrooms - all with beautiful views of the surrounding Needles Mountain Range or Purgatory Village and the ski slopes. Units have full kitchens, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, gas fireplaces, comfortable living rooms with flat screen TV’s, private balconies, WiFi and a washer/dryer. The bedrooms are spacious with their own TV and big tiled bathrooms with Jacuzzi tub and walk in shower.
What's really nice about staying at The Purgatory Lodge, besides being slopeside, is that you are treated to Durango Mountain Club Membership, which means concierge services, ski valet, access to the outdoor heated Jacuzzi tub and swimming pool with views of the slopes, and the Club's private game room for the kids next to the private Mountain Club Room which serves complimentary Continental breakfast. In the afternoon, enjoy après ski drinks and a dinner menu in this lovely Club Lounge setting. Everything is easy at the Purgatory Lodge, from the heated parking garage to the ski lockers to drinks at the outdoor spa tub. The Trimble Spa offers therapeutic massage and body treatments downstairs in The Lodge.
Staying at The Purgatory Lodge you can enjoy the Skier Village Plaza offerings from Purgy’s Restaurant and Bar to the Bear Bar at Purgatory Beach (fun to hang out at the base plaza on a sunny Colorado ski day), to a small collection of shops and restaurants. You are also super conveniently close to ski school, kids camp and day care, plus horse-drawn sleigh rides that leave from the Village.
For off the slopes fun, Durango offers Hot Springs, Cascade Canyon Ice Climbing even for kids and first timers, dog sledding, sleigh rides, 18 km of Nordic ski trails, night skiing at Ski Hesperus in town, four Durango local breweries, and scenic train rides on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway.
Downtown Durango is a must visit some afternoon or evening (a half hour drive). This lively western cowboy and miners’ town is home to over 100 restaurants, and enough modern shops, boutiques, and art galleries to keep a non-skier happily browsing along Main Avenue. Ken and Sue’s is a fantastic Durango restaurant – great local cuisine creatively prepared and a bargain versus most ski resort restaurants.
Durango is not only one of the friendliest ski resorts we have encountered, but also affordable. Even Trip Advisor named Durango Mountain Resort as the best value ski resort. Durango Mountain Resort often offers great ski and stay packages at Purgatory Lodge, as low as $99 with your lift ticket – the best value and the place to be for the first and last chair without the drive.
Durango on Purgatory Mountain has been through ownership and name changes (Purgatory to Durango and back) since opening in 1965, now owned by local James Coleman who has merged this mountain with Arizona Snowbowl, Sipapu Ski Resort and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area of New Mexico to create the largest Southwest ski conglomerate. Staying at Durango Mountain Resort is a great value, much less expensive than nearby resort of Telluride or Vail Resort for example, with a great vibe.
Durango Ski Lunch Tip: Ski to Dante's at the Backside Bistro for the best views of The Needles and Engineer Peak, table service, and a great Colorado tapas style menu.