Amenities & Activities

If you’re planning a church or business retreat, a family reunion, an anniversary celebration or a holiday party, you’ll find family-friendly Cascade Village the perfect combination of incredible scenery, activities and facilities.

With over 100 condominiums available for rent, you’ll find all of the lodging that you need right here on our premises. Our large Twilight Peak and Valley View rooms can seat up to 200 people for your occasion, and they feature a full kitchen and bar for your catered event. Our Meadows and Pond outdoor areas provide great locations for your outdoor activities. And our two business meeting rooms are available as well.

And did we mention all of the activities and things to do here at Cascade Village?
Whether hiking, biking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, the area offers numerous trails that transverse meadows, creeks, rivers and mountains. Two well-known trails begin right here at Cascade Village. Hundreds of miles of off-roading are all within short distances. The famous Purgatory ski area is just over a mile away (and we offer a free shuttle during the winter). And here at Cascade Village, we have an on-site Ski & Snowboard Shop (please see out Partner’s page under Ski Shop for more info).

How about horseback riding, lake & river fishing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and sleigh rides? At Cascade Village, we offer an outstanding indoor heated pool and spa, a beautiful tennis court, a sledding hill for the kids, volleyball, fishing in our pond, BBQ’s and an exercise room with magnificent views of the mountains. Did we give you enough to do? No? Well then throw in river rafting and the famous Durango-Silverton steam railroad and you’ll be ready for our infamous relaxation.

Hiking

Hike San Juan Mountain Trails in the Southwestern Rockies

Mark Twain once said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Cascade Village has many activities but no golf. In fact, there is nothing here to spoil your walk. You can walk in any direction and see nature at its most beautiful. The difference in the trails is the degree of difficulty.

Durango hiking trails are everywhere. Our resort has two picturesque hiking trails that begin just outside the lodge, not far away. Purgatory Resort has hiking trails where you can take a chairlift up and a hiking trail back down. If you are a serious hiker, definitely bring your boots. If you are a casual hiker, you will just need a pair of comfy sneakers.

Safety First, Be Ready for Your Hike

Cascade Village sits at an altitude of 8,836 ft. For flat-landers, that is a factor to consider as you prepare for your trip. Traveling from 300 or 400 feet of altitude to over 7,500 feet will make a big difference in the way your body performs. If you plan to do some aggressive hiking, you also need to do some aggressive conditioning over several months before your trip. You will find some helpful advice on a website called www.hiking-for-her.com. And while the information seems slanted toward female hikers it’s also wholly applicable to male hikers. When you are hiking, you should always carry water and be prepared for severe weather.

If you decide to skip the conditioning, you will surely enjoy being outdoors at Cascade Village enjoying less strenuous exercise and many easy hiking trails available.

Easy Hiking Trails Near Durango, CO

• Animas River Tour – The Animas river curves around Durango and the downtown section of the river walk is paved and meanders along the river. The water dances over the rocky bottom and is beautiful. There is an excellent children’s playground that is clean and well maintained. There are stunning vistas in the mountains above the river. It is an easy walk.

• Animas Overlook Trail – This is a 0.7-mile loop trail with 75 feet elevation change. It is one of the shortest and easiest hiking trails in Durango, CO. It is available from May until October. Leashed dogs may use this trail. It is a beautiful paved trail that overlooks Durango and the Animas Valley. It has picnic tables and is ideal for small children.

Moderate Durango CO Hiking

• Falls Creek Loop – A 4.1-mile trail with easy options that is mostly meadows with some uphill terrain to get to a ridge. It features excellent views and works for all skill levels. Dogs can use this trail but should be leashed. There is also bicycle and horse traffic on the trail.

• Animas Mountain Trail – Animas Mountain Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail for hiking near Durango CO that features a grand forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best from March until October. You may also bring your dog along. Easily accessible from town with an overall elevation gain of 1,500 feet it has a steady climb for the first hour. The hike takes about 2 hours if you don’t push it. The view of the mountains and river is worth the effort. There is little shade on the trail itself, and it can get warm in the summer.

• Colorado Trail to Gudy’s – An 8.1 mile out and back trail rated as moderate (1,417 feet elevation gain) and is accessible all year round. Dogs are also able to use the path but must remain leashed. It is near a beautiful stream, and the gurgling water is always within earshot. Some reviewers call it the best hiking in Durango. The trail is well marked, and the view from Gudy’s Rest (named for Gudy Gaskill, the mother of the Colorado Trail) is fantastic.

These are a just a sample of some of the best hiking trails in the Southwestern Colorado area. Hiking is always popular in the spring, summer, and fall. Plan your trip to Cascade Village and find trails for all-terrain and skill levels. Start with the more relaxed, lower elevation-change trails and move to the longer, more difficult trails as your body becomes acclimated to the higher elevation of Durango.

Skiing

7 Reasons to Choose Durango Colorado for Alpine and Nordic Skiing

Durango Skiing offers great snow and meticulous grooming over a wide variety of terrain. The six ski areas around Durango have slopes for every skill level from beginner to expert. And the area is known as a destination for the whole family.

Durango’s modern airport provides easy access to this winter wonderlands. Numerous daily flights arrive from all over the United States through connections in Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas-Ft. Worth. Prices for lodging, lift tickets, and delicious dining are reasonable, while the mountains, forests, meadows, and desert offer unrivaled beauty and tranquility. Make your plans to visit Durango to unwind and play. And stay at Cascade Village, perfectly located just 1.5 miles from the heart of skiing at Purgatory and the Nordic Ski Trail which runs adjacently.

Bring Your Bunnies to Durango to Learn to Ski

The elevation of Durango airport is 6685 feet, and the base areas of many of the ski areas are at 8,000 feet. For flatlanders, this is a significant change and can impact your body. So, it makes sense to start out slowly in your skiing as your body adapts. If you are a once a year skier, you’ll also want to brush up on your techniques. And if the whole family has made the trip, the kids probably would like to start off on some slopes where they feel comfortable.

Here are three ski areas that cater to beginner and intermediate skiers:

a. Chapman Hill Ski Area is in the City of Durango, located below Ft. Lewis College. Chapman is perfect for families with younger children. There are no ski lifts at Chapman. Instead, there are tow ropes that are easier for kids to master. The maximum vertical drop is just 700 feet from the top of Chapman Hill. A separate sledding and tubing hill is also available to entertain the kids. Chapman Hill is open for nighttime skiing and has an ice skating rink and a warming house with snacks.

b. Hesperus Ski Area is another family-friendly area located just 12 miles west of Durango. It has 80 acres of skiable terrain, with 700 feet of vertical drop. It has one double chairlift, and nine downhill runs available for skiing and snowboarding. It has one beginner slope with a tow rope. It also has night skiing until 9:30 PM.

c. Kendall Mountain Ski Area is near Silverton Mountain. While mom and dad are headed to Silverton with its expert runs, Kendall Mountain could be a perfect place for the children. It has three slopes, 11 trails, one lift but low-priced lift tickets.

Get Your Skis Tuned and Ready to Go

So, you’ve spent a couple of days with the kids, and they’ve made terrific progress. They are ready to come to one of the other ski areas and take lessons. Let’s leave the bunnies behind and look for some black and blue trails.

d. Purgatory Ski Area has been selected as one of the “7 Great Mountains to Ski” by Ski Magazine. It has everything a skier of any level could want. It has Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, even sleigh riding. Just 25 miles north of Durango it spreads over 2,400 acres with more than 1,300 skiable acres. The base is at 8,800 feet, and the summit is 10,800 feet. It has 85 downhill runs balanced between skill levels and 40 miles of cross-country trails. Its 125 acres of steep tree-skiing have a vertical drop of 1200 feet. The ten chairlifts have a combined capacity of 15,000 people per hour. With every turn on your downhill run, there is a beautiful view of the San Juan Mountains. Purgatory is in Cascade Village’s backyard, just a mile away. Cascade Village is centrally located to all the ski mountains and with a complimentary shuttle to Purgatory and its own ski shop, it is the obvious choice to be your Durango ski headquarters.

e. San Juan Ski Company shares the mountain with Purgatory and offers guided ski tours only. They move their skiers up the mountain to the summit with Snowcats. This is backcountry skiing at its best. The runs navigate treed slopes, bowls, chutes, ridges, and glades. The Snowcats run up and down the mountain all day providing 8 to 12 runs for those expert skiers who have elected to ski with these guides.

f. Silver Mountain Skiing has no groomed trails, just black diamond skiing in a guided group. The base elevation is 10,400 feet. One chairlift tops out at 12,300 feet. Helicopters are used to reach the peak at 13,487 feet. No crowds, just you against the mountain on the highest peaks in North America.

Cascade Village is Your Base

Go to our “Accommodations” tab to reserve lodging in one of over 90 condominiums for a skiing vacation that the whole family will enjoy. From bunnies to experts everyone will find plenty of skiing. Watch your children increase their skills and enjoyment of skiing and make one of our privately-owned condominiums at Cascade Village your base of operations. Prepare your own meals, swim in our indoor heated pool, relax in our spa and hot tubs and get ready for tomorrow. Ask us to recommend one of our fine local restaurants.

See you on the mountain.

Biking

Durango Mountain Biking on Gutsy, Heart-Stopping Trails

If for no other reason, come to Cascade Village for Durango mountain biking. Some of the trails are heart-stopping, but there are trails for all skill levels with all levels of required exertion. There are hundreds of miles of off-road biking trails over all types of terrains. And all the trails come with magnificent scenery and fresh mountain air.
There are many other reasons to come to Cascade Village resort of course, but if you enjoy off-road biking, this is your place. Bike rental stores are plentiful, and you will be able to find the perfect bike whether an off-road, a racer or a cruiser.

Purgatory Mountain Bike Resort

Purgatory Ski Resort turns into a Mountain Bike resort when spring arrives. The bike season starts in late May and runs through mid-October. Durango Colorado mountain biking has deep roots, going back to the 1980’s; and later in 1990, it held the first World Championships in mountain biking. The Union Cycliste Internationale organized the event. And for road bicycling, Durango is home to the famous Iron Horse Bicycle Classic every Memorial Day weekend.

The Purgatory Ski Resort has been developing lift-access biking for recreational riders and in 2015 broke ground on its 1.5-mile Divinity Flow Trail featuring table tops, berms, boardwalks and more. Purgatory has twelve distinct single-track rides. Each trail is just wide enough for a bike and not available to four-wheeled vehicles. Some of the bike trails are accessible from the base area, others by chairlift.

Numerous other trails are available for Durango biking. The longest is the Colorado Trail, a grueling 500 plus mile ride from Durango over the mountains to Denver. It takes bikers ten to fourteen days to cover the trail although racers in 2011 completed the 500 miles in just four days of racing. Total elevation gain counting all the climbs over the 500 miles is 89,354 feet from beginning to end. Most travelers start in Denver and head west because the snowpack melts on the eastern segment before the western.

Durango Biking for the Rest of Us

If ten to fourteen days of biking is more than you would enjoy, there’s good news. Most of the trails average about twenty miles and have a lot less elevation gain. You can explore the City of Durango’s paved streets on a bike or take the trail along the river. The Animas River Trail was just a dirt path until 1976 when the city paved the first section. Over the years the trail has increased until now it is seven miles long and used for recreation and commuting.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument offers an entirely different type of biking. The Canyons of the Ancients boasts the largest concentration of Pueblo (Anasazi) Indian ruins. It is about 30 miles west of Durango located in the deserts of Southwestern Colorado and boasts some 6,000 archaeological sites. Bikers will find the trails easy to moderate and made of hard pack. In a part of the monument, there is a Pueblo ruin that has about 420 rooms, 14 towers and over 90 kivas (a religious chamber used by male Pueblo Indians that is partly or wholly underground). It makes a fascinating day trip.

Your biking can range from the mountains to the deserts all within a short drive of Durango. Take your bike on your car carrier for longer trips and make Cascade Village your headquarters while you explore our area by bike. Come back to enjoy our heated pool and whirlpool for your tired body. And you can make reservations to stay in one of more than 90 privately owned condominiums. See “Accommodations” on this website.

Snowmobiling

What’s Faster Than a Speeding Skier? A Skier on a Snowmobile.

With the popularity of Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and snowboarding in Durango, it’s only natural that residents and guests would be excited about snowmobiling. Every year more and more people try the sport. The climate is perfect for Durango snowmobiling with lots of snow, lots of sunshine and daytime temperatures in the low 40s.

Snowmobiling is the perfect alternative to skiing and it still allows you to be among fresh air and the beautiful mountain vistas. A great break from a day of skiing.

For a restful and relaxing trek through the outdoors, you can’t beat snowmobiling. You’ve come to the right place. There are many snowmobile operators nearby and Durango to Silverton ha many trails and lots of wide-open spaces for you to try this sport or to enjoy it whether you are a novice or already an avid snowmobiler.

Try Snowmobiling for a Mid-Week Break from Skiing

If you’ve been skiing all week, you probably need a break. Let your body recover; go snowmobiling in Colorado. There are several guided tour operators in the Durango and Silverton areas. They have private tours where several of your friends or family members would go together. They also have group tours where they might put several interested parties together. Each person on the tour would have his own snowmobile. The tour operator provides guides that know the area and know the machine that you would be driving. The tour might head out towards a meadow at first taking it slow and easy until you got comfortable driving the sled.

Later, the guide will head towards the mountains and find a suitable mountain trail to traverse once he knows the capabilities of his group. With a larger group, there might be two guides; one would be the leader, and the other be the last sled in the group. If problems occurred, the last guide would be aware of it immediately and stop to help the sled with the problem. The tours last two to three hours. It is always smart to enjoy Durango snowmobiling with a guide. They know the countryside and terrain. They learn your skill level and will make your snowmobiling more enjoyable matching your skills with the right trails. You can cover a lot of territory with a snowmobile and explore beautiful parts of the mountains that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Snowmobiling in the mountains of Durango is a marvelous adventure.

Choose Cascade Village as Your Base of Exploration

At the end of the tour grab a bite of lunch and return to Cascade Village. It might be good to get to the spa to loosen your muscles after wrestling with a 600-pound snowmobile all morning. And then maybe a nap or just relaxing out on your condo’s deck with a glass of wine? There will surely be activities this evening, and you will want to be well rested.

Cascade Village is in the middle of all the activity. It is next door to Purgatory and being midway between the towns of Durango and Silverton, it is just a short but spectacular drive to either town.

Fishing

Fishing the Colorado High Country

Fly fishing in Colorado high country streams can cause a sensory overload. The rushing, sparkling water; colorful rainbows and cutthroat trout; azure blue skies and surrounding wildflower meadows truly make this God’s country. And we haven’t even mentioned fishing, but catching fifty fish in a day is not unusual.

The high-country streams aren’t the only fishing option. If you have just an afternoon to steal away, there is fantastic fishing in Durango CO in nearly every stream, river and many local lakes. With the right gear and the right skill level, you can catch your limit.

Be Smart, use a Guide to Find the Fish

Here at Cascade Village, we can recommend the best fishing guides who know the streams and how to find the fish. They charge for their services, of course, but would you rather just splash your lures in the water or catch fish? You only have a few days to stay with us, why not make the most of it and hire a guide whose company you will enjoy and who can help you catch fish?

We suggest you try fly fishing near Durango CO. If you haven’t fished with flies before, there are a number of guides who will start you with fly fishing lessons. The feeling of a rainbow or a cutthroat fighting on a light fly rod will convince you that there is no better type of fishing. If you have a light fly rod, bring it. If not, your guide will help you find the right tackle and flies. Make Cascade Village your base camp for all of your fishing expeditions. Local guides stay busy during nearly year-round, so make your reservations with them early. Your guide will suggest what you will need. Planning your fishing expedition can be as much fun as the trip itself.

Colorado, Best Trout Fishing in the US

Trout is the best known and most common kind of fish in Colorado. Rainbows, browns, brook, lake, and cutthroat are caught while fly fishing in and near Durango. Of these, the lake trout is the largest with the record being 50.3 pounds caught in 2007. They were introduced into Colorado waters in 1890 and can live up to 20 years.

The brook trout or “brookie” is the smallest of the trout family with the largest one caught weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. They were introduced to Colorado in 1872 and are the most prolific. The brown trout was introduced to Colorado in 1890 and are also a large fish with the record being 30 lbs. 8 oz. The rainbow trout was first introduced to Colorado in 1880 and is the leading fish stocked in Colorado streams. The cutthroat is the state fish and is the only one native to Colorado.

Over 40 other species of fish including Kokanee salmon, northern pike, channel catfish, large and small-mouth bass, perch, crappie, and bluegill can be caught in Colorado where there is no fishing season. All species can be taken year-round. Most Durango fishing is for trout, a fierce fighter all the way to being landed.

Best Time for Colorado Fishing? Whenever You Are Free

Durango, CO fly fishing is good all year long and since there are no seasons for different species, the best time for Colorado fishing really is whenever you have some spare time. Fishing is good all year, but tactics change with the season:

• In wintertime, the fish are in deep spots in the streams, so you need to look for the holes and fish those spots. The Animas river that flows around Durango has been designated with Gold Medal status by the State of Colorado and is a good bet most times of the year. Ice fishing is growing in popularity in Colorado.

• During the spring runoff, most streams are running fast and muddy. Not a good time for fishing streams. For these times, try the dam-controlled tailwaters just below a dam. The water will often be clear and the fish hungry. Lake fishing is also good during runoffs. You may see fish cruising close to shore looking for a meal. Try the inlets where small streams run into the lake.

• Summer is good everywhere. If you are from out of town, go to a sporting goods store and ask the person behind the counter for their favorite spots. They won’t give you their favorite, they keep that to themselves, but they will provide you with some useful spots. There are many.

• In the fall, the fishing continues, but fish have begun looking for deep spots in preparation for the winter. Fishing is good with dry flies.

Whenever you plan to come to Durango and Southwest Colorado make reservations with a fishing guide and stay at the Cascade Village Resort. You will be pleased with both.

Horse Back Riding

7 Reasons to Tour Colorado on Horseback

You must experience horseback riding in Durango CO on a tour of our beautiful mountains and meadows because:
a. Horses are nature’s original all-terrain vehicle.
b. Settlers of Southwestern Colorado came by horseback.
c. The view is better, and you can see farther from the back of a horse.
d. Unlike snowmobiles, they never get stuck and are much quieter.
e. Alpine skiers and snowboarders only go downhill: on horseback, you can go uphill and downhill.
f. They help keep you warm.
g. The horses do the walking.

Cascade Village can recommend the best horseback riding tours in Durango among the many tour operators nearby. All are within an easy drive of the resort.

Take a Tour by Horseback to Gain a New Perspective on Our History

Your wrangler will tell you about our area from a horse handler’s perspective as well as answer all your questions about horseback riding near Durango Colorado. There is a perfect tour and a perfect horse to add a unique experience to your vacation. Enjoy the beautiful views that the people who first visited this area saw when they arrived on horseback.

Expert Wranglers lead all the tours which range from 1 hour to an all-day trip. The wranglers start by asking about your experience and then find the ideal mount for you. The 1-hour and 2-hour rides will be close to the tour operators stables but will still give you an opportunity to see unique views of our corner of the world. You may cross small streams and enjoy wildflowers in a meadow. You may explore forests and will certainly take moderate trails up into the mountains.

Our sure-footed horses are experienced in climbing rocky trails and guiding you around trees. They can ford streams with ease. They are chosen for their gentleness and good disposition. You will find you’ve made a new, good friend by the end of your tour and won’t want to say goodbye. And like our wilderness, the horses are beautiful and well cared for.

The Tours are as Varied as the Horses

One of the horseback tour operators combines a train ride with a trail ride. You leave Durango on the narrow-gauge railway headed for Silverton. After a couple of hours viewing the majestic mountains and beautiful scenery on the train, it stops at Elk Park. Here the owner of the tour company meets you with horses particularly chosen for your experience level. Your ride takes you deep into the Weminuche Wilderness Area along the Colorado Trail. On a clear day, 20 different mountain peaks are visible on your ride to the top of the pass.

Once you reach the top of the pass the tour takes a break. A gourmet lunch is served while you enjoy the breathtaking views. After lunch, you continue the amazing ride until you reach Molas lake. Here you meet a shuttle bus that takes you into Silverton. After a quick look around town, you return on the train to Durango.

Another tour is located near Purgatory where you can enjoy horseback riding at Durango Mountain Resort. They have a unique “Will You Marry Me” ride. This ride includes 2 hours of horseback riding near Durango CO to one of our many scenic overlooks. The wrangler suggests that you dismount and enjoy the view. He will ask if you would like some pictures and takes several. When he is nearly finished the gentleman drops to one knee and asks the big question. The wrangler will catch this photo with mountains in the background. The wrangler has spread a blanket in a nearby secluded place and offers a bottle of sparkling cider and chocolates. After spending some quiet time together, the group mounts up and rides back towards Durango.

Make Cascade Village Your Bunk House After Horseback Riding in Durango

We think you will agree that horseback riding in the Durango area will add a unique experience to your vacation. Something to tell your friends about here at Cascade Village over a beverage. And when you return home, you will have all your stories to tell and retell friends and family about your Durango adventure.