In 1860, centuries after the Puebloan culture disappeared, the discovery of gold and silver in southwestern Colorado brought a flood of new settlers to the Animas Valley and what would soon be known as Durango. Many were hoping to strike it rich while others earned their living supplying necessities for life in the mining camps. It wasn't until the Denver and Rio Grande rails reached Durango in 1881 that the population exploded.
The discovery of Mesa Verde in 1888 and its designation as a national park in 1906 created the beginnings of the year round tourist industry we all enjoy today. Durango has managed to retain its Wild West charm while offering travelers and outdoor enthusiasts an array of lodging, restaurant and services.
The Animas River Trail is a 7 mile paved pathway that runs through the city winding its way back and forth across the Animas River.