Looking to head west for your summer vacation but you've done the beach to death and the family is bored with the same old kind of camping trip? Really, all you want are a few good ideas for a vacation less ordinary? Here are five ideas based out of Durango, CO that are definitely not your grandma's idea for a vacation.
Mountain bike and camp on the lower elevations of The Colorado Trail
Durango Colorado has one of the best mountain bike trail systems anywhere! On Rim Tours' Durango Intermediate Singletrack Tour, you will camp in the Rockies and ride a different mountain bike trail each day. Trails include Hermosa Creek Trail and parts of the Colorado Trail. During this 4-day/3-night adventure, you will return each evening to a comfortable base camp located at Junction Creek. The most experienced guides in the business will cook backcountry gourmet meals for you, tune your bike, and tell stories around the campfire. Bring your own bike and camping gear or rent your gear from Rim Tours. Everything else is included.
Tour an active Gold Mine
The Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour takes you 1/3 mile into the heart of 13,000 foot Galena Mountain where you can follow the vein and see real mining equipment in action. Go underground and experience the secret world of the gold miner! Located just minutes from the historic town of Silverton, the Mine Tour is easily accessible by car and RV. Outside the mine itself, the spectacular scenery is awesome and you can for real silver, copper, and even gold - and keep what you find! No reservations are needed.
Small Group Tour of Mesa Verde NP
It’s easy to tour Mesa Verde’s amazing network of ancient Native American cliff dwellings but it can involve a lot of driving. It’s a 45 min. drive from Durango to the Visitor Center, and then from there, it's a significant drive to each dwelling location. Also, note that some of the most inspiring and interesting dwellings are available only on a reservation basis. But you are on a vaction less ordinary! So leave all the driving and arranging to a local guide from Mild2Wild. They’ll pick you up at your Durango hotel and take care of the entire day.
Visit the Powerhouse Science Center
In 1892, long before the rest of the country began using a radical new technology called AC power, Durango Light and Power Company built its alternating current power plant and electrified the town, setting an example for the rest of the country to follow. The building itself was also precedent-setting, being the first mission-style building constructed outside of California. Almost a century later, boarded up, and then, even later, revitalized, the building now houses an innovative science center. The Powerhouse Science Center is out-of-the-ordinary fun for kids and adults.
Learn About Local Wildlife and How Fish Are Raised
Visit the Durango Fish Hatchery, operated by the Colorado Department of Fish and Wildlife. Inside is a museum, outside are huge tanks full of fish being raised for stocking operations in the region’s rivers and streams. Bring quarters to feed the fish and watch the feeding frenzy! Taxidermy examples of local wildlife, great knowledgeable staff, videos. Adjacent to the Animas River and walkway. Open May 15th – Sept 15th. Mon–Sat 10am-4:30pm, Sun. 11am-3pm.