Durango is the county seat and the most populous municipality of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. It is home to Fort Lewis College. The United States Census Bureau reported a population of 16,887 in the 2010 census.
"Open Spaces and Familiar Faces"
Location of Durango in La Plata County, Colorado.
Location in the United States
|Coordinates: 37°16′24″N 107°52′18″W|
|County||La Plata County|
|Incorporated||April 27, 1881|
|• Type||Home Rule Municipality|
|• Mayor||Dick White|
|• Mayor Pro Tempore||Sweetie Marbury|
|• City Manager||Ron LeBlanc|
|• City Council||Melissa Youssef|
|• Total||13.93 sq mi (36.08 km2)|
|• Land||13.90 sq mi (36.00 km2)|
|• Water||0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)|
|Elevation||6,512 ft (1,988 m)|
|• Density||1,331.34/sq mi (514.02/km2)|
Durangotan (informal) Durangatang (informal)
|Time zone||UTC−7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0202983|
|Website||City of Durango|
The town was organized in September 1880 to serve the San Juan mining district. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) chose the site on the Animas River for its depot following a brief and most likely perfunctory negotiation with Animas City, two miles to the north. The city was named by ex-Colorado Governor Alexander C. Hunt after Durango, Mexico, based on his favorable impression of that city resulting from a scouting trip undertaken on behalf of William J. Palmer, the head of the D&RG.
Area archaeological sites on the State and National historical registers include:
- Mesa Verde National Park, a World Heritage site
- Chimney Rock National Monument, the most northeastern known outpost of the Ancestral Puebloans
- Durango Rock Shelters Archeology Site, a Basketmaker and Pueblo culture
- Spring Creek Archeological District, a Basketmaker and Pueblo site
- Talus Village, a Basketmaker site
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Durango has either a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) or a humid continental climate (Dsb) depending on which variant of the system is used. The average annual precipitation is 19.33 in (491 mm). Its hardiness zone is 5b.
|Climate data for Durango, Colorado, 1991–2015 normals, extremes 1894–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||65
|Average high °F (°C)||40.9
|Average low °F (°C)||14.5
|Record low °F (°C)||−30
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.30
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||19.9
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 census, there were 13,922 people, 5,492 households, and 2,603 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,052.4 people per square mile (792.8/km²). There were 5,819 housing units at an average density of 857.8 per square mile (331.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.84% White, .5% African American, 5.51% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 4.12% from other races, and 2.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.31% of the population.
There were 5,492 households out of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.2% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 52.6% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the city, 16.6% of residents are under the age of 18, 26.1% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females, there are 104.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 103.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $34,892, and the median income for a family is $50,814. Males have a median income of $31,812 versus $25,022 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,352. 17.2% of the population and 7.3% of families live below the poverty line. 11.2% of those younger than 18 and 8.9% of those 65 and older live below the poverty line.
Arts and culture
Main Avenue is a Nationally Registered Historic District that cuts through downtown Durango and is home to galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Two notable and historic hotels, The General Palmer and The Strater, lie at the south end of the avenue, near the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot. With its combination of historic architecture, entertainment, and shopping, Main Avenue has historically comprised the center of Durango and is a popular year-round tourist destination.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Durango is known worldwide for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage railway that travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado via steam-powered trains. The history of the town and the D&SNG are inextricably woven, dating back to the 1880s.
Animas River Valley
The Animas River Valley begins in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and runs through downtown Durango. It boasts gold medal fly fishing waters and is popular for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. On warm summer afternoons a popular diversion is to buy an inflated inner tube and float from Animas City to Schneider Park or below.
Purgatory Resort, located 25 miles north of downtown Durango, has 99 trails, 12 lifts, a vertical drop of over 2,000 feet, and more than 1,500 acres of skiable terrain. The resort features lodging, ski rentals, shopping, and dining. Purgatory is also a popular summertime recreation destination.
Durango is home to Snowdown, an annual midwinter event popular for its Parade of Lights and other events. The event lasts 5 days, with competitions and costumes.
Music in the Mountains
Music in the Mountains is an annual classical summer music festival with performances at Purgatory Resort, Ft. Lewis College, in downtown Durango, and Cortez.
As of 2019, the festival is no longer being held at Purgatory Resort.
Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival
The annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival features noted musicians from around the country. It is held in the Strater Hotel, a historic Victorian hotel in Durango.
Durango has a number of media outlets, which include The Durango Herald, 99x Durango, The Point, KDGO, XRock 105.3, KDUR 91.9/93.9, Four Corners Broadcasting (KIQX 101.3, KRSJ 100.5, KKDC 93.3, and KKDC AM 930) and many others.
Durango is served by U.S. Highway 160 (the Old Spanish Trail), running east-west and U.S. Highway 550, running to the north and south. Part of U.S. 550 offers high-speed access (primarily a 4-lane, divided highway) to Albuquerque, New Mexico. North of Durango, 550 is nicknamed the Million Dollar Highway, and is part of the scenic San Juan Skyway.
Durango is served by a major regional airport for southwestern Colorado — Durango-La Plata Regional Airport (actually located near Ignacio). Durango-La Plata County Airport (IATA code: DRO) is serviced year-round by regional carriers Mesa Airlines (American Eagle) SkyWest Airlines (United Express), Republic Airways (United Express), Expressjet Airlines (United Express), SkyWest Airlines (US Airways Express), and American Eagle (Envoy Air).
Durango Transit provides several loop bus routes that serve the community, including Fort Lewis College. Normal hours of operation are on weekdays from 6:30 am. to 6:30 pm. Ignacio Road Runner provides bus service to the nearby towns of Ignacio, Colorado and Bayfield, Colorado with four trips daily on weekdays and one on Saturdays. Both services share the Durango Transit Center as a hub.
Greyhound Bus Lines formerly served Durango, but following budget cuts the service was discontinued. As of 15 July 2014, Road Runner Transit (a service of Southern Ute Community Action Programs) has restored daily bus service between Grand Junction and Durango. Since 2018, Road Runner's service has been incorporated into the larger mantle of the state-run program Bustang.
Durango is served by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
- Fort Lewis College is situated on a 350 foot (110 m) mesa overlooking downtown Durango and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. As of 2014, some 4,028 students were enrolled at FLC. FLC is a public 4-year liberal arts college.
- Southwest Colorado Community College, a branch of Pueblo Community College, is located in the Central Business District on Camino del Rio.
- Ross Anderson, World Cup/professional speed skier, All-American record holder
- James Garesche Ord, United States Army Major General, born at Fort Lewis near Durango
- Missy Giove, cyclist inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
- Howard Grotts, cyclist
- Greg Herbold, cyclist inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
- Sepp Kuss, cyclist
- Matt Miller, NFL offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns
- Ned Overend, cyclist inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame
- Stuart Roosa, NASA astronaut and former USFS Smoke Jumper, carried Redwood seeds on the Apollo 14 Moon mission which are now planted in several US parks
- Ed Stasium, record producer
- Tom Tully, actor, Oscar nominee for The Caine Mutiny
- Shan Wells, sculptor and illustrator
- Todd Wells, cyclist
References in television and film
- Much of the 1953 western movie The Naked Spur starring James Stewart was shot in Durango.
- Several parts of the 1955 western film Run for Cover starring James Cagney, were filmed just north of Durango in and around the upper Hermosa Valley area.
- Portions of the 1957 western Night Passage starring a returning James Stewart, as well as Audie Murphy and Brandon DeWilde were filmed near Durango and on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway.
- In 1965, Rosemary DeCamp played Durango newspaper editor Caroline Romney in the episode, "Mrs. Romney and the Outlaws" of the syndicated television series, Death Valley Days. In the story line, Romney sounds the alarm for citizens to fight the Kimball/Sykes gang. Willard Sage played Marshal Christy.
- Parts of the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were filmed north of town along the Animas River.
- The television series Cannon, episode "Sky Above, Death Below" was filmed in and around Durango, Purgatory Resort, and Chimney Rock.
- Part of the 1991 film City Slickers was shot in Durango.
- The 1999 movie Durango Kids describes a time tunnel in the old mines outside of Durango.
- Parts of the 1993 film Cliffhanger were shot in Durango.
- The 1978 Roger Corman film Avalanche, starring Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow, was filmed mainly at Durango Mountain Resort and
- Outline of Colorado
- State of Colorado
- Durango Herald
- Durango-Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad National Historic District
- Durango Telegraph
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail
- "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Archived from the original on 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "Current City Council". City of Durango.
- "Current City Council". City of Durango. Archived from the original on 2010-11-22.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 25, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Nossaman, Allen (19998). Many More Mountains Vol. 3: Rails into Silverton.
- "DURANGO, COLORADO - Climate Summary". Wrcc.dri.edu. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Zipcode 81301 - Durango, Colorado Hardiness Zones". Plantmaps.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "DURANGO, COLORADO (052441)". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Friday, Dale Rodebaugh Reporter; 11, July; Sunday, 2014 11:12 AM Updated; 13, July; Pm, 2014 3:47. "Bus service to Grand Junction to resume". Durango Herald. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- Armijo, Patrick (December 31, 2017). "Road Runner bus line to join state network". The Durango Herald.
- "College in Colorado - Facts about Fort Lewis College". Fortlewis.edu. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "The Naked Spur (1953)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Run for Cover (1955)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Night Passage (1957)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Mrs. Romney and the Outlaws". Internet Movie Data Base. December 23, 1965. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Where they filmed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) from The Movie Map film locations guide". Themoviemap.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- IMDB: Cannon: Sky Above, Death Below , television series.
- IMDB: City Slickers (1991) - Filming locations
- IMDB: Durango Kids, motion picture.
- "Cliffhanger (1993)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- IMDb.com https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077189/?ref_=ttloc_loc_tt. Retrieved 22 August 2019. Missing or empty
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