Club Wyndham Durango
Club Wyndham Durango is located in Durango, CO. I was excited about the trip because I have only been to Colorado once before and the area is breathtaking.
Video by Adventures of A+K
Day One Travel & Arrival
The journey began with a flight from Norfolk, Virginia to Colorado, and the flight into Durango took just over 6 hours. I have rented a car that I picked up at the airport for my 21-minute drive to the resort. The resort is close but most people will probably choose to rent a car in this area to see more of the town and surrounding area.
The resort is easy to find and it can be seen from the Interstate, which helps orient you to the location.
I checked in and got sorted, then I looked for something nearby for dinner. Nearby I found Orehouse a steakhouse and steak was what my stomach was calling for. I chose the surf, surf, and turf, which was a lobster tail, king crab legs, and two small filet mignons. It was cooked to perfection and served with melted butter. I had a loaded baked potato with my meal and was a happy camper.
I could barely eat anything more, but I smelled the crème brûlée that was taken to a table next to me and had to try it. That is something very few restaurants serve correctly. This chef had his down for sure.
I then went to Steamworks Brewing just a few blocks away for a couple of well-crafted local beers. For whatever reason, having a couple of drinks after my flight seems to help stop that feeling that I am still moving or in flight that I often get. I sampled a few and then landed with their stout for the finish. Good solid beers here and worth a visit. They also sell some beers to go if you want to take a few back to the resort with you.
The resort offers various 1-bedroom rooms focused mostly on accessible or deluxe. All 436 sq ft with a full kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath. The TV in the living room is really more in the kitchen which seemed to be based on limited space more than a design feature. I was fine however since I watched more TV in the bedroom instead of what little I checked like the news for weather on my trip and so on.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Whirlpool Bath
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center
- Concierge Services
- Hot Tub (Outdoor)
- Movie Rentals
- Fitness Room
- Laundry Facilities
Day Two Visiting the San Juan National Forrest
The San Juan National Forrest from the FS website.
San Juan National Forest encompasses about 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Terrain ranges from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, with thousands of miles of back roads and hundreds of miles of trails to explore. These federal lands are managed for multiple uses and visitors are asked to respect each other and the natural resources. The San Juan National Forest Headquarters is located in Durango, Colorado, with district offices in Bayfield, Dolores and Pagosa Springs.
It is hard to even process a National Forrest that is 1.8 million acres in size mentally. You need maps, satellite, and the government website to even plan a visit properly. Visit the site above and check out the interactive map which will provide an interactive map of the park based on your interests.
Planning ahead, I rented a 4X4 so that I could visit more locations than a typical rental car would allow me to reach. One site I wanted to visit was Chimney Rock. I also set out to learn more about the Tour of Ancients while here at Chimney Rock. It is amazing and there is so much to see that I will probably only be able to visit a few sites during my vacation in Colorado.
From the USDA website again:
From cliff dwellings suspended from red rock canyon walls to 1,000-year-old Great Houses perched upon high mesa tops 7,000 feet above sea level- the four corners of the southwest are rich with cultural heritage.
Discover the sacred land of the ancient Puebloan civilization in some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes. Explore preserved petroglyphs, rock wall art, ancient homes, great kivas, ceremonial buildings, and much more. Each site on the tour has something spectacular to offer as you walk their primitive pathways back in time.
Whether you are weekend warriors or on an extended vacation, The Tour of Ancients has something for the entire family and will keep you coming back for more.
As a part of my own quest and tour of the ancients, I traveled to Mesa Verde next. I wanted to see and tour the cliff dwellings for myself. I also like guided tours and took part in a guided tour by a local ranger, which was amazing. I did a tour for $25 that was guided and a tour of Square Tower House. I chose that for the simple reason that it was one of the shorter back country trail walks at about a 1-mile round trip. Others were miles longer and I am fairly out of shape these days.
The Mesa Verde National Park is something you do not want to miss in the area. This wild landscape of deep canyons and expansive vistas is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth. For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and on the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past.
Day Two Railroads
I started the day in the museum and then had a round-trip ticket for the rail itself afterwards. Each way on the train is about 3.5 hours, so the entire trip is a day long with about 8 hours of combined travel and wait times. You truly feel like you are stepping back in time and traveling as people did in the west in the 1800s.
From 8 AM on, you have a full day of great experiences in store. You can also opt to return via a local bus if you only want to travel 1 way by train. I wanted the full experience, so I did the round trip.
Seeing more of the area also means getting out and seeing things that are farther off the trail or path of the railroad as well.
After a hearty breakfast, I started the day in downtown Durango itself. The town was founded in 1880 by the railroad and has a rich cultural history that includes a strong old west feel. The town has many shops, restaurants, and even local art galleries and experiences.
Glass Blowing Art
I got impressed by the art and craftsmen talent of the glass workers at the Get Fused Glass Galery.
This store offers locally made wood crafts and other specialty items made by talented locals from materials in the area.
The Main Avenue Trolley
To see more of the town easier use the trolly that runs up and down main street here on 20 minutes cycles. I know I liked resting in between the walking into all the stores and shops.
I went to Carver Brewing for a late lunch or early dinner. I had an order of Beef Stroganoff here that was perfect. I also washed it down with a few of their best beers.
Those visiting the area during the winter are likely here for skiing. Durango is just 30 minutes from Purgatory Ski which is known for its amazing runs and great location. If you are headed to the area to ski, you should download the PDF of the trail map and see all the potential skiing fun available. The pricing for skiing here is also more affordable than almost any location at this elevation. So high peaks, with seriously long runs, are in the grasp of almost any visitor.
The area boasts 105 runs or trails, and 11 lifts to get you to them. With drops in elevation of over 1,600 feet in some areas, these runs are incredible for avid skiers and beginners alike. The mountains here make snow during the season but also receive an average of over 260 inches of snow fall each year. That just seems incredible for fresh natural snow in inches per season.
I did not visit the mountain for skiing since I am not a skier and it was summer, but I can certainly understand the lure of the place.
I chose to go to the local hot springs instead. Here the spring water is 105 degrees year-round. Which is about the top end of an average setting in a hot tub. That temperature that will run you out of one in minutes. It is a short distance north on highway 550 from Durango. There was once a resort built by the Pinkerton family that burned down some years ago but it was visited by man over the years, including Marylyn Monroe, and other famous people of yesteryear.
If you want to come play, ski, or even do as I have done and take a great train ride, this may be the resort vacation for you. Durango is lovely and the people are very inviting. Just make sure to book through TZort.