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Glacier Highlight: Our Favorite Summer Pursuits in Southwest Colorado

Every season at Glacier presents new and novel ways to connect with the land, as well as a fresh set of opportunities to craft heartfelt moments with friends and family. Lucky for us, summertime in Durango is an incredibly special time that grants our community a taste of everything — from casting lines to breaking a sweat on the tennis courts. Without further ado, we’ve rounded up our favorite summer adventures that this stellar season affords. 

Raft on the Animas River

The Animas River offers whitewater for all levels of rafters, from Class III rapids just around town to Class V rapids upstream in the San Juan backcountry. Whether you’re a hobbyist seeking to beat the heat or an experienced veteran looking to get your blood pumping, summertime raft adventures are a Durango staple. Book a rental or lesson through Mild to Wild, and embark on your seasonal dose of adrenaline on the rapids.

Image courtesy of Mild to Wild

Horseback riding through meadows

Experiencing the rugged San Juan mountain region on horseback is an experience like no other — and the summer trail-riding season offers adventures both rugged and serene. Luckily for residents at Glacier, outfitters such as Rapp Corral by Haviland Lake and Buck’s Livery right by Purgatory both offer trail rides and pack services to make the most out of the incredible sights that are just moments away from our doorsteps.

Image courtesy of Buck’s Livery

World-class hiking amidst mild weather

Another popular way to enjoy warmer weather is to hit the trails around our gorgeous San Juan Mountains. Summer hikes give our community the best of both worlds — allowing us to shed a few layers in the sunshine while still enjoying stunning views of snow-capped mountains. Follow river trails, scale mountains or trek out to the Ice Lakes near Silverton — summer days in nature are yours to seize. And with gear available from Pine Needle Mountaineering, planning adventures from Glacier has never been easier. 

Mountain biking among summer blooms

Thanks to the snow melt, this season is the time to hit up Purgatory Bike Park’s new trails and established pathway to over 400 singletrack miles in the backcountry. Bike along the nearby paths of Chris Park and Haviland Park, or maneuver the technical trails all the way to Hermosa along the creek. One thing’s for sure — as soon as chilly spring days roll into mild summer mornings, Durango becomes a world-class destination for biking. 

Wakesurfing on Lake Nighthorse

What would summer be without a splash of watersporting? Two miles from downtown Durango is Lake Nighthorse — our town’s choice reservoir for boating, wakesurfing, tubing and more. Lake Nighthorse offers onsite rentals for kayaks, canoes and paddle boards, as well as a swim beach and aqua park for families to enjoy. A trip to Nighthorse refreshes a Durango summer like no other.