Durango — place out of a Christmas movie..!

We are in the season of Holiday cheer..! Growing up I did not watch many Christmas movies but little that I did had snow clad streets, mountains and roads. People in thick jackets navigating their way sipping some hot beverage. I was also the kid that was awestruck by the Harry Potter series. All the trips the friends made to Hogsmeade kindled the wish within me to be surrounded by snow. Winter, snow and Santa is a combination that shouts Holiday Cheer at the top of its voice!

I have had the chance to spend 2 snowy Christmas holidays. One time I was at the top of the world, literally, I was in Alaska. On December 24th, I visited the North Pole and Santa House the two tourist destination near Fairbanks. But then there was this other time, which was not so north, in the boulder state, Colorado — Durango..!

I found out about the place in an article recommending the places to visit during holidays in USA. Having been to Alaska and reading about Durango in the holiday list, I had imagined what a snow clad Christmas holiday it would be. But when I reached Durango, it surpassed all imaginations and expectations.

My husband and I started on the road trip of 1045 miles to Durango from California. Some other places that we were going to visit on this road trip was — Flag Staff, Santa Fe, White Sands National Monument, Austin, and Houston. A 4000 miles road trip. Given the $ we had to shell out for the airbnb room in Durango, we could tell that it definitely was a popular destination during that time of the year.

We reached Durango when it was already dark. The actual beauty was revealed the next day morning when the sun shone and the snow glimmered. Durango has a narrow gauge train line powered by steam . In the early years it was used by the miners. This train line is now a heritage passed down from one generation of settlement to others. Today, it is used for tourism. The path that the railway takes is winding through the mountains, crossing bridges and valleys and also keeps company to the steady flowing river along the way.

Durango Silverton Train

The train journey is 3.5 hours long two ways. The last stop going in is a valley where you can walk around in the snow. We took the side roads and stood there facing at the snow clad roads going deep into the forest. Standing at that place, felt like the spot in Hogsmeade where Harry from under his invisibility cloak throws snow balls at Draco to protect Hermoine and Ron.

Last spot on the inbound journey

Have you seen the movie Polar Express? You will get to experience all that in person in Durango. Durango has Polar Express rides during evening times for people to experience the same magic as the movie for kids and adults alike. The coaches decorated in Christmas theme, hot chocolate, Golden Tickets, Santa’s Factory, the Dwarfs, the ticket checker and the Christmas carols. The production company really does it very well. Having other kids on board, really makes the experience even more fun. Due to operational issues, the train had to go a few meters ahead and then turn back from the point where Santa was standing so that it could bring Santa on the train. But the kids were so disappointed when the train crossed the Santa, that they started shouting Wait.! Wait..! we left Santa behind! Also, curiously questioning if the dwarfs are really short. It brought a smile to our faces listening to them because of the innocence and naivety of believing in the fictions..! Kids have the most impressionable minds!

Other than these experiences, Durango is a skii town. So if you are interested in the sport, you can spend a day or two on the ski slopes. You can also spend time driving on the scenic highways of Million dollar highway and the San Juan Skyway. We took the Million Dollar highway. Went to quaint Silverton village. There is something very aesthetic about these quaint villages across America. Durango also has hot water springs, where you can be in your bathing suits enjoying the warm water in the cold temperature. We spent half a day at the hot water springs, but having been to Chena Hot Springs in Alaska, this experience was a sub par one.

It was time for us to leave the city that let me experience a dreamy Christmas. On our way out, we took time to reflect on the beautiful visuals we had seen in the past few days while sipping coffee besides yet another river calming flowing through this snow clad city.

Thank you Durango for giving me a Christmas experience straight out of movies!



Pranjali Chumbhale

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store