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When it comes to outdoor recreation, the Durango area offers an enormous range of choices. The Animas River, which runs through the downtown, is perfect for fly-fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. On land there is plenty of hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting and golfing. For unique family adventure, try ziplining at Soaring Tree Top Adventures, the world's largest zipline course in the world. And for winter visits, Durango is in close proximity to several major ski areas. If you can't find a local company that has what you need, try the Durango Area Tourism Office.
For fishing there are several good streams right in Durango, but you also might consider driving about 20 miles northeast to Vallecito Lake. This six-mile-long lake boasts plenty of northern pike, brown and rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. The best resource for angling conditions and top notch guide service is Animas Valley Anglers (guides the entire region, including the world-famous San Juan). AVA has a great group of guides that work well with new anglers, kids, families and veteran fishers. Another good resource for fishing information--including licenses, supplies, fishing holes and equipment--is Duranglers on Main Avenue. Trips are also available through Rocky Mountain Anglers and Anasazi Anglers (both services only guide the San Juan).
For rafters, the Animas River can accommodate every skill level. The fast-moving upper river is best for advanced rafters, while the 5-mile stretch from Trimble Hot Springs to the downtown area is more serene. Several area companies offer half-day and full-day rafting excursions, as well as guided kayak tours. Try Durango Rivertrippers, Mountain Waters Rafting, or Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Trail Tours.
Serious hikers will be delighted to know that Durango is at the western tip of the 500-mile long Colorado Trail. Of course there are thousands of miles of other trails, including the Goulding Creek Trail, a moderately difficult 6-mile trek that climbs above Hermosa Cliffs. To see deer and elk, try the 5-mile Animas Mountain trail. Or the 10-mile Mountain View Crest for fantastic views of Pigeon Peak, Turret Peak, and the Chicago Basin.