After leaving Moab, Utah, we made our way towards Texas stopping in Durango, Colorado, for two days.
To get to Durango we traveled south on Highway 191 to Monticello, Utah, where we turned east on Highway 491. Around Lewis, Colorado, we took Highway 184 east to Mancos, Colorado, where we turned east again onto Highway 160 and made our way into the city of Durango. This was not our first time in Durango. We actually visited back in 2014 but after being away for a while we realized how much beauty and life this mountain town holds.
Our camp for the duration of our stay
in Durango was the amazing Junction West Durango Riverside Resortwhich was located about 12 miles north of Durango on Highway 550. We
chose this campground based on its location and the fact that we
could a back-in campsite with a view of the Animas River! As you can
see it sure did not disappoint! You can find a video review of this campground in our latest video. See the link below!
After getting our trailer setup for the night we decided to build a fire and roast some hot dogs for dinner. We'd like to give a shout out to our friends Frank & Michelle for providing our entertainment for the night. They gave us a packet of Magic Flames to sprinkle on our fire. It was great fun watching the flames change colors. If you'd like to grab some Magical Flames for your next campout then click the image below to be taken to Amazon.
|Click on the image above to grab your packets of Magical Flames!
After a good night's sleep we hit the road to explore the area around our campground and run into Durango for lunch. Our first stop was the Baker Bridge! This bridge, crossing the Animas River, was literally a half a mile from our campground and may be the spot where the jump scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed. We're having trouble finding a straight answer so if you know if this location was part of the movie send us a message and let us know!
The first bridge in this area was built by Captain Charles H. Baker and a group of prospectors that were mining along the Animas River in about 1860. Today, jumping from the bridge seems to be a right of passage but unfortunately, due to vandalism, the area has been restricted by fences.
Our next stop in Durango came as a recommendation from fellow YouTubers, The Adventures of A+K. Honeyville is located just about 12 miles north of Durango on Highway 550 and has been bottling honey since 1918. This unique business offers specialty honeys, honey jams, jellies and sauces. Their rich, thick, mountain wildflower honey is so flavorful that customers say it is the best honey in the world. Here you can watch workers distill honey infused liquors, shop for unique gifts, sample the deliciousness and watch a live hive do their thing!
Practically across 550 from Honeyville you'll find the James Ranch Grill. This ranch owned restaurant & market offers fresh vegetables, cheeses and meats grown or cultivated on their 400 acre ranch. Unfortunately, it was a little early for lunch so we just browsed the market and then continued on our way towards Durango.
Inching closer to Durango we laid our eyes on an amazing waterfall that just seemed to jump right out of the rocky cliffs on the west side of Highway 550. We had to get a closer view so we checked our maps and then headed up Falls Creek Road. Here we found out that right below the falls was The Waterfall Ranch owned by the Zink family for more than a century! We believe that the ranch now offers vrbo accommodations.
Staring at that beautiful waterfall made us thirsty so we made our way into Durango to visit the SkaBrewery! Like we mentioned earlier in this video this was not our first time visiting Durango and when we were here back in 2014 we fell in love with Ska beer! Knowing we could take our pup, Remi, to the brewery's outdoor patio, made stopping at this brewery for lunch and a cold beer a necessity!
Following lunch we did a little sight seeing and souvenir shopping in downtown Durango and then headed back to camp. We chose to find a different route back to camp and wound up on 250 which is just a little east of downtown Durango. This two lane back road offered some amazing views and led us right back to Baker's Bridge where we had the opportunity to see one of the steam engines of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The friendly engineers gave us a big wave blew the horn showing off for us a few more on-lookers!
Once we were back in camp we realized that a road near the entrance of our campground led to the back of Pinkerton Hot Springs so we went on a little hike to get a closer look. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this intriguing natural phenomenon is its history. The Pinkerton Hot Springs was discovered by James Pinkerton in the 1800s, who decided to transform this mysterious gem into a travel destination. People almost immediately began to flock to this spot, as this was a time when many believed that hot springs were a miracle cure and their waters possessed healing powers. Pinkerton built a resort here, complete with a swimming pool filled with water from the springs. Although it’s rumored that Marilyn Monroe stayed here at one time, the resort ultimately burned down. Its remains served as a speakeasy in the 1920s, and today, the Colorado Timberline Academy sits on the land.
When it began to rain on us we decided not to go back to our campground but just take a little drive around the area. We looked at our map and saw there was a small lake just north of us so we drove up to take a look. Just about 20 miles north of Durango we found Haviland lake and campground. This The campground is situated on the shore of Haviland Lake, among shady, towering ponderosa pines, at an elevation of 8,705 feet. Many sites have lake views and easy shoreline access. Campers are awarded spectacular views of the Hermosa Cliffs across the lake.
From Haviland Lake we took scenic roads back to our campground. On these scenic roads we found wild turkey parading in front of someone's cabin and an old school or church that was being converted into a living space. We couldn't find any information on the name of the old school so if you recognize it from our video please leave a comment letting us know what you know!
After a fun day exploring we headed back to our campground for dinner and to pack down our RV so we could hit the road home bright and early the next morning. After dinner we walked the campground and filmed some areas as a review. The check-in office has a small store and gift shop inside and the staff was very friendly! Their laundry facility was clean and had several machines so we went ahead and did all of our laundry. The campground was tidy with trash pickup from your site daily. The resort offers both RV sites as well as small cabin rentals. There is a public viewing area or observation deck in the middle of the campground that hangs over the Animas River. We did not swim but the resort offers a crystal clear pool that we believe is heated and a playground for the kids. We were so amazed by this quiet campground and will definitely return to Junction West Durango Riverside Resort to continue our adventures in Durango, Colorado.
If you'd like to see more of our adventure in Durango, Colorado, then check out the video on YouTube below: