The Durango Train is the perfect destination to kick start your road trip with its abundant access to the Rocky Mountains, National Parks, monuments, and beautiful sights. In fact, Durango, Colorado is located in the heart of America’s Southwest Grand Circle; it is the only point in the United States shared by four states. And this circle contains the largest concentration of National Parks and monuments in the U.S. You can easily make Durango your basecamp, your starting point, or an additional stop for your road trip with the help of all the information on this page. From Travel Tips to Itineraries, we make planning your trip to the Durango Train and National Parks easy!
Visiting National Parks is a great way to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of the United States while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities. There are over 400 national parks in the U.S., each with its unique features and attractions. It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about the history and culture of the United States.
A road trip can be an amazing way to explore new places and experience the freedom of the open road and we’ve created some itineraries to help you plan your trip. These itineraries will show you how to get from Durango to many other national parks and monuments, as well as, some other stops we think you might enjoy. You may even discover some of the best experiences and other hidden gems along one of our national parks road trip routes!
What type of clothes you pack for your trip will depend on the time of year you visit. Generally, we suggest packing layers since that can easily be removed or added. In addition, hiking shoes with good traction are wise if you plan on exploring some of the trails that many parks offer. Lastly, we suggest packing a rain shell jacket for the year-round wind that occurs at higher altitudes.
A portable charger is always great to have as backup for when your phone or any other devices run out of battery. They are especially great for when you are on a long drive.
When it comes to a national parks trip, especially if you choose to camp, it is crucial to have a first-aid kit. Minor scrapes, cuts, and bumps are inevitable when adventuring, so you will need Antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, and other basic supplies to treat them. It is also helpful to bring preventative supplies, like insect and mosquito repellent.
A GPS or GPS map is great for giving you directions when you are driving or on a hike, but it can be difficult to have access to cell service when you’re in the wilderness. This is why it is important to also have a map. You can find them at any national park visitor or welcome center when you arrive.
If you are traveling from out of the country, it is important to bring a plug that works in the United States, or a universal plug that will work in any country you plan to visit.
What’s a road trip without a road trip playlist? Make sure to download your favorite songs to keep you singing across the miles. Another great option is to have some podcasts downloaded to help keep you entertained.
You never want to find yourself without gas or a restroom. Emergency stops on mountainous roads can sometimes be dangerous, or even impossible. Additionally, in the the desert or in the mountains, you may be without a cell signal to find your next gas station. Make sure to plan accordingly!
Sometimes the best stops are the unexpected ones. Try to take pit stops to stretch your legs and give yourselves a break! It’s nice to break up your drive with a pit stop to go on a scenic hike and have lunch.
“There is nothing so American as our national parks… The fundamental idea behind the parks is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in the process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
Durango, Colorado is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and historic charm. It is the heart of America’s Southwest Grand Circle and the perfect stop on your national park road trip. Here are some additional resources to help you plan your visit to Durango.
You’re sure to find your vacation sweet spot in Durango’s variety of accommodations. From some of the West’s most iconic hotels to comfy B&Bs, cabins and vacation rentals, to a lovely camping spot close to nature, Durango gives you more for your visit. Be sure to book in advance to ensure availability during your travel dates!
There are endless things to see and do in Colorado. Durango, Colorado offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. With Durango as your base, you won’t run out of things to do.
This depends on the park. Most national parks are open year-round, but may have some closed entrances due to weather or construction. The best way to find out about specific opening hours and road closures is to visit the specific park page on the NPS website.
Yes, there are general rules when visiting national parks. The official rules can be found on the official national park website. It is also important to note that some rules change seasonally. For example, campfire regulations may fluctuate depending on drought conditions and the risk of wildfires.
Durango, Colorado is a small town that prides itself on being welcoming to all people, including international visitors. Durango has a relatively low crime rate and takes large steps to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. Additionally, the community actively works to promote inclusivity. Visitors can feel confident that they will be treated with respect and can enjoy all that Durango has to offer in a safe and welcoming environment.
Yes, each national park offers guided tours that are hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) or by certified guides. You can find more information about guided tours at each park’s visitor and welcome center.
Many national parks have digital, downloadable versions of park maps, as well as, copies in visitor and welcome centers.
Most of the national parks are accessible by car, RV or bus. When you enter the park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee, which is usually between $20-$40 per vehicle. Depending on the park and season, park passes may be valid for up to seven days. If you plan to visit several national parks, we recommend you buy the America the Beautiful Pass for $80.
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