Complete Guide to Skiing in Purgatory, Colorado

Purgatory Resort is a popular ski destination located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. With over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain, it offers a variety of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The resort boasts 11 lifts, including a high-speed quad, and receives an average of 260 inches of snowfall each year.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Purgatory Resort offers a range of winter activities, such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and tubing. The resort also has a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants, as well as a spa and fitness center.

One of the unique features of Purgatory Resort is its location in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, which provides stunning views and a peaceful, natural setting. The resort is also known for its family-friendly atmosphere and affordable prices, making it a popular choice for families and budget-conscious travelers. Overall, Purgatory Resort offers a great ski experience with plenty of amenities and activities to keep visitors entertained both on and off the slopes.

Location and Access

Purgatory Resort is located in Durango, Colorado and can be accessed by car or shuttle from the Durango-La Plata County Airport.

  • Drive time from nearest airport (Durango-La Plata County Airport): approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Public transport links from nearest city (Durango): Durango Transit provides bus service to Purgatory Resort during the winter season
  • Drive time from second closest airport (Albuquerque International Sunport): approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes

About the Skiing

Purgatory Resort is one of the lesser-known Colorado ski resorts. It offers skiing and snowboarding on a variety of terrain, including groomed runs, tree skiing, and challenging steeps. The resort boasts stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and the surrounding wilderness.

Some of the skiing highlights at Purgatory Resort include:

– The Legends Lift, which provides access to some of the resort’s most challenging terrain
– The Pitchfork Lift, which offers a mix of intermediate and advanced runs
– The Twilight Lift, which provides access to night skiing on select evenings
– The Paradise Lift, which offers a mix of beginner and intermediate runs
– The terrain park, which features a variety of jumps, rails, and other features for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Purgatory by Numbers

  • Heights point: 10,822 feet / 3,299 meters
  • Resort level height: 8,793 feet / 2,680 meters
  • Vert distance: 2,029 feet / 619 meters
  • Total number of ski trails: 105
  • Combined distance of ski trails: 1,605 acres
  • Percentage of beginner trails: 20%
  • Percentage of intermediate trails: 45%
  • Percentage of expert trails: 35%

Lift tickets

At Purgatory Resort, the lift ticket options and prices for a single day are as follows:

– Adult (ages 18-64): $99
– Teen (ages 13-17): $79
– Child (ages 6-12): $49
– Senior (ages 65-79): $79
– Super Senior (ages 80+): $49

Children 5 and under ski for free.


Purgatory Resort offers a variety of accommodation options including hotel rooms, condos, townhomes, and vacation homes. The rooms and condos feature modern amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and balconies with stunning mountain views. The townhomes and vacation homes offer even more space and privacy, with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and living areas. Guests can also enjoy access to the resort’s amenities including a fitness center, hot tubs, and ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes.

Dining and Après-Ski

Purgatory Resort offers a variety of dining options to suit every taste and budget. The resort has several restaurants and cafes that serve everything from casual snacks to fine dining experiences.

One of the most popular dining options at Purgatory Resort is Purgy’s, which is located in the base area and serves a variety of American cuisine. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is perfect for families and groups.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, there is the Powderhouse Restaurant, which is located at the top of the mountain. The restaurant offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and serves a variety of gourmet dishes.

In addition to these restaurants, there are several cafes and snack bars located throughout the resort. These include the Paradise Pizzeria, which serves delicious pizzas and other Italian dishes, and the Village Market, which offers a variety of grab-and-go options.

When it comes to bars and apres ski options, Purgatory Resort has plenty to offer. The resort has several bars and lounges where guests can relax and enjoy a drink after a day on the slopes. Some of the most popular options include the Purgy’s Bar, which is located in the base area, and the Powderhouse Bar, which is located at the top of the mountain.

Some dining highlights at Purgatory Resort include:

1. Purgy’s: This casual restaurant offers a variety of American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads. It’s a great spot for a quick lunch or après-ski snack.

2. Powderhouse: Located at the top of the mountain, this restaurant offers stunning views and a menu of hearty mountain fare. Try the elk chili or the bison burger.

3. Paradise Pizzeria: This family-friendly spot serves up delicious pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. It’s a great option for a casual dinner or takeout.

4. The Bear Bar: This cozy bar offers a selection of craft beers, cocktails, and small plates. It’s a great spot to unwind after a day on the slopes.

5. Village Market & Deli: This grocery store and deli offers a variety of grab-and-go options, including sandwiches, salads, and snacks. It’s a convenient option for a quick breakfast or lunch.

Planning Your Trip

1. Check the snow conditions: Make sure to check the snow conditions before planning your trip. The ski season typically runs from late November to early April.

2. Book your accommodations early: Purgatory Resort is a popular destination, so it’s important to book your accommodations early to ensure availability and get the best rates. Consider staying in a ski-in/ski-out resort or a cozy cabin for a more authentic mountain experience.

3. Plan your activities: Purgatory Resort offers a variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Make a list of the activities you want to do and plan your itinerary accordingly. Don’t forget to leave some time for relaxation and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

5. Consider transportation: Purgatory Resort is located about 25 minutes from Durango, so you’ll need to plan your transportation accordingly. Consider renting a car or taking a shuttle from the airport. Once you’re at the resort, you can use the free shuttle service to get around the mountain and to nearby attractions.

The best time of year to go skiing at Purgatory Resort is typically from mid-December to early April, when the snow conditions are at their best. However, it is always best to check the resort’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on snow conditions and opening/closing dates.

Wrapping Up

If you are considering a ski trip to Purgatory Resort, you won’t be disappointed. With over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain, there is something for everyone, from beginner to expert. The resort’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility is commendable, and the stunning views of the San Juan Mountains are truly breathtaking. 

The variety of activities available, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and tubing, make it a great destination for families and groups. The resort’s convenient location and excellent amenities, including on-site lodging and dining options, make it a top choice for a winter getaway. Don’t hesitate to book your trip to Purgatory Resort today!, is a site dedicated to all nature enthusiasts out there! We believe that spending time outdoors is not just a hobby but a lifestyle. Discover new places, and learn new skills.


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