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Durango, Colorado; Fall Colors In The San Juan Mountains:
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What To Bring
In September, Durango averages a very mild 75° during the daytime, but evenings can dip into the low 40s or 50s. If you’re looking for fall colors on one of the trails near town, carry a backpack with your camera gear that includes lenses of varying focal lengths. Equally important is a compass, map, an ample water supply, warm clothing, a hat, rain gear and quick-energy foods. Be sure to use sunscreen, as you’ll get more sun exposure at higher altitudes. Wear hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes.

At high altitudes (8000 ft or more), some people experience breathing difficulties, dizziness, or other symptoms that can lead to Acute Mountain Sickness. A gradual ascent with a few days of acclimatization is best if you have time. Allow plenty of time to rest.

More Online
Websites for more information:

www.durango.org
Activities, dining, and a lot of other Durango information. 800/463-8726.

www.durango.com
Directory that includes news, weather, lodging, dining, and more.

www.durangotrain.com
Information on the Durango- Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. 970/247-2733.

www.godurango.com
More Durango visitor information.

Camping
Cottonwood Camper Park: www.cottonwooddurango.com, 970/247-1977.
This RV Park is within walking distance to Durango’s restaurant and shopping district. It has several campsites along Lightner Creek, and you can fish nearby on the Animas River. The area offers activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding and whitewater rafting.

Where To Stay
Some of Durango’s historical hotels will take you back to the Western Victorian era in style. Additionally, there are bed-and-breakfast inns, more-economical motels and family camping. Here are just a few recommendations:

Strater Hotel
800/247-4431, www.strater.com
A prominent (and photogenic) downtown landmark, This Victorian hotel has 93 beautiful rooms decorated with walnut antiques. It also offers several lounges, conference rooms and The Mahogany Grille restaurant.

Rochester Hotel
800/664-1920, www.rochesterhotel.com
Each of the 15 guest rooms in this 1892 hotel is decorated to reflect the Western movies that have been filmed in the Durango area. A full gourmet breakfast is served in the lobby every morning.

Best Western Rio Grande Inn
800/245-4466, www.bwriograndeinn.com
This motel offers 102 spacious and comfortable guest rooms, and is close to the DSNG train station. A free breakfast buffet is served in the morning, and there’s an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna.

Getting There
Durango is located in the four corners region of southwestern US. You can reach this area by car via US Highway 550 which provides a route to Grand Junction, Colorado to the north, and Farmington, New Mexico to the south. US Highway 160 connects Durango near Flagstaff, Arizona to the west and near Pueblo, Colorado via Interstate 25 to the east. Durango is a natural gateway to the San Juan mountain range, which is one of the more scenic sections of Colorado. The San Juans are geologically younger than other mountain ranges in the state, and are therefore more jagged and precipitous.

Also In September
Here are a few interesting photo opportunities that occur in September elsewhere in the US:

September 1–5
Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival, Brunswick, Maine 207/725-6009 www.thomaspointbeach.com
This four-day music and camping event is held at a beautiful New England park. Award-winning bluegrass bands will perform.

September 9–11
Bandon Cranberry Festival, Bandon, Oregon 541/347-9616 www.bandon.com/webfront/stories
This nationally recognized festival celebrates its 58th year. Activities include Blessing of the Harvest, crafts, food, music, street fair, and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Golf Challenge.

September 22–25
Thunder Beach Fall Motorcycle Rally, Panama City Beach, Florida 850/249-7627 www.thunderbeachproductions.com
Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts converge on the fastest-growing rally in Florida, located at Boardwalk Beach Resort. Live entertainment, bikini contests, and more.

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