Minutes from downtown Durango sits Hesperus Mountain, the highest summit of the La Plata Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains. Though not of particularly high elevation for the region, Hesperus is a visually prominent peak in the mountain range, boarding the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains. It raises over 7,000ft above the area.
Hesperus Ski Area comprises a small part of the larger mountain, but it is nonetheless a great place to visit. A popular hill for locals, they offer night skiing, twenty-six runs, and a surprising amount of expert terrain. There is one double chairlift, which riders claim is old, slow, and wooden—they also say, however, that this is part of the mountain’s charm.
The Ski Area’s summit is around 8,880 feet above seal level, and 80% of the skiable terrain is lighted for night skiing. Fantastic scenery can be glimpsed from every run on the mountain—nestled in San Juan National Forest, the area is known for its natural beauty.
Hesperus is one of the most accessible ski resorts in the area—for both its location and placement on essential access roads (Highway 160), but also for its lift ticket costs. A full-day adult ticket costs $39, and a teen ticket, which is reserved for ages 13-20, is just $33. These low costs are also applied to the main lodge offerings, such as food, beverages, and ski rentals. If you want to take a break from the thigh-shredding powder, Ski Hesperus also features a popular snow tubing hill.
With great group rates, accessible prices, tubing, night skiing, and a great, local atmosphere, Hesperus should be high on your list when you visit the San Juan National Forest.