This tiny community outside Durango is known for its family-oriented ski hill, Ski Hesperus. Locals love this quiet and inexpensive winter playground in southwestern Colorado.

A good part of Hesperus is lighted for night skiing, and there's a tubing hill for kids. Featuring crowd-less slopes and a full ski-school program, it's also a great place to learn how to carve turns. Between runs, a snack bar and warming hut await.

Note: Due to an unexpected and major mechanical failure, Hesperus will be unable to operate for the 2023/2024 season.

A few guest ranches and numerous cultural, recreational and historical sites are also close to Hesperus. For scenic stays in luxury, book a few nights at the Blue Lake Ranch. This local bed and breakfast features its own trout fishing lake, private houses for each couple/group and stunning views.

Guided fishing trips, old-fashioned sleigh rides, dog-sled tours and 4x4 trails all originate around Hesperus, and guided hunting trips run from local Highlands Unlimited. Hunts range from horseback pursuits to drop camp, where local guides have a camp already set up for the hunters. For those who like to bag 13ers and 14ers, Hesperus Mountain is the highest peak in the La Plata Mountains range and located about an hour and 15 minutes north of the town by the same name.

From hiking along the Colorado Trail in La Plata Canyon to exploring the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park to soaking in soothing waters at Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa, there's an endless selection of surprises waiting here.