Durango beer (and biking and hiking) is a big hit

Durango has eveyrthing you need for a weekend getaway. Photo by Dustin Cook/Durango Area Tourism Office



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Durango has eveyrthing you need for a weekend getaway. Photo by Dustin Cook/Durango Area Tourism Office

Bike riding in Durango is a popular recreation. Photo by Sven Brunso/Durango Area Tourism Office



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Bike riding in Durango is a popular recreation. Photo by Sven Brunso/Durango Area Tourism Office

Yvonne Lashmett/Durango Area Tourism Office



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Yvonne Lashmett/Durango Area Tourism Office

QUICKREAD

TAKE MORE TIME IN DURANGO

Mountain biking:

Hermosa Creek Trail — This is one of the most popular single-track trails in Durango. It runs from Purgatory to Hermosa and is about a 20-mile ride. A dirt road takes you to the trailhead on the backside of Durango Mountain Resort.

Hiking:

Raider Ridge Overlook — This is a mile-long hike that offers views of Durango and the Fort Lewis College campus. To get there, follow Eighth Avenue, off College Drive to Third Street and about a block east to its end, the trailhead’s start.

Golfing:

Hillcrest Golf Club is just north of Fort Lewis College campus above Durango. The course overlooks the town and is open to the public. Info: 970-247-1499.



When I’m in Durango, I drink. Period.

I’ve done just about everything else there is to do there, and it’s all fine, please understand.

Here’s how I look at it: While any number of western Colorado getaways will offer you hiking, biking or a float down a river, few will match the quality, handcrafted suds per capita of Durango.

First, however, a treat even the non-impaired will enjoy.

My perfect day in Durango starts with they city’s must-see attraction: The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

This historic, steam-powered ride snakes nearly 50 miles through the San Juan National Forest, between Durango and Silverton. For information, call 888-872-4607, or go to http://www.durangotrain.com for the when’s and what’s.

Please, no drinking until afterward.

First thing, Ska Brewery, 225 Girard St., has been on more than one occasion my first and only stop in Durango because of the quality to the product. I’m partial to the Pinstripe Red Ale, one of seven of their “flagship” brews. They offer tours of the establishment, while their tasting room includes various bar fare.

Ska always has some interesting or unique happening. For example, as of early May, they were advertising “Happy Hour Yoga with Heather,” for $10. I’ve never done it but love the concept and potential, and I fully intend to give it a go. Check this space next year for my review.

For updated happenings at Ska, go to http://www.skabrewing.com.

After several hours, you’re probably ready to mix in a sit-down meal to start soaking up more brew.

Time to get a taxi to Steamworks Brewing Co., 801 E. Second Ave.

While Steamworks’ brews should never be underestimated — the tasty Third Eye Pale Ale is a favorite of mine — they have wonderful food. They have a series of great southwest-style dishes and pizzas. The barbecue chicken pizza was so good, I tasted the thing for something like a month.

Go to http://www.steamworksbrewing.com for more.

Carver Brewining Co., 1022 Main St. — http://www.carverbrewing.com — and Durango Brewing Co., 3000 Main St. — http://www.durangobrewing.com — are also both fine options but likely too much for one day by this point even for a seasoned beer professional such as myself.

The morning after my perfect day, my head demands a hearty breakfast.

Here, hands down, there’s no other option: Durango Diner, 957 Main St., offers wonderful green chili in a small, no-frills atmosphere that allows patrons to literally belly up to the bar. The huevos rancheros will set you free or cure any hangover.



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