If you haven’t been to the Colorado Western Slope you are seriously missing out on some amazing views and culture. We started off our trip in Palisade and made our way down to Durango. Every town was so unique and had Colorado hidden gems. We did everything from wine tasting to mountain goat hunting. Here are the Best Places to Visit on the Colorado Western Slope!
Favorite Places to Eat and Drink in Palisade Colorado
Peach Street Distillery – Every spirit is handmade in Palisade! You can also do a tour and sampling of their Bourbon which I would highly recommend. Also, peach brandy? Yes.
Talbots Cider – Shopped their sweet little market and indulged in fresh peaches, plums and apricots before sampling their wines and ciders. I loved the pear and dry cider. Great outdoor patio with yard games.
Palisade Cafe 11.0 – I went for the Beyond Burger with Palisade Fruit Pie. Did not disappoint. Sat outside and people watched while thoroughly enjoying this healthyish comfort meal!
Best Palisade Vineyards:
Restoration Vineyard– I actually fell in love with the white wine called Semillon. I typically prefer reds but this one was my favorite. The wine flight, live music and outdoor venue was perfect for a Friday night.
Mesa Park Vineyard– So cute! $5 dollar tastings with a great atmosphere is hard to beat. It had beautiful views and I loved the red barn.
Colterris Vineyard– All I have to say is if you don’t get the cabernet, you messed up. Amazing views, great staff and delicious wine.
Bright Room on Vineyard– We stayed at an Air BnB with a lovely host named Poppy who made a great breakfast in the morning. There were some harmless bugs due to the season but other than that would recommend!
Stops we made on the way to Durango:
We briefly stopped in this little town to walk around, grab a bite to eat and check out the scenery!
Taco Del Gnar– Yum! This place was recommended by one of my dear vegan friends. Gnar had great options for all diet preferences. I went with an ahi tuna and a Thai chicken thigh taco paired with homemade guava lemonade.
Perimeter Trail and Cascade Falls- Must make time for this hike. Even if you don’t want to do a long hike, getting to Cascade Falls is beyond worth the ¼ mile trek. It’s beautiful and you can feel the water spray off the falls. If you walk along the path a bit to the left you can also view the entire town from above.
Ouray Brewing – Great Colorado spot for an Instagram worthy picture and beer. They have swings as seats but you might have to wait a bit, they are busy!
BrickHouse 737- Blistered shisito peppers and fried Brussel sprouts is all I had to read and I was sold. They have awesome salads, local foods and vegetarian options!
Definitely a unique vibe, especially with all the motorcyclists in town and off roader fanatics. We happened to be there during the Labor Day motorcycle rally.
Thee Pitts Again – First of all they have an awesome old pink dodge outside and pepto-bismol décor. There BBQ sauce is on point and the baked beans…amazing. And yes, Guy Fieri has been there.
Coffee Bear Silverton– Loved their colorful logo on the outside so had to stop in. They have pasties, burritos
Durango was a wild adventure starting with a beautiful train ride, 10 miles of backpacking, hiking and hunting.
The Silverton Train– This historic train has been in continuous operation between Durango and Silverton since 1882, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives. The views of the river and being able to look over cliffs are incredible. Awesome experience.
Chicago Basin– Chicago Basin is a 15.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. We hiked in 8 miles and camped three days while scouting for goats and enjoying the hiking around it.
Twin Lakes– We ended up doing this hike multiple times, once at 4am to get a head start and during the afternoon to have better views. This brutally steep trail switchbacks up a headwall before dropping hikers off at Twin Lakes, giving them the option of hiking Sunlight and Windom to the right or the Eolus Group to the left.
From camp near the top of Chicago Basin Trail, hike on clear trail at 11,200 ft. There’s a wooden sign here, but it’s easy to miss. Not to worry, the trail you want is the one going up toward them big, needly mountains.
Chicago Basin Secret: I hide a kombucha in the river at the trail head of the Chicago Basin to have after our 3 day backpacking trip. Best Idea Ever!
Best Places to Eat in Durango:
Switchback Tacos– Actually ate here twice! Loved the chicken tinga tacos and mexi-corn salad! Great environment with simple yet trendy options.
Durango Bagel– This was my last meal before heading into the wilderness and it was so satisfying. They are busy in the morning but worth the wait! We got a breakfast sandwich, cream cheese and lox bagel and then a cinnamon sugar bagel with maple cream cheese.
Jean Pierre– Had an amazing green chile cream cheese croissant. If you’re into French pastries (who isn’t), I would make a stop.
These were the highlights and best places to visit on the Colorado Western Slope! I would highly recommend planning a trip soon! I almost couldn’t believe we were still in the same state!
For this trip make sure you have:
JetBoil – This thing is worth it while camping! Heats up water in less than a minute and is easily packed!
My favorite Mountain House Meal is the Beef Stroganoff
Book I read while relaxing and camping “The Beautiful No”