La Plata County offers something for everyone! Our County is large enough to be home to two symphonies, but small enough that you can live a friendly and stress-free life. Whether you are seeking an urban downtown atmosphere, a suburban neighborhood, a small quiet community, or a hobby farm, the towns and countryside of La Plata County can accommodate you, your family or your company. Use this page to help you learn more about the place we are from… and you can be too!
Weather (in Durango)
Average High: 40 degrees F in January, 85 degrees F in July
Average Precipitation: 19 inches, with 68 inches of snowfall in the winter
Driving Distances within La Plata County
Durango to Bayfield: 20 miles, 25 minute drive time
Durango to Ignacio: 24 miles, 30 minute drive time
Bayfield to Ignacio: 10 miles, 20 minute drive time
Economic Information available here
Median Home Price: $344,000 (2012)
Median Condo/Townhome Price: $245,000 (2012)
School District: Durango 9R
Durango is the County Seat of La Plata County and internationally recognized as the hub of activity for Southwest Colorado. Durango is home to many of the regional centers of activity, such as Fort Lewis College, Southwest Colorado Community College, the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Mercy and Animas Surgical Hospitals, San Juan Symphony Orchestra and Music in the Mountains, the Animas River Trail and over 2,000 acres of open space within City limits, the regional mall, and the Durango-La Plata County Airport. Durango also is home to many of the area’s largest employers. Many newcomers note that the City has more amenities than you would ever expect to find in a community this size!
Housing opportunities vary widely in Durango, from condos and lofts downtown, to historic houses along 3rd Avenue, to newer housing developments such as Skyridge adjacent to Fort Lewis College, Three Springs near Mercy Hospital and, soon, Twin Buttes on the west side of the City. Whether you are looking for urban, new urban, historic, suburban, or living near nature, Durango has something to offer everyone!
Median Home Price: $210,100 (2012)
Median Condo/Townhome Price: $155,000 (2012)
School District: Bayfield 10JTR
Bayfield is situated in the middle of abundant outdoor recreational opportunities with proximity to Vallecito and Navajo Lakes, Durango Mountain and Wolf Creek Ski resorts, and Mesa Verde and Chimney Rock National Parks. It is one of the fastest growing communities in Colorado, yet it is still a rural town that takes pride in its history, local agriculture, and great amenities. Bayfield has a strong school district and a fantastic library, as well as a quaint downtown that has ballfields for youth and adult sports, a regionally renown Fourth of July Celebration, and the ever-popular Bayfield Heritage Days held each September.
Bayfield is expanding its fiber internet system to better serve residents and businesses alike. The town’s affordability, laid back lifestyle, employment opportunities and proximity to South Durango (it is only 20 minutes to Mercy Regional Medical Center) make it ideal for people looking for a quiet pace of life to raise a family, and seeking a short commute to work. Bayfield is also 10 minutes from Forest Lakes, one of the largest and most affordable subdivisions in La Plata County. It is a popular place for people to live who want to live “in the mountains”.
Median Home Price: $122,500 (2012)
School District: Ignacio 11-JT
Boasting a rich tri-ethnic heritage from the Southern Utes, the Spanish, and Anglo settlers, Ignacio’s downtown reflects a southwest architecture unlike anything else in La Plata County or Southwest Colorado. Visitors and residents alike enjoy quick access to Navajo Lake– the largest reservoir in the region- as well as a charming downtown, great local stores and restaurants, the Sky Ute Casino, and the stunning new Southern Ute Cultural Museum. Ignacio is also home to the government of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the largest employer in La Plata County and one of the most financially successful Native American tribes in the United States. More than 1,400 people work between the Southern Ute Government, the Growth Fund, and the Casino.
Ignacio is building a new Middle School, substantially renovating and LEED-certifying its Elementary and High School, and developing a cutting edge curriculum for its students. The town is small enough that children can walk to school from almost any neighborhood. Residents are proud of the low crime rate, great community resources, affordable housing, work opportunities in the oil & gas industry, and proximity to Durango as great reasons to consider Ignacio for your next home!
Median Home Price: $328,000, ranging from $198,000 near Bayfield to $357,000 near Durango (2012)
Median Sales Price for 35 Acre Lots: $170,000 (2012)
Rural La Plata County spans a vast area, from the alpine forests that overlook the 14,000 foot peaks of Chicago Basin to the high desert country of western La Plata County (known locally as “The Dry Side”). La Plata County is large, but small enough that driving to one of the three communities is convenient from almost any location in the County. Internet access continues to expand, allowing cable and wireless access from most places within the County. Rural La Plata also has many new farm businesses such as James Ranch, Sunnyside Meats, and Foxfire Farms, so that you can buy vegetables, cheese, meats, and wines all grown locally!
Depending on where you work or wish to retire, you can choose from resort condos and homes at Durango Mountain Resort or Glacier Club; cabins in the woods behind Lemon and Vallecito Lakes; subdivisions that embrace the Colorado lifestyle like Dalton Ranch, Edgemont, Forest Lakes, or Durango West; rural large lot subdivisions like Rafter J or Shenandoah, or large acreages south of US 160 for your horses or hobby farm.