Durango Jeep Tours: Conquering Colorado 4×4 Trails

Durango Jeep Tours: Conquer Colorado 4x4 Trails in the San Juan Mountains

The scenery around Durango, Colorado is jam-packed with gems. The soaring peaks of the San Juan Mountains have rushing waterfalls, towering trees, abundant wildlife, and adventure around every corner.

By going on the best Durango Jeep tours, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful scenic areas while riding in a fully-outfitted 4×4 Jeep. Expert guides fill you in on the area’s robust history and unique geology as you conquer the trails.

But not all Jeep tours in Durango Colorado are the same. I’m an adventure-focused Coloradan passionate about sharing all this beautiful state has to offer. And after reading this, you’ll have everything you need to pick the best Durango Jeep tour that meets your needs and budget.

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A view from the drive along the Million Dollar Highway

The Best Durango Jeep Tours

Best OverallMild 2 Wild Rafting La Plata Canyon Jeep ToursBest overall reputation and customer satisfaction, 4-hour tour through the stunning La Plata Canyon$$Check Price
Top Alternative RouteColorado Outback Adventures Bolam PassReputable outfit, offers more remote route near Purgatory Resort, guided UTV tours available too$$Check Price
Best Jeep RentalsColorado Outback Adventures Jeep Rentals in DurangoWell-priced 10-hour Jeep rentals, expert advice with maps and trail recommendations, well-outfitted rigs ready for adventure$$Check Price
The Mild 2 Wild Durango Jeep tour in La Plata Canyon

Mild 2 Wild Rafting: Durango Jeep Trail Tours 

With 30 years of expedition excellence giving tours near Durango, Mild 2 Wild has what it takes to provide a great experience without fail. While the company started with rafting tours, they also offer excellent Durango Jeep Tours that are worth your time.

This level of experience is noteworthy, but what truly sets Mild to Wild Rafting in Durango, Colorado apart from the rest is their ability to please each and every customer. The reviews for this Durango tour provider are out of this world, far surpassing every other Durango Jeep tour around.

If you’re ready to see the price, head over to the Viator listing for the Mild 2 Wild Durango Jeep Trail Tours, backed by a lowest price guarantee and superior trip cancellation protection.

La Plata Canyon Jeep Tours From Durango

The main Durango Jeep tour offered by Mild 2 Wild sends you through La Plata Canyon, with the trail entrance located about 20 minutes west of Durango. It’s a half-day adventure available in the morning and afternoon.

The La Plata (Spanish for silver) Canyon was carved by a glacier, leaving behind a beautiful meadow surrounded by no less than six mountain peaks over 13,000 feet high. It’s full of wildlife with marmots, deer, elk hawks, eagles, moose, and bears roaming the remote landscape.

Your Durango Jeep tour follows the La Plata River to the 19th century La Plata City mining town before heading high above timberline on the four-wheel drive Jeep trails. You’ll nearly touch the clouds as you ride along the majestic cliffs, stopping at scenic overlooks and avalanche gullies.

The view from the inside of the Mild 2 Wild Jeep tour near Durango

What You Need To Know About Durango Jeep Tours

To start your Jeep tour near Durango, you’ll meet at the Mild 2 Wild office located on the northern side of Durango, Colorado. There’s plenty of parking and a small gift shop. The tour takes about 4 hours and no food is provided, but you can bring your own snacks.

The tours use a variety of heavily modified Jeeps and trucks that seat around 8 people per vehicle. The expert guides share a depth of knowledge about the area, including its history and geology. Even long-time Durango residents report being impressed by the information.

Colorado’s landscape is constantly changing, especially in these extreme mountain areas. Some tours have to work around changes caused by avalanches, relentless snowpack lasting through the summer, and other hazards.

But Mild 2 Wild Durango Jeep Tours are known for overcoming these challenges with ease. They know the routes, have plenty of backup options, and will always deliver a great day regardless of the conditions.

Mild 2 Wild Rafting: The Tour Details

Location:Starts in Durango, goes through La Plata Canyon
Tour length:Half day (~4 hours)
Ages:4 and up
Starting times:8:30 am and 1:30 pm
Seasons available:May to October (depending on snowpack)
Fitness required:Minimal but expect a bumpy ride
Adventure level:Mild

We recommend booking the Mild 2 Wild Durango Jeep Trail Tours on Viator. You get a lowest price guarantee and superior trip cancellation protection.

The Durango Jeep tours with Colorado Outback Adventures

Colorado Outback Adventures: Jeep Tours and Jeep Rentals in Durango

When two long-time Durango adventures join forces, magic happens. And that’s the story behind Colorado Outback Adventures, a Durango tour company that offers rafting, Jeep tours, and Jeep rentals in Durango.

Colorado Outback Adventures has one of the most extensive arrays of ATVs, UTVs, and Jeeps available for rent in Durango, plus expert guides and insider information to make every trip a blast. You can hop in the comfort of a guided tour or take over the driver’s seat in a choose-your-adventure near Durango.

This lineup of tours and Jeep rentals is impressive, but the real reason we recommend Colorado Outback Adventures is their commitment to customer satisfaction and depth of knowledge. They’re backed by more than 30 years of Durango tour experience and have an impeccable reputation.

We found more than a thousand reviews for Colorado Outback Adventures’ rafting and Jeep tours. They are nearly flawless with solid 5-star ratings across every major platform, countless stories about memorable experiences, and overall a downright impressive organization.

Let’s go through the major Durango Jeep tour options they offer, including:

La Plata Canyon 4-Hour Durango Colorado Jeep Tour

With a convenient location 20 minutes west of Durango, La Plata Canyon is an accessible Jeep tour that’s also full of splendid scenery. Colorado Outback Adventures offers tours that start at 9 am and 2 pm, so you can choose how to pack your day with Durango tours.

On this Durango Jeep tour, you’ll head to the top of Kennebec Pass. You’ll drive through the historic mining sites, rushing waterfalls, and gorgeous mountain views all around. The wildlife in the area is abundant, so keep your eyes peeled to see elk roaming the meadows and hawks in the air.

Professional guides share stories about 19th-century mining operations and the incredible Colorado geology. They’ll make sure to provide all-day smiles and fun, carefully catering to your desires.

Check out the prices and availability for the La Plata Canyon 4-Hour Durango Colorado Jeep Tour on Viator, where you get the lowest price guaranteed.

Bolam Pass Durango Jeep Tour

There’s more than one scenic road near Durango, and the Bolam Pass Durango Jeep Tour is another excellent option. You’ll meet at Purgatory Resort, located about 45 minutes north of Durango.

Bolam Pass cuts through a fertile valley filled with Douglas fir and blue spruce trees, with stunning peaks in nearly every direction, including Lizard Head, Grizzly Peak, and San Miguel. Each is layered in the many colors common in the San Juan Mountains. It’s a remote area that surrounds you in the stunning beauty of Colorado.

On this Jeep tour, you’ll reach over 11,000 feet from the comfort of a customized, open-air seat in a Jeep Gladiator. The guides will share the history of the area while also spotting wildlife and stopping for photo opportunities. It’s an adrenaline-filled adventure on a single-track road.

Book the Bolam Pass Durango Jeep Tour through Get Your Guide to book now and pay later. Get Your Guide also provides excellent trip cancellation protection.

The guided tours through Bolam Pass with Colorado Outback Adventures

Guided ATV Tour to Scotch Creek and Bolam Pass

If you want to get a more adventurous experience on Bolam Pass, you can take this Durango ATV tour instead. You can sit behind the wheel or in the passenger seat of your own ATV, RZR, or UTV.

You don’t need any prior experience and the guides will help you learn how to drive the all-terrain vehicle and ensure your safety while out on the trail. It’s a great way to ramp up the excitement under the support of experts.

The ATV tour near Durango will take you through scenic viewpoints, historic sites, and a gorgeous part of Colorado.

The only downsides are that since this is based on the vehicle rental, the price is the same for any group size up to 4 people, making it a little pricey for singles or couples, and each driver has to put down a sizable $1,500 damage deposit.

Other than that, this is a great way to get out there. We recommend booking the Guided ATV Tour to Scotch Creek and Bolam Pass through Get Your Guide. It comes with superior flexibility through a reserve now and pay later policy, plus a full refund up to 24 hours in advance.

Durango Jeep Rental with Maps and Recommendations

Taking a guided tour isn’t your only option with Colorado Outback Adventures. They also offer Jeep rentals in Durango, complete with expert recommendations and maps so you can get the most out of your day.

You can check out ghost towns, gold mines, and waterfalls at your own pace. They’ll help you understand your options, including epic off-road trails like Animas Forks, Imogene Pass, and the Alpine Loop.

The Durango Jeep rentals they offer include a modified 4-door Jeep or a Jeep Wrangler Willys Edition that’s built for off-road adventures.

The price for these Jeep rentals in Durango is surprisingly reasonable and comes with an impressive 10-hour rental.

Whether you’re flying in from far away or want to borrow an off-road vehicle to tackle the day, it’s a great solution. And the pickup location in Durango at the Colorado Outback Adventures office is convenient.

Check out the Durango Jeep Rental with Maps and Recommendations on Get Your Guide to get superior trip cancellation protection. 

The RZR rental near Durango through CO Outback Adventures

2-Seat KRX Kawasaki Teryx 1000 UTV Rental in Durango

There’s something special about classic 4×4 Jeeps, but the more recent introduction of advanced off-highway vehicles and side-by-sides has added an entirely new segment to the off-roading world.

Colorado Outback Adventures also offers RZR rentals in Colorado, getting you into a powerful and capable off-road machine to take out on the trails. You can choose between a 2, 4, or 5-hour rental, and they’ll provide everything you need to have a blast, including maps and trail recommendations, plus GPS tracking to ensure your safety.

To give you the most out of your rental time, you’ll meet at Purgatory Ski Resort, located about 45 minutes north of downtown Durango. From there, you can head out on some of the most scenic trails Colorado has to offer.

This KRX Kawasaki Teryx 1000 UTV is the ultimate adventure machine featuring massive ground clearance, long-travel suspension, and a high-torque 999cc engine. A rigid frame with integrated roll-over protection keeps you safe.

Book your KRX Kawasaki Teryx 1000 UTV Rental in Durango through Get Your Guide now.

Colorado Outback Adventures History

Casey Harper has been running Durango tours since 1995 when he moved to Durango to open a white water rafting company. He then added Durango Jeep Tours in 1997, allowing his company to help people explore Colorado’s scenic areas by land and water. 

Casey has run these operations for nearly 30 years, providing lifelong memories to people who otherwise wouldn’t have opened the doors to Colorado’s magnificent backcountry.

In 2016, Bob Williamson joined Casey to open Colorado Outback Adventures. Bob is another passionate outdoor enthusiast with deep roots in Durango and Casey’s tour operations, once serving as a river and Jeep tour guide in the late 90s. 

Together, Casey and Bob have made a deep commitment to excellence. Their combined efforts show in the incredible customer satisfaction and overall experiences offered by Colorado Outback Adventures Durango Jeep tours:

The Mountain Waters Rating Durango 4x4 tour

Mountain Waters Rafting Durango 4×4 Jeep Tours

Operating since 1981, Mountain Waters Rafting is deeply connected to Durango tours and adventures. And like most of the best operators in the area, they also offer Durango Jeep tours through La Plata Canyon.

Like the others, you can select a morning or afternoon adventure, where you’ll hop in the back of a modified 4×4 truck or Jeep made to handle the rugged terrain with a handful of people in open-air seating.

You’ll ride through 14 miles of La Plata Canyon up Kennebec Pass, reaching over 12,000 feet elevation. The guides will share knowledge about the local flora and fauna, as well as the mining history and the native Ute people, who lived in the area as early as 700 AD at the nearby Mesa Verde cliff dwellings.

This Jeep tour near Durango doesn’t have quite as much feedback as our top two choices, but the company overall has a solid reputation. And the reviews specifically related to the Durango Jeep tours are excellent, including satisfaction with the guides’ knowledge. 

They also showcase a commitment to giving back to the community through a long list of local and national organizations. Based on the LinkedIn profile, James Wilkes has been the owner since 2011. With over a decade at the helm of this historic Durango tour outfit, he seems to be steering it in the right direction.

The Durango 4×4 Tours start at 8:30 am and 2:30 pm. And if you have children, don’t forget to bring your own car seat as required by Colorado law.

As always, we recommend booking through Viator for their low price guarantee and superior cancellation policy. Check out the price and availability for this Durango 4×4 Tour today.

The Durango Rivertrippers Jeep tour near Durango

Durango Rivertrippers Jeep Tours

Durango Rivertrippers is another well-known outfit operating Durango tours and rafting excursions in the area. Their Durango Jeep Tours are a more recent addition.

The consistently available option is a shorter 2.5-hour Durango Jeep tour that goes through the popular La Plata Canyon. Due to the shorter nature of this Jeep tour in Colorado, they don’t go quite as high or far into the Canyon as other outfits. However, Durango Rivertrippers has exclusive access to private property that other tour providers don’t use. While they appear to offer the 4-hour La Plata excursion like other outfitters, this seems to not always be available.

They also offer a unique evening ride that starts at 5 pm, giving you plenty of time during the day for other adventures before packing on the Jeep tour.

According to its website, Durango Rivertrippers has been in business for 40 years, a truly impressive statistic. It seems there was an ownership change in 2013, when David Moler took over the operations, based on his LinkedIn information.

Overall, Durango Rivertrippers is stacked with 5-star reviews. In fact, it has the most reviews out of any tour operator we saw in Durango. They clearly know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to rafting trips.

One surprising thing uncovered during the research for this article is the owner’s public response to negative feedback. It can be rather harsh. We also found feedback from staff that indicates a similar issue. It’s clear that unsatisfied customers are the extreme minority and we find this organization is worth recommending, but we wish they used a more diplomatic response to negative feedback.

Durango Rivertrippers seems to be a well-oiled machine with Jeep tours near Durango. Just know that you’re getting a much shorter adventure before you sign up, and to ensure you get the best cancellation protection, book through Get Your Guide or Viator.

Check out the Durango Rivertrippers Jeep Tours on Get Your Guide or book through Viator today.

The Jeep trail near Durango with the Mild 2 Wild Jeep on it

Durango Jeep Tours: What To Know

Before you commit to any Jeep tour near Durango Colorado, there are a few things worth keeping in mind. We always think it’s crucial to carefully scrutinize any company you’re trusting with your time and safety, especially when it comes to adventure activities in remote areas.

It’s also worth taking a close look into the details of each trip, including where your guided Jeep tour will go, what their cancellation and weather policies are, and what to expect while out on the trail.

Durango Tour Company Reputation

When you’re in business to create lifelong memories and explore fun areas, you’re in a good position to make people happy. And after looking at the companies on this list of Durango Colorado Jeep tours, we found that most operators do an excellent job of putting a smile on everyone’s face.

When it comes to Jeep tours in particular, some tours near Durango stand out more than others. Mild to Wild Jeep tours in Durango, CO has a reputation in this area is far beyond the rest of the bunch, and that’s a major reason why they’re our favorite choice.

We also really like Colorado Outback Adventures, especially since they have such an extensive lineup of options and Jeep rentals near Durango, Colorado. And both Mountain Waters Rafting and Durango Rivertrippers have solid 5-star ratings on almost every review site, although they’re mainly focused on rafting adventures.

If you choose any of these tours in Durango, you’re certain to have a great time.

17 Great Options for Camping Near Mesa Verde National Park

Locations of Jeep Trails in Durango

Nestled in the southern section of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Durango is a great place to use as a base for adventures. You can visit the Mesa Verde National Park, go on zipline Durango tours, and of course, explore the many Jeep trails near Durango.

When it comes to the commercial-guided Durango Jeep tours, most operations like to stick close to town for a quicker, more convenient package. The most popular route is in La Plata Canyon, which is a spectacular area just 20 minutes away from downtown Durango.

You can reach heights of over 12,000 feet, see historic mining sites, and be in the heart of Colorado’s grand mountains and wildlife. La Plata Canyon has a lot to offer.

But if you want to try something else, you can do a tour that’s a little north of Durango (without going all the way to Silverton). Colorado Outback Adventures offers Durango Jeep tours based out of Purgatory Resort, about 30 to 45 minutes driving north of Durango. From there, you’ll head northwest to Bolam Pass, another incredible Colorado area. It’s slightly more remote and every bit as spectacular as La Plata Canyon.

Also with Colorado Outback Adventures, you can do Jeep rentals from Durango and choose which trail you want to go on. Since they offer a long 10-hour rental, your options are wide open. And they’ll help you choose the trail and location that’s best for your desires and abilities.

Check out our Colorado road trip itineraries for more ideas on where to go while visiting this beautiful state.

Cancellation and Weather Policies

Things don’t always work out as planned. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of adventure and travel, it’s that rolling with the punches goes a long way.

But you know what else helps? Having excellent trip cancellation protection.

We strongly encourage our customers to book through Viator and Get Your Guide. These two organizations compile many expert tours from across the globe, and the benefits of using them are incredible.

Kristina and Michael from Off Path Travels enjoying a beautiful mountain pass in Colorado on their road trip

Viator includes a lowest price guarantee, which means if you find it lower anywhere, they’ll refund you the difference. But if you check out their prices on these Durango Jeep tours, you’ll see they already offer the lowest.

Both Viator and Get Your Guide provide superior cancellation protection, with just 24 hours’ notice required to get a full refund. When weather, illness, and unexpected detours are part of life, this can really come in handy.

Best of all, these organizations exist to provide a more streamlined relationship between customers and providers. If things get to be tough with the owner of the sometimes-small operations, you have another group of experts to help lend a hand. Hopefully, it’s something you never need. But when the time comes, it can be a very nice card to have up your sleeve.

Prepare for the Unexpected: Weather and Supplies

The weather in high alpine environments like the Colorado mountains can change rapidly, especially when you’re out exploring areas at 12,000 feet elevation or more. Even if the day starts sunny and warm, that can change in an instant.

To enjoy your Jeep tour in Colorado, be prepared for everything. For summer Jeep tours, that typically means bringing a jacket, hat, and possibly more layers. You don’t need to go crazy, but it’s wise to expect the cooler temperatures found in higher elevations and unexpected rain.

Most Durango 4×4 tours use open-air seating. They might have a roof cover, but there will likely be some people exposed to the elements, including the sun. A hat, long sleeves, and sunglasses are worth having around.

Also, dehydration and elevation don’t mix well. Fill up a water bottle for each person in your group. If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, a trip to Durango is the perfect time to buy one. 

Bring some small snacks along too, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. Calorie-rich items like nuts and energy bars can pack easily, don’t go bad if you don’t eat them, and are great to have around when your belly starts rumbling.

Even when you’re going with a commercial operation, you are exploring a remote area. Being prepared with basic adventure gear helps you stay safe. And if things take a turn for the worse, they can come in handy. It’s always best to be prepared while exploring.

The beautiful La Plata Canyon near Durango, perfect for Jeep tours

Wrap-Up: Durango Jeep Tours

When you want to explore areas near Durango on a Jeep tour, there are abundant opportunities to choose from.

For La Plata Canyon Jeep tours from Durango, we recommend Mild 2 Wild’s expert group with an unbeatable reputation.

You also can’t go wrong with any of Colorado Outback Adventures options, including their Jeep tours to Bolam Pass and Jeep rentals in Durango.

Have plans for after your Durango Jeep tour? The less-popular Black Canyon of the Gunnison isn’t too far away. Or if you want to head east, knowing where to stay near the Great Sand Dunes National Park can go a long way.

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