If you’re looking for a great end-of-summer trip, may we suggest Durango Mountain Resort? It’s one of the best places in the West for a summer trip (or any other season, but here we are…), plus there’s a Mushroom Festival this Saturday, Aug. 23 (we love mushrooms).
Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) says that August is the prime month for finding wild mushrooms. Therefore, Saturday starts at DMR with a guided hike and foraging around the backside of the mountain. State-recognized mushroom expert, Chris Ricci, proprietor of Majesty Mushrooms, will educate hikers on which mushrooms are okay to take home and consume.
The Guided Mushroom Hunt starts at 9:30 a.m. with a short shuttle ride to the backside of Purgatory to hunt for mushrooms. After the hunt, you’ll be brought back to the resort’s base area around 1:30 p.m. The cost for the Hunt is $40 per person and includes a guide, shuttle service and lunch. Children 3 and under are free.
New this year, the Mushroom Festival offers a family-friendly atmosphere with more interaction and educational presentations from 3-6 p.m. The festival features seminars by Majesty Mushrooms and San Juan Mycology, who will educate participants on how to identify mushrooms, how to grow mushrooms, and more.
Two of Durango’s top chefs, Executive Chef Sean Clark with El Moro Spirits & Tavern, and Chef Sergio Verduzco with East by Southwest, will conduct cooking demonstrations of mushroom-inspired dishes, and Cream Bean Berry will feature a mushroom-infused artisan ice cream for dessert. There will be tastings and fine wine and craft beer on tap as well.
Durango’s own The Assortment will play live music throughout the festival. The cost of the festival is $40 per person. Kids 12 and under receive free admission and will enjoy crafts, games, and kid-friendly food and beverages.
Those wanting to make a full day of it can save by purchasing the combination package for the Hunt and Festival for $70 or $40 for kids 12 to 4 years old. For those attending the afternoon Mushroom Festival, roundtrip shuttle service is available from the town of Durango to Durango Mountain Resort for $20 per person. Shuttles depart Durango High School at 2:30 p.m., and depart the resort to return to the high school at 6:30 p.m.
Visit www.DurangoMountainResort.com/mushroom to register for any of the Mushroom Festival activities. Special lodging packages are available during the Festival weekend. Save 15% on one night slopeside lodging from Aug. 21-26. Book lodging reservations by going to www.DurangoMountainResort.com/mushroom, or calling 800-525-0892 and mentioning "Mushroom Festival."