If the Front Range or greater Denver metroplex is how you know Colorado, you've been deprived. The coolest part of the state—arguably, of course—is Durango. A six hour drive southwest from Denver, it feels remote and special. Piñon smoke scents the air, red rock bands stripe the valley walls, and the massive San Juans scrape an often cloudless blue sky. About 30 minutes north of town, you'll find Durango Mountain Resort at Purgatory, home base for the rootsy San Juan Ski Company snowcat operation. SJSC territory equals nearly 60 square miles—more terrain than all of Colorado's resorts combined—and hides countless tree lines, bowls, and chutes. Bring a family, or any group of varying skill levels, and the timid can cruise Purg's groomers while the shredders hit SJSC and nearby Silverton Mountain.