3 Tips To Prevent Durango Altitude Sickness

Durango altitude sickness

While a visit to Durango will reward you with beautiful scenery and endless outdoor adventures, altitude sickness poses a very high risk. Below we'll cover the altitude of Durango and 3 tips to prevent Durango altitude sickness.

Durango Altitude

Durango is located at an altitude of approximately 6,522′ feet above sea level. While Durango altitude sickness symptoms may be on the mild side, for visitors coming from sea level they may be more severe.

If you're going to ski at Purgatory Resort with a base of 8,793 feet in elevation and summit of 10,822 feet in elevation, your risk of altitude sickness goes up dramatically. Also the Durango Silverton railroad, which has spectacular views, can get a high as 9,305 feet.

Other popular surrounding outdoor destinations will drastically increase your elevation such as Animas Mountain at 8,565 feet in altitude, Cascade Creek Falls at 10,200 feel in altitude, Spud Lake at 9,800 feet in altitude, and Mesa Verde National Park at up to 8,500 feet in altitude.

At some of these altitudes even some of the most experienced athletes are at high risk of altitude sickness.

What Are The Symptoms Of Durango Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is a type of hypoxia that starts most often between 6,000 and 8,000 feet. It's also referred to as acute mountain sickness (AMS), and is when your body isn't able to get enough oxygen.

Early symptoms from Durango altitude sickness may develop in 6-24 hours including dizziness, difficult breathing and headaches. The severity of your symptoms depends on how quickly you traveled to Durango from lower elevations, how much time you spent there, and how long you spent acclimating beforehand.

Durango altitude sickness symptoms may include:

  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping

Follow our tips below to avoid and prevent Durango altitude sickness.

3 Tips To Prevent Durango Altitude Sickness

If you're planning a trip to Durango you need to be prepared for the altitude. The higher you go, the less oxygen there is in the air and cause your body some serious setbacks. 

Prevention is simple if you know what to expect and how to prevent altitude sickness. Here are three ways prevent Durango altitude sickness:

1. Take It Slow & Acclimate

The first step in preventing altitude sickness is taking it slow and acclimating yourself over time. When traveling to places of high elevation — like Purgatory Resort and surrounding mountains of Durango — avoiding sudden changes in elevation can help your body adjust better. Instead, slowly work your way up from sea level over several days so your body can adjust along the way.

Staying in Denver at 5280 feet in altitude, Colorado Springs at 6,035, or directly in Durango at 6,522′ feet even can help lessen the altitude changes before a mountain journey if you're flying in from sea level. And many visitors will spend 1-2 nights in Durango to acclimate before starting to ski or hike.

One of the best ways to avoid altitude sickness is to take it slow and avoid strenuous exercise during your first few days in Durango. Getting ample sleep and rest can help your body adjust without too much stress.

During your Durango stay if you feel the onset of mild altitude sickness symptoms, such as shortness of breath or headache, stop and rest until the symptoms subside.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before you travel, during your trip and once you arrive in Colorado or in Durango. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration from occurring quickly at higher altitudes where your body loses more fluids through more breathing than usual.

In addition, due to the very dry climate most visitors of Colorado don't realize they're dehydrated and how much water they need to drink. Compared to sea level you need substantially more water, we'd recommend a baseline of half your body weight in water, or more. Take precautions drinking alcohol as well, which may actually hinders the body's ability to adapt and further dehydrate your body.

Dehydration can trigger the onset of altitude sickness symptoms leading to headaches, fatigue and nausea making a stay miserable with Durango altitude sickness. If hitting any outdoor destinations you'll need an extra amount of water, bring plenty of water bottles or hydration packets along, and if you want to properly maximize your hydration you'll want to take something such as hydration tablets.

3. Use Altitude Supplements

Outside of the above steps, the other most effective way to prevent altitude sickness is to use altitude supplements. These supplements are designed to assist your body adapt to the increased oxidative stress in the air at higher altitudes.

Some of these supplements contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for herbal altitude sickness prevention. In our years of research we've found 2 herbs for altitude adjustment to be most proven:

  • Glutathione - A key way to prevent altitude sickness is taking a best quality glutathione supplement to fight oxidative stress from increased elevations. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, and is found in research to be depleted by 45% in high altitudes.¹
  • DHM (Dihydromyricetin) - DHM is a natural compound found in Japanese Raisin which has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. It has been shown to increase high altitude physical performance when supplemented, therefore an effective altitude herb.²
The combination of these altitude herbs will give you body the ability to better tolerate elevations at your Durango trip.

This concludes our well researched list of 3 tips to prevent Durango altitude sickness.

Top-Recommended Altitude Supplement

recommended altitude supplement
Zaca chewables are a top-recommended altitude supplement based out of Colorado to help fuel your body for higher altitudes. Made with natural ingredients to help you feel better faster including Glutathione and DHM. The berry flavored chewables are easy to take when travelling, and packaged in convenient take on-the-go packets. Take them before and during you high altitude trip to gain the edge for a stronger body, and without stimulants like caffeine. Try Zaca altitude chewable tablets today and reach new heights.



1. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
2. Dihydromyricetin Improves Physical Performance under Simulated High Altitude