What Is The Cost Of Living In Durango, CO?

Ashley Sutphin
by Ashley Sutphin

Durango, Colorado, is a mountain town perched 6,500 feet above sea level. It’s a relatively small town, with only around 16,000 residents. Durango has an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. However, the cost of living is higher than the averages in both the United States and Colorado.

It’s a beautiful place to live, located between the San Juan Mountains and the Animas River Valley. In the winter, there are snow sports, and in the summer, it’s a destination for hikers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

The cost of living index for Durango, for a homeowner with no needed childcare, is nearly 129, which means it’s well above the national average of 100. The housing index is 203.6 currently. The median home value currently is around $521,000 in Durango, making housing a big expense here. Durango is more expensive than the national average in nearly every measure aside from transportation.

Below is everything you need to know about how much it will really cost you to call Durango home.

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Durango, CO House Prices

As was touched on, the median home value in Durango is currently around $521,000, which could price out a lot of buyers. Home appreciation over the past decade in Durango is around 19%.

One of the most expensive communities in Durango is Hermosa/Cascade, with a median real estate price of $620,120, which is more expensive than 85% of other Colorado neighborhoods. It’s more expensive than almost 89% of all other neighborhoods in the U.S. Hermosa is made up primarily of single-family homes with three-to-four bedrooms, and many of the homes are newer, having been built since 2000.

The Durango City Center is also expensive in terms of housing, with a median real estate price of $598,480.

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rate
Colorado Springs$380,00059%
United States$269,03965.8%

Property Taxes in Durango, CO

Colorado is known for low property tax rates. For the state as a whole, there is an average effective rate of 0.49%, compared to the national average of 1.07%.

La Plata County, where Durango is located, has an average effective property tax rate of just 0.29%. The median annual property tax payment in La Plata County is $1,103.

Durango, CO Rent Prices

Because it is a small town, there aren’t a lot of rental options available in Durango, CO. For a one-bedroom apartment in Durango, the average rent price is $1,365, and that is actually a 3% decrease from the previous year. The rental rate in Durango is just over 44%. Most properties are single-family, at 51.6%.

The average cost to rent a studio apartment in Durango is, on average, $832. For a four-bedroom rental, expect to pay an average of $1,643.

Colorado CitiesAverage Monthly Rent
Colorado Springs$1,281
Fort Collins$1,549

Average Cost of Utilities in Durango, CO

Utilities for one month, including heating and electricity for one person in a small studio apartment, might be around $100 on average. For the internet for a month, expect to pay an average of $114. The average range for the price of basic monthly utilities is anywhere from $83 to $300 a month.

These averages are based on an apartment of around 800 to 900 square feet, so for a larger home, you could potentially pay quite a bit more in utilities.

Taxes in Durango, CO

Colorado has a state income tax rate of 4.75%. There is currently a sales tax total of 8.4% in Durango. 2.9% of that is the Colorado state sales tax. Then, there is a 2% La Plata county sales tax and a 3.5% Durango city sales tax.

There is currently a 22 cent gas tax on each gallon purchased, and lawmakers in Colorado are weighing an increase.

Durango, CO TaxesCost and RateNational Average
Sales Tax Rate8.4%7.12%
Gas Tax22 cents per gallon52.64 cents per gallon
Property Taxes0.29%1.1%

Durango, CO Food Prices

A lot of things do come at a premium in Durango, and that includes food. For example, expect grocery prices that are around 8% higher than the national average. Most Americans spend around $400 a month on groceries. You could end up paying more than $430 a month in Durango. The grocery cost of living index is 107.9 in Durango, meaning above the U.S. average because, again, anything above 100 is above the national average.

If you want to grab a fast-food combo meal, you might pay anywhere from $6 to $10. For a mid-range meal for two at a sit-down restaurant, the range could, on average, be anywhere from $40 to $80.

Durango, CO FoodAverage Price Range
Inexpensive restaurant meal$8.50-$25
Regular cappuccino$2.50-$5
Gallon of milk$2-$4.50
Dozen eggs$1-$2
1 pound of apples$1.29-$2.50
Bottle of mid-range wine$8-$20

Below, we’ve outlined how much you’re likely going to pay for normal grocery items:

Food ItemCost
1 Gallon of Milk$2.63
1 Pound of Local Cheese$5.35
12 Dozen Eggs$1.83
1 Pound of Rice$1.29
1 Pound of Chicken$3.27
1 Pound of Apples$1.89
1 Head of Lettuce$1.59
1 Bottle of Mid-Range Wine$13.00

Durango, CO Education

Fort Lewis College is located in Durango, and the cost of tuition is 4% cheaper than the national average public four-year college tuition. Tuition was $7,056 for the 2019-2020 academic year, compared to the national average of $7,357. The cost of Fort Lewis College for out-of-state students is $19,528.

For infants, the average cost of full-time childcare in Durango is $1,837 per month. In fact, the entire state of Colorado is known for having the highest daycare costs in the country. The average in the state is around $1,277, which is the 8th highest in the U.S. For a four-year-old, the average cost of care in Colorado is $12,390 per year. To hire a nanny in Durango is around $14.50 an hour.

In Colorado as a whole, the average private school tuition is $8,751 for elementary schools. For high schools, that goes up to $15,450.

Transportation Costs in Durango, CO

The City of Durango doesn’t have an extensive public transportation system, so it’s likely that most people own cars. However, there are some transit options. The city is pedestrian-friendly, and it’s only around 5.6 square miles total, but there is a system of buses called The Lift and also trolleys. These run on weekdays. The bus far is $1 a ride. There’s also a Late Night Weekend Bus on Friday and Saturday nights.

Downtown Durango parking options are limited, but municipal lots are free in the evenings and on the weekends and holidays.

Car insurance premiums in Durango are on average just over $1,330 a year, which is less than Colorado’s average of $1,757. The average price of gas in Durango is around $2.30 a gallon.

Durango, CO Flights

There is a small airport called Durango-La Plata County Airport, which is around 12 miles southeast of Durango. The most frequently traveled domestic routes from Durango are to Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, and Chicago. United and American primarily serve these routes.

To fly from Durango to Denver, you might expect to pay on average around $276. A ticket to fly from Durango to Denver could be around $464. Denver International Airport is around 360 miles from Durango.

The largest international airport close to Durango is Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). There aren’t direct flights from Albuquerque to Durango, however, so you would have to drive.

Entertainment in Durango, CO

Durango is scenically beautiful, and a lot of the things to do in the area are outdoor-centric as a result.

For example, you can ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through the San Juan National Forest. There are many hiking, mountain biking, and ski trails in the area. The downtown is historic and has galleries, museums and restaurants, and cafes.

Durango, CO EntertainmentAverage Cost
A ticket on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad$74 per adult
Day pass at Purgatory resort$49 per half-day session
Gym membership for one person$35 a month
Movie ticket for one person$12

What’s great about Durango is that thanks to the focus on the outdoors and adventure sports, a lot of the best entertainment is free or very low cost.

Related Questions

Is Durango Safe?

Durango is considered safer than 9% of U.S. Cities. The crime rate per 1,000 residents is around 38.37. The Colorado median violent crime rate is 3.81 per 1,000 residents, and it’s 4.37 for Durango. There aren’t a lot of reported violent crimes in Durango. Crime is primarily property-related. Among all Colorado cities, Durango is ranked somewhere in the middle in terms of safety.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Durango?

Durango is a prime location, especially for those willing to rent and enjoy this winter wonderland. If you’re obsessed with the outdoors and want to live in Durango, you’ll need to make around $31,928 a year before taxes. This will equate to around $2,608 per month for a single adult.

How Much is Healthcare in Durango?

The healthcare cost index is higher than the national average in Durango at 113.9. For the state, the average is 95.8. The average cost to visit a doctor in Durango is around $100, and if you go to the dentist, the average price is estimated at $108.

How Much Money Do People Make in Durango?

The median household income in Durango is similar to the national average. It’s $53,621 in Durango, compared to $53,482 for the United States. The average hourly pay rate is around $19, and the average annual income for someone living in the town is $30,200 a year. Industries employing the most people are hospitality and food services, educational services, and healthcare.The minimum wage in Colorado is $12.32.

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Final Takeaways

The most expensive part of living in Durango is housing if you’re going to buy a home. There’s a fairly limited supply of homes, including rentals, and buying specifically comes at a premium. The cost of living has gone up in Durango, and many people may be opting to move there to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. While the cost of living is above the national average, living in Durango is significantly cheaper than living in a big city like San Francisco, Washington D.C., or Miami.

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Ashley Sutphin
Ashley Sutphin

Ashley Sutphin Watkins studied journalism at the University of North Carolina. She now works as a full-time writer with an interest in all things real estate and interior design. She lives in East Tennessee and enjoys the nearby Smoky Mountains with her family.

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