How hard could it be? I was joining Telluride Outside for a scenic snowmobile ride along groomed trails between the Wilson and Dolores mountain ranges to historic Dunton Hot Springs for a soak in ancient waters followed by a gourmet lunch. Well, two hours driving the snow machine, the roar of the engine masking my heavy breathing, left me exhilarated and exhausted. By the time we pulled in to the remote Dunton Hot Springs property, an abandoned mining town turned Relais & Chateaux destination, my heart was pounding under the billowy snowsuit. I traded it for a giant fluffy robe and stomped through the snow to “the source,” the hottest of the three hot springs open for day visitors and overnight guests. I climbed gingerly down the slippery 4-foot wood ladder into the subterraneous tub of water naturally heated to 112 degrees by tectonic forces associated with the Triassic Dolores Formation.
Lunch at the Saloon where Butch Cassidy stopped will blow you away, sophisticated farm-to-table served family style. Beautiful and satisfying.
Telluride has a way of feeding your body and soul.
Much more than just a charming mountain ski town, the year-round destination attracts characters who make living a big life their priority.
Meet Chef Eliza Gavin (a graduate of Sewanee and Top Chef contestant) at 221 South Oak. She could have landed anywhere in the world but chose Telluride to serve dishes like a Rocky Mountain elk t-bone with goji berry walnut jam. She promises sustenance for even the heartiest diner who appreciates finesse.
The staff at the charming Hotel Telluride, a boutique chalet with a European feel, will gladly plan your excursions and make you feel welcome. Check out the secret bar on the outdoor hot tub deck.
Feeling the adventure calling? The Hotel Telluride is offering a ‘Two Picks and a Prayer’ ice-climbing package experience. Learning how to climb frozen waterfalls is an exhilarating and fun activity for individuals, families and kids and a beautiful (and for some, nerve-wracking) way to spend a winter day beyond the slopes.