Dunton Winter and Christmas Escape

Dunton Hot Springs

Colorado, The Rockies, United States of America

At a Glance

  • Magically romantic setting redolent of the Old West

  • Authentic Western hospitality where anything is possible

  • Incredible locally sourced food and exclusive vineyard

  • Summer adventures include fly-fishing, biking, horse riding and Mesa Verde national park

  • Backcountry, heli-ski or ski in nearby Telluride from Dec to mid-April

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

The Colorado mountains have an extreme continental climate with very cold winters and warm summers. Dunton is a year round destination – with June to August being its peak summer months. Colorado averages over 300 days of sunshine a year. June is however the best month weather wise with no rain expected. From the first week of July to the first week in August guests can expect short-sharp afternoon monsoon showers so activities like horseback riding are arranged for the morning.

From September onwards through to the start of November the weather is usually sunny and dry. In November, rain and then snow flurries begin. Riding, biking and fishing give way to winter sports like heli skiing, snow shoeing, dog sledging and skiing in world-renowned Telluride.

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Insider's View

Relax in the Bath House and enjoy the natural hot springs, before treating yourself to a massage at the Pony Express.

Dunton is a really special and indulgent place with spectacular food and wine. The resort attracts a really interesting crowd, and the communal dinners and drinks in the Saloon are great fun.

Spot Butch Cassidy's name engraved into the bar in the old saloon - Legend has it he strode in following a hard ride from his first bank robbery in Telluride and carved his name into the bar!

The Wellhouse cabin, with its own private indoor hot springs tub, is my top pick for honeymooners.

Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Dunton Hot Springs

Description

Dunton Hot Springs is an exclusive retreat set in a restored old mining town high in the Colorado Rockies, it's the place to fish sparkling rivers, hit the high trails and simply disconnect amid some of the most sublime scenery on earth.

Dunton Hot Springs is one of those rare places that inspire feelings of utter bliss. Located in the San Juan Mountains an hour from Telluride, the lodge occupies a twelve hand-hewn log cabins that originally made up this nineteenth-century silver miners town, exquisitely furnished inside.

A stay at Dunton Hot Springs is full of possibility and adventure. By day, you can follow spectacular hiking and mountain biking trails in the High Rockies, climb 14,000-feet peaks, jump into the saddle of sturdy horse to tackle high wilderness trails, enjoy world-class fly fishing on an exclusive nine-mile stretch of river, go kayaking and river rafting, explore the desert and Mesa Verdes national parks incredible Navajo archaeological sites, and even travel through the Valley of the Gods to the lodge’s own exclusive Sutcliffe vineyard, the list goes on, all with expert guides. In the winter, go helicopter skiing in a silent world of billowing powder, dog-sledding, ice-climbing and snowmobiling.

Or take an inner journey, learning photography, perhaps a painting class, enjoying a spa experience you simply will not find anywhere else, or soaking for hours in the natural hot springs. The library is a beautiful space in which to catch up on your reading with a glass of warming whisky or leaf through the resort's excellent collection.

Meals follow the tradition of the big cattle outlaws, all sitting together at a long antique table in the Saloon, the heart and soul of Dunton Hot Springs. Guests can also dine in their cabins, or on the private decks al fresco. Nothing is too much trouble. The original fixtures of the Saloon are fantastic – there is an antique cash register, a cosy wood-burning fire and you can even make out carved into the bar the names of Butch Cassidy and Sundance. Enjoy the freshest of organic local produce - succulent mountain lamb and river trout, ceps and chanterelles from the woods, and fruit and vegetables from the farm and vineyard, all served with great wines to match. You can even watch and help the chef prepare. It’s a great place to swap stories.

At night, head back to your cabin and sit out in a rocking chair on your private porch and admire the stars and the darkly silhouetted Rockies before retiring. The cabins are pure western romance. Classic wood furniture, rustic rugs and paintings are complemented by contemporary photography. Smaller cabins are ideally suited to honeymooners, while the larger cabins have three bedrooms, perfect for families.

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Accommodation

All of the thirteen cabins are hand-hewn and authentic, the cabins contain a world of whimsy and elegance. Lovingly restored, each possesses a distinct character. We can recommend the most suitable cabin, whether it be for a romantic honeymoon or family get-away. The town is built in a circle around the Saloon and Dance Hall, just steps from the wonderful bath house with its mountain hot spring. At the other end of town is an open air chapel and tumbling waterfall.

Well House

Built around an on-demand hot spring, it also includes a cold plunge and wood burning stove.

Vertical Log Cabin

Next to the waterfall, this is a unique cabin which is constructed out of big vertical cottonwood timbers. It also house a number of antiques.

Christy's Tent

This is a fascinating all-season tent constructed from cotton canvas and reclaimed materials from the 1830's. It includes a gas stove and large en-suite bathroom with amazing views of the mountains.

Major Ross Cabin

One of the original Dunton cabins, the Major Ross was built in the mid 1800s and is extremely close to the source of the hot springs while also being just steps away from the Saloon.

Bjoerkmans Cabin

This is one of the oldest cabins at Dunton and names after the miner that originally built it.

Dolores

Another original from the 1800s, Dolores is designed as a romantic retreat including a Queen Rajasthan wedding bed and a large deck that looks over the stunning river.

Tipping Cabin

Perfect for a family, it has three bedrooms and has been moved to Dunton from Parachute, another mining town.

Dunton Store Cabin

As the name suggests this was originally the General Store and includes its own private soaking pool. This cabin is a tribute to the American west and is filled with unique and fascinating film memorabilia.

New House Cabin

Situated right in the heart of the town, New House Cabin offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Forge Cabin

As the name suggests this is part of the old forge and is situated right by the Saloon.

Geysir Cabin

This intimate cabin is filled with African artifacts, given as a gift, along with the cabin itself, by the original owners.

Echo Cabin

This cosy cabin includes an indoor shower as well as a discrete outdoors shower for those wishing to get closer to nature.

Potter House

This is most certainly a house rather than cabin. Formerly a previous residence of the owner this comfortable house sleeps up to 10 and has 2 trout ponds just by it.

As the name suggests this is part of the old forge and is situated right by the Saloon.

This intimate cabin is filled with African artifacts, given as a gift, along with the cabin itself, by the original owners.

Situated right in the heart of the town, New House Cabin offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Perfect for a family, it has three bedrooms and has been moved to Dunton from Parachute, another mining town.

Childcare

There is a lot to do here at Dunton for all ages. Its mountain location means children can literally run around freely. There are different lawn games setup outside during the summer, and board games inside. Dunton can arrange nature walks, and games throughout the town and customize the experience for each and every family.

Services

The staff at Dunton are on hand to customize each and every experience for their guests - you need just ask. During your stay all meals and beverages are included. Wifi, telephone calls (as there is no cell reception) and laundry are also included so you can get muddy out on the trails without a care in the world.

Facilities

All dining takes place in the Saloon at one large antique table, synonymous with the old West. The team, headed up by renowned chef Carrie Eagle produces fresh, hearty food while the dining style itself is incredibly friendly and casual. Picnics are provided for those wishing to explore the area whether it be on a hike or out to visit Mesa Verde unaccompanied, while any special requests are welcomed.

The spa which is built in the former Pony Express cabin specializes in all natural treatments which, combined with its stunning setting, is the ideal way to relax before or after a hard day of exploring.

Activities

From world-class fly fishing on an exclusive nine-mile stretch of the West Fork of the Dolores to supervised treks to summit the 14,000-ft San Juan Mountain peaks, activities at Dunton Hot Springs & Cresto Ranch range from easy to heart-pounding in a pristine alpine valley setting. Mountain bike, hike the high trails alone or with a guide, horseback ride from the Dunton corral and afterwards, take a soak in the hot springs. Outside of the property, Mesa Verde National Park sits just 1.5 hours away with its fascinating ancient Indian archaeological sites, go Via Ferrata climbing in Telluride Valley or rock climbing. For wine enthusiasts, there's nothing better than hiking the Sand Canyon Trail in the Canyons of the Ancients and arriving at Suffcliffe vineyard for a private wine tasting.

In the winter, Dunton turns into a winter wonderland. Dunton's backcountry ski excursions give skiers and snowboarders of all abilities a chance to experience the ultimate wilderness delight: untracked powder. Whether a beginner or experienced backcountry fanatic, Dunton's guides will thrill guests with unspoiled San Juan powder. Heli-ski from the center of the town up to the highest elevations in the Rockies or Dunton can get you to Telluride just an hour away to hit the slopes with lift-passes in hand. For non-skiers, snowshoe, snowmobiling, ice skate and dog-sleigh with a hot chocolate in hand.

Reviews

5

Anna Bleasdale (Staff)

There's no mistaking that Dunton Hot Springs is different.  Where else can you actually live in an old deserted mining town yet still enjoy luxury and authentic surroundings?  Getting here can be a challenge with either a very bumpy, narrow and sometimes muddy back road or a long round trip adding an extra 30 miles or so (we recommend going that way having tried both on our visit). This is the great thing about Dunton though, you feel you are part of a very special secret, tucked away in a small valley surrounded by beautiful hills and snow capped mountains in the distance, this is true living breathing Colorado and it's history. Our stay was short but sweet.  We were here within the incredible Fall colors and it was breathtakingly beautiful. The feel was very adult orientated at this time although we were told that during the summer there are plenty of children here who take advantage of the unique setting to be able to run free and simply enjoy being outdoors. 

Our cabin was Vertical Log, a two bedroom cabin complete with loft, ideal for two children who would love the nooks and crannies. The feel is rustic yet wonderfully homely and comfortable with some incredible artwork that has been gathered by the Austrian owners over many years.  This is their home and when they are not there, they want all the guests to treat it as if it were their home for their stay.  So there's a large main house where we sat with other guests for meals which often became animated and fun as the wine flowed. Guests can also dine alone if they wish and there's no problem with that.  Days are spent hiking from the property, taking a long soak in the natural hot springs right there on the property or simply whiling away the hours curled up in a chair with a good book or exploring the fascinating books in the library.  It's a very mellow time of year and we get the feeling this is very much a retreat at this time. 

 In summer there are a plethora of activities to enjoy from hiking to fly fishing, mountain biking to horse riding.  They're arranged by outside outfitters, tried and trusted, and are on a private basis, ensuring a special experience.  Not cheap, but for a family, a great way to fill the days with new and exciting adventures.  Dunton Hot Springs is not a ranch, it's not an exclusive lodge, it's a village that you become a resident of for a short time.  You have like-minded neighbors and you become a little part of Colorado history, whether you come to escape the world or come as a family to reconnect, it's certainly an unforgettable experience.

5

Camilla Swift (Staff)

After miles of gravel road lined with beautiful soaring aspens, I arrived at Dunton Hot Springs, hidden away in rural rocky Colorado. This quaint cluster of perfectly restored log buildings, each hand-built, with its own distinctive character and furnished with unique antiques, brings together Old West romance and mountain high luxury.

Guests returning from a day of exploring on horseback, enjoying world-class fly fishing in private waters, hiking and mountain biking, can climb down the wooden ladder and unwind in the natural hot springs in the Bath House bubbling up from deep in the earth. Days at Dunton are rounded of with a delicious meal paired with fabulous wines from the local Sutcliffe Vineyards, sitting round the long table in the gorgeous saloon and swapping stories with other guests.

I just loved the history of this place and the feeling that the Red Indians could gallop in at any time! Once only a small clearing in the wilderness, Dunton's history is filled with tales of homesteaders, miners, Indians and ghost towns.

This was raw country in the 1880s when homesteader Joe Roscoe came from Minnesota to mine and lay claim to Dunton. He and his family survived by trapping, logging and mining. They built and rented out cabins, ran a bar and lodge, and charged a nickel to use the hot springs.

Legend has it that Butch Cassidy strode into the old Dunton saloon following a hard ride from his first bank robbery in Telluride and carved his name into the bar. You can still see his name today, amongst the other engravings, and it's fun to try and spot it whilst enjoying one of the delicious cocktails on offer!

Experiences

  • Cross Country Skiing

    Cross-country skiing offers a great chance to venture out of the track and into the wilderness. Glide along through the spectacular San Juan Mountains with no other person around except you and your professional guide and the wildlife.

  • Dunton Horse Riding

    Dunton boasts bold, sure-footed horses, gentle and willing on high mountain trails. Chose from an hour long trail ride through the meadows, to full-day pack rides climbing up to 11,000 feet to picnic with a 360 view of magnificent mountain peaks.

  • Dunton Snow-mobiling Adventure

    Explore the alpine beauty of Dunton by snowmobile! Several different tours are available during the winter season, which provide guests of all snowmobiling experience levels an exciting and fun filled snowmobile adventure.

  • Explore Ancient Ruins at Mesa Verde National Park

    Just a short 1.5 hr drive from Dunton is Mesa Verde National Park. Home to ancestral puebloans, you can explore the 'Cliff Palace' with its ladders, narrow tunnels and ascending steps. Visit the museum, take a tour of the dwellings and hike ancient trails

  • Horse riding

    Native Americans used to say that the horse was the white man's greatest gift. Discovering America on horseback instantly transports you into the landscapes, culture and history of this continent.

  • White water rafting

    There are plenty of places in the USA to run white water, but one of the best is the upper Colorado River where you can run standing waves and whoop and holler in delight as you and your team shoot the rapids.

Vacation Ideas

  • American West in Ultimate Luxury

    Denver, Telluride, Lake Powell and Las Vegas

    from $9400 pp 9 nights

    • Impeccable and friendly service
    • Delicious breakfasts with a different flavour smoothie each morning
    • Iced water in cool boxes for every couple on the beach

Location & directions

Colorado, The Rockies, United States of America

On West Fork Road in Dolores, Colorado Dunton Hot Springs is nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. Dunton is located at around 9,000 ft at altitude, therefore we recommend spending a night in Denver if it is your first stop on an itinerary to acclimatise.

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Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Dunton Hot Springs

Dunton Winter and Christmas Escape

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