Dunton River Camp at Cresto Ranch
Colorado, The Rockies, United States of America
At a Glance
Luxury safari tents open in the balmy summer months
Wake up to the sound of the nearby rushing Dolores River
Enjoy wraparound decks highlighting spectacular views of San Juan Mountains
Incredible locally sourced food and exclusive vineyard
Summer adventures include fly-fishing, biking, horse riding and exploring the Mesa Verde national park
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Dunton River Camp is open June 1 - October 31, with its sister property Dunton Hot Springs being open year round. 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. The rest of August through September tends to be dry.
Nestled in the stunning San Juan Mountains of the famous Colorado Rockies, Dunton River Camp at Cresto Ranch offers guests an authentic Colorado glamping experience in a majestic alpine setting.
Dunton River Ranch, built around the original restored 19th century Farm House at the neighbouring homestead, includes a main lodge, guest salon and wraparound deck with spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains. Located on the banks of the Dolores River, Dunton River Camp offers eight beautifully furnished safari style tents complete with a gas stove, spacious and luxurious en-suite bathroom, a private lounging porch and are equipped with their own mountain bikes for exploring 1,600 miles of back country trails.
This luxury glamping experience is perfect for active honeymooners seeking a restful secluded spot, or in the height of summer for families with older children who would enjoy nights under canvas in luxury. A stay at Dunton River Camp is full of excitement, and is sure to tap into your inner adventurer while also providing the ideal spot to really relax and get away from it all.
Days at the ranch are spent horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, doing yoga and pilates and recovering in the spa tent. The chefs will be delighted to cater to the more adventurous hoping to enjoy a picnic for fishing trips and hikes in the glorious and majestic San Juan Mountains. By night, indulge in a fantastic dinner creatively constructed by award-winning chefs, and relax with fantastic company among new and old friends.
The wilderness in this part of the world is truly fascinating, and those who come here get lost in the pure tranquillity of the surroundings. You'll leave feeling very much refreshed, although we can't promise you will ever want to leave!
The eight Cresto tents are the height of camping luxury with king-size beds made up with glam-rustic linens, en-suite bathrooms, cosy stoves and sumptuous furnishings. Each of the tents comes a view of either 14,000 foot Wilson Mountain Peak or the rushing Dolores River.
There is a lot to do here at Dunton River Camp 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. They can arrange nature walks, and games throughout the town and customize the experience for each and every family.
All dining takes place in the restored Farm House or out on the deck overlooking the river. The chefs use local and regional ingredients, (from their own farm and vineyard) to create a bespoke and seasonal menu each day. The dining style itself is incredibly friendly and casual and the evening dinner is the pinnacle and culmination of a day of excitement and relaxation. Among friends, guests share the stories of the day, and the delightful company, amazing food and fine wines come together to enrich the evening.
Of course, breakfast and a three-course lunch are also provided daily in the Farm House. Picnics are provided for those wishing to explore the area whether it be on a hike or out to visit Mesa Verde unaccompanied, and any special requests are welcomed.
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 River Camp at Cresto Ranch range from easy to heart-pounding in a pristine alpine valley setting. Mountain bike the 1600 acres of wilderness, hike the high trails alone or with a guide, horseback ride from the Dunton corral and afterwards, take a soak in the fantastic oversized bath tubs in your accommodation.
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.
New hiking and biking trails have been marked ready for Spring, meaning there's even more adventure to be had! There is also a brand new recreation tent opening at the River Camp in Spring 2016, which is bound to be a hit with children visiting Dunton River Camp.
Lucie Polwin (Staff)
Located in a remote valley surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the Dunton River Camp is ideal for anyone looking for a true glamping experience. The West Fork of the Dolores River runs through this secluded property allowing you to surround yourself with nature whilst still enjoying modern comforts. The beautiful eight safari style tents come with gas stoves, towel warmers and fixed bathrooms - it does not feel as if you are in a tent! Each tent comes with its own mountain bikes to explore the property, treat yourself to a massage in the spa tent, play a board game in the activities tent or relax by the fire pit. You can choose from a River or Mountain Tent, however due to the secluded location of the River Camp you will have wonderful views from either. Some people may find the River Camp a little too quiet for them but if you are looking for peace and tranquility, whilst still having access to a range of outdoor activities this will suit you perfectly.
Camilla Swift (Staff)
A stay at Dunton's Cresto River Camp is a camping experience like no other. The tents are gorgeous and so comfortable; equipped with everything you mind need, including wireless internet connection, a very effective gas fireplace (on thermostat), cosy blankets, the most comfortable beds, and en-suite bathrooms with huge bath tubs and heated towel rails! It really was one of the most comfortable stays of my trip to Colorado.
The surrounding woodland and meandering Dolores River is so picturesque, and definitely taking the bikes (provided complimentary with each tent) out for a spin to explore the trails.
Active families would love the River Camp, and I can imagine it to be a wonderful place to switch off and enjoy the wilderness and fresh mountain air for an off-the-beaten track honeymoon destination.
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
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.
Location & directions
Colorado, The Rockies, United States of America
On West Fork Road in Dolores, Colorado Dunton Camp at Cresto Ranch 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.
How to get there
It is a 9-hour 30-minute flight from London to Denver. Overnight in Denver and take a 1-hour flight to Telluride or to Cortez and a 1-hour transfer. Montrose (3-hours) and Durango (2-hours) are also good options for domestic flights in and out of the area.
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