The Best Cabins and Lodges to Book in Colorado

Go off-grid in Colorado with a stay in a woodland cabin like this one in Taylor Canyon
Go off-grid in Colorado with a stay in a woodland cabin like this one in Taylor Canyon | Courtesy of Taylor River Lodge / Expedia
Photo of Tim Forster
6 October 2021
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From cozy cabins beside the Colorado River to ski lodges in resort towns, here’s our guide to the best stays for outdoor-lovers in the Centennial State, bookable with Culture Trip.

The landscapes of Colorado are bucket-list gold, from the desert canyons to the Rocky Mountains. And if you want to make the most of the state’s beauty, it’s best to skip the big hotels and go with other options that are a little closer to nature. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of these, from basic dwellings to fancy lodges with copious amenities. Here are eight of the best options, spread across the more scenic western half of the state.

The Landing at Estes Park

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Courtesy of The Landing at Estes Park / Expedia
It’s high in the Rockies but The Landing is only a 90-minute drive from downtown Denver. Just outside the resort town of Estes Park, it’s a fine retreat, blending rustic-chic suites, villas and cabins – the adults-only suites with repurposed barnwood furniture are excellent for a romantic long weekend. Most of them roll out private balconies, a wet bar and cozy gas fireplaces; the villas and riverfront cabins are good bets for families or groups, with room for up to six guests.

Glenwood Canyon Resort

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Courtesy of Glenwood Canyon Resort / Expedia
Head slightly northeast of Glenwood Springs – a place of red sandstone cliffs and rejuvenating hot springs – and you’ll come to this picturesque spot, with a dramatic canyon setting right alongside the Colorado River. If you’re looking for an active vacation you’ve come to the right place: there are stacks of activities taking place all around, including rafting, ziplining, hiking, bike trails and climbing. As for laying your hat, there’s an assortment of simple-yet-comfortable cabins, cottages and suites; most have full kitchens, or you can zip into Glenwood Springs and be settling into the restaurants and bars in a matter of minutes.

Elk Mountain Lodge

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Courtesy of Elk Mountain Lodge / Expedia
This place has come a long way from its early-20th-Century roots as a lodge for coal miners: now it’s a dream base for ski bunnies in the resort town of Crested Butte, around four hours’ drive southwest of Denver. With 19 bright rooms that sleep two (rollaway beds are available for groups of three), the lodge is the epitome of an intimate retreat – but with a hot tub and lobby bar, it also has space to socialize. And when hunger pangs strike up, there’s a wide range of restaurants offering everything from Mexican to Nepalese cuisines just two blocks away.

Dunton Hot Springs

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Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs / Expedia
In the mountains and valleys of southwest Colorado’s San Juan National Forest is this hidden gem of a retreat. Its 13 log cabins are luxurious, with (mostly) king beds and a carefully cultivated chalet ambiance; some also have wood stoves and their own private hot springs. Otherwise, you can take a dip in the springs in the resort’s own bathhouse or outside under the stars. This is a five-star destination, so prices are distinctly special-occasion, but include all meals (created with local ingredients by an in-house chef) and all drinks, including damn-fine wines.

Gravity Haus Vail

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Courtesy of Gravity Haus Vail / Expedia
At the center of Colorado’s most upmarket ski town you’ll find small-but-mighty Gravity Haus. With hot tubs, a sauna, steam room and ski-valet service, it’s geared towards making your time on the slopes as effortless as possible. Choose between a spectrum of room types with modern decor and soft king or queen beds (there are larger rooms for families, too). Or pick one of the self-contained two- or three-bedroom condos with their full kitchens, laundry and TVs with surround-sound stereo systems. The in-house restaurant dishes up hearty steakhouse-inspired après-ski meals – or step out to explore the other buzzy joints Vail excels at.

Gateway Canyons

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Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort / Expedia
Welcome to red rock country, a few miles east of the Colorado-Utah border, Gateway Canyons is the biz if you’re desperate to really get away from it all. Its funky, colorful lodgings feature an eclectic mix of adobe and mid-century design — there’s a fairly wide range to choose between, including the deluxe one- and two-bedroom casitas with fire pits on private decks. It’s quite isolated – the city of Grand Junction is 50-plus miles away – but the resort piles on the outdoor activities, which can include hiking, biking and dips in the pool. Numerous restaurants onsite spoil you with Southwestern cuisine.

Taylor River Lodge

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Courtesy of Taylor River Lodge / Expedia
Want some 24-carat seclusion? Taylor River Lodge is off the grid, with just eight cabins in the Taylor Canyon of central-west Colorado. But the isolated location doesn’t mean a lack of amenities: there’s a bathhouse with sauna and hot tubs, a game room, gym and spa, and more outdoor activities than you can shake a Nordic walking pole at. Bedding down means a choice of smaller Queen cabins for a cozy retreat, or two larger options with wood stoves and loft bedrooms that work for families or small groups. All meals are included, with the lodge’s chef focusing on creative and seasonal dishes.

Wisehart Springs Inn

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Courtesy of Wisehart Springs Inn / Expedia
Among the mountains, deserts and rivers of Colorado’s Western Slopes is this friendly, family-run inn. It has three quirky, circular rooms with locally made, lovely-to-lie-in bedding and mosaic-clad bathrooms. These can be booked individually (two people per room) – or take the whole inn, which can sleep up to eight. There are two fully equipped kitchens on site – and when you’re tired of self-catering, the welcoming towns of the North Fork Valley await, with wineries, spas, yoga studios, art galleries and sizzling cultural events.

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