This hidden-away ski resort in the Colorado Rockies is a hidden gem, as are these accommodation options – all within a chair-lift’s reach of the slopes.
The Wolf Creek Ski Area has the most snow in Colorado and you’ll hardly need to share it with a crowd. This local-friendly hangout has short lift lines so you won’t be spending much of your day on level ground. If you’re a little shaky on your skis, you can take lessons, though you’re just as welcome to strap on a snowboard instead. Spend all day in nature and all night in comfort when you stay at these hotels near Wolf Creek.
When you stay at the Wolf Creek Ranch Ski Lodge, you’ll be so close to the slopes that – if the trajectory was right – you could probably hit a jump right into your suite. Most cabins and motel rooms have full kitchens so you can fill up on a full breakfast and make a fast break to the fresh powder. Skiing not on your agenda? Hang out at the ranch and explore the trail on horseback, with snowshoes, or zooming through on an all-terrain vehicle.
The Nightingale Motel is a funky little lodge in Pagosa Springs, half an hour from Wolf Creek. Built in the late-1800s as a house and medical clinic before being transformed into a motel in the 1940s, The Nightingale continues the century-long streak of hospitality. Sip on a few cocktails at its romantic bar, the Neon Mallard, before taking the fun next door at Mountain Pizza, where Neapolitan-style slices and a self-serve beer tap wall will keep things flowing.
You don’t need to stay in the wilderness to get away from it all, just book a room at Sandhill Inn and Suites. A cozy king or queen suite will put you right to sleep, especially after a dip in the indoor hot tub. In the morning, tuck into a complimentary hot breakfast before heading out into Monte Vista in search of a second cup of hot coffee – we suggest Rain Brews. In fact, it’s probably the best place in town for an evening of fun, too, with 24 craft beer taps!
Rustic cabins, RV spaces, and tent sites – it doesn’t matter where you sleep as long as you follow the mountain call to Bruce Spruce Ranch. If you’re bringing a blizzard of friends on your ski trip, the five-bedroom Fari House is secluded, sleeps 15, and has a stocked trout pond only a football field away. Visiting with the family in the summer? A simple tent site will suffice if all you need is running water, a firepit, hot showers, and a game of horseshoes.
Fireside Cabins are actually on the riverside, offering private fishing access to any angler who wants to wind in a little peace and quiet. Float your way through Nathan’s Hippy Dip Hot Spring on a rentable inner tube or stay dry with a stroll along the San Juan River Walk downtown. And, of course, you’re always welcome to hang out with other guests at the communal firepit outside.
Escape the crowds of Wolf Creek and take it slow at Elkwood Manor Bed & Breakfast. Only 25mi (40.2km) from the resort, the five suites at Elkwood all feature king beds and fireplaces. You can spend hours on the old-fashioned wrap-around porch of this log cabin, your 180-degree view of the San Juan mountains only interrupted by the two cats who may join you for a spell. Did we mention breakfast and evening happy hour are also included?
Stop off in this South Fork dwelling and allow yourself to get snowed in. Keep the one-bedroom house all to yourself or get the whole gang together in the four-bedroom villa. The coffee maker and large dining room table in each house will help your crew play through a full game of Monopoly. There are also balconies in each villa in case someone wants to wait out their jail time staring at the mountains.
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