Luxurious Ghost Town: Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores, Colorado
This resort, 70 miles southwest of Telluride, has earned a reputation as a luxe spa for indulging in rock massages and alfresco hot-spring soaks. But its 12 19th-century mining cabins, constructed by prospectors who flocked to the area seeking gold and silver, are the highlight. Each has been renovated with modern amenities and has its own name and distinct feel, from a one-bedroom cabin built around an indoor hot spring to a new canvas and reclaimed lumber tent with a wood-burning stove inside. The former saloon is now a dining hall that serves meals with ingredients plucked from nearby meadows. And from your front door, you can hike either of the 14,000-foot peaks surrounding the lodge, fly-fish the west fork of the Dolores River, or mountain-bike Stoner Mesa Trail's 22 miles of singletrack. "If you just want a walk," says Billy Moffat, who's lived in the valley for 34 years, "you can get up to a 12,000-foot peak called Johnny Bull and see four states. And if you want a climb, you can go up to the meadows and scale Mount Wilson, which is 14,246 feet." Once back at Dunton, check out Colorado's only active geyser, located on the property, then soak in one of the resort's five hot-spring pools. You'll need it. [From $600 per night, meals included; duntonhotsprings.com]
Getting There: Durango, two hours southeast, has daily flights from Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver — and the 85-mile drive is one of the best in the Rockies.