Rustic Adobe Ski Lodge in San Juan Mountains
The Hollywood producers behind How the West Was Won needed a shooting location that would do justice to the film's huge budget and star-studded cast. They found a stunning backdrop amid the San Juan Mountains in a tiny town called Ridgway. Some of the film's iconic vistas are visible from the grounds of the Chipeta Solar Springs Resort & Spa, a 102-acre spread dotted with adobe villas.
The main lodge embraces its surroundings with design elements such as a two-story solarium teeming with indigenous plants. In the great room, a flagstone fireplace is accented with a pair of feathered arrows. Each lodge room exudes its own brand of southwestern style with rough adobe walls, tiled baths, and knotted-wood furnishings. Some lodgings have views of the solarium; the Loghill and Mears rooms offer private covered porches overlooking the mountains.
A visit to the resort's spa will ease ski-worn legs more comfortably than spending the night in the mall on a massage chair. Therapists infuse massage treatments with herbal oils and natural elements, such as marble stones. Chipeta's saltwater thermal pool adds a touch of warmth to the chilliest afternoons.
Ridgway, Colorado: Old West Town Near Telluride Ski Area
Known as the Gateway to the San Juan, Ridgway lies between the Cimarron and San Juan Ranges in southwestern Colorado's Uncompahgre Valley. Vestiges of old Ridgway are on display at the Ridgway Railway Museum, which houses a collection of antique rail cars. Nearby Telluride's slopes and the renowned Telluride Ski Area draw skiers until early April. Here, they slice through powder skiing, test limits on a vertical drop, and revel in free gondola rides. Ten miles south of the hotel, climbers scale the town of Ouray's public ice climb park. Ouray's historical Victorian buildings house boutiques and art galleries, where artisans blow glass, handcraft metals, and whittle wooden statues with sharp rhetoric.