Mountain Lodge Surrounded by Colorado Wilderness
Although the Wild Horse Inn was built in 1991, its 400-year-old knotted-pine logs and giant picture windows give it the feel of a 19th-century mountain lodge. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the rustic bed and breakfast is located in middle of the Continental Divide. Though the property is well off the beaten path and about 5 miles from the nearest town, the Wild Horse Inn is well worth the effort. There, guests find the Rocky Mountains in the background, private balconies overlooking the forests, and private massage treatments. As Fodors says of the inn: “Your reward … is complete relaxation.”
Though all main-lodge guest rooms come equipped with private scenic balconies, each is individually decorated with a mountain theme. In Strawberry Creek, high wood-beam ceilings and decorative fishing equipment add rustic flair. An overstuffed reading chair and a jetted tub help guest relax in the larger Palomino room. A hand-carved wooden bed anchors the Dogwood room, where Native American and decorative woven baskets foster a southwestern theme. Each morning, one of the innkeepers prepares a homemade breakfast, with possible dishes including apple, brie, and bacon frittatas or whole-wheat peach and pecan pancakes, and can also fix a picnic lunch ($14/person). Guests have left Wild Horse Inn so satisfied with the food that the owners have had to post their recipes online.
Fraser, Colorado: Small Town Immersed in World-Class Alpine Recreation
Located on a ridge above the Fraser River Valley in north-central Colorado, Fraser is surrounded by two imposing scenic parks—Rocky Mountain National Park to the south and Arapaho National Forest to the north. Located 11 miles south of the hotel, Winter Park Resort transforms from a ski mountain to a summer playground once the snow melts. Careen down Colorado’s longest alpine slide or explore the mountain-biking system that connects to more than 600 miles of backcountry roads.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s gushing waterfalls, hidden glades and scenic overlooks are about a 30-minute drive away. The park’s Trail Ridge Road, called a “scenic wonder road of the world” when it opened by the Rocky Mountain News, is the United States’ highest paved highway and climbs up to 12,183 feet above sea level (opens in late spring/early summer). See nine Rocky Mountain peaks when driving around Rainbow Curve, and observe subalpine forests blend into arctic tundra.