Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cold Mountain

Fresh powder and natural heat in Wolf Creek, Colorado


It might be winter in the rest of the country, but in LA, the closest you'll get to a snow-covered mountaintop is a Diddy Riese ice cream sandwich on a hike through Runyon Canyon. 

For some real winter weather, book a trip to Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek Ski Area, where the world's deepest hot springs combine with the most snow in Colorado. Plus an added bonus: total peace and quiet.

Here’s your rundown on the ultimate chill vacation at southwest Colorado’s most laid-back hidden gem.

With an annual snowfall of 465 inches (the most in Colorado) and a 1,600 foot vertical drop, Wolf Creek Ski Area is a fresh powder skier’s dream. No ice. No long lines. Tip: Ride the Alberta lift to discover 1,000 acres of backcountry tree skiing, expert black diamond runs, and all the open space you could ask for.
Lift ticket $85 per day. 3821 U.S. 160 (970-264-5639). 

After a long day on the slopes, it’s time to soak in the 23 mineral pools on the grounds of The Springs Resort & Spa, site of the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs. After experiencing hot springs Jacuzzis, waterfall-fed mineral pools and adults-only VIP soaks, relax in the John Wayne Suite overlooking the San Juan River from your private balcony.
$199 and up per night. 165 Hot Springs Road (800-225-0934). 

Set in a luxuriously restored 1912 cottage with huge mountain views, the Alley House Grille makes your dining decision a no-brainer. With Moroccan spice-rubbed chicken, grilled Colorado rack of lamb, and Muscovy duck breast vying for your attention, you're in for the best meal you’ve had in quite some time.
214 Pagosa St. (970-264-0999). 

After-dinner drinks await at the new BackRoom Wine Bar. Relax in plush leather booths, zone out in front of the outdoor fire pit, or belly up to the tapas bar to keep dinner going with tuna and octopus tapas, or goat cheese and shaved-lamb pizzas.
175 Pagosa St. (970-264-9463).

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