While the rest of the country flocks to our sunny beaches for the winter, you've got the need for downhill speed. In a much cooler clime.
Welcome 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 navigating southwest Colorado’s most laid-back hidden gem (sorry, Telluride).
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, recently opened by the family that runs the Alley House. Relax with a fine bottle of Moscato or Malbec 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).