Surrounded by abundant recreation, this serene mountain-town destination resort promises a private getaway experience with a full-service spa, circular cedar sauna, steam room and teepee courtyard meant for informal gatherings. Treat yourself to complimentary scheduled yoga classes or the award-winning solar-heated soaking pools outside. Looking for a dining experience complete with breathtaking Rocky Mountain views and delicious cuisine? The on-site, award-winning Four Corners Restaurant and rooftop Sky Bar dish up surf-and-turf alfresco but also cater to vegetarian palates.
Once you’ve indulged in Chipeta’s stellar amenities, set out to explore downtown Ridgway. The creative district was one of the state’s first to be certified. It’s home to Billings Artworks, where the shiny Grammy Awards are produced — yes, we mean those that the likes of Beyoncé and Frank Sinatra have won. Or check the calendar at the historic Sherbino Theater, aka Ridgway’s living room, for information on film festivals, live music and theatrical performances.
Lovers of the past will delight at the Ouray County Ranch History Museum, which tells the story of farm life in the county from the 1880s to present. Check out the saddles and spurs — they might make you want to become a cowboy. Ridgway Railroad Museum espouses on the bygone times of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad, which was born in town. Walk through the old railcars, equipment and artifacts that sit on the grounds.
After a good night’s rest, head to the great outdoors to Telluride Ski Resort for a top-five-recommended downhill-skiing experience or Top of the Pines recreational area for some Nordic skiing. Beginner and intermediate trails will lead you to impressive views of the Sneffels Mountain Range. If you aren’t a skier, don’t worry — you can experience the same breathtaking views while hearing the snow crunch under your snowshoes on the same trails. Rent your snowshoes at Ridgway Adventure Sports.
Rest your weary muscles just down the road at Orvis Hot Springs’ clothing-optional soaking pools or Ouray Hot Springs family-friendly geo-thermal heated pools, equipped with showers, personal lockers and changing rooms.
All that moving around town has probably left you with quite the appetite; good news, there are plenty of mouthwatering options in town. Located on the corner of a historic brick building, Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery is a cozy destination for Detroit-style pizza and a sudsy craft beer.
Kate’s Place is the eatery in town for fluffy, fresh-off-the-griddle pancakes, while savory hand pies and spicy margaritas are flowing from the eclectic Eatery 66 — where you can still view the original Airstream where food was once served.
Step into what appears to be a leftover movie set at True Grit Cafe — modeled after the film, which was shot in Ridgway, in 1969. The Old West-style building dishes up a famous bacon cheddar burger among many other favorites.
Craving a spicy drunken noodle? Thai Paradise’s low-to-the-ground tables are awaiting your arrival. And you don’t even need to shred the gnar to snack on sloppy Joe tacos at Taco del Gnar — don’t forget the queso blanco with chorizo!
Day Trip to the Surrounding Mountain Towns
Called the Switzerland of America for its jutting mountains and verdant expanses, Ouray is situated in a river valley at almost 8,000 feet, just 8 minutes from Chipeta. There’s a small mining-town feel with a hustle-and-bustle attitude that meets utopian serenity.
Start your day at Breakfast on Main with the chocolate-chip waffles covered in ribbons of chocolate sauce and a huge pile of whipped cream.
History buff? Make sure to point your skis to the ghost town of Ironton, where several wooden buildings are doused in snow, making them look like gingerbread houses.
Forty-five minutes south of Ouray you'll find backcountry skiing at its finest. Silverton Mountain and Outback Terrain’s guided tours of elevations between 10,000 and 12,300 feet are absolutely spectacular.
Tired of skiing? Ironton and the Uncompahgre River Trail offer epic snowshoeing options with quiet charm. Rent your shoes at Ouray Mountain Sports.
Break for lunch at Red Mountain Brewery or Colorado Boy Southwest Pub. Then get back outside at the Ouray Ice Park. It’s one of the most popular ice parks in the world for its sheer size and difficulty. The geometric, bright-blue cliffs will delight everyone, including the wee ones who can attend Ice Climbing Kids College. Or watch the Ouray Ice Festival, an annual competition of some of the world’s best climbers. Another winter event sure to entertain the whole family is the San Juan Skijoring competition.
End your day with a walk around the Ouray Historical District and dinner at Brickhouse 737. Might we suggest the elk Bolognese garnished with rosemary mascarpone?
Wake up early and drive about 45 minutes south to the historic mountain town of Telluride. Located in a canyon enveloped by some of Colorado’s tallest mountains, the colorful Victorian-era houses and Western storefronts will greet you under the rising sun.
Begin your Telluride time at The Butcher & The Baker. The Day Maker sandwich is packed with eggs, sharp white cheddar, succulent breakfast sausage and fresh arugula, all bathed in house-made pepper jam.
Once you’ve gotten your fill, head to Telluride Ski Resort for some exhilarating downhill skiing. The world-class resort has options for every level, whether you’re basically an Olympian or just gaining your ski legs. You can even take a fee-based round-trip shuttle from Chipeta to the resort.
After a full day of carving the slopes your hunger is probably raging — head across the street to Oak. The luscious pork ribs with crispy fried okra will help make your day complete.