Ever think you would read the words ‘romantic’ and ‘ghost town’ in a sentence together? Well here goes… Nestled in an Alpine Valley not far from Telluride, lies the romantic ghost town of Dunton Hot Springs Resort. Picture, luxuriously restored hand-hewn log cabins, revitalising hot springs and rolling green hills and you’ll be in Dunton Hot Springs.

Image courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs Resort

History:

The town, originally established in 1885 was a mining town. The town was not well connected when initially established, and it wasn’t until the Emma mine nearby was sold and developed that Dunton started to see changes. The towns population grew, as did its production of Ore. However, Dunton’s mining success was rivalled by nearby town Rico. So, by 1918, Dunton was abandoned. The same year the towns folk left, Joe and Dominica Roscio, who were long-time residents of Dunton, bought the entire town. The town was turned in to a cattle ranch which would expand to around 500 acres. In 1994, the current owners of Dunton bought the land and spent seven years renovating the entire town to create Dunton Hot Springs Resort.

Accommodation:

There are thirteen different cabins available at Dunton Spring Resort, each offering something a little different. To try and narrow that down a touch, here are our top three cabins for two people or for families or groups. You also have the option to rent out the entire town for up to 44 people for weddings, special event or corporate functions.

Perfect for Two:

1. The Well House Cabin is the only cabin in Dunton built around a small hot spring. The Cabin has startling mountain views, a fire place, king size bed, private hot spring and cold plunge – depending on your mood.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $2,100/night

2. One of the original 1800’s cabins, the Dolores Cabin has been spectacularly restored. It features a queen Rajasthan wedding bed, living area and a large deck overlooking the river. This secluded cabin is perfect for a romantic getaway.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $1,680/night

3.Christy’s Tentis a new addition to the resort. However, sticking to the tradition at Dunton Hot Springs it has been constructed using cotton canvas and reclaimed materials dating back to the 1830’s. The spacious design allows for a little extra luxury. It features a king size bed, gas stove and in the en-suite, a large shower overlooking the Wilson Mountain Range.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $1,680/night

Image courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs Resort

For Families or Groups:

1. As the owner’s former residence Potter House is on point. Sleeping up to ten people, Potter House features a master bedroom with fireplace and ensuite, king bedroom with ensuite and TV, another king bedroom, a queen bedroom, twin bedroom, one and a half bathrooms for the king, queen and twin rooms, kitchen, and a living area with a fireplace and wrap around deck. On top of that almost every room feature astounding mountain views.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $2,100/ night*

* Additional Adults (21+) : $315

* Additional Children (Under 21 years) $215

2. Taking its name from the vertical cottonwood timbers, Vertical Log is a large cabin which sleeps up to six people. There are two king bedrooms as well as two full beds in the loft, two bathrooms and a fully functioning antique copper tub. The rooms are furnished with antiques.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $2,100/ night*

* Additional Adults (21+) : $315

* Additional Children (Under 21 years) $215

3. Moved from, Parachute, another mining town in Colorado, Tipping Cabin is the perfect family cabin. Spread over two floors this cabin features two king bedrooms, a twin room, two bathrooms, a living area and overlooks the river. The cabin sleeps up to six people.

Price in Summer and Fall (May – October 2018): $1,995/night*

* Additional Adults (21+) : $315

* Additional Children (Under 21 years) $215

** Rates are priced nightly, based on double occupancy (two people) and include all meals and beverages with the exception of non-alcoholic and alcoholic on the Reserve List.  All rates are subject to tax & service charges, as well as minimum length of stay requirements.

Image courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs Resort

Packages:

The resort offers everything from weekend/weekly packages, wedding events, whole town hire and day experiences. As far as packages go, at Dunton Hot Springs there are six on offer.

Year Round Packages:

The 3-night Mountain Romance package for two, will have you reconnecting with your other half over Champagne, flowers and chocolate covered fruits on arrival, a relaxing spa treatment, a private dining experience and a privately guided activity of your choice – maybe a romantic horse ride?

Summer/Autumn package cost: $3,783 to $7,248

Winter/Spring package cost: $2,780 to $5,878.50

During the 5-night Celebration Package you get not one but two spa treatments of your choice, Champagne, flowers and chocolate covered fruits on arrival, two days of privately guided activities and a private dining experience just for the two of you.

Summer/Autumn package cost: $5,915 to $10,865

Winter/Spring package cost: $4,565 to $9,515

 Fly-Fishing experience, Dunton Hot Springs has you covered. The two full-day guided experience (add-on supplement for second guest $135/day) includes gear, a Dunton fly-fishing vest, a Dunton hat, a specialty box of Dunton fly-fishing flies, a Colorado fly-fishing licence as well as unlimited access to mountain bikes, hiking trails and the hot springs.

Summer/Autumn package cost: $4,410 to $8,370

Winter/Spring package cost: $3,330 to $7,290

Winter Only Package:

For the winter months Dunton Hot Springs offer a Ski & Soak 7-night package for 2 guests. The season for this package is from November to April and ranges from $5,356 to $8,326.

Wedding Packages:

 Elopement Add-On Package is the answer you’ve been searching for. The package offers you the choice of ceremony location, an officiant will be provided, as will a bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere, a wedding cake for two, a celebratory bottle of Champagne with two Dunton Hot Springs Champagne flutes as a memento and a wedding photography session. The package works literally as an add-on to any cabin you book. Just add the package when you book and Dunton Hot Springs will sort out the rest.

Elopement Ass-On Package cost: $2,200

For those who would like a bit more control and some guests there is also the Small Wedding Add-On PackageLike the Elopement Add-On Package, you have the choice of ceremony location, an officiant will be provided, as will a bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere, a celebratory bottle of Champagne with two Dunton Hot Springs Champagne flutes as a memento and a wedding photography session. However, with the Small Wedding Add-On you will also be provided with set up assistance, a “Rustic” semi-naked wedding cake and a private dinner setting for wedding guests after the ceremony. The package allows for a maximum of 20 guests.

Small Wedding Add-On Package cost: $5,000

Rent the Town:

For those keen to rent the town, whether its for a big family gathering, corporate event or a wedding, the option is certainly available. Dunton Hot Springs Resort accommodates up to 44 guests in winter and up to 60 guests in summer with the incorporation of the Dunton River Camp accommodation. All meals are included for guests, as are drinks (with the exception of fine liqueurs and vintage wines on the Reserve List). The use of all facilities including the hot springs, Saloon, banquet hall, internet and video-conferencing are available.

Summer/Autumn package cost: 29,000/night (minimum 3-nights, up to 44 guests)

Summer/Autumn package cost includingDunton River Camp: $39,500/night (minimum 3-nights, 60 guests)

Winter/Spring package cost: $24,00/night (minimum 2 nights, up to 44 guests)

Image courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs Resort

Summer Activities:

Fly-Fishing

For those wanting to enjoy some classic western fly-fishing, the Dolores River is the perfect place. Remember, for those wanting to fly-fish you need to obtain a Colorado fly-fishing licence or alternatively choose the 4-night fly fishing package which includes a licence.

Half Day ​$400 for one person -or- $275 per person for 2+ people

Full Day ​ ​$550 for one person -or- $350 per person for 2+ people

Horse Back Riding

The Dunton Local Loop Ride is a 45 Minute ride perfect for beginners and children. The ride costs ​$310 for one or two people/$150 for each extra person. Minimum age 6.

The 75 Minute River Camp Trail ​will have you riding beside a beautiful river, going through forests and around the old mining and cattle trails. The ride costs $530 for one or two people / $255 for each extra person. Minimum age 8.

Sampson Trail is a little longer at 3 hours and will see you going upriver and crossing onto a steep 1500 vertical foot climb up to a glorious view of Dolores Peaks. The ride costs​ $745 for one or two people / $360 for each extra person.  Minimum age 14.

The Mountain Trail half day or full day trail will have you making your way through Lizard Head pass and up to the Lake Navajo trail and the Kilpacker trail heads. Half Day ​$300 per person Full Day ​ ​$450 per person  Minimum age 16.

To embark on the The Desert Sand Canyon Trail it takes 1.5 hours to drive to the canyon. Once there the 3 hour ride will show you the serene desert surroundings. The day is topped off with a lunch prepared by the Dunton Hot Springs Chef and a wine tasting at Sutcliffe Vineyards. Full Day ​$300 per person. Minimum age 16.

*Full day trips include a packed lunch, snacks and beverages. Helmets are provided and required for minors.

*Recommended: Jeans, sturdy shoes, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, camera and sunscreen.

Guided Walks With Llamas

For something a little different try going on a Llama Hike. You can completely customise this hike to suit you and your needs. You can explore the beauty San Juan Mountains with a fun companion. Minimum age 6.

Full Day​ ​$200 per person.

Other Activities:

Guided Walks: $170 – $400 per person (Half-Day & Full-Day)

Hike and Wine Tasting: $200 per person (Full-Day)

Mesa Verde National Park: $200 per person (Full-Day)

Mountain Biking: $200 – $400 per person (Full-Day)

Rock Climbing: $250 – $400 per person (Full-Day)

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: $150 per person (Half-Day)

4-Wheel Drive Tour: $115 – $225 per person (Half-Day & Full-Day)

Photograph the San Juans: $300 – $400 per person (Half-Day)

Image courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs Resort