Just across the mountain from Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs is a romantic 1800’s ghost town set in an extraordinary alpine valley. Dunton Hot Springs is a small and exclusive resort nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. This perfectly restored ghost town thrives on contradictions; hand- hewn log cabins exquisitely furnished, a life-worn saloon serving food of startling quality, lung torturing trails followed by pampering massages, sensuous hot springs beneath shimmering snow banks. This romantic old mining town still provides high speed wireless internet access in every cabin and video conferencing in their dance hall to the comforting sound of a tumbling waterfall.
The Hot Springs
We assume that, long before miners first eased their weary bones into Dunton Hot Springs, the Ute Indians, roaming their summer hunting grounds, lazed in the restoring waters. The original spring is still visible at the highest point in town. To make more use of the water the miners dynamited the springs and directed its flow towards the bathhouse. Lots of old photographs bear witness to the affection with which the large outdoor pool was held. Dunton’s hot springs are controlled by tectonic forces associated with the Triassic Dolores Formation. The springs are located on the trace of a north-trending fault and encompass an area of approximately 0.3 square miles. There are many other seeps and springs in the area. Colorado’s only Geyser (a tepid sulfuric spring) bubbles up every 45 minutes or so. There is a soda spring which has been recorded but, so far, never found by us and the neighbor’s fabulous lithium rich Paradise Hot Spring.
Sturdy, hand-hewn and authentic, the cabins contain a world of whimsy and elegance. Built in a circle around the Saloon and Dance Hall, they lie just steps from the wonderful bath house. At the other end of town is an open air chapel and tumbling waterfall.All of Dunton’s authentically restored log cabins are full of fascinating details. All the cabins are hand-built and, in some cases, by the original miners themselves. Lovingly restored, each possesses a distinct character. Tastefully decorated, they are full of unique artifacts and furnishings. Every window affords magnificent views of the mountains and the surrounding meadows.
The springs are of the calcium bicarbonate type with a strong concentration of dissolved iron and manganese and a little dash of lithium. Bathing in bicarbonate water assists opening peripheral blood vessels and helps to improve circulation to the body’s extremities and magnesium converts blood sugar to energy and promotes healthy skin.They offer five ways to take to the waters, which range in temperature from 85°F to 106°F: inside the restored 19th century Bathhouse, under the stars at the source, in the pool outside the Bathhouse, in the pool behind the Dunton Store cabin and inside Well House cabin.
Summer Outdoor Activities
They have gentle, rugged horses for high mountain rides, world class fly fishing on an exclusive nine-mile stretch of the West Fork of the Dolores. Perfect hiking and mountain bike trails, from easy to heart pounding. They can also provide expert guides to help you summit the 14,000ft peaks or take you rock climbing in the surrounding San Juan peaks.
- Horseback Riding in the high Rockies
- Fly Fishing on the Dolores – private waters
- Hiking in the high San Juans
- Mountaineering in the higher San Juans
- Mountain Biking
- Rock Climbing
- Trail Rides into the San Juans
- Rafting on the Animas Rivers and Dolores Rivers
- Photography & Fine Art instruction
- Archeological Day Tours to the Desert
Winter Outdoor Activities
Winter is a magical time to visit Dunton, and this winter is made even more special with their new Winter Activities Program. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the serene San Juan Mountains; climb into Dunton’s very own Snow-cat and scale to 10,000 feet for a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on trail laid out by former Olympic Nordic skier Wendy Wegner; or enjoy a winter wonderland experience at Dunton River Camp where the adventurous can delight in a number of winter activities and all can spend a cozy, comfortable afternoon nestled by the fire in the River Camp’s Farm House enjoying hot chocolate, board games, and a warm lunch celebrating life’s simple pleasures. You have the opportunity to do as much or as little as you choose, without feeling guilty. These half-day guided group activities are offered complimentary to their guests while visiting Dunton in winter.
At Dunton they pride themselves that the spa treatments provide an experience you will not find anywhere else.
So indulge yourself in the very best of holistic and therapeutic healing. The Spa specializes in totally natural treatments, in surroundings that can only help to relax and rejuvenate. Choose powerful yet soothing massage and the finest essential oils to create a feeling of consuming well-being.
They offer 75-minute long services such as: hot stone massages, alpen glow body scrubs, facials, and 60 minute long meditation & yoga sessions.
Yoga at Dunton is dedicated to promoting the authentic spiritual tradition in an environment more normally associated with exotic places much further East. Guests can learn and practice different facets of Yoga – for physical strength, balance and flexibility, for physiological and therapeutic benefits and also the art of meditation. Whatever your personal goals may be, a Yoga or Pilates session at Dunton promises to be an inspirational and elevating experience.
Emily Lockard-Furry began selling travel in 2014. She belongs to the Ultra-Luxe Virtuoso Travel Community and is an Ambassador of Departure Lounge. She specializes in the following destinations: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Maldives and Mexico/Caribbean. She focuses on destination weddings and honeymoons, but also plans itineraries for multi-generational families.