Escape to Colorado—during its balmy summer or snowy winter—with adult camping at Taylor River lodge or luxe ski lodging at Scarp Ridge Lodge, two distinctive luxury properties in the Gunnison Valley.
Both properties and experiences are owned and curated by The Eleven Experience (elevenexperience.com), a collection of lodges, chalets and beach houses around the world designed to take “perfect 10” travel and elevate it. The philosophy: offer top-notch lodging and authentic travel experiences through outdoor endeavors and immersion in local culture.
Taylor River Lodge
Taylor River Lodge is much like sleepaway camp. But instead of sloppy joes, bunk beds and bug bites it’s farm-to-table dining, luxe cabins with steam showers and fly fishing lessons. It’s a magical place that makes you feel like a kid all over again with breathtaking mountain views, boundless fresh air and the peaceful hymn of the river.
From the outside, the cabins at Taylor River Lodge—which vary in size from one-bedroom to family-style spaces—look much like the ones at summer camp. Inside, however, they’re thoughtfully outfitted with rich leather accents, Navajo-style linens, rustic-luxe décor and modern conveniences like Marshall amps. Vintage cruisers make for fun transport around the property, which features a lodge for dining, a spa and luxury pool for R&R and plenty of greenspace for archery, shooting and rock climbing. On arrival, campers are welcomed in the cozy hang space dubbed “Copper John” (a popular fly used for fishing), to enjoy a local beer on tap, play a round of pool or darts, and get acquainted with the property.
A typical day at Taylor River starts with breakfast in the lodge, where a wood-burning fireplace crackles and the smell of freshly baked frittata escapes from the kitchen. Depending on the day’s itinerary, a gourmet lunch is either packed for the afternoon’s adventure or served on the patio overlooking the river. Every meal is locally sourced and seasonally inspired—be it the catch of the day or a creamy root vegetable soup. Guests never go hungry or thirsty, as wine and beer pairings are standard. Cabins are stocked with homemade snacks and adventure SUVs are equipped with Yeti coolers packed with coconut waters and energy bars. At breakfast, there are perfectly frothed cappuccinos and by afternoon, it’s house-made margaritas by the pool. Once nighttime settles in and the stars and crickets come out to play, campers mingle by the fire for gourmet s’mores made from homemade grahams and marshmallows paired with craft chocolate.
The birthplace of mountain biking and home to Colorado’s wildflower capital, there’s no shortage of thrilling outdoor activities and astounding beauty near camp. Whether it’s taking on tricky inclines on a mountain bike or rafting down whitewater drop-offs on the river, seasoned guides are there to make experiences both memorable and safe. Back at Taylor River Lodge, time passes slowly, and thoughtfully curated itineraries account for plenty of downtime for massages, yoga classes and swimming. The stunning bathhouse features a saltwater pool, hot tub, and lounge chairs with a floor-to-ceiling glass door that offers serene sights and sounds of the river.
Scarp Ridge Lodge
Scarp Ridge Lodge breathes new life to the former Croatian Hall of Crested Butte, where miners gathered for drinks after panning for silver during the turn of the century. The lovingly restored building is picture-perfect in every detail. Outside, vintage cruisers beg for a ride around the charming town of Crested Butte, while the glimmer of a softly lit chandelier beckons passerby in.
Inside, reclaimed wood, prized hunting trophies, large-scale art, and cozy fireplaces make lodgers feel right at home. Rooms feature every comfort–from claw foot tubs and steam showers, to in-room stereo speakers and only the best in luxurious bedding. An indoor heated pool area with a sauna and steam room offers a cozy escape from chilly temperatures, while a rooftop hot tub overlooks the picturesque mountain peaks.
The downstairs kitchen—impeccably decorated with wood beams and a neutral color palette—is truly the hearth of the home at Scarp Ridge. As in-house chefs churn out farm-fresh omelets, they’re eager to chat about the area’s must-see gems or simply leave you to read the paper by the fire. Just a block away on Elk Avenue, Secret Stash—a legendary pizza joint—doles out specialty pizzas while The Dogwood—an old miners cabin—serves up tapas and craft cocktails.
Known as one of Colorado’s last great ski towns and with an average annual snowfall of 240 inches, Crested Butte offers plenty of winter activities from skiing and snowboarding to snow biking and snowmobiling. After hitting the slopes, the quirky downtown area welcomes history lovers, art enthusiasts and shoppers with its collection of inviting museums, galleries and funky boutiques.
Want to go?
Taylor River Lodge
(low-season to high-season)
Full experience by room/cabin:
$1,670-$2,220/night (single or double occupancy)
Scarp Ridge Lodge
Summer full experience by room: $1,435 – $2,000/night (single or double occupancy)
Winter full experience by room: $3,185 – $4,855/night (single or double occupancy)
For more information on either property and options, call 970-349-7761 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.