Cabins are all about relaxing, reconnecting, and repairing the soul. Here are the most extraordinary cabins around the West that will keep you coming back, time and again
Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs
Log onto Dunton’s live webcam and the scene looks straight out of the 1800s: a cluster of 12 Lincoln Log–like cabins scattered across a meadow at the foot of the towering San Juan Mountains—a tipi here, a wagon wheel there, steamy natural hot springs everywhere. If you make the trek to this restored ghost town in remote southwestern Colorado, you’ll find full-on 21st-century luxury as well. It’s the kind of riverfront rusticity that can run you a thousand dollars a night, where both fly-fishing and reflexology are on the agenda, and the “Saloon” is more like an inventive, outdoorsy French Laundry, serving slow-roasted elk tenderloin and reserve bottles of Napa’s best. Though Dunton recently added eight canvas tents to its Cresto Ranch site, 4 miles downriver, its 12 cabins, originally built out of aspen and cottonwood in 1885, have been sought-after escapes since 2001, when they reopened with outdoor rainshowers, ready-to-light fireplaces, and Rajasthani wedding beds. Couples come from all over the world to hike, ride horseback, and soak in the 107° hot springs, as the odd elk, moose, or black bear strolls by. (It’s so peaceful, in fact, that at least one recent guest had to download a white noise app on his iPad.) Dunton ain’t cheap, but as one honeymooner said, “Three days with the love of my life was worth every penny.”
Best time to go: November. Rates are at their lowest, and the river water’s still warm enough for swimming.