While nature lovers gravitate to Chipeta Solar Springs Resort’s Ridgway, Colorado setting for its year-round eye candy, many consider the retreat most breathtaking when snow blankets its majestic San Juan Mountain Range backdrop.
Aside from the gorgeous scenery, winter lures with a bevy of recreation options and holiday events–with Chipeta’s special vacation packages available to enhance your experience.
Even if you opt to simply chill out at our southwestern-inspired boutique lodge, you’ll still find plenty to keep you engaged. Stay fit in yoga classes, relax in solar-heated hot pools, relax with vino next to the solarium’s fireplace, dine at Four Corners Cafe and indulge with Chipeta Spa pampering. Select accommodations feature hot tubs, patios and fireplaces.
Among the spa’s signature treatments, the Couples Massage with dual therapists is a coveted inclusion in Chipeta romance packages. Other therapies include Himalayan Heaven, Southwestern Stone Massage, and Alpine Herbal Dream Steam that balances and detoxifies.
Need more convincing? Consider these eight seasonal reasons to explore Chipeta’s winter wonderland.
1) Downhill Skiing
Chipeta is the perfect springboard to four ski areas within 1.5 hours. So if you’re high on packing in multiple slopes during one ski vacation, we help you out without breaking the bank.
Telluride Ski Resort
Tucked among the highest concentration of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks in North America, Telluride (TellurideSkiResort.com) offers more than 2,000 acres of breathtaking beauty and incredible terrain consisting of 127 trails.
Only 45 minutes from Telluride’s white-blanketed slopes, Chipeta will arrange transfers to/from our property to the ski resort. Once you’ve arrived, hop onto a free gondola for a scenic ride from downtown Telluride to the center of Mountain Village.
Check out our current Ski packages at chipeta.com/specials/
Located 25 miles north of historic downtown Durango, Purgatory (PurgatoryResort.com) offers a unique blend of steep tree skiing trails and wide-open cruisers with stunning views. Averaging 260 inches of snow annually, it features 1,360 acres of skiable terrain, 10 lifts, 88 trails, five terrain parks and a vertical drop of 2,029 feet.
Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Considered one of the most family-friendly resorts you’ll find anywhere in the West, Powderhorn is tucked alongside the northern edge of Western Colorado’s beautiful Grand Mesa–the world’s largest flattop mountain. With 70% of its runs rated as beginner or intermediate, this is an ideal destination for any family of skiers or snowboarders. As a bonus, The Flat Top Flyer high-speed quad lift blazes you to the top in just six minutes.
With a peak elevation of 13,487 feet, Silverton (SilvertonMountain.com) delivers 1,819 acres of bowls, cliffs, chutes and beautiful terrain in every direction. Its base lies at 10,400-foot elevation, with a single lift dropping you off at the 12,300-foot elevation. The chairlift unloads at the top of a cirque where easy hiking along a ridge provides access to terrain that can total 3,000-foot vertical drops in a single run.
Silverton’s single-drop heli-program elevates the rush via extreme skiing for $179 a drop. Those wanting to see more terrain can opt for the 6-Run Heli Day that provides a half-dozen drops in 22,000+ acres of terrain exclusive to this pass.
2) Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Hiking trails take on an entirely tranquil charm in winter. The Ridgway Area Trails system’s routes are groomed for a classic Nordic loop. Ouray County also boasts stellar Nordic trails at Top of the Pines near Ridgway and just south of nearby Ouray in Ironton Park. Even the Uncompahgre River trail in town is groomed for a classic Nordic loop. You can rent cross country skis or snowshoes and explore the trails that jump off right from downtown Ouray. For additional scoop, visit OurayColorado.com/things-to-do/on-the-snow/cross-country.
3) Backcountry Skiing
This unique sport blends the excitement of downhill skiing with the physical challenges and rewards of backcountry winter travel. The Red Mountain Pass area features tours geared to a range of abilities. Incredible snow conditions and easy access make the wooded glades and high peaks nirvana for those willing to “earn their turns.” Newbies should definitely travel with a professional guide. For a list of authorized guides, visit OurayColorado.com/directory/outdoor/snowcat.
Red Mountain, Owl Creek, Coal Bank and Molas Passes are considered tops for a winter snowmobile tour. Miles of snow-covered roads and trails snake into the mountains past historic mine head frames and powder-filled meadows. Check with San Juan Backcountry (SanJuanBackcountry.com) for tours.
5) Ice Climbing Ouray Ice Park
Known as the winter ice-climbing capital of the U.S., Ouray is home to the world’s first ice climbing park with of dozens of frozen waterfalls from 80-200 feet high. The Ouray Ice Park is a human-made venue operated in a spectacular natural gorge within walking distance of town. Most of its 200 named ice and mixed climbs are within a 15-minute walk of the park entrance.
If you’re timing is right, you can catch novice and pro climbers as they tackle challenges in the 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival from Jan. 18-21. With more than 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics to accommodate every skill level, festival participants and spectators are in for plenty of excitement. To see a full list of park activities and guide services permitted to operate in the park, visit OurayIcePark.com.
6) Hot Springs
After a day on the go, you can return to Chipeta and revive in our two solar heated thermal pools. Both are centrally located in the resort’s courtyard with stunning views of the Cimarron Range and San Juan Mountains. Our tiled Roman bath is set at 103F degrees, while a larger 16-foot by 60-foot lap pool is heated to 85F degrees.
Three additional Ridgway area hot springs are open to the public for day use. Among these, Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Orvis Hot Springs are included in Chipeta Resort’s Three Nights Three Springs Package. The vacation offer also includes a 50-minute Chipeta Spa massage.
7) Chipeta Fitness & Festivities
Our Ridgway lodge engages with a flurry of fitness sessions that help to maintain wellness regimes while you enjoy a winter getaway.
Dec. 3: Candle Light Kiva Meditation
Dec. 9-10: Resolving Trauma & Cultivating Compassion Retreat with Sheri Covey
Dec. 17: Candle Light Kiva Meditation
Dec. 23: Complimentary Return of the Light Celebration with Ulli Sir Jesse
Dec. 24: Candle Light Kiva Meditation
Dec. 30-Jan. 1: Deepening Intentions Retreat with Dr. Nicola Dehlinger
8) Holiday Events
Winter goes beyond just snow recreation thanks to variety of special events in the Ridgway area. For more details, visit Chipeta.com/retreats, OurayColorado.com/events and RidgwayColorado.com/things-to-do/events.
Dec. 1: Four Corner’s Restaurant Re-Opens at Chipeta
Dec. 1: Ridgway Noel Night–Downtown
Dec. 1: Mike Gwinn and the North Fork Flyers @ Sherbino
Dec. 2: “Beyond Paint” Workshop–Acrylic Art Techniques with Kellie Day
Dec. 2: Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops in Ridgway
Dec. 2: Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Ouray Elks
Dec. 9-10: Weehawken Dance Presents: “The Nutcracker” Ballet
Jan. 13-14: San Juan Skijoring Event
Jan. 18-21: 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival
Be sure to book your Chipeta Solar Springs Resort winter visit early and take advantage of our resort’s ski, spa and romance packages when making your reservations!