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Travel: Greater Outdoors

  • Cindy Hirschfeld

Over the past few years, the upscale outdoors experience known as “glamping” has taken hold at resorts throughout North America. Country and mountain retreats from Colorado to British Columbia have developed high-end campsites that replace sleeping bags with king-size feather beds, trail mix with organic cuisine, and holes in the ground with en suite bathrooms. This summer, cultivated campers have more options than ever, with a range of new sites that offer real, if not rugged, adventures in the great outdoors.

Opened in June, Cresto Ranch is an eight-tent camp located on the edge of the Dolores River near Dunton Hot Springs, a Rocky Mountain resort built around a former mining town outside of Telluride, Colo. The new one-bedroom tents—which complement 13 cabin accommodations at Dunton Hot Springs—measure 800 square feet apiece and feature wood-plank floors, handcrafted pine beds, deep soaking tubs, and terraces. A restored 19th-century farmhouse serves as the camp’s main lodge, with a dining room, a lounge, and a wraparound deck looking out to the San Juan Mountains.

Guests at Cresto Ranch have access to Dunton Hot Springs’ amenities—which include a spa, a yoga studio, a boxing gym, and a screening room—but the camp best serves as a base for exploring the mountain terrain. Excursions range from tame (horseback riding, hiking, and fishing) to extreme (via ferrata climbing). Guests can also visit Dunton’s three natural hot springs, which were excavated in the 1800s by local miners.

The same month Cresto Ranch was setting up camp in Colorado, the Siwash Lake Ranch in Brit­ish Columbia completed three 1,000-square-foot canvas cabins with expansive sundecks, fireplaces, and indoor-outdoor showers. Also in June, the Resort at Paws Up in Montana debuted the six-tent Cliffside Camp (see page 42). In Philipsburg, Mont., the Ranch at Rock Creek recently unveiled nine renovated accommodations with log-cabin-style entryways leading to fly-tent living areas and bedrooms.

Each of the new campsites offers guests a range of options for exploring their surroundings, from canoeing on Siwash Lake to mountain biking through the San Juan Mountains. The excursions ensure a true camping experience—even if the campers never pitch a tent.

Cliffside Camp at the Resort at Paws Up, 800.473.0601, www.pawsup.com; Cresto Ranch at Dunton Hot Springs, 970.882.4800, www.duntonhotsprings.com; The Ranch at Rock Creek, 877.786.1545, www.theranchatrockcreek.com; Siwash Lake Ranch, 250.395.6541, www.siwashlakeranch.com

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