Suffering from a case of the post-holiday blues? Don’t let the dark days of winter put you in a gloomy mood. Instead, harness your dreams from the clouds, throw a dart at a date, and start planning a winter escape. Colorado is brimming with enchanting mountain retreats where you can rip backcountry turns, soak in hot springs, and hit trails out the back door. After your day outdoors, bask in the glow of a roaring fire (and the glory of your adventure).
Here are our top picks for some cozy winter getaways. But beware: Some are so charming, you might not want to come back.
1. Opus Hut
If you’re keen on the idea of a hut trip but don’t want to deal with hauling a sleeping bag and food, then Opus Hut outside of Ouray is a dream come true. This Euro-style backcountry hut in the San Juan Mountains keeps you comfy and fed, with full meal service (except lunch) plus blanketed beds. You can even tip back a toddy from the bar. Book one bunk, a room, or the whole place. All this plus backcountry skiing and snowshoeing terrain galore is just a 3-mile approach from the road.
Need help navigating? Hire a guide to show you the way, who can even stay if you like and dish up powder stashes by day.
2. Antero Hot Springs Cabins
Just up the road past Mount Princeton, those in the know are slipping into private hot springs away from the din. Antero Hot Springs Cabins are nestled along the banks of Chalk Creek, where hot mineral waters naturally bubble and boil beneath the earth. Each of the three cabins here has its own soaking pool, with views of the Chalk Cliffs. And there's room for a group of friends: Hortense sleeps six, Chalk Cliffs Chalet has beds for 10. Cottonwood Cabin is the baby of the bunch, with room for four, yet wins the historic charm award, with log walls, a quartz fireplace, and creaky wood floors. Bring all the food and supplies you might need because chances are, once you check in you won’t want to leave.
3. Chautauqua Cottages
Sometimes you’re aching to get away from it all but don’t want to travel far. How about taking a vacation minutes from home? Boulder is a world-class adventure destination, but if you live here, to-do lists and chores can distract from all the fun that beckons out the back door. Well, guess what: Those charming historic Chautauqua cottages near the base of the Flatirons aren’t just for out-of-towners to enjoy. Book one for a short stay and feel your cares melt away, as you settle into your home away home and hit the trails all day. Bonus tip: Tell your friends in Boulder that you’ll be out of town so you can enjoy a private getaway.
4. Cozy Cottage
If you like the thought of hunkering down in a Hobbit-like house, Cozy Cottage will make your heart skip a beat. This adorable cabin for two seems lifted right out of a fairy tale, with its octagon shape, rustic wood shingles, and perfectly pitched roof. Walk into the bedroom, then spiral down the stairs to the living area, which opens to a deck and hot tub. After settling in, go on a scavenger hunt to find the signed $1 bills guests have hidden all over the house. Nestled in the woods outside of Cripple Creek (about 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs), Cozy Cottage is just one of 22 unique properties available through Colorado Mountain Cabins .
5. 10th Mountain Division Huts
A hut trip is a Colorado rite of passage—the perfect way to escape from normal life and relax in a cozy backcountry cabin. The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association manages a system of 35 huts around the state, accessible by skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. You have to invest a bit of sweat, schlepping in food and sleeping bags. But it’s worthwhile when you reap the sweet reward of snuggling stove-side with dozen or so new friends. Slay slopes by day and swap stories by night. Approach routes range from 1 mile to 6 or more.
Haven't yet attempted such an adventure? Check out our tips for your first Colorado hut trip.
6. Backcountry Yurts
Rounding out the list of cozy escapes, yurts are magical spots to take a break in the Colorado backcountry. These round tent-like structures are cozy and warm, with domed skylights for gazing at the stars, and come equipped with kitchens, heating stoves, and beds of some sort. Yurt options range from a step above camping to full-on glamping. To find one to suit your style, check out our list of backcountry yurts in Colorado .