Bask in rustic luxury in the remote Gunnison National Forest.
The beautiful thing about an all-inclusive experience is you don’t have to make a lot of decisions—and this proved true for my family and me at the Eleven Taylor River Lodge, (elevenexperience.com/taylor-river-lodge-summer) on the road to Cottonwood Pass. With preplanned menus for the duration of our stay, the lodge’s culinary team expertly curated custom meal plans for our diverse crew. My wife and I were able to have exactly what we wanted, while our (somewhat picky) kids were satisfied and nourished too. Heavily influenced by local availability, the cuisine was fresh, creative, and crazy delicious. The kids even braved a few bites of steak tartar that my wife whipped together in her private cooking class with head chef Austin—and our 9-year-old daughter, Rosie, keeps asking us to make it at home!
This particular corner of the Colorado wilderness offers a huge range of activities. Our visit was in the winter, and we took advantage of the snowy landscape. Rosie and I booked a private guided ski tour in Gunnison National Forest. Rosie has been on a few ski tours, but this was her first there, and she was rightfully cautious. But once we were skinning uphill, she found her stride and her grin only grew, especially while were skiing down—even after the powder caught the edge of her ski and sent her tumbling. My wife and 5-year-old son did some Nordic skiing around the property, and that afternoon, when Rosie and I returned, the saltwater pool and hot tub were a big hit. In warmer months, fishing is a big focus, with a stocked trout pond on-property and the cabins are just steps away from the Taylor River itself. For bigger water, the Gunnison River is just minutes down the road for fishing and float trips. Nonfishing activities include fun singletrack mountain biking and woodsy hiking trails. On-site guests can use the rock climbing wall, fling some arrows at the archery range, and try hatchet throwing.
Each of the buildings on property give a warm nod to the history of the area while also providing all the modern amenities expected from a luxury property. Hunting, fishing, and exploring are part of the decorative interior landscape, providing a homey and comfortable feel without being snooty. A range of cabin styles suit different party sizes: six cabins with queen beds, en suite bathrooms, and steam showers (three with two twin bed lofts); a single-family home with two king suites and a lofted bunk room with four full beds; and the largest, a single family home with two king suites, a bunk room with two double beds, and a full kitchen.
— Cameron Martindell
Photos Courtesy Eleven Taylor River Lodge