The hummingbirds are practically an issue. Hundreds of tiny perfect feathered fingers pulse around the porch, furiously busy in an otherwise hazy world of plotting rivers, whispering aspens and dandelions lolling under the weight of their gargantuan heads. There’s a huge difference between hotels created for commercial enterprise and hotels as labour of love, where the owners live and invite their friends to stay. For all of Dunton’s rough-and-ready mining bones and the fact that, not so long ago, it housed a biker gang whose names are carved with knives into the bar, it has the most sophisticated swagger.
Underfloor heating, copper baths, beds like beautiful wet concrete looking out over rushing waterfalls and teepees. There is serious trekking and fishing for trout here, horse riding and endless plunging into the hot springs, brown as a penny, good for the soul. Dunton has a sister property opening up in Telluride imminently. Until then, head to the River Camp; the cabins at the main lodge are truly decadent, but there is a very special quiet Wild West other worldliness to living in tents at the water’s edge.