Get off the grid on a sustainable holiday

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Sustainable travel continues to drive travel search trends with experts predicting that holidays in regional areas will become more popular once international travel resumes. Colorado with its mountains and wide open spaces is perfectly poised for off-grid adventures.

Dunton River Camp. Credit Dunton Destinations

Dunton River Camp. Credit Dunton Destinations

Escaping into nature, exploring the great outdoors and getting away from crowded cities are some of the reasons driving the popularity of off-grid travel. With mountain ranges peaking at 4,300m dotted with hot springs, rivers, national and state parks connected with a network of hiking trails and roads, the US state of Colorado is an outdoor adventure lovers hot spot.

Getting offroad and off the grid is as easy as  taking a drive down one of the scenic highways and byways and taking a detour into the mountains for a road trip off the beaten track. Here’s some of the top hideaways to complete the ultimate off-grid adventure in Colorado’s scenic and open spaces.

Dunton River Camp Dunton, Colorado

Kim and Kanye Kardashian West reportedly (not that we’re spreading celebrity gossip!) escaped to this luxury ghost town glamping spot as a private hideaway. Cashed up as they are, the celebrity family rented out the entire former 1800s cattle ranch for $43,000 USD. The rest of us mere mortals can enjoy a slice of serene beauty by staying in just one of the eight safari-style tents, all kitted out with luxury amenities you’d expect in a luxe hotel. All meals are provided (so you don’t need to worry about finding the local grocery store or social distancing in restaurants!) and each tent comes equipped with two private mountain bikes for your sole use on the local trails.

While away the hours fly-fishing (a Colorado tradition) at the trout-rich West Fork at the Dolores River, just a few languid steps from your tent. Tucked deep in the San Juan Mountains, Dunton River Camp is located one hour from Telluride. Soak up the relaxed vibe and stunning views as you unwind and connect with nature in magnificent surroundings.

Dunton River Camp. Credit Dunton Destinations

Dunton River Camp. Credit Dunton Destinations

Badger Creek Ranch Canon City, Colorado

Check into Badger Creek Ranch and enjoy an off-the-grid, authentic and sustainable ranch experience at this socially distanced escape. Bordering the San Isabel National Forest and Pike National Forest, a horse will become your closest company during your stay, as you ride through the ranch with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Collegiate Peaks with the natural horsemanship methods practiced by the owners. With a maximum of 8 guests at a time, the ranch is solar-powered with options of staying in a private room in the bunkhouse or in a safari-style tent. There’s a traditional-style heated stove to keep you warm and provide a relaxed, cosy ambience. Hot ranch-style breakfasts will keep you energised for a day of adventure, with lunch, dinner and refreshments while you’re in the saddle all provided.

Badger Creek Ranch

Badger Creek Ranch

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge Red Mountain Pass, Colorado

Situated at a lofty 4.500m above sea level and surrounded by tall spruce trees, Red Mountain Alpine Lodge is your ultimate year-round backcountry accommodation for discerning guests. The lodge is perfect for those who want to be on the doorstep of Colorado’s ultimate outdoor playground without sacrificing a single amenity including gourmet eats, a tavern and, the ultimate decadence, a wood-burning sauna.

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge is just the spot for curling up by the fire, far removed from the outside world (there’s no cell phone coverage anyway). Book the entire lodge for 18 of your besties or book a private room, add a meal package to ensure you won’t have to head out into the wilderness for a feed. The lodge partners with San Juan Mountain Guides to offer backcountry ski and mountain guiding, or you can have a go at snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. During summer there’s hiking and biking options aplenty along with local Western-style mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton to explore. The lodge is located a short distance from Colorado’s famous Million Dollar Highway, which means that in summer you can hike to the lodge or in winter, ski in from the car park!

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge

Summit Huts Summit County, Colorado

Colorado is home to one of the most extensive backcountry hut systems in North America, which offers a unique opportunity to go completely off-grid. During summer you can hike between backcountry huts and in winter you can ski in!

Opened in early 2019, Sisters Cabin is a new winter-only hut and the fifth backcountry hut in the Summit Huts system, accessible to intermediate/advanced backcountry skiers. Sisters Cabin is the first new hut approved on public land in Summit County in 22 years. At an elevation of approx. 4,500m, the hut features a wood burning stove for heat, solar powered lights and indoor composting toilets. Plus, there’s a sauna heated by fire to relax in after your mountain adventures. The five huts in the Summit Hut collection are operating during covid as single-party only to ensure utmost privacy and social distancing.

Thelma Hut, San Juan County, Colorado

Thelma Hut is a new solar-powered backcountry hut located deep in the San Juan Mountains. Thelma provides a luxury twist on an off-grid experience thanks to an onsite caretaker who cooks breakfast, soup and dinner. The hut is powered by the sun, with photovoltaic electricity, solar hot water radiant floor heat and a cosy wood burning stove to keep you warm at night. As the ultimate digital detox there’s no wi-fi or TV, allowing you to switch off and become totally immersed in nature.

The hut comfortably sleeps eight and is suitable year-round for both skiers and hikers alike. World-class hiking trails and pristine backcountry skiing is right on your doorstep.  

More information on off-grid adventures: Visit Colorado

About the author: Fiona Harper is a Queensland-based travel writer – follow Fiona at Travel Boating Lifestyle

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