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MTN Lodges: The Observatory at Alta Lakes, Telluride, CO


Overview: This alpine chalet was handbuilt by Telluride locals over three summers in the early 1970s. Two 13,000-foot San Juan peaks tower above; a high country lake sits out the front door, and Telluride Ski Resort is the closest neighbor. Six people sleep comfortably in two bedrooms and a loft.

Notable: Guests access the lodge from a resort backcountry gate or by cross country skis, snowshoes, and snowmobile.

Our Take: Check out the DIY touches. An old bullwheel frames the circular window above the hot tub. Lanterns from nearby mines adorn the walls.

Stay Here If: You want to explore wild backcountry terrain, cook dinner on a five-burner Viking stove, and sleep under a down comforter.

Information: Rates start at $700 per night for six people, with a discount of 10 percent for three nights or more. altalakes.com —Tess Weaver

From the Winter 2014 issue.

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