The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Planning your Colorado ski trip

Special to The Los Angeles Times


From LAX to Gunnison, Colo., United has connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $566.

To Durango, Colo., United, US Airways and Delta have connecting service. Round-trip fares begin at $502.

To Montrose, Colo., United has connecting service. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $487.


(800) 810-7669, www.skicb.comWhere to stay

Lodgings near the slopes in Mt. Crested Butte include condos, homes and several refurbished hotels. In Crested Butte, a bus ride away, you'll find condos, homes, B&Bs and motels.

Grand Lodge Hotel, 6 Emmons Drive, Mt. Crested Butte; (888) 823-4446 or (970) 349-8000, Formerly the Sheraton, and among the nicest of the lodgings in Mt. Crested Butte. Doubles in high season about $200 to $310.

Elevation Hotel & Spa, 500 Gothic Road; (800) 544-8448, Former Club Med. Doubles in high season from $259.

Where to eat

Timberline, 201 Elk Ave.; (970) 349-6245, Quality new-American cuisine interpretations of dishes that include elk, trout, duck. Entrees $14 to $36.


(800) 982-6103,

Where to stay

Lodgings at the bottom of the slopes include individually owned condo rooms, some of which are offered under the rubric Purgatory Village Hotel, (800) 982-6103, Last year, the unit I stayed in was badly in need of a renovation. Doubles about $130 to $240 a night.

The Lodge at Tamarron, (800) 982-6103, A pleasant hotel a few minutes from the slopes; units of varying sizes. Free ski shuttle. Doubles $109 to $149.

Apple Orchard Inn, 7758 County Road 203, Durango; (800) 426-0751, My favorite B&B, with lovely rooms and wonderful little cottages, about a 20-minute ride from the ski area. Doubles from $150 to $170 main house; cottages $185 to $225.

Where to eat

Ken and Sue's Place, 636 Main Ave; (970) 385-1810. First-rate contemporary American food -- from pistachio-crusted grouper to "smashed" sweet potatoes -- with lovely presentation and comfy upscale booths. Entrees $15 to $25.

Gazpacho, 431 E. 2nd Ave.; (970) 259-9494, New Mexican dishes like chile relleno, enchiladas with red or green chile and sopaipillas (fluffy fried bread poofs meant to be slathered with honey), with most entrees less than $10.


Where to stay

The Springs Resort, 165 Hot Springs Blvd., Pagosa Springs; (800) 225-0934, My favorite lodging, with its 18 natural hot springs soaking pools. Rooms are good motel quality. Doubles $149 to $200.

Where to eat

Isabel's, 20 Village Drive, Pagosa Springs; (970) 731-5448, This is an unexpectedly good choice, with dishes like herb-crusted Colorado lamb chops, in a town filled with Mexican and steak restaurants. Entrees, $17 to $23.

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