At a Glance
Alongside its namesake trout-rich river, this rustic-chic getaway feels like a luxurious summer camp for adults and kids. Crested Butte is a best-kept secret of western ski towns—which makes it the perfect backdrop for Taylor River Lodge, owned and operated by Eleven Experience, the pioneering company with exclusive properties around the world focused on thrilling outdoor adventures. And just like Crested Butte, this hideaway balances Old Western charm and modern comforts and keeps the focus where it belongs—on making the most of your time in the wilderness and relaxing with family or friends.
The Standout: The guides, who expertly tailor activities for each guest: morning mountain-bike rides or hikes with a picnic, a float trip, fly-fishing, a riverside dinner Don’t Miss: The beautifully designed bath house, complete with saltwater pool, steam room, sauna and hot tub
- The multitude of hang-out spaces, where guests can play a game, mingle with family and friends or read by the fire.
- The saltwater pool and hot tub overlooking Taylor River
Located 35 minutes from Gunnison Airport and Crested Butte, Taylor River Lodge is stylish countryside retreat from adventure-focused hotel company Eleven Experience. Abutting the bubbling Taylor River and surrounded by vibrant, fragrant pine trees, the lodge is open year round, except for a few weeks in November and April, and attracts those seeking a mix of active adventure and relaxation. The property has an undeniable authenticity and sense of place: the owner of Eleven Experience is a passionate outdoorsman and music lover, and his wife is an interior designer, so the property is infused with personal touches inspired by Colorado. Bookshelves are lined with local literature, walls are hung with vintage music posters and rooms are decorated with kitschy accessories that make guests feel instantly at home.
The all-inclusive Taylor River Lodge’s cabins (six queen-sized cabins and two three-bedroom homes) feature modern amenities, including steam showers, Bluetooth speakers and heating (even during warmer months temperatures dip into the 30’s at night in the Canyon). For larger groups, there is one home, Green Drake Cabin, which has a full kitchen, dining room and sitting area. However, both three-bedroom homes come with bunks rooms and a few of the queen-sized cabins come with sleeping lofts, making the property ideal for packing in all your
family and friends. While the cabins are supremely comfortable, the owners built the property with the hopes that guests will spend most of their time enjoying the public spaces or guided activities.
Fly-fishing is the main summer activity for most travelers at Taylor River Lodge, and everyone from beginners to experts will enjoy Eleven Experience’s private and semi-private stretches of water in Gunnison Valley. The property also offers an array of other activities including hiking, white-water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and stand-up paddle boarding. Horseback riding can be arranged for an extra fee.
After a morning or afternoon of activity, guests can unwind and relax with a spa treatment, settle into a nook by the fire or or soak in the saltwater pool and hot tub, which offer spectacular views of the surroundings. If you want to continue the activities, the lodge is happy to pull out all the stops to entertain including lawn games and a teepee decked out with Moroccan poufs and rugs, though you will have to ask. One of the best ways to end the day at Taylor River Lodge is on-property with what they refer to as “après”–you pick your favorite spot—and the kitchen will whip up farm-fresh bites like blackberry and goat cheese flatbread along with your drink of choice to be delivered to your spot.
All meals and select drinks are included and the chefs implement seasonal ingredients that are sourced from the onsite garden. The property maintains strong relationships with local ranchers, and the kitchen tries to use all the meat from a single source animal; the bacon at breakfast is from the same animal as the pork that is served at dinner. Breakfast is made to order, while lunch and dinner are often three- to four-course, family-style comfort food meals—served either inside or riverside at the main lodge or on picnic tables, allowing for the option of a communal experience among guests.
Nights at Taylor River Lodge can be spent under the brilliant night sky spotting shooting stars, enjoying drinks at the bar or roasting marshmallows with family and new friends around the fire pits. The Game Lounge is open all night and offers movies, pool and foosball tables and a dart board. Plus, it has a small bar with beer on tap and a stocked wine fridge for guests who don’t want to make the short trip to the main bar.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families looking for a luxurious adult summer camp or to take over the property for a special occasion. While Taylor River Lodge excels in the summer, those looking for a wellness escape in the winter would be happy here. To take advantage of Eleven’s winter adventure offerings, groups should check out Scarp Ridge Lodge in the heart of the town of Crested Butte.
—Lisa Kolodny Johnson
Written by Indagare