Drive only one mile from the cabin to the boundary of the San Juan National Forest which will lead you to the La Plata Range of the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. When you click on the National Forest link above you will come to a federal site so in the upper left corner in the search box type “Dolores” which is the name of our forest office, then click “Go”. There you will find information about hiking, roads to drive, maps and more.
Back here at our forest entrance in the summertime you can enjoy a scenic drive around the Echo Basin Circle (high clearance vehicles definitely best). Once we drove the circle at sunset and found a bear sitting in the middle of the lane. Also there you will find boundless opportunities to hike, canni-cross, back-pack, mountain bike, jeep, snowmobile or cross-country ski. Phils World located 20 miles to the west is an amazing mountain biking experience.
The wildflowers are abundant – be the first in your group to find the Little Red Elephants in Echo Basin. The cabin can be your base to experience premier habitat for big-game hunting. You can also hunt for the lost treasures of the San Juan, pan for gold, or explore the historically rich mining history of the area.
Within a mile of the cabin you could go horseback riding with Rimrock Outfitters or bring your own horse and we will work out some accommodations for boarding.
In nearby Mancos there’s the Mancos Days celebration at the end of July, the Balloon festival in September. Or perhaps you would rather just get that peaceful easy feeling as you relax on the shady porch watching the deer on the acreage.
If you enjoy sightseeing you can choose day drives to either the mountains, numerous lakes and rivers, the high desert or the slickrock canyonlands. Explore the ancient indigenous cultures at several sites in the area, Mesa Verde National Park, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Chaco Canyon, or Hovenweep to name just a few. Visit the hot springs, or ride the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Train. There are many river rafting opportunities in the area. Go to soaringcolorado.com to learn about 27, yes 27 ziplines (the most in the world at one attraction). Take in one of the festivals in surrounding towns (mushrooming, Blues, Blue Grass, Jazz, Folk, hot air ballooning, classical music in the mountains, on and on).
Find alpine skiing/snowboarding/tubing opportunities at our local ski run – Hesperus or go you can go for the day to Durango Mountain Resort or Telluride Ski Area. The groomed Chicken Creek Cross-Country Ski tracks are just north of Mancos. Drive a mile from the cabin into the San Juan National Forest to cross-country ski/snowshoe/snowmobile for miles or go to this site www.coloradosnowmobileassociation.com for other premier locations in the area. Dog sledding is a popular activity to do in this area.
Try your hand at fishing in one of the local streams or lakes. This area also offers an incredible opportunity for big-game hunting.
Check out the many art galleries in Mancos and surrounding towns. Drive the San Juan Skyway circle tour on the Million Dollar Highway to see spectacular colors in any season but don’t miss the changing of the aspen leaves in the fall. Every day could be a new adventure.
Click on the links above to find all there is to do on your next Southwestern Colorado vacation. If you don’t have your outdoor recreation equipment with you there are many places to rent what you need.