Blue Marble Private is a luxury travel company in London organising extraordinary travel experiences around the world.

The Real Wild West

Hidden in a remote valley of the Rocky Mountains, Dunton Hot Springs began its days as a 19th-century mining town, where settlers chose Dunton because of its natural hot springs – a good indication of minerals in the ground. Fast forward a century and the hot springs are still an essential part of the Dunton experience, where forests of aspen trees, flower-dotted meadows, a winding river and cascading waterfall are the backdrop for the once forgotten ghost town.

Understatedly luxurious, the 12 preserved log cabins appear very much the same as they were, but are cosily decked out with heated floors, plush beds and hand-picked antiques. Dunton has it all; horses, fishing, wildlife, 14,000ft peaks to climb, a yoga studio and a grand saloon fit for Butch Cassidy (who, as it happens, etched his name into the wooden bar). Full of history and charm, Dunton's remote location makes it a secret paradise for those looking to stray from the beaten path. 

"No one will find us, whether we’re looking for gold and silver, relaxing in steaming hot springs, or sipping our scotch
while watching the sunset colour the Rockies pink and black bears roam through the woods."

Five hours east through Colorado's rural and rocky landscape, Zapata Ranch – with its 100,000 acres home to more than 2,000 bison – feels a world away from Dunton. Managed by charismatic third generation cattle rancher, Duke Philipps, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, Philipps' ranch management company, Ranchlands, provides immersive programmes that educate guests on sustainable ranching practices and conservation set to a breathtaking natural backdrop.

Surrounded by dramatic peaks and high-altitude prairies, Zapata sits at the foot of the Great Sand Dunes National Park where 700 metre high dunes tower over alpines meadows. As night falls the Sangre de Cristo mountains turn blood-red and the light creates striking shadows across the sand dunes. With a string of fine steeds raring to go, gallop alongside herds of bison and deer, or spend your days hiking, fishing and white water rafting.

Chico Basin Ranch, Ranchlands' second outpost, is a short drive towards Colorado Springs. A working cattle ranch spanning 87,000 acres, Chico Basin sits on a high prairie and offers an even more immersive experience for those wishing to play modern day cowboy in the Wild West by riding out and wrangling cattle at dawn. From photography and painting to cattle work and horsemanship, a week at Chico's camp is a truly unique experience.

Get in touch to find out more.

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