This Colorado Lodge Is Perfect for Year-Round Adventure

Photo Gallery: This Colorado Lodge Is Perfect for Year-Round Adventure

You no longer have to rough it on your next hut trip. Nestled in the San Juans of Colorado, Red Alpine Mountain Lodge elevates your backcountry experience with amenities like wifi, radiant floor heating, flush toilets, hot showers, and local beers on tap. Situated at the top of Red Mountain Pass, at 11,018 feet, it’s also surprisingly easy to access, located just 900 feet (a 10-minute hike) from the Million Dollar Highway (Highway 550).
The dream project of Mark Luppenlatz and his wife Andrea and San Juan Mountain Guides owner Nate Disser and his wife Keeton, Red Alpine Mountain Lodge debuted in December 2018. The A-Frame style building was constructed from Douglas Fir timbers using 19th-century tools (no metal nuts and bolts) and is run on solar power.
The lodge will be open year-round, but winter is where it really shines with hundreds of acres of insane tree skiing just beyond the front door. “You could ski here for a week and never repeat the same terrain,” says Mark Luppenlatz. Guiding service are easily coordinated through San Juan Mountain Guides.
With the exception of the couches, Andrea Vaughan Luppenlatz furnished the lodge with thrift and antique finds. After a day outdoors, guests can warm up by the wood-burning stove and play old-school games like Scrabble or Monopoly.
A wood-burning sauna sits just a 10-minute skin from the lodge.
This isn’t your typical hut food. Mark Luppenlatz took inspiration from the gourmet food and wine he experienced in huts throughout Europe and Canada. Breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of a stay, as are aprés ski eats, such as Ribollita, a hearty Tuscan bread soup, and fondue.
The chef at Red Mountain Alpine Lodge cut his teeth working with star chef Barbara Lynch in Boston. Multi-course dinners might feature roasted summer squash and zucchini with a cashew chili mole and flank steak with a chimichurri sauce. Don’t expect Two Buck Chuck poured at the table. An oenophile, Mark Luppenlatz curated a serious wine list featuring bottles from Barolo, Rioja and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

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