Most guests to Colorado come for the Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, or famend ski cities similar to Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. Much less well-known is the San Juan Skyway, far to the south, however it’s maybe “essentially the most spectacular stretch of tarmac in America”, says Aaron Millar in The Sunday Occasions. A 236-mile loop via the San Juan Mountains, it instructions persistently “celestial” views of 14,000ft peaks (therefore “skyway”), and passes via a number of the state’s most charming cities. A brand new initiative, the Inns of the San Juan Skyway, provides two- to ten-day self-drive or all-inclusive guided journeys, with stays at historic lodges within the former mining settlements of Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, Durango and Telluride. 

The John Wayne basic True Grit was filmed in Ridgway in 1968, and the city continues to be like a movie set, with its western-style saloons, “pale” firehouse and assortment of nineteenth century trains. Close by Ouray is named the “Switzerland of America” for the amphitheatre of jagged summits wherein it sits. Circling the city is a six-mile climbing path, the Perimeter Path, with a steel cliff walkway that takes you “deep into the thunder” of the towering Field Canyon Falls. The vertiginous street onwards to Silverton provides maybe essentially the most “hypnotic” views of the complete route.

There are fantastic scorching springs alongside the way in which, together with a pure subterranean steam room close to Ouray. At Mesa Verde Nationwide Park close to Durango, there are greater than 600 Native American cliff dwellings, that are round 1,000 years previous – the best-preserved such web site in America. And essentially the most elegant of the 5 cities comes final. Tucked deep in a field canyon with “dragon-tooth” summits throughout, Telluride and the climbing trails round it are virtually “unreal” of their magnificence. 

A four-night journey prices from £1,470pp, half-board (