Great Rocky Mountain Decks: Spectacular Views Year-Round

Late Summer Fun: The Deck at 9545

Aah, that golden time of year. Yes, it’s quickly approaching—pretty much here in fact. The aspens are beginning to change and the sun is hanging low in the sky, casting long shadows and a flaxen glow on all that meets its warm embrace. We’ve had our first snows already high up on the peaks, sugar frostings that render our glorious autumnal panoramas all the more endearing. To many, this is the best time to be in the Rockies. Leaf peeping really goes off here, more than all those New England fall foliage goers could ever imagine. We’ll be in full splendor within the next couple of weeks.

The Pool Deck at Mountain Lodge Telluride

Partying at The Peaks

I’ve enjoyed a few spectacular decks here in Telluride all summer long:  one at 9545, located within the Inn at Lost Creek, the other at the Great Room at The Peaks Resort & Spa, the other at Mountain Lodge Telluride. And it’s my plan to find myself out on them as often as possible during these upcoming weeks, basking in the halcyon days of fall in the Rockies, toasting myself in the Indian Summer warmth of southwestern Colorado. Sunsets here are the best and this being the mountains, these establishments are well-prepared for that chill in the air since a brigade of fireplaces and a battalion of heaters stand at the ready year-round. Yes, these folks know how to warm you up since seizing the great outdoors is really what it’s all about in the Rockies. Come winter, the decks at both 9545, the Great Room and Mountain Lodge abound with winter sports enthusiasts that just can’t get enough of our spectacular mountain views. Fortunately all three restaurants serve libations and food of the finest quality, necessary ingredients for keeping you well-fueled for hours.

Situated within the very heart of Telluride Mountain Village, the deck at 9545 draws a large, stylish crowd on Wednesday evenings throughout summer during the Sunset Concert series. It’s always a happening and I took full advantage of it this summer, showing up almost weekly at this Wednesday evening “mixer.” At the end of the summer, I came by for a celebratory lunch (for my b-day) with a friend and finished off a tasty meal consisting of a Cuban shaved ham and slow-cooked pork sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. All this was topped off with a tequila chocolate mousse and my first fried Oreo. Truly decadent!  And there’s no doubt the whole experience was enhanced tenfold by 9545’s tranquil mountain setting. Doesn’t everything taste better when dining al fresco?

One of Many Views from 9545

Winter Fun at The Peaks Deck

At the Great Room Deck, also located in Telluride Mountain Village, I savored the longest and most stunning sunset of the summer. Ensconced within the cushy banquettes of their expansive deck, laughing and partying with friends, we all ooed and aahed about the transformation of the evening sky for hours. O.K., the sensations might have been augmented by a handful of G & Ts but still, I’ll never forget that moment. And isn’t that what dining (and drinking) affairs are all about? Thankfully we had munched on some excellent apps that carried us well into nightfall. We all sunk farther into the couches to admire the flourish of stars in our clear Colorado sky. No doubt about it—this is where you can savor one of the best sunsets in the West.

All Set for a Blazing Good Time at The View

The pool deck at Mountain Lodge is the envy of most visitors to Telluride. They sail over it in the gondola as they travel from the Mountain Village Market and parking complex to the Village core. And then they pass over it on the way back, forever commenting about the allure of the deep blue pool and hot tub, the stunning lineup of teak tables and chairs, the fun people always seem to be sharing below. Sadly few realize that they, too, can experience this spectacular site—all part of Mountain Lodge’s restaurant and bar, aptly named The View—by popping in for lunch, afternoon drinks or dinner. Yes, indeed, this handsome deck, restaurant and bar is open to everyone in addition to the guests staying at the lodge. From the gondola you see that The View offers stunning vistas of the San Sophia Range, some of the most striking peaks in the region. Sit down and delight in a glass of Cab and one of the best burgers in T-ride. I assure you you’ll pass a moment that you’ll never forget.

Cosseted interiors with blazing fireplaces are a welcome relief on many a foul day and a necessity for most romantic evenings. But there’s nothing like a great deck that offers killer views. Here in Telluride, we’re well served.

9545 Restaurant & Bar at Inn at Lost Creek, 970-728-5678 and 888-601-LOST (5678); open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.

Great Room Deck at The Peaks Resort & Spa, 970-728-789-6800 and 800-789-2220; open 11 a.m. to sunset. Call ahead to find out about their live entertainment.

The View at Mountain Lodge Telluride, 970-369-5000; open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. in the summer and for breakfast, après-ski and dinner in the winter.

Panorama of Part of the San Sophia Range from The View

Winter Sunset from the Great Room Deck

Check out my story, Sleek and Sustainable:  Two Stellar Colorado Properties, to find out about the deck at Avondale at the Westin Beaver Creek, one of the most happening spots in the Vail Valley.

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