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A Scenic Drive Along the Million Dollar Highway

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Whether it’s your first time visiting or your fifth, no trip to Durango is complete without driving along the famous Million Dollar Highway. As part of the San Juan Skyway, this scenic drive stretches over 235 miles in the U.S. Route 5. Read on for everything you need to know about this historic drive. 

The Highway’s History 

Nestled on the southern edge of the picturesque San Juan Mountains, the town of Durango flourished into a center of commerce and railway hub by the 1889s. The San Juan Skyway was built in the late 1880s, earning the nickname “The Million Dollar Highway” due to its expensive building costs. It was designated as a National Forest Scenic Byway in 1988 and later named a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway in 1989.

An Overview of the Trip

With beautiful views and winding roads, the San Juan Skyway travels over four mountain passes. The famous highway stretches for approximately 25 miles in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray. Between Durango and Silverton, the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Points of Interest Along the Way 

If you’re looking to break up your trip, consider taking a stop along the way. Go for a soak at The Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa, which is open to the public year round. Guests can look forward to the use of two saunas and naturally heated mineral-rich hot springs.  You might also want to spend some time exploring the San Juan National Forest, which expands across 1.8 million acres of desert, mountain peaks and meadows. Camping, hiking and birding are just some of what you can enjoy here.

To Know Before You Go

Keep in mind that completing the full loop takes approximately seven hours of driving. Plus, you’ll want to schedule some extra time to grab lunch or explore the historic towns dotted along the way.  It’s a good idea to always check current road conditions before you go. Regardless of the season, you can be sure to expect some twists and turns, as parts of the scenic drive do feature steep drop-offs. 

Consider going in fall to see colorful foliage or in the spring to catch a glimpse of the vibrant wildflowers. With breathtaking views of the mountains, valley and gorge, you’re in for an unforgettable adventure driving along the Million Dollar Highway.

Resident Spotlight: The McSweeneys find Home in the Mountains

In our pocket of genuine mountain living, one essential element of our idyllic community is the passionate group of people who make it up. Get to know some of our newest neighbors, Julie and Tom McSweeney, and how they wear the Glacier lifestyle like a second skin.

What type of Glacier property do you own? 

We live in the Iron Horse development and we love it! We have fantastic neighbors, and enjoy watching elk as well as golfers on the fairway!

Where are you from? 

I (Julie) am originally from Evergreen, Colorado, and Tom is from Chicago. We most recently moved to Glacier from Omaha, Nebraska.

What brought you to the Durango area?

We saw a Glacier ad in a golf magazine– then in October of 2020, we came for a “stay and play” and bought our property that weekend!

Any children or pets? 

We have four children: TJ – age 26, Christian – age 25, Shannon – age 21, and Tyler – age 20. We have two small dogs: a Papi-poo named Thunder, and a Chihuahua mix named Lucas.

What do you love most about Glacier? 

We love everything about Glacier! The location, the great golf courses, the beauty, the people who live here and who work here, the gorgeous clubhouse, the activities and the incredible Colorado outdoor living!

Is Glacier your primary residence? 

Yes, this is our only residence!

Since you’ve settled in September, how do your typical days vary from fall, to winter, to spring? And what are you looking forward to this summer?  

This fall was beautiful, and we enjoyed golfing until Thanksgiving and beyond! We took walks, hiked, and traversed upon fun trips to Moab, Scottsdale, Tucson, Las Vegas and Evergreen. Our last day of golf was December 3rd, which was a beautiful day. Then, our first day of skiing was December 11th! Since then, we have skied over 50 times at Purgatory, as well as Park City.  We had our first Christmas here with our children and it was truly magical for everyone.  Now that it is spring, we are gearing up for hiking, golfing, boating and fishing. We are also looking forward to our daughter graduating from college in May. This summer, we are looking forward to our friends and neighbors returning, and to enjoy activities with them—including golf, hiking, pickleball, and other activities and events at the Mountain Club. (The Goat Hunt and Gumbo tournaments were so fun and we look forward to those again)!

Favorite local spot to eat? 

We have found that Durango has a plethora of incredible restaurants and that we love dining al fresco, from the patio at the Mountain Club to the bump outs in town. Since there are so many great places to dine, we have not tried them all yet, so we are happily finding new haunts.

Favorite sporting or adventure activities? Favorite relaxation rituals? 

We have been enjoying golf—Tom especially likes the Wednesday morning men’s league, and Julie is looking forward to joining the women’s league. Pickleball is great as well. During the winter, we enjoyed skiing,—the “Ski with the Staff” and the “Apres Ski” parties were so fun—snowshoeing, and dog sledding with Durango Dog Sleds! As for relaxation, we love the Durango Hot Springs, and Julie enjoys being pampered with spa treatments either at the Activities Center or in town at one of the many great day spas. We love getting together with friends as well.

Do either of you work-from-home at Glacier? 

No, we are both happily retired and enjoying it!

Want to be a part of the Glacier Community? To learn more about our real estate offerings and how you can craft your own unique lifestyle at Glacier, please contact our dedicated sales team today.

The Pinnacle of Mountain Living: The Summit at Glacier

A breathtaking escape into undisturbed natural wilderness, perched upon the premier vantage point in the San Juan Mountains — this is The Summit at Glacier. Located within a secluded enclave at the northernmost point in the Glacier community, this collection of luxury homesites represent a rare opportunity to craft an uncompromising estate with unrivaled privacy and majestic mountain vistas that span the horizon.

More Land Than Ever

The initial phase of this enclave consists of nine homesites above the Mountain Golf course, with the largest parcels of land ever offered at Glacier. Spanning from 0.7 to 3.8 acres, these sites are priced from $750,000 to $1.5M. Presales for Phase I of The Summit at Glacier are available now.

More Limited Than Ever

Uniquely situated in mountain wilderness, this enclave is in a class of its own. This limited collection offers the most spectacular and expansive homesites offered at Glacier. Surrounded by thousands of acres of protected forests and poised upon a awe-worthy alpine vantage point, The Summit offers both seclusion and exclusivity without sacrifice. 

For more information, get in touch with our sales team at

How to Experience Fall in Full at Glacier & Beyond

With fall officially here, now is the perfect time to start planning some autumn adventures. Glacier and the surrounding area offer an abundance of exciting ways to embark on fall activities. Whether you’re up for a leisure adventure like kayaking or prefer to relax by going for a scenic drive, there’s something for everyone here. Read on to learn about five ways to experience fall this year at Glacier and beyond. 


Looking to spend some time on the water? Then head on down to Lake Nighthorse, which is located just two miles from downtown Durango. This lake offers loads of activities, including boating, fishing and more. Onsite rentals include paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes. You can also enjoy a scenic walk around the lake to admire the fall colors.


While traveling to Germany might not be in the cards at the moment, you don’t have to get your passport to participate in Durango’s Oktoberfest. Located only 20 minutes from Glacier, this widely-attended festival offers traditional Barvarian-style food and local craft beer. This event provides an evening of fun and non-stop entertainment to the whole family. One of the most anticipated events is the Brewers Brat Eating Contest. 

Take a Scenic Drive

Ready for a day to relax and soak up the scenery? The San Juan Skyway, which is part of the Million Dollar Highway, was named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of  “America’s Best Road Trips”. Since Glacier is nestled in the San Juan Mountains that means that Glacier residents have a front-row seat to this magnificent landscape. The “road to the sky” consists of a 232 mile loop where you will see historic old west towns, craggy peaks and vibrant fall foliage.

Pumpkin Patch 

Find your future jack-o-lantern at Durango’s best pumpkin patch. Falfa Pumpkin Patch, located in Durango and just 25 miles from Glacier, allows guests to pick a pumpkin right off the vine. There’s also plenty of family-friendly activities, such as a barrel train ride or corn pit with toys for children. Between the pumpkin picking and the fun-filled activities, you and your family are in for an unforgettable day of making memories.

A Spa Partnership Shaped by Nature: Glacier Teams Up with Durango Hot Springs

Tucked away among soaring mountains and enchanting valleys, the Glacier community is all about embodying an intimate connection with nature. To bridge together a wide breadth of Southwest Colorado experiences and enhance our wellness offerings, Glacier is proud to partner with our neighbors of Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa, a historic healing spring that has been redesigned and expanded by longtime Glacier owners and members Dan Carter and Bryan Yearout.

Within Glacier’s very own Fitness Center is one of our collaborative projects with Durango Hot Springs: a dedicated treatment area that offers mountain lifestyle inspired services as you gaze upon Hermosa Cliffs. With every spa session, Glacier members receive a complementary soaking pass to Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa, where they may enjoy all of the healing properties of the mineral hot springs. Owners and members always enjoy 10% off all services all the time, and special monthly discounts all year long.

We sat down with Ken Stone, our Director of Membership Sales at Glacier, to learn more about this unique partnership, what it offers to Glacier members and what partnering with local businesses means to the Glacier team.

How did this partnership come to light?

Two of our long term Glacier homeowners/members, Dan Carter and Bryan Yearout, purchased the historic Trimble Hot Springs in 2020. They have invested in a major renovation and re-branding of the hot springs. Dan and Bryan then contacted Glacier COO Jim Goodman to discuss a partnership between Durango Hot Springs & Spa and Glacier. The hope for both companies is to form a long term relationship that will benefit Glacier Members and Durango Hot Spring through a number of high touch opportunities.

Could you tell us more about the spa and wellness treatment area in the back of the Glacier Fitness Center?

Through this partnership with Glacier, Durango Hot Springs now operates the spa services offered by Glacier in the day spa area of the Glacier Fitness Center. Spa services include a variety of massages and modalities from a traditional, relaxing, Swedish Massage to unique specialty massages such as Stone Cold Fire, which helps facilitate muscle recovery for athletes coming to Durango to play in the vast outdoors. The day spa at Glacier also has full nail care services.

What do locally owned and operated Colorado businesses mean to the Glacier community?

Durango Hot Springs is a good example of a locally owned and operated business that is woven into the community in many ways. The employees at the hot spring & spa all live and work in the area and spend the majority of their income locally. The hot springs also worked with local vendors and tradespeople in the redevelopment and renovations of the hot springs as much as possible. When you live at Glacier, it becomes a part of your lifestyle to frequent local businesses as part of daily interaction for services and goods. The locally owned shops and service providers connect you in a meaningful way to the greater Durango community and to Southwest Colorado culture.

Does the Glacier team have any amazing stories about Durango Hot Springs?

Durango Hot Springs has an amazing history that goes back before it first became a commercial enterprise as Trimble Hot Springs in 1884. The Animas Valley was a favorite hunting ground for the Ute People along with other Native American tribes that passed through the area and stopped to soak in the healing  waters. There have been many incarnations of the property which included several grand hotels and a gambling hall and guest ranch. In the 1950’s, many Western movies were filmed in the Durango area. Many of the stars of those movies swam and soaked in the hot springs including John Wayne, Clarke Gable and Marilyn Monroe. Durango Hot Springs is a destination where people from around the world come to soak. They may be here to ride the historic Durango Silverton Railroad, to visit the ancient Native American past of Mesa Verde or to drive the famous alpine loop of the Million Dollar Highway. Just ask any Glacier employee or Durango Native about the hot springs and you are sure to hear some interesting and memorable stories of the people they have met there.

What are some of the services that Durango Hot Springs offers?

The renovation includes 22 mineral soaking pools — three of which are family-specific with one that connects to the swimming pool children’s area. There are also six smaller soaking tubs with user temperature control that are refilled after each use. The new 25-meter, salt-water resort-style pool incorporates lap lanes with designated times for exercise and training. The new design creates spaces for privacy while also being able to host families and small events. Attention to ADA accessibility is also a large part of the design. 

Is there anything unique about the location of these springs and the water that runs through them?

Durango Hot Springs is located above some of the most naturally healing waters in the world. The blend of 21 minerals bubbling up from within the Earth will soothe even the weariest of bodies. Absent of any sulphuric odor, the water contains a unique mix of minerals that are characteristic of only this amazing place. They also uniquely utilize the AquaGen water system to infuse all pools with nanometer and micrometer oxygen bubbles.  Antimicrobial by nature, these oxygen bubbles provide an unparalleled cleanliness to the waters without introducing any foreign substances or chemicals. It also increases your body’s oxygen levels as you soak — a great way to acclimate when arriving from lower altitudes.

Are there any more special perks for Glacier members that usual hot spring visitors don’t have?

We are currently working on exclusive perks and programs for Glacier members which we hope to announce shortly.

Where are you looking to take this new partnership with DHS?

We hope to look at ways we can enhance the experience for Glacier Members at the Hot Springs facilities. We will be adding other activities such as horseback riding this summer and e-bike rentals. The hot springs has more than 65 acres of land to develop for all kinds of recreation, health related and cultural activities.

How is the historical and communal context of the land important to this partnership?

We respect and cherish the past with a passion for preserving what makes this such a special place. We also look to be a bigger contributor and benefit to the Durango and LaPlata  County community as we grow.

To book your treatment, please call the Durango Hot Springs at 970.247.0212

Photos courtesy of Durango Hot Springs Resort + Spa.

Resident Spotlight: The Sokolovic Family on Building a Life at Glacier

In this wildly magical corner of Southwest Colorado, we’re proud to have created an idyllic home base for families seeking heartfelt moments in nature — including our newest members, Pete and Karla Sokolovic, and their three sons. A force to be reckoned with on the golf course, Pete was the winner of this year’s club championship while Karla has joined in on the golf scene after a warm welcome from the lady golfers at Glacier. 

Hailing from Arizona, the Sokolovics found their way to Glacier by way of longtime friend and pro golfer Alex Fisher, our summertime Director of Golf Instruction. After booking a Discovery Stay last spring, the two moved into a Glacier Pond Cabin and later an Ironhorse Cabin, and are currently developing one more lot in Glacier’s Hideout enclave to house their new custom mountain retreat. 

We sat down with Karla to learn more about how the Sokolovics have developed their real estate portfolio at Glacier, as well as how they’re making the most out of this season’s outdoor pursuits, from playing the championship Mountain Course to settling friendly rivalries on tennis courts. 

What does a typical day at Glacier look like for your family? 

Our full-filled days entail an abundance of activities with amazing people, ranging from golfing, pickleball, tennis, hiking and more! I enjoy the tennis scene here and really like the women’s group that Jeremy runs twice per week. Many of the girls are super strong players, and they are so welcoming and encouraging.  

What would you say is the biggest perk of life here at Glacier?

My first impression would be the beauty of the outdoors with fantastic views in every direction. But now? Honestly, it’s the people and friendships with those who become your extended family.

We know you’re both exceptional golfers. Any tips or tricks for playing the Mountain and Valley Course?

Ha! We are far from professionals — I just started golfing last March when COVID started and was so fortunate to be introduced to Glacier. The girls in this community welcomed me with open arms into their golf groups despite my regular score of 100++.  

What’s your family’s favorite day trip from Glacier?

We had a cabin in Ouray while my boys were growing up, so Ouray still has a soft spot in our hearts and is a beautiful place! It’s a scenic drive from Durango!

What are your favorite local restaurants or attractions?

My top three are The Nugget, 11th Street Station, and Derailed Pour House. None of them are too fancy — totally low key with local personality!

What made our Ironhorse cabins stand out amongst our other Glacier properties?

We like the “mountain modern” architecture and style.  Our cabin is a wonderful size for having a second home. It has two master bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a half bath. In addition to its cozy square footage, it has a large open kitchen and family room for entertaining. It’s an easy size to enjoy and maintain without too much work!

What are your plans for your newly-purchased lot at Glacier? 

We really do love the Ironhorse Cabin. After spending the summer here and discovering how much time we want to spend in Glacier, we’ve purchased a lot and are building a larger home that has tremendous views and will accommodate our family to spend more time with us in paradise. 

How was your experience with Glacier’s exclusive sales team with selling your Glacier Pond property?

The staff at Glacier is top notch! Just wonderful people! When we were introduced to Glacier, Lindsey Lubrant was our realtor and we definitely plan to use her in the future as well.

To learn more about our real estate offerings and how you can craft your own unique lifestyle at Glacier, please contact our dedicated sales team today.

Glacier Staff Spotlight: Pro Skier Tad Elliott

Glacier’s authentic mountain lifestyle is made possible by a community of spirited and genuine team members — one being Winter Activities Intern and professional athlete Tad Elliott, known to be one of the finest pro skiers of his generation. With ski season in full swing, we’ve tapped Tad to share a bit about his background and what his life looks like at Glacier.

Former U.S. Ski Team member and a three-time World Championship team skier, Tad grew up right here racing for Durango Nordic, going on to pursue a 12-year career in professional ski racing and mountain biking. Not only a world-class skier, Tad also has won two U23 National Championships in mountain biking. After retiring from professional racing, Tad worked as an assistant coach for Northern Michigan University’s NCAA team for a year before joining us here at Glacier, where we are so grateful to have him.

While we are in awe of the trail that Tad has blazed, it seems that Tad’s knack for athleticism runs in his blood, as he comes from a whole family of Olympians. Tad’s father, the legendary skier Mike Elliott, is a three-time Olympian for American cross-country skiing, and even has a ski run named after him (known as “Elliot’s” run) at our neighboring Purgatory Ski Resort. Tad’s sister, Paige, skied professionally as well, going on to coach for the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team.

Currently, Tad assists with instruction for various types of skiing and will assist with golf and biking at the Activities Center when summer rolls around. “Glacier Club has been an organization I have admired growing up in Durango,” Tad tells us. “The location and facilities they have really incorporate the mountain club lifestyle.” Tad also noted that the gorgeous golf course adds quite a bit to the allure factor of Glacier.

Tad’s presence on our team adds a novel sense of excitement to our community. “My career of traveling the world gives me a broad knowledge of skiing and biking activities that I hope to share with members and their guests,” he remarks. While he has made the transition from sport competition to sport instruction, Tad explains to us that although the intensity of sporting has changed, his passion for the outdoors has remained the same, as being at Glacier has granted him new perspectives: “I just get humbled a lot more now, especially on the golf course.”

Looking to the future, Tad is also currently pursuing a degree in Sports Administration, with the hope to bridge his intellectual savvy with his passion for the outdoors in his career going forward. And so far, Tad shares, “Glacier has been a perfect fit, teaching me all the healthy aspects the club offers. The lifestyle up there is everything I am fond of and love.” Also passionate about youth sports, Tad wants to explore more ways to deliver experiences of learning and growth through sport instruction.

If you happen to see Tad around the club, don’t hesitate to say hello. You may have just found your new go-to instructor!

Glacier Members Raise $50K for Local Businesses & Children in Need

This past December, our incredible Durango community came together to support Glacier’s newest initiative: Glacier Cares. The partnership with La Plata Family Centers Coalition (LPFCC), a Durango-based charitable organization that filled in the gap for Project Merry Christmas, aimed to raise $50,000 in donations over just 10 days — which we are proud to report was a tremendous success thanks to the collective efforts of our community. All proceeds were used to purchase gift cards from a variety of locally owned downtown Durango stores and restaurants, which were then distributed to nearly 1,000 children in need this past holiday season. 

“It’s more important than ever that we come together and offer our support to local families and business owners who have been adversely affected by COVID-19,” shared Rick Carlton, Owner and Developer of Glacier. “At Glacier, it’s both our mission and responsibility to positively impact our community.” The Carlton Family kickstarted the Glacier Cares initiative with a $5,000 commitment, and Glacier homeowners and staff quickly rallied behind to reach the $50,000 goal.

“We are so thankful for the support we’ve received from our Glacier community,” said Jim Goodman, Chief Operating Officer at Glacier. “To pull this off in just over a week and make a positive financial impact on local businesses while bringing cheer to those in need is what this season and our community are all about.” 

To bring help lift the spirits of those in need, members of the Glacier team made their way around Durango with the checks processed by LPFCC to purchase gift cards from dozens of local businesses, including the Yess the Book Hutch, Durango Outdoor Exchange, Art Supply House and Beads & Beyond, as well as restaurants like Happy Pappy’s, Zia Taqueria and Raider Ridge, all beloved by local children and teens. The gift cards were dropped off at Durango schools and distributed to their lists of families in need this season. 

Beyond the monetary raise, the initiative also served as a call-to-action to support local businesses as much as possible — including retail, service businesses, restaurants and adventure experiences — as well as to consider making personal donations to local Durango food banks and charities. At Glacier, it’s both our mission and responsibility to positively impact our community — and we are incredibly proud to have seen our members and team step up and come together to truly make a difference with Glacier Cares.

For more information about Glacier, visit, and to learn more about La Plata Family Centers Coalition, visit