From LAX, nonstop service to Denver is offered on United, American, Southwest and Frontier, direct service (stop, no change of plane) on United and connecting service (change of plane) on US Airways. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $372. Crestone is about 200 miles from Denver.
There are few hotels and fewer restaurants in Crestone; most people stay at spiritual retreats or bed-and-breakfasts. Alamosa, about 50 miles south, has a wide selection of accommodations.
Nada Hermitage, P.O. Box 219, Crestone; (719) 256-4778, http://www.spirituallifeinstitute.org. Guests can stay up to one month with a suggested donation of $60 the first night and $55 for each additional night. Couples sharing a hermitage, a small nicely furnished cabin, are asked to donate $70 for the first night and $65 for additional nights.
Vajra Vidya Retreat Center, 3203 Camino Baca Grande, Crestone; (719) 256-5539, http://www.vajravidyaretreatcenter.org. Retreats start at $35 a day, decreasing to $25 a day for retreats lasting longer than four weeks. Weekend retreats are $70, weeks are $245 and a month is $750. Prices include room, shared bathroom and three vegetarian meals a day.
Haidakhandi Universal Ashram, P.O. Box 9, Crestone; (866) 686-4185 or (719) 256-4108, http://www.babajiashram.org. Visitors staying in a shared dormitory room are asked for a donation of $27 a night, $135 a week or $324 a month. The price includes three vegetarian meals a day. A private room is $45 a night. Children are free.
Dharma Sangha Crestone Mountain Zen Center, 2000 E. Dreamway, Crestone; (719) 256-4692, http://www.dharmasangha.org. The center offers a variety of rates and programs from $35 to $100 a night. Bed and breakfast, $65 a night.
Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa 28640 County Road 58 E, Moffat; (719) 256-4328 or (800) 673-0656 Pin No. 4328, http://www.joyfuljourneyhotsprings.com. Visitors can soak in hot mineral springs or indulge in any number of spa and massage treatments. Doubles in the hotel start at $145 a night. Doubles in a yurt begin at $105 and doubles in a tepee start at $70 a night. Tent camping and RV parking are available.
WHERE TO EAT
Laughing Buddha Lounge, 120 W, Silver Ave., Crestone; (719) 256-6100, http://www.laughingbuddhalounge.com. Eclectic, often organic, fare befitting an eclectic crowd, featuring yak burgers, gyros, sushi, bratwurst, salmon, apple pie and baklava. Full-service bar and frequent live music.
TO LEARN MORE
Crestone Area Visitors Agency, (719) 256-5210, http://www.crestonevisit.com. Crestone is home to 23 spiritual retreats with most offering daily, weekly and monthly programs. For a complete description, go to crestonevisit.com/03/pages/06.html