Stars above cabin

Experience Twin Lakes, Colorado

Outdoor Adventures in the Rocky Mountains

Restaurant Spotlight: Tennessee Pass Cookhouse

IF YOU AND YOUR GUESTS are looking for ways to combine adventure with a unique dining experience, look no further than the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse.

The Cookhouse is located at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, which is about a 25-minute drive from the Wolf Den.

Hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe or hop on a snowmobile for a 1-mile trek to the Cookhouse’s secluded yurt dining room. Once there, be prepared to enjoy delicious “backcountry fine dining” and live music.


The yurt operates entirely off the grid, which means candlelight and propane lights flicker and the wood-burning stove keeps guests toasty warm. It’s romantic and cozy, no matter the season. But don’t let the rustic setting fool you. Four delicious courses constructed of local and seasonal ingredients will please even the most discerning diners.

During our family’s most recent Cookhouse outing in December, we cross-country skied to the Cookhouse yurt in a heavy snowfall. Our headlamps illuminated lovely, wet snowflakes.

Yurt dinner table

Drying off by the warmth of the fire, we toasted excellent red wine, dined on delicious elk, pheasant and salmon. Our son danced along with the live music, too. The dinner experience was hands down one of our family’s best memories of the year.

Costing $125 per guest (not including beverages) means the meal might be pricier than you may typically spend on dinner out — particularly for a child. (However, after a day spent skiing, our little guy ate all four courses!) That said, you won’t regret it.


Dining Details

Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, 719-486-8114. Reservations required.

Winter Season: November 24th – April 16th. Dinner served daily. Lunch served Saturdays and Sundays.

Summer Season (Thursday-Sunday): June 22nd – October 4th. Dinner served Thursday through Sunday. Brunch served Sundays.

Location: Located adjacent to Ski Cooper, a 25-minute drive from the Wolf Den. From Leadville, travel north on Highway 24-W approximately 9 miles to the top of Tennessee Pass/Continental Divide and turn right at the large ‘Tennessee Pass Nordic Center/Ski Cooper’ entrance sign. Proceed up the access road to find the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center on the right side of the parking lot.

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