Telluride’s Alpino Vino can step down because Arapahoe Basin Ski Area has the highest restaurant in North America now.
With A-Basin opening a European-style bistro last month, the new restaurant exists as a safe haven at 12,456 feet elevation, making it the highest restaurant in the U.S. as far as A-Basin’s staff can tell.
Like a lookout tower high up in the mountains, Il Rifugio rewards anyone who ventures up there with a breathtaking, wraparound view of the surrounding terrain and nearby mountain ranges. It’s inspired by the Alps and can only be reached via chairlifts so anyone who eats there will inevitably have to ski or ride back down to the base.
It goes without saying there’s a limited amount of geography extending above 10,000 feet in North America. The vast majority of it is rugged mountains, uninhabited and undeveloped.
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