Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


COLORADO

About Colorado & News
Aspen
Breckenridge
Chaffee County
Colorado Springs
Copper Mountaiin
Denver
Dunton Hot Springs
Durango
Eagle
Glenwood Springs
Gunnison-Crested Butte
Nathrop
Rio Grande
Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park
Snowmass
Telluride
Vail

NEWS (Cities & towns follow after the News)

Colorado is a four-season destination offering world-class adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and renowned ski resort areas. The state's breathtaking natural landscape boasts natural hot springs, thousands of lakes and rivers, ten national parks and monuments, and 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet.

For more information or a copy of the Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, call 1-800-COLORADO or visit www.COLORADO.com.  

Residence Inn Breckenridge to open Dec. 15, 2016

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Debuts New Train Experiences

Biking Bliss with 750 Miles of Trails in Crested Butte & the Gunnison Valley, Colorado

Exceptional Ways to Explore on Nordic Skis in Gunnison-Crested Butte

Rocky Mountain National Park: An Unforgettable Daytrip. . . One of the Top Outdoor and Adventure Destinations in the World Just 1.5 Hours from Denver

ASPEN

Aspen Is Great!

If you haven't been to Aspen yet, plan on going soon. You won't be disappointed. It's a mountain town like no other and flourishes year-round. While the Aspen name is well known, there are many untold stories. It offers a unique vacation of adventure by day and luxury by night. Its arts and cultural calendar rivals that of a big city, and Aspen offers unique learning vacations for children and adults. Summer weather offers warm days and cool evenings, making it ideal for a romantic getaway or honeymoon; a family vacation, or a corporate retreat.

It's a historical fact that Aspen boasted one of the largest silver veins the world has ever known, and the largest nugget of pure silver ever mined (2,350 lbs) was extracted from the Smuggler Mine right in Aspen. Rugged miners spent their days scouring the insides of the surrounding hills and their nights bellied up to the J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome, which remains today as one of Aspen's favorite bars.

With peaks over 14,000 feet, you can hike in the morning and then relax at the new Remede Spa at the St. Regis Resort in the evening. Or paraglide over Aspen Mountain, relax with a picnic at the famed maroon Bells, and stay at the five star Little Nell hotel, a historical bed and breakfast, or a luxury home fit for a Hollywood celebrity. Also, Aspen Expeditions is offering new guided tours in the Aspen area, including the moderate "Tour des Belles Bordeaux," a hike around the spectacular Maroon Bells, or the more difficult "Seven Summits," a take on the classic seven summits of the world, incorporating the classic 14ers in the Aspen area's Elk Mountain Range.

Want more? Largely unknown as a mountain biking destination, there is huge diversity of the biking terrain, from the moderate Hunter Creek Valley single track to Government Trail to Hay Park or Richmond Ridge. From beginner to expert, Aspen's biking terrain has been called the best by Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's coach.

Aspen is also known as the intellectual and cultural capital, making it a playground for the mind and body. Summer brings a diverse mix of cultural events and festivals, along with classical music offerings by the Aspen Music Festival and School. And, if you love to eat, Aspen has more than 80 restaurants with choices from moutain picnics, to lively sushi bars and elegant restaurants. Some of the newest additions here are D-19 and the Wine Spot. The annual Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen locks off a summer of culinary offerings (June), and Aspen leads the organic food trent with the Healthy Gourmet Festival held in July. The Aspen Saturday Market displays organic produce and meals every Saturday from mid-June through October.

For more information, contact web site www.aspenchamber.org.

BRECKENRIDGE

Residence Inn Breckenridge to open Dec. 15, 2016

Breckenridge, Colorado’s magnificent setting is the picturesque backdrop for Residence Inn Breckenridge, which opens Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Thoughtfully designed for both short and extended stays, the new 129 room all-suite hotel is a natural launch pad to explore the year-round appeals of the Rockies. It is managed by Urgo Hotels & Resorts.

Choice location: With peak-to-peak views of the surrounding mountains, Residence Inn Breckenridge has an expansive feel, yet enjoys a premier downtown location. Situated off historic Main Street, guests can easily explore a host of charming restaurants and eclectic boutiques, and will find the community’s rich mining history and warm, vibrant culture on display. A two-minute walk from Residence Inn Breckenridge brings outdoor enthusiasts to the slopes of famed Breckenridge Ski Resort, where Peak 9 offers chair lifts and terrain that appeal to both beginners and experts. The transition to the slopes is eased by the hotel’s complimentary on-site ski storage.

Welcoming amenities: Ideal for leisure travelers and families, every guestroom at Residence Inn Breckenridge is designed as a suite with a full kitchen and sofa bed. In-room air conditioning ensures comfort during warmer months, and the hotel is pet-friendly. The Lobby’s Hearth Room and Base Camp Lounge are a natural gathering point for guests, offering a sophisticated mountain lodge vibe, creative cocktails and menu of small bites. A year-round outdoor pool and hot tub with sweeping views of Quandary Peak is complemented by the hotel’s fitness center. For meeting groups and special events, a ballroom with over 1,500-square-feet of space and plentiful natural light can accommodate gatherings of up to 150.

Ample travel perks: A host of complimentary perks distinguish a stay with Residence Inn Breckenridge, and there is no resort fee. Complimentary parking and around-town shuttle service make exploring the region easy. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and a hot American breakfast is offered daily, both gratis for guests. Thanks to strategic partnerships, Residence Inn Breckenridge can assist guests in reserving ski rental equipment and airport transfers, and can organize a grocery shopping service on request.

Seasonal draws: The hotel’s wintertime debut capitalizes on the 300 days of sunshine and more than 300 inches of powder snow that typically blanket Breckenridge each year. Skiing and snowboarding are well-known winter attractions, yet travelers will find plenty of other pursuits, from kite skiing to tubing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. Fast approaching is Breckenridge’s Uller Fest snow celebration (Jan. 11-14, 2017) and International Snow Sculpture Championships (Jan. 24 – Feb. 5, 2017), both worthwhile reasons to make a trip early in the New Year.

Warmer weather makes Breckenridge equally captivating. As the snow melts the mountain makes way for hiking, biking, zip-lining and more. The Breck Summer Fun Park is a favorite for all ages, particularly the Alpine Slide. Breckenridge Golf Club boasts a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed municipal course and nearby Lake Dillon makes for great paddle boarding and kayaking. Breckenridge’s own National Repertory Orchestra plays throughout the summer and is an extraordinary display of young talent.

To explore Breckenridge with Residence Inn, visit www.breckenridgeresidenceinn.com or call 970-453-1181.

About Residence Inn Breckenridge
A brief walk from Breckenridge’s famed slopes and historic Main Street, Residence Inn Breckenridge opens Dec. 15, 2016. The new 129-room all-suite hotel features fully-equipped kitchens and a host of complimentary offerings, including daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, ski equipment storage, parking and local shuttle service. The year-round appeals of the region are complemented by Residence Inn Breckenridge’s welcoming lobby bar, beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center and pet-friendly policy. Event space for 150 makes the hotel ideal for celebrations and meetings. For more information, visit www.breckenridgeresidenceinn.com or call 970-453-1181. Residence Inn Breckenridge is managed by Urgo Hotels and Resorts.

About Urgo Hotels & Resorts
Urgo Hotels is a Bethesda, Maryland-based hotel company that develops, owns and/or operates 34 distinctive and unique hotels and resorts with an aggregate of more than 4,900 rooms in major markets and resorts in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company develops, builds and operates for its own account, and provides third-party management and asset management services. For more information about Urgo Hotels and Resorts, please visit www.urgohotels.com.

CHAFFEE COUNTY

Spring Fishing Heats Up On The Arkansas River in Colorado

Spring Break means different things in different places. Like many areas along the spine of the Rockies, in Chaffee County Colorado springtime means skiing at Monarch Mountain and hot springs, but that's not all. While the rivers that grace many Rocky Mountain destinations remain locked in winter's grip, the Arkansas River that flows through Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado is wide open, ice-free, and home to an unseasonably active population of wild brown and rainbow trout. Credit for this goes to a high desert climate in Chaffee County that provides 300+ sunny days a year along the river corridor, warming the river water and igniting the metabolisms of fish and aquatic insects alike. One can literally stalk the river's feeding trout from a dry shoreline while the powdery ski slopes recline a mere 25 minutes away.

On Feb.19, 2015, President Obama designated 21,586 acres of pristine canyons, rivers and back country forest in Chaffee County Colorado as Browns Canyon National Monument. Plan your rafting or fishing trip through Colorado's newest National Monument today.

Recently designated Gold Medal water by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, the Arkansas River offers unparalleled public access, as many as 4,000 trout per mile, and a pre-runoff spring season that stretches from late winter through the middle of May. For those wishing to test the waters, local guide services offer half and full day instructional trips for beginner and experts alike. Ski for a day, catch the sunset from a hot springs pool, and then hit the river the next day for a Rocky Mountain trifecta - three iconic Colorado experiences all located within close proximity to local lodging, dining, and a host of breweries, distilleries and wineries!

COLORADO SPRINGS

Bass Pro Shops New in Colorado Springs

Bass Pro Shops,America's most popular outdoor store, is now part of the new 200-acre Copper Ridge development on Colorado Spring's north side.  This new location of a Bass Pro Shops® Sportsman's Center off Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard overlooks the Air Force Academy, and with its convenient location, attracts tourists and travelers to the entire Pikes Peak region and has generated at least 250 jobs.

Included in this development is the Colorado Grand Resort & Hotel, Inc., a family resort experience featuring a 30,000 square foot indoor/outdoor water park experience, a Colorado Grand Lobby with massive log and rock décor and family sized themed suites. 

More than just a fishing and hunting store, Bass Pro Shops offers equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more.  A gift and nature center also serves up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture. The expansive boat showroom features Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats built by Tracker Marine Group, the world's largest manufacturer of fishing boats.

The Colorado Springs Bass Pro Shops Sportsman's Center also features the much- acclaimed Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill. This 15,000 square-foot nautical-themed entity located within the store, features a truly unique atmosphere and design geared for family fun and dining. 

For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops® store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com.  To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO.  Follow Bass Pro Shops on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops.

“MOMA of the Mountains” Opens In Colorado

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) is now opened to the public after a $28.4 million transformation which brings blockbuster exhibitions to the area and allow the FAC’s sizable permanent collection to be on display like never before.

The two-story, 48,000 square-foot expansion, conceived by award-winning architect David Owen Tryba, was designed to compliment the original 1936 John Gaw Meem building, which has housed the FAC for the past 70 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The new museum, which Tryba characterizes as “our finest achievement,” features nine permanent collection galleries, two traveling exhibition galleries, and an unprecedented tactile gallery; the renovated SaGÇJi Theatre with its state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems and a dedicated rehearsal studio; two museum gift shops; seven new art studios and interactive spaces at the Bemis Art School; and a unique courtyard to display outdoor sculpture and hold special events.

Upcoming Traveling Exhibitions

The Permanent Collection

The FAC’s permanent collection features one of the largest compilations of Native American and Southwestern Art in the country, as well as a $2 million dollar collection of Dale Chihuly glass, considered to be one of the largest in the world. The grand opening marks the first time in FAC history that selections from all areas of the collection – American, Native American, and Latin American art; much of which has been unseen for years – will be exhibited simultaneously. The FAC’s permanent collection also features a wide array of American art by John Singer Sargent, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, Walt Kuhn, John James Audubon, Robert Motherwell, Paul Cadmus and others.

The first-level of the new FAC features seven galleries dedicated to displaying works from the permanent collection:

·         Colorado Sublime | Blessing Family Gallery

Colorado Sublime features an unrivaled historic collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings inspired by our unique Rocky Mountain landscape.

·         Looking Forward/Looking Back | Sallie E. Duff Gallery

The work in this gallery spans the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when American artists held fast to purely American subject matter but began to adopt new painting techniques derived from European precedents, especially Impressionism. Recognizable American personalities like Martha Graham and Elsie Palmer, places like Garden of the Gods, and scenes of American labor and spirituality were rendered with vibrant colors and ever-loosening brushstrokes. Many of these paintings were created by artists of the Broadmoor Academy which flourished in Colorado Springs from 1919 to 1945 and was an important cultural center in the Rocky Mountain West.

·         Transfixed: Photography from the Permanent Collection | Marguerite and Otto Manley Gallery

Transfixed features early 20th century photographers such as Colorado Springs’s own Laura Gilpin who helped to secure photography’s place among the finest of traditional art forms like painting, while today’s photographers such as Gus Foster continue to expand photography’s boundaries through their large, bold images.

·         Modern America | Loo Family Gallery

Modern America features works of the early 1900s from artists such as John Marin, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley. While early 20th century Modern artists kept one foot in recognizable images, the exhibition also features later artists such as Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Motherwell who took their paintings a bold step further into pure abstraction by eliminating identifiable objects and scenes in favor of shapes and colors that they believed could inspire pure emotional response in the viewer. In much of today’s art, the concept, or idea is just as important as the art’s visual attributes.

·         Arte Americas: Selections from the Hispanic Collection | The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation Gallery

Works by some of the most vibrant and eloquent artistic voices in Hispanic America are featured in this gallery. This talented group of artists explores issues of race, religion, politics, and popular culture. Arte Americas reflects the rich art and cultural diversity that exists in the Western hemisphere.

·         Inspired by Tradition: Native American Art and Dale Chihuly | Lane Family Gallery

Dale Chihuly’s breathtaking work of Chandeliers, Persians and Macchias enliven spaces all over the world. The development of his creative process and complex technique began with works such as his famous Navajo Cylinders and Basket series. This presentation highlights those seminal works inspired by Native American art, specifically Native American textiles and basketry.

·         Colorado Artists | East Events Gallery

Colorado Artists is a bold selection of paintings by renowned Colorado artists such as Floyd Tunson, Tony Ortega and Chuck Forsman demonstrating the FAC’s commitment to the great artistic production of the Rocky Mountain region.

About the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Founded in 1936, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is a privately funded, non-profit art museum, performing arts theatre, and arts education center. For more information, visit www.csfineartscenter.org

Where to Stay

Broadmoor's Penrose Room Earns Top Honors from AAA

Penrose Room, at the historic BROADMOOR, has become Colorado's first dining establishment to achieve one of the restaurant industry's top distinctions: the AAA Five-Diamond Award. Penrose Room in Colorado Springs joins an exclusive club of 60 restaurants chosen from more than 60,000 AAA-rated restaurants and hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Penrose Room offers an experience unlike any other from its unique vantage point atop The BROADMOOR's South Tower. With classic fine dining, an extensive European wine list and live entertainment and dancing in a stylish atmosphere, dinner at Penrose Room is truly an event. General Manager Duane Thompson orchestrates the dining room and service masterfully, while Executive Chef Bertrand Bouquin exquisitely prepares the cuisine. Both infuse classic hospitality and contemporary vitality into every detail.

For more information on The BROADMOOR, please call 800-634-7711 or visit www.broadmoor.com. The Broadmoor is located at 1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 

Broadmoor's Celebrated Golden Bee Introduces a New Menu of Traditional English Pub Fare with a Contemporary Twist

The BROADMOOR'S own authentic English pub, the Golden Bee, introduces an imaginative new menu featuring updated versions of classic pub fare. The Golden Bee has been a longtime favorite and a must-visit at the historic BROADMOOR, and the new menu aims to continue the tradition of fine dining that is evident at all venues on the property.

To start with the Bee offers a host of Innkeeper's Appetizer selections, which include South Shore Fish Chowder and Malt Vinegar Pub Chips with Welsh Rarebit Cheese Dip. Pub Selections include options such as The Piccadilly Reuben and Chaucer's Cornish Pasty. There are also four Golden Bee Pies available, including a Shepherd's Pie with Tender Lamb and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes; a Chicken and Dumpling Pie; a Steak and Mushroom Pie, and a Potted Shrimp, Scallops and Salmon Pie-all are served in distinctive Staub cassoulets. Golden Bee Favorites include The Bee's Fish and Chips and English-Cut Mustard Crusted Roast Beef. Desserts include a Golden Raisin Bread Pudding with Warm Whiskey Sauce and an English Sherry Trifle. The Bee's beer and ale selection is equally as impressive and is highlighted by a selection of English ales-served in the patron's choice of stein, pint, half-yard, and yard.

The Golden Bee originally came to The BROADMOOR in 1961 as a collection of panels and fixtures of an entire 19th-century pub that were shipped from England and reassembled in Colorado Springs˜a town once nicknamed 'Little London.' Celebrated as a unique dining adventure, the Golden Bee offers wonderful pub-fare and plenty of English charm. A ragtime piano player tickles the keys to a repertoire of sing-a-long songs, and the ale is served in yards. The Golden Bee's atmosphere exudes a feeling of warmth and friendliness, as is noted by the locals who fondly refer to their favorite gathering spot as 'The Bee.'

The Golden Bee is located on the ground floor of The BROADMOOR's International Center and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. For reservations, please call (800) 634-7711 or (719) 577-5733.

COPPER MOUNTAIN

Where to Stay

Copper Mountain Resort

Throughout opening weekend, both American Eagle and Excelerator chairlifts and the Easy Rider surface lift will service Main Vein, Rhapsody, Ptarmigan and Easy Rider trails for top-to-bottom skiing and riding, plus Woodward Copper’s Eagle Jib Park, located off of the top of the American Eagle chairlift.

Last season, Copper Mountain launched Sherpa, the first on mountain intelligence app. This season, Copper launches Sherpa 2.0 with a new open source platform. Available for download from the iPhone store soon, guests can drop markers around the resort with their own voice for other skiers or riders or only allow a select few to hear these markers. Celebrity contributors will let you in on their favorite spots on the mountain, insider information and some of their favorite jokes to keep chairlift rides entertaining.

Bounce, jump and launch until your heart’s content at the Woodward Copper Barn, now open daily from 12 to 8 p.m. More information at WoodwardCopper.com.

Lock in your snow days for the 2015 winter season with the Copper Season Pass and Copper 4-Pack, on sale now. Visit CopperColorado.com for more information.

Visit CopperColorado.com for lodging steals, event details and more. Stay in the loop all year long at www.facebook.com/CopperMtn or @CopperMtn on Twitter and Instagram.

About Copper Mountain

An easily navigable, pedestrian-friendly, true mountain village lies in the heart of this affordable, accessible Colorado resort. Located just 75 miles west of Denver off Interstate 70, Copper Mountain is a year-round mountain getaway offering a low-key, genuine feeling that is inclusive and comfortable for all. From unforgettable naturally divided skiing and riding in the winter, to unique year-round action sport progression focused programming with Woodward Copper, to the perfect summer mountain temperature for hiking and mountain biking inclusive with dramatic views of the Rocky Mountain’s Ten Mile Range, Copper Mountain is quintessential Colorado. For more information check web site CopperColorado.com.

Visit CopperColorado.com for the latest information on winter pass products, lodging steals and more. Stay connected all season long at www.facebook.com/CopperMtn or @CopperMtn on Twitter.

What to See & Do

Spring has Sprung at Copper Mountain

Enjoy spring skiing and riding at Copper Mountain and Mother Nature is sure to provide sunshine and soft snow while Copper takes care of the rest with plenty of events and après festivities.

Summer will follow winter including golf season at Copper Creek Golf Course at Copper Mountain. Golf season passes are now on sale starting at just $369. For more information, please visit CopperColorado.com/golf.

Lock in snow days early with 2016 winter season passes, now on sale for just $399. Visit CopperColorado.com to buy today.

Stay in the loop all year long at facebook.com/CopperMtn and @CopperMtn on Twitter and Instagram. Share your snow days with Copper with the hashtag #mysnowday.

DENVER

About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau

Celebrating more than 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs. Learn more about Denver at VISITDENVER.com, on Twitter @VisitDenver and Facebook.com/VisitDenver, or by phone at 800 2 DENVER.

Where to Stay

Hyatt Regency Denver Invites Visitors to Experience the
New Clyfford Still Museum with Value Added Overnight Package

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, as a preferred hotel of the soon-to-open Clyfford Still Museum, is pleased to be one of the only hotels in the United States to present a Clyfford Still Museum Package. The value-added getaway, which provides ease in visiting Denver’s newest world-class cultural attraction, includes:

An overnight accommodation at the 4-Diamond award winning hotel
Two adult admissions to the Clyfford Still Museum
Two cocktails in Peaks Lounge, located on the hotel’s 27th floor

Clyfford Still Museum, houses 94% of the artist’s works making it the only display of its kind in the world. It is a short eight block scenic stroll from Hyatt Regency Denver, past the State Capitol through Civic Center Park.

In addition to two admissions to the museum, Hyatt Regency Denver’s overnight package also includes two cocktails in Peaks Lounge. Peaks Lounge is windowed on three sides, making the outdoor cityscape and view of the rugged Rocky Mountains key in its overall ambiance. Hyatt director of food and beverage, James Kratofil, commented: “Peaks really delivers Denver. With the opening of the Clyfford Still Museum the only attraction of its kind, we are anticipating a lot of visitors. This is the perfect vantage point for seeing how much the city has to offer.” In addition to serving over 40 wines by the glass and an array of appetizers and desserts, Peaks mixologists create signature cocktails as well. To mark the occasion, they’ve concocted a Chocolate Strawberry Martini, Red Sangria Canvas Merlot and even a 27th Floor Martini of Cognac, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Bailey’s, Frangelico and Espresso.

Reservations may be made by calling toll-free (800) 233-1234 or by visiting the Special Offers page of DenverRegency.Hyatt.com. Guests may ask for or enter offer code: STILL (subject to availability; other restrictions may apply).

An Experience Unlike Any Other in The World.

Clyfford Still is considered one of the most important and significant American artists of the 20th century. He originated the Abstract Expressionist movement and influenced the work of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Few artists of this magnitude have left behind such a comprehensive and mysterious collection of work. And never before has the world seen such a collection of work displayed intact, and under one roof. The Clyfford Still Museum provides visitors with an unprecedented opportunity to view and appreciate Still's extraordinary art and life. The size and significance of the collection, coupled with the extraordinary building design, makes this museum unlike any other. More information on the museum may be found by visiting ClyffordStillMuseum.org.

About Hyatt Regency Denver
Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is one of the region’s largest hotels. Having opened just six years ago, it is sleek and contemporary in design and is located in the heart of the Mile High City, just one block from the 16th Street Mall pedestrian promenade and Denver Center Theatre District and adjacent to the Colorado Convention Center. All 1,100 accommodations are ultra-modern and each features the Hyatt Grand Bed, an LCD flat screened television and a host of amenities. A 1820 square foot state-of-the-art fitness center is further enhanced by the Spa Universaire, an indoor lap-pool and outdoor, sun deck whirlpool. In addition to Altitude Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Denver provides two lounges: Strata Bar located in the lobby and the 27th floor Peaks Lounge overlooking the Mile High City. The hotel features over 60,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space.

What to See & Do

Denver Hosts Blockbuster Lineup

The Mile High City lives up to its altitudinal moniker with some of the largest and most prestigious events, exhibitions and adventures in the Western Hemisphere.

World-class Dining
With Denver chefs earning national acclaim (six were nominated for James Beard House Foundation Awards – the “Oscars of Food” – this year), dining in Denver has never been better. In the summer, foodies relax on patios boasting panoramic views of the skyline, sampling classic Colorado cuisine or bold flavor fusions, created using market-fresh produce, artisan cheeses and free-range meats from all over the state. VisitDenver.com/dining-nightlife

Ride the rails Old West-style on the Georgetown Loop Railroad (georgetownlooprr.com);
Get plenty of thrills at Elitch Gardens, Denver’s downtown amusement and water park, featuring more than 45 rides (elitchgardens.com);

Drive Mt. Evans Highway, the highest paved auto road in North America, with a 14,260-foot (4,346 m) summit amidst gorgeous wildflower displays (mountevans.com); Raft the wild whitewater in Clear Creek Canyon (just a half-hour from Denver) and be back in the city in time for dinner (clearcreekrafting.com);

Rock out under the stars with the biggest names in music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (everyone from the Beatles to U2 have played here), a one-of-a-kind venue surrounded by 300-foot-tall monolithic red sandstone monuments (redrocksonline.com);

Go underwater with polar bears or eyeball-to-eyeball with a gorilla at the Denver Zoo (denverzoo.org)

Cheer on Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies as they vie for their first World Series Championship at Coors Field, a downtown stadium that combines state-of-the-art technology with the nostalgic feel of a classic ballpark (coloradorockies.com);
Discover the spectacular scenic beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park (just 71 miles from Denver), where more than 350 miles of trails meander to valleys of wildflowers, waterfalls, alpine lakes and craggy, snowcapped peaks (nps.gov/romo).

Denver's Village of Georgetown

The Village of Georgetown has over 200 restored Victorian buildings and a delightful main street lined with antique stores and shops. Nearby Silver Plume offers an authentic old west mining town. Both towns are surrounded by aspen groves. More spectacular aspens can be found by heading from Georgetown up Guanella Pass, which twists its way up to 11,669 feet above sea level.

For more information about the Georgetown Loop, visit www.georgetownlooprr.com. For more information on Denver visit www.denver.org.

Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown and the Denver Post Create A Micro Brew Walking Tour of Downtown Denver

Just in time for baseball season, The Denver Post’s Dick Kreck and the Grand Hyatt Denver downtown, located at 1750 Welton Street, have teamed to create a self-guided Micro Brew Walking Tour package of the Mile High City. This beer tasting tour includes an overnight accommodation at the Grand Hyatt featuring The Grand Bed, a $10 discount with the purchase of two lunch or dinner entrees at the Grand Hyatt’s restaurant, 1876 and special premiums at six of Colorado’s best brew pubs:

- A Free Flight of Beer Taster at Breckenridge Brewery
- Two Complimentary Pints of Beer at the Denver ChopHouse & Brewery
- Free Tour and Tasting at Flying Dog Brewery
- One Free Flight of Beer and a 20% Discount on Beer and Gear at Great Divide Brewing Company
- Two Complimentary Pints of Beer at Rock Bottom Brewery
- Two Fresh Complimentary Beers at Wynkoop Brewing Company.

This value-packed package starts at $139 (plus tax; subject to availability) and is offered weekends throughout the year. Grand Hyatt Denver is located in the heart of the “Mile High City” and offers the most spacious accommodations in the region. Guests arriving at the hotel are greeted with a lobby complemented by a 20-foot sandstone fireplace. The Colorado theme carries into the restaurant, 1876, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Regional fare is a specialty in the evening and themed luncheon buffets are offered
weekdays in addition to its regular menu.

Reservations for Micro Brew Walking Tour may be made by calling 1-800-233-1234, or by visiting granddenver.Hyatt.com and requesting offer code BREW or by contacting a travel planner.

DUNTON HOT SPRINGS

About Dunton Hot Springs

Opened in 2001, Dunton Hot Springs resort is a restored ghost town set in an extraordinary alpine valley. The town's original 19th-century "Wild West" log cabins have been transformed into 12 romantic and luxurious accommodations. Its spa is fed by natural mineral hot springs that have been curing body and soul for centuries, ideal for de-stressing from the myriad activities available to guests. And the town's old saloon is now a world-class restaurant serving organic fare paired with award-winning wines produced by the resort's own Sutcliffe Vineyards.

For more information on Dunton Hot Springs, visit www.duntonhotsprings.com.

ABOUT DUNTON LIFE:
Dunton Life is a newly launched collection of intimate and rustic hotels in the Colorado Rockies. Comprised of the iconic Dunton Hot Springs resort, Dunton River Camp, and the soon-to-open Dunton Town House in Telluride, Dunton Life is the leading provider of authentic culinary and outdoor and nature experiences in the region. Through a partnership with Sutcliffe Vineyards, Dunton Life also provides access to unique hand-crafted and critically acclaimed Colorado wines.

Dunton Hot Springs Becomes Latest Relais & Chateaux Outpost in the American West    

Relais & Châteaux, the prestigious grouping of some of the world's finest hotels and restaurants, has extended membership to Dunton Hot Springs in the Colorado Rockies. A formal announcement took place in New York recently as part of the annual Relais & Châteaux congress.
 
"Joining the Relais & Châteaux collection means joining the best hotels and restaurants in the world," says Dunton Hot Springs' Edoardo Rossi. "We are honored and thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to bringing the best in food, wine, service and experiential travel to the discerning Relais & Châteaux traveler."
 
Already established as a unique destination for rustic luxury, Dunton Hot Springs offers authentic and unrivaled nature experiences in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. From a new Nordic skiing program with Olympian Wendy Wagner launching this winter, to fly fishing in the private waters of the Dolores River, guests at Dunton can enjoy a variety of distinctive activities year-round, in addition to exclusive access to the restorative waters of the namesake hot springs.
 
For more information on Dunton Hot Springs, visit www.DuntonLife.com. 

Dunton Hot Springs to Launch New Nordic Skiing Program in Colorado Rockies

Dunton Hot Springs, the 19th-century ghost mining town-turned-luxury all-season resort in the Colorado Rockies, has announced an exclusive partnership with former Olympian Wendy Wagner to develop a brand-new Nordic Skiing program for the winter season.

Nestled on more than 1,600 acres of private wilderness area in the San Juan Mountain sub-range of the Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs offers its guests a wide variety of adventurous ways to explore this spectacular area in winter, whether it's by dogsled, snowshoe, snowmobile, ice-climbing pick or, new for this season, via a new set of Nordic skis on 10 kilometers of tracks being laid at Dunton Hot Springs and Dunton River Camp in partnership with Wendy Wagner.

Wagner's illustrious career in international ski racing included highlights as a two-time NCAA All-American, a five-time World Championship team member, and a six-year member of the US Ski Team, which took her to both the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Torino. At the Winter Games in Torino, Wagner and her teammate Kikkan Randall made history by becoming the first-ever American duo to place in the top 10 in a sprint relay. Since retiring from ski racing, Wagner has dedicated the second phase of her career to giving back to up-and-coming skiers, becoming the head coach for the University of Utah downhill and cross-country ski teams. She has a Masters degree in atmospheric sciences from the University of Utah, with a focus on mountain weather and snow science, and is a forecaster for Alaska's Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC).

For more on Nordic Skiing and all other activities available in winter, spring, summer and fall at Dunton Hot Springs, please visit www.duntonhotsprings.com.

Dunton Hot Springs Announce New Culinary Team

Dunton Hot Springs, the former mining, ghost town-turned-luxury resort in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, has announced the appointment of a new culinary team -- Executive Chef, Carrie Eagle and, Sous Chef, Daniel Sopiwnik.

Executive Chef Carrie Eagle

Carrie and Daniel's simple, straightforward, farm-to-table preparation fits perfectly into Dunton's existing food philosophy. Signature dishes already in the works in the Dunton kitchens include: Slow-Roasted Bone-in Elk with Cauliflower and Parsnip Puree, Caramelized Onions, Bacon Brussels Sprouts and Huckleberry Demi-Glace; and Grilled Halibut Fillet with Creamy Chive Israeli Couscous, Salad of Grilled Radicchio and Fennel and Grapefruit Beurre Blanc.


For more information on Dunton Hot Springs, visit www.duntonhotsprings.com.

DURANGO

What to See & Do

Colorado Premier Training Opens Wind Tunnel Testing Facility 

Colorado Premier Training (CPT) has opened its own wind tunnel testing facility in Fort Collins, Colorado USA. By measuring wind drag, power output and heart rate simultaneously, CPT can accurately determine the most optimal body position for each athlete, thereby offering Position OptimizationTM Coaching Services.

Colorado Premier Training has also launched a new web site, designed to enhance the experience of its clients and to provide more informative content to its visitors. CPT has also recently announced a new partnership with renowned coach, Rick Crawford. To catch up on all the exciting news at CPT, go to www.coloradopremiertraining.com

Colorado Premier Training is based in Durango, Colorado USA. For more information go to www.coloradopremiertraining.com or call (970) 672-4780.

EAGLE

Roadhouse Hospitality Joins Town of Eagle in Supporting Colorado High School Cycling League

Roadhouse Hospitality Group, known for its wide array of dining options steps up as a sponsor of the Colorado High School Cycling League. The Colorado restaurant group was founded by brothers John, Dan and Mike Shipp. The brothers’ core values have always been built on the three basic principles of Customer Service, Quality and Community since 1991 when they purchased their first restaurant, a small burger and shake joint called Spanky’s Roadhouse. Located in the heart of the DU area, this restaurant has evolved and thrived for the last 24 years.

John Shipp, an Edwards resident, is an avid cyclist and philanthropist in the Vail Valley. The Dusty Boot Steakhouse and Luigi’s Pastahouse in Eagle, two of 18 Roadhouse restaurants are familiar friends to the Colorado League. The Dusty Boot hosted the End of the Season Picnic in Eagle for the Colorado League State Championship Saturday, October 24th. John Shipp strongly believes in the positive impact of youth cycling and the Colorado League is a natural expansion of his role as the Vice President of The Cycle Effect Board of Directors. The Colorado League aligns with the Roadhouse operating philosophy that focuses on taking a leadership role in community activities. “The Colorado League allows a healthy welcoming format for youth and families to engage in the life long sport of cycling. I am thrilled to be part of this movement,” stated Shipp.

About the Colorado High School Cycling League
The Colorado High School Cycling League is an independent 501(c)3 registered non-profit. The Colorado League was established in 2009 and is an associate of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Founded in 2009 the Colorado League promotes personal development and teamwork through interscholastic cross-country mountain biking. The Colorado League promotes the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the support of our sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races, provides coach training, and hosts various camps.

For more information contact the Colorado High School Cycling League | 1165 Oakdale Place | Boulder CO | 80304

GLENWOOD SPRINGS

Where to Stay

American Lodge & Suites at the Caverns

The new 73-room AmericInn at Glenwood Caverns hotel is located at the base of Iron Mountain Tramway which leads to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The exterior is well-appointed with log and stone fascia and rustic timbers. It also features an indoor pool with a three-story water slide. Their motto is "quiet nights, rest assured".

What to See & Do

Ride the Waves at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park -- Now Open to Paddlers -- Water features allow for kayaking nearly year round, as well as other river recreation

Several years in the making, the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park has begun welcoming paddlers to its exciting waves and mild pools.

The $900,000 whitewater park, designed by Glenwood Springsˆbased RiverRestoration.org, is located on the Colorado River just upstream from the Midland Avenue bridge and I-70‚s Exit 114 in West Glenwood Springs. Because this section of the Colorado River has unusually high water flows, the park has the potential to be used well after the typical kayaking season. 

The whitewater park is designed for the varying levels of river flow that occur naturally throughout the year. A 'standing wave' will occur during low, medium and high river flows, due to artificial boulders located at different places in the park. This is done to create a unique experience on any given day. The only time the park may not have a standing wave is when spring runoff peaks and the main water features may be totally submerged.

Also at the park are learning pools and multiple eddies, which will allow kayakers to enter the standing waves over and over again, and will also allow novice paddlers to practice their ferrying and rolling skills. 

Rafters, surfers, boaters and folks who just want to cool off in an innertube are also welcome to play in the whitewater park. Life jackets are required and helmets are recommended for all users. The calm eddies are ideal for fly fishing when not occupied by boaters. Currently, boaters are parking on the shoulder along Devereux Road, which runs parallel to the Colorado River. An off-street, 25-space parking lot is the next priority in order to accommodate the high amount of traffic anticipated this summer.

For more information about the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park, visit www.glenwoodwhitewaterpark.org

About Glenwood Springs

For more information and reservations: 970-945-6589, 888 4 GLENWOOD  (888-445-3696) or www.visitglenwood.com. Glenwood Springs is located between Aspen and Vail, 160 miles west of Denver or 90 miles east of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 off exit 116. Many cities provide direct air service into Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport 30 miles to the east and Aspen Airport 40 miles to the south.    

Glenwood Springs Offers Plenty to Do

Now in its fourth season, the market takes place at downtown's Centennial Park at 9th Street and Grand Avenue. Locally grown produce for sale include Palisade peaches, Olathe corn and Delta tomatoes, plus home-baked breads and fresh-cut flowers. The 8th Street Deli and Andy's Catering serve hot food throughout the season, and Hungry Mother Organic Foods and Woody Creek Cellars winery sell their wares. Local artisans and crafters feature jewelry, clothing and home decor.

For more information about the Glenwood Springs Downtown Market, visit www.glenwoodmarket.com.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

You and your family will enjoy spectacular views while riding the Iron Mountain Tramway. Take a guided walking tour of the Glenwood Caverns where you will see amazing formations. Play on the new thrill rides – Alpine Coaster, Zip line, Giant Swing and 35-foot climbing wall. Exclamation Point Restaurant and Bar serves lunch in the cozy comfort of a Colorado rustic interior or al fresco on expansive viewing decks.

Open year round, the Winter Hours are:

Park Hours: Park & Attractions: 10 am - 5 pm, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
Park Attractions: 10 am - 5 pm, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Cave Tour: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
Wild Tour: Saturday. 10:30 a.m. by reservation only
Adventure Tour: Saturday 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. by reservation only

Park Hours: Park: 10 am - 6 pm, Daily
Park Attractions: 10:00 am - 6 pm, Daily
Exclamation Point:
• Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 pm.
Cave Tours:
• 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Daily, every hour
• Wild Tours & Adventure Tours available Wed., Saturday & Sunday (reservations required)
• 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Only one tour per time slot.

Horseback Riding

Dinner Show 

Remember, the tram ride takes about 10 minutes, and there may be a line, so allow yourself plenty of time to get to the top.

*For more information, visit www.glenwoodcaverns.com or contact the business office at (970) 945-4228 x11 or call 1-800-530-1635 x11

Segway Tours

Why walk around town when you can ride a cool Segway? Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse & Delicatessen rents Segways for two hour intervals for $70.00 per person. Price includes operating instructions. 725 Grand Avenue.

For reservations, call 970-928-8804.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Offers Mechanical Bull Ride

Demon, the park's new mechanical bull ride, bucked his way to the top of Iron Mountain. Riders can choose the intensity of their ride on the bull, from mild to wild. The cost is $3 for one ride, $5 for two rides, and $7, or one token, for three rides.

For more information, contact Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, 970-945-4CAV (945-4228) or 800-530-1635, or check web site www.glenwoodcaverns.com

Glenwood Meadows New Shopping and Dining

A brand new shopping experience has arrived. Dining options include Chili's Bar & Grill, Moe's Southwestern Grill, Magoo's Bar and Grill, Smoothie King and Russo's Pizza. Retailers include chain stores such as Pier One Imports, Target, Lowe's Home Improvement Center, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetCo, Sports Authority, and Vitamin Cottage. Glenwood Meadows also features smaller, boutique type shops, such as Passion for Picnics, Gracy's and Red Mountain Wine.

GUNNISON-CRESTED BUTTE

About Gunnison-Crested Butte

Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State Colorado University, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

Where to Stay

Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte

Enjoy easy access to the slopes from San Moritz Condominiums in Mt. Crested Butte starting at $115.77 per person (tax included) for three nights lodging in and three free days of skiing.  Pricing varies with the size of condo (range from two- to four-bedroom) and number of occupants.  There is a three-night minimum, and extra-person charges may apply. Fireplaces and free Wi-Fi in the condos and a free guest shuttle are extra bonuses.  Call (800) 443-7459 and visit www.sanmoritzcondos.com.

Elk Mountain Lodge in Crested Butte --

Stay at this historic lodge for only $64.50 per person, per night based on double occupancy. Guest rooms feature one queen or twin beds and also include a full breakfast.  The lodge is located only one block from historic downtown Crested Butte and the free Mountain Express shuttle to the ski resort. Price does not include tax.  To book, call (800) 374-6521 and visit www.elkmountainlodge.com.

Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages

To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte’s calendar of events or to book personalized vacation packages, call (800) 814-8893 or visit www.GCBpackages.com. Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow on www.twitter.com/gcbta. The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines and during the winter season also by American Airlines.

What to See & Do

Biking Bliss with 750 Miles of Trails in Crested Butte & the Gunnison Valley, Colorado

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley boasts the largest mountain biking trail systems in the United States with more than 750 miles of mostly singletrack trails. The biking terrain is so vast that a new trails app and mountain biking website will be launched later this spring.

Since the 1970s, when locals started retrofitting old Schwinn paperboy bikes with multiple gears, Crested Butte has been known as the home of mountain biking. Crested Butte is one of only five communities in Colorado to have the prestigious gold designation from the League of American Bicyclists, and Gunnison is one of only nine towns with silver status.

The first spot in the valley that bikers flock to in spring is the 8,000-acre Hartman Rocks Recreation Area in Gunnison, open now for riding and offering 40 miles of high desert single track and 33 miles of road open to biking once all trails are available. As spring progresses, trails at the north end of the valley begin opening and the chairlifts start running at Crested Butte Mountain from mid-June through the end of September, providing easy access to Evolution Bike Park including several Wednesday and Friday nights.

Travel Deals

Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte has been totally remodeled and is a bike lover’s dream with close proximity to Trail 401, Snodgrass Trail and Evolution Bike Park. Plus, there is a secure bike storage room, bike cleaning station and plenty of space for bike trailer parking.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information

For travel planning, general information and savings on flights, hotel rooms, vacation packages, car rentals and more, go to www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com or call (800) 814-8893. Also, follow GCBTA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta. Later this spring, bikers can access all sorts of mountain biking information and the new trails app at www.mtbhome.com.


For more information contact the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, 202 E. Georgia, Suite B, Gunnison, CO 81230, www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com

Family Adventures for All Seasons in Gunnison-Crested Butte

12 ideas to enjoy time together, plus great deals for winter getaways

Family vacation fun is brought to new levels, Rocky Mountain style, in Colorado’s Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley, where adventure and relaxation abounds year-round. Gunnison-Crested Butte's laid-back, friendly mountain vibe strikes a chord with families of multiple generations who like vibrant downtowns, rich history, outstanding outdoor recreation, and an abundance of festivals and events.

Still planning for winter? No problem as there are plenty of winter options left for spring break, Easter and glorious weekend getaways.

Winter

Adventures with Animals - Head out with <www.fantasyranchoutfitters.com>Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures for a one-hour horseback ride or a private 30-minute, horse-drawn sleigh ride. Both include a cup of hot cocoa around the fire at Almont Resort. There also is nothing quite like being pulled by a team of dogs in the thick of mountain terrain capped with snow. Dog sledding with \www.luckycatdogfarm.com--Lucky Cat Dog Farm or www.gunnisonsleddogs.com--Cosmic Cruisers is one of those lifetime experiences not to be missed.

Unique Ways to Dine – Nordic ski or snowshoe one mile on easy groomed trails to Crested Butte Nordic’s Magic Meadows Yurt for a gourmet dining experience in the woods. Cuddled up under blankets, ride in an open sleigh pulled by a snow cat to Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Uley’s Cabin. Enjoy Colorado cuisine with French influences prepared by Chef Chris Schlaudecker before riding back under the stars. www.skicb.com/uleys--Sleigh ride dinners are available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Stellar Slopes, Trails & More - To give the youngest members of the family a taste of snow-filled fun, kids 6 and under always receive lift tickets to ski and snowboard for free at <www.skicb.com>Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and <www.cbnordic.org>Crested Butte Nordic provides complimentary trail passes to try out 55 kilometers of groomed trails and rental equipment for youth ages 17 and under. There are trails and terrain parks for all abilities at CBMR along with non-skiing fun like tubing, zip lining and an Adventure Park with bungee trampolines, rock climbing and covered miniature golf. Guided snowshoe outings at CBMR, in the backcountry with Crested Butte Nordic, and at <www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm>Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are fun and easy ways to feel like explorers.

Spring

Plug into Spring Craziness - Winter and spring in mountain towns are all about warming temperatures and having a good time with the changing of seasons. Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s annual www.skicb.com/things-to-do/events-calendar/Pond-Skim>Slush Huck in April is all about watching monumental water crashes and impressive pond skims as contestants of all ages battle for the title on skis, snowboards and sometimes other unique contraptions. There's still fun to be had after the lifts stop spinning for the season with the second annual www.skicb.com/things-to-do/events-calendar--The-Ultimate-Snowmobile-Event--Ultimate Snowmobile Event also in April 10 - 12. Hillcross, hillclimb, hilldrags, snow ovals, snocross and “speed n style” categories will decide the Ultimate Snowmobiler.

Two-Wheel Exploring – The first spot in the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley that mountain bikers flock to in the spring is the 8,000-acre www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/activities/spring/national-parks/hartman-rocks--Hartman Rocks Recreation Area in Gunnison, offering 40 miles of high desert single track and 33 miles of road open to biking (including fat bikes in the snow). For family members who prefer a more casual outing, rent cruiser bikes and take a spin around town. In Crested Butte, fat bikes make it possible to get out on snow-covered trails from winter into spring. When all the trails are open by late spring or early summer, there is in excess of 650 miles of mostly singletrack mountain biking trails in the valley.

Get Creative – www.gunnisonartscenter.org--Gunnison Arts Center and <www.crestedbuttearts.org>Center for the Arts Crested Butte offer classes for all ages and abilities, foot-tapping concerts, dynamic theatre productions, and art exhibitions by regional talent. Paint-your-own pottery sessions offered by both are a perfect way to create together. Families with kids up to sixth grade shouldn’t miss <www.trailheadkids.org>The Trailhead Children’s Museum, located at the ski area base in Mt. Crested Butte with an array of hands-on exhibits, art and science activities and programs, an outdoor music garden and a treehouse playground. Free ArtWalk Evenings in Crested Butte and First Friday Art Walk & Music in Gunnison are great chances to browse art and meet artists and gallery owners throughout the year.

Summer

7. Festivals Galore – It’s pretty much guaranteed that there is a festival happening every week during summer in the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley.

8. Music Madness – The hills really do come alive with music with three free outdoor concert series offered during most weeks of summer, including www.gunnisonartscenter.org--Sundays@6 in Gunnison, www.crestedbuttearts.org--Alpenglow on Mondays in Crested Butte, and www.skicb.com/events--Live! From Mt. Crested Butte on Wednesdays. Bring a picnic, dance a little and enjoy the fresh air of a mountain evening. www.ibarranch.com--I Bar Ranch in Gunnison hosts an annual Gunny Grass festival in July as well as Burgers & Bluegrass on Tuesdays and Colorado Country on various evenings as part of the Castle Creek Guitars Summer Concert Series throughout summer, and www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.org-- Crested Butte Music Festival has expanded to seven weeks of contemporary music, symphony, opera, emerging bands, gypsy jazz concerts and hands-on educational opportunities for kids and adults.

Water Wings – Picture crystal-clear mountain streams and high alpine lakes for premiere fishing, rafting, kayaking and premiere destinations for hiking and horseback riding outings. Camp or spend a leisurely day by Colorado’s largest body of water, www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/activities/spring/national-parks/blue-mesa--Blue Mesa Reservoir in Curecanti National Recreation Area near Gunnison, or Lost Lake or Lake Irwin near Crested Butte. At Blue Mesa, learn to sail, catch state record trout, wind surf and rent a pontoon boat for a casual cruise or bring your own. Let a park ranger do the driving on Morrow Point Boat Tours through the stunning Black Canyon, Colorado’s version of the Grand Canyon.

Fall

Blazing Colors – It’s like being part of a visual gold rush as biking, hiking, horseback riding or driving through towering aspen groves bearing their fall wardrobe. Need a perfect backdrop for a Christmas card photo or a family reunion? No need to look any further.

Spectacular Starry Skies

The clear and unpolluted Rocky Mountain sky in Gunnison is ideal to see the night sky in a new and spectacular way. Camp under the stars and take a close-up look through the telescopes at www.gunnisonobservatory.org--Gunnison Valley Observatory, with one of the best research quality telescopes available to the public in Colorado along with several smaller telescopes. Public viewings on Fridays and Saturdays run from June through September.

Welcome the Weekend

Take a scenic chairlift at Crested Butte Mountain Resort to hike the peak or enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch, check out the skateboard parks in Gunnison and Crested Butte, explore <www.gunnisonpioneermuseum.com>Pioneer Museum in Gunnison and <crestedbuttemuseum.com>Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, and attend festivities such as Crested Butte Film Festival and The People’s Fair, a Labor Day market in Crested Butte featuring arts and crafts booths. Also don’t miss the farmers’ markets in Gunnison on Saturdays and Crested Butte on Sundays, featuring an abundance of regional produce, baked goods, tasty treats for breakfast and lunch, and more.

Plenty of Winter to Enjoy - Vacation Deals

With the Gunnison Getaway ski package. Snow-lovers can stay in Gunnison and ski Crested Butte Mountain Resort, only a scenic 30-mile drive or free bus ride away, and enjoy low rates all season long.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information

To save on flights, hotel rooms, other vacation packages, car rentals and more, go to www.VisitGCB.com. For travel planning and general information, call (800) 814-8893, go to www.VisitGCB.com, www.GCBevents.com or www.GCBlodging.com or follow GCBTA event promotions on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta.

Exceptional Ways to Explore on Nordic Skis in Gunnison-Crested Butte

The high mountain desert at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, alpine forests, in-town ranches and parks, and a college campus serve as the ultimate scenic backdrops for more than 100 kilometers of groomed Nordic skiing trail and backcountry options in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado. Here are four unique ways to explore on cross-country skis and enjoy the current stellar snow conditions. Trail maps are available online at cbnordic.org Crested Butte Nordic and gunnisonnordic.com Gunnison Nordic for those who want to plan their own adventures.

Five Dazzling Autumn Drives & Colorful Outdoor Fun in Gunnison-Crested Butte

Each fall, Mother Nature transforms Gunnison-Crested Butte from a valley lush with wildflowers to a spectacular mountain panorama of gold, orange and crimson. Perhaps best known for Kebler Pass, the largest aspen grove in the United States, the area offers eye-popping vistas at almost every turn on five autumn drives and the countless trails that dot this southwest Colorado area.

It’s easy to become surrounded by the gold rush. Hike one of the outstanding trails off Kebler Pass or Ohio Pass, ride Trail 401 or one of the area’s other classic bike routes, and head out on a horseback ride with Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures, Sawbuck Outfitters Wilderness Horseback Adventures or Ferro’s Blue Mesa Ranch & Guide Service. Colorado Backcountry can help beginner to advanced outdoor enthusiasts hit the trail on bike or foot, and fishing outfitters provide outlandish views of their own and insider tips about the annual kokanee salmon run.

Festivals, farmers’ markets, biking and running events, stargazing, gallery walks and much more also are on tap during fall, a season of all sorts of adventures for couples, weekend warriors and families as well as getaway options for the guys or gals. For a calendar of events, go to www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/events.

FIVE FALL DRIVE ROUTES

Ohio Creek Road to Kebler Pass

From just north of Gunnison on Colorado Highway 135, take a left on Ohio Creek Road (look for signs). About 12 miles up the Ohio Creek Valley, travelers will see the spires of “the Castles.” These are erosion remnants carved out of volcanic debris that erupted from the West Elk Volcano, now extinct. Continuing on, look for a fine view of the Anthracite Range. Near the end of Ohio Creek Road is the intersection with Kebler Pass Road (County Road 12). At that junction, you can head west towards Colorado Highway 133, where southbound goes toward Paonia or northbound to Paonia Dam and Redstone over breathtaking McClure Pass, a popular route to Aspen. Heading east on Kebler Pass Road, you’ll come to Crested Butte, with the eighth largest National Historic District in Colorado. Before heading to Crested Butte, take a short detour and go north to the beautiful Lake Irwin.

Kebler Pass to Marble & Crystal River Valley

Going north out of Crested Butte on Whiterock Avenue, the road turns into County Road 12, a well-maintained, hard-surface dirt and gravel road. A stop across the road from Horse Ranch Park provides one of the most scenic landscapes of the Anthracite Mountain Range and a predictable pocket of red amongst the expanse of gold and yellow. Continuing on through the West Elk Mountains, pass by the scenic vista of the largest aspen grove in the United States. After a total of 30 miles from Crested Butte and at the intersection of Highway 133, go right and travel along the Paonia Reservoir and over McClure Pass. After the right turn onto Highway 133 and another turn on County Road 3, it is approximately 27 miles to Marble, a historic mining town.

West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway

One of the most picturesque drives in Colorado is the West Elk Scenic & Historic Byway, a 204-mile route that includes Crested Butte, Almont, Gunnison, Crawford, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Redstone, Carbondale and more. From Gunnison, the byway heads north on Highway 135 to Crested Butte, continues on the gravel Kebler Pass Road (County Road 12) and links with Highway 133 near Paonia Dam. Complete the loop back around to Gunnison by going south on Highway 133 and east on Highway 92 toward Blue Mesa Lake and the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. At Highway 50, go east back to Gunnison through Curecanti National Recreation Area or west to the main entrance of the national park and Montrose.

Almont to Various Scenic Routes

Between the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte on Highway 135 is Almont, where the Taylor and East Rivers meet to create the Gunnison River. From Gunnison, go east at Almont on Taylor Canyon Road to Taylor Park Dam and Reservoir. From here travelers have three choices: 1.) Go east on Cottonwood Pass to Buena Vista; 2.) Go north and loop back to Almont on Spring Creek Road; or 3.) Go southeast through one of the richest gold strike areas in Gunnison County traveling through Tin Cup, over Cumberland Pass, and through Pitkin, Ohio City and Parlin before reaching Gunnison.

Crested Butte to Gothic

Drive three miles from Crested Butte to Mt. Crested Butte and continue to Gothic, located on the east bank of the East River at the junction with Copper Creek. Gothic was a mid- to late-1800s boom town that now is home to the famed Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, a scientific field station. Camping and hiking and biking trails can be accessed from Gothic.

Hikes & Walks 

Daily hikes and walks for all ranges of strength, fitness and wildflower know-how are some of the most popular happenings on the festival’s schedule. Go full-day, full-strength or half-day at a more leisurely pace. Hikes range from 1 to 12 miles and are listed with a minimum age recommendation for kids.

Hike through the Maroon Bells Wilderness to Aspen, an 11-mile trip through Colorado’s most epic wildflower meadows.

Several private landowners are allowing the festival to lead hikes on their properties. See wildflowers in places that most people never get to see.

Hike to the old mining town of Crystal, home of the photogenic Crystal Mill.

Classic Crested Butte hikes will take guests to Washington Gulch, Trail 403, Three Lakes, Rustler’s Gulch, Walrod and the Caves, Copley Lake, Daisy to Democrat Basin, Snodgrass Mountain and much more.

Hike and luncheon combinations for this year are Snodgrass and Cloud City, both followed by a meal at a beautiful mountain home and Scarp Ridge and lunch at the Movie Cabin in Irwin.

Easygoing, casual walks include wildflower viewing in the historic mining town of Gothic, wildflower identification strolls, Geology of Paradise, and Natural History for Families that works well for families with kids ages four and up.

4 x 4 & Van Tours

Participants preferring to explore while seated can Explore Paradise Divide in a 4 x 4 jeep and Explore Lake Irwin, Geobotany of the Upper Gunnison River and Meandering in the Columbines van tours.

Garden Tours, Gardening & Landscaping

Crested Butte Gardens and Historic Garden Tour, led by representatives from the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, are perfect for those who love beautiful gardens and want a little inspiration. Designing a Natural Garden and Wildflowers Fit for a Garden also are ideal for people who like to dabble in the yard.

Art & Photography

Twenty-five photography classes are on the schedule to help sharpen skills for shooting wildflowers up-close and in landscapes, with most led by local professional photographers who intimately know the best places to capture the blooms. Sunrise and evening workshops, a 4 x 4 Backcountry Photo Tour, Hike & Shoot outings, Portrait Photography in Crested Butte Landscapes, Awesome Alleyways & Wondrous Wildflowers, Bird Photography, and a Wildflower Photography Masterclass are among the many topics being offered.

Artists can choose from a rich palette of offerings including field sketching, Japanese ink painting, botanical illustration, wildflower prayer flags, journal illustration, Cocktails & Clay (majolica-style tiles) and Canvas & Cabernet. Gifts from the Gardens is an especially unique class that shows participants how to press garden flowers and herbs to make botanical candles, bookmarks and gift tags and use dried herbs to make tea blends and lip balms, oils and salves.

Edibles

A new option for this year is Botanical Indulgence, a progressive tasting tour showcasing three of Crested Butte’s food and drink establishments that embrace fresh botanicals to make creative concoctions. Participants will experience unique taste sensations at Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream, Montanya Distillers and Dogwood Cocktail Cabin and hear the stories behind the creations.

Additional opportunities to socialize are Hors d’oeuvres in the Evening Light outdoors in the beautiful Washington Gulch area and Wildflower Happy Hour, offering the chance to mingle with festival-goers and instructors and enjoy rum cocktails at Montanya Distillers.

Terrific Tapas & Luscious Libations and Chef’s Pantry (demonstrates how to use the herbs from the garden or farmers’ market) are two additional options for foodies.

Birding & Butterflies

Birds and butterflies go hand-in-hand with wildflowers. Learn how to identify the area’s unique birds from their song and see stunning butterflies feasting on gorgeous wildflowers. Birding Among the Wildflowers on the Upper Loop and Woods Walk are two options offered along with Butterflies & Lunch at Double Top Ranch, located in the Cement Creek area.

Botany & Medicinals

Dig a little deeper into science with Biological Warfare in the Plant Kingdom and Colorado Native Smorgasbord or get some hands-on time at In Search of Edibles & Medicinals and Making Simple Plant Medicines.

Schedule & Registration

To see a full schedule, register for events and download a bloom locator brochure and wildflower guides, visit www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com. For additional information, call (970) 349-2571. The festival is headquartered at Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Ave., from July 6 – 13 and has an on-site Blossom Boutique that sells unique wildflower-themed gifts, clothing, books and festival posters.

Wildflower Walks – Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Every Sunday during the month of July, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park plans to host free wildflower walks. These casual walks start at 1 p.m., last approximately one hour and are for all ages. Meet at the South Rim Visitor Center. For more information, call (970) 249-1914, ext. 423 or go to www.nps.gov/blca.

Lodging Deals

Several area lodging partners are offer special deals, ranging from 10 to 30% off during Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. WestWall Lodge and Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte have a 25% off deal when rooms are booked by June 1. The longer guests stay with Crested Butte Lodging, the bigger the discount, with 15% off for 1 to 2 days, 20% off for 3 to 6 days and 30% off for 7 days or more. Deals also are being offered by Inn at Crested Butte, Elevation Hotel & Spa and Elk Mountain Lodge. All the deals are listed at www.crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com..

Heaven for Bikers in Gunnison-Crested Butte -- Mountain, road & cruiser bikes are key to valley’s karma

It’s no secret that the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley is bike crazy. Crested Butte is one of only four communities in Colorado to have the prestigious gold designation from the League of American Bicyclists, and Gunnison is one of only seven towns with silver status.
Locals have an affinity for riding cruisers, mountain bikes and road bikes and hosting all sorts of cycling events from May through September.
Mountain Biking

Since the 1970s, when locals started retrofitting old Schwinn paperboy bikes with multiple gears, Crested Butte has become known as one of the birthplaces of mountain biking. But the first spot in the valley that bikers flock to in the spring is the 8,000-acre Hartman Rocks Recreation Area in Gunnison, offering 40 miles of high desert single track and 33 miles of road open to biking.

Road Biking

Bicyclists on skinny tires also are common sites in the valley. See local racing teams heading out in packs as well as locals and visitors enjoying vista-filled routes. The Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley is a regular stop on long-distance road rides in the state, with day three of the seven-day Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour ending in Crested Butte this year. An overnight camp will be set up in Gunnison with riders heading to Almont on day four to ride over Cottonwood Pass to Buena Vista.

Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte have hosted stages of the USA Pro Challenge three times since the race launched four years ago. Stage 2 of the 550-mile race starts in Aspen, climbs the 8,700-foot McClure Pass before a short descent to Gunnison County Road 12, which is a 20-mile rollercoaster that constantly changes from pavement to dirt and back again while topping out at 9,900 feet over Kebler Pass. A technical descent into Crested Butte results in a sprint through downtown and a steep finish climb up to the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte. Stage 3 starts in Gunnison and heads east for 35 miles before tackling the 11,300-foot Monarch Pass, descending for two 9-mile loops through the Salida area and returning for 20 miles of climbing to a mountaintop finish at Monarch Mountain Ski Area.

Snow Adventures with Animals

Horse-drawn sleigh rides and horseback riding with a stop to warm up with hot cocoa by the fire are offered by Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures, beginning and ending at Almont Resort. The one-horse open sleigh is perfect for family outings of up to four adults and two small children, with 30-minute rides available at 10 or 11 a.m. Horseback rides are at 1 p.m. with snow-covered mountains as the perfect backdrop. Go to www.fantasyranchoutfitters.com or call (970) 349-5425.

There also is nothing quite like being pulled by a team of dogs in the thick of mountain terrain capped with snow. Dog sledding with Lucky Cat Dog Farm (<www.luckycatdogfarm.com) is one of those lifetime experiences not to be missed. Two-hour tours as well as lunch tours are offered.

Ski Area Fun
Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers fun for all ages, even if you don’t ski! Of course there are plenty of options to cruise all levels of slopes, parks and pipes, and skiing is free for kids age 6 and under. Three new ski trails just for kids will keep even the youngest asking for more. Top-notch skiing and snowboarding instruction for youth and adults is available through CBMR as well as through Adaptive Sports Center (www.adapativesports.org) for family members with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

The Adventure Park at CBMR is for all ages with covered miniature golf, bungee trampolines, a rock climbing wall and the CokeZero Gravity BagJump. Plus, there are full moon and daytime snowshoe tours and the Crested Butte Zip Line Tour, a guided adventure that includes five ziplines and three suspended bridges that have been uniquely adapted to be functional in winter.

There’s also child care for the wee ones (beginning at age 2 months), not to mention Kid’s Night Out from 4 – 8 p.m. for ages 4 – 12. Dinner, games and access to the Adventure Park are part of Kid’s Night Out activities.

The Trailhead Children’s Museum (www.trailheadkids.org) offers hands-on exhibits and programs in the arts, sciences and creative play for children and families and is conveniently located at the base of the ski area. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and other times for special events. . Admission costs $6 per person.

Unique Ways to Enjoy Dinner
For really magical experiences, cuddle up under blankets on a sleigh and get pulled by a snowcat for a sleigh ride dinner to Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (<www.skicb.com) mid-mountain Uley’s Cabin. For an equally memorable night, cross-country ski or snowshoe along a trail lit by tiki torches and moonlight to Crested Nordic Center’s Magic Meadows Yurt (www.cbnordic.org) for a gourmet yurt dinner offered several times throughout winter.

Family-Friendly Nordic Skiing
Enjoy 55 kilometers of groomed Nordic skiing trails at the Crested Butte Nordic Center (www.cbnordic.org) conveniently located just a few blocks off downtown and on the free Mountain Express bus route. In addition to selling trail passes, CBNC offers equipment rental (Nordic skis, snowshoes and ice skates), classic and skate skiing instruction, backcountry adventures and free ice skating on the covered rink.. Gunnison Nordic Club (www.gunnisonnordic.com) also provides high-quality groomed cross-country trails close to Gunnison, including several at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area.

Tap into Culture
At Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum
(www.crestedbuttemuseum.com), find out more about the area’s skiing, ranching, mining and mountain biking history and local personalities, watch a working model train handcrafted to look like old-time Crested Butte and schedule a historic walking tour. Nearby, catch a concert, class or art exhibit at Center for the Arts Crested Butte (www.crestedbuttearts.org) and take in a theatre production presented by Crested Butte Mountain Theatre (www.cbmountaintheatre.org).

Gunnison Getaway
Families and winter sports enthusiast who look for a value ski vacation will enjoy the many deals offered by Gunnison Getaways <www.gunnisongetaway.com. Free bus service runs daily between the city of Gunnison and the towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, making it easy to get around the entire valley.

Enjoy a day at the Gunnison Recreation Center’s entire facility for only $4 for kids ages 5 – 17 and $6 for adults; kids under 5 are free. There is an indoor pool with slides, rock climbing wall, gym, gymnastics room and game room. At Jorgensen Park, there are three sheets of ice: an indoor NHL-size rink located at the Jorgenson Event Center; Shades for Blades outdoor Olympic-size covered rink; and Pacman Pond, ideal for young children. Skate rentals are available at the Event Center, and there is no cost to use the outdoor rink and pond. For information, visit <www.gunnisonrec.com.

Don’t miss stopping by the Gunnison Arts Center (www.gunnisonartscenter.org) for entertainment, exhibits and classes.

Non-stop air service to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) is provided year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver (DIA) Service for the 2013-2014 winter season is provided by American Airlines and United Airlines with direct flights from Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Chicago (ORD) and Denver (DEN). New for summer 2014, United is adding non-stop service from Houston (HIA).The Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), located just 79 miles from Gunnison, provides additional regional air service to the area.

What’s New for Winter in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado

Colorado’s Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley has exciting what’s new announcements for winter. New and improved options for events, flights, lodging, skiing and snowboarding, dining and more are available in the area known as home to “The last great Colorado ski town.”

Snowmobiling & Ski Mountaineering Events

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) has added snowmobiling to its mix of annual events. Following a successful test event last winter, plans have grown to create a mid-winter snowmobile extravaganza, Roost the Butte, both at the resort and on nearby property. CBMR has teamed up with X-Games snowmobile event organizer Joe Duncan of 357 Consulting to launch the snowmobile competition and festival on Jan. 18 - 20.  Four different events with multiple classes for each will be offered: snocross, hillcross, hill drag and snow ovals.  In addition, there will be other unique features, vendor displays and a festive atmosphere on the Gold Link area of the mountain.

New Options for Skiers & Boarders

CBMR now offers guided skiing and snowboarding in Teo 2, an area of the mountain where there are future plans for lift-served skiing expansion in future years. This is for expert skiers looking for a full day of guided skiing that is closed off to all other guests.

Skiers and boarders also will be treated to new intermediate tree skiing options in the East River lift area. Crews are widening the space in between trees for those who love gladed skiing, with the focus being on the area between Double Top and Black Eagle trails.

Being a kid on the slopes in Crested Butte just got even cooler. Crews are creating three new kid-specific trails in the Painter Boy area that will be about the width of a grooming machine and wind through the trees to give kids a forest-like experience. In addition, the resort will be building facades to create a mini Elk Avenue (Crested Butte’s Main Street) along one of the trails for kids to ski through and play around.  There also will be a ski-through bear cave, U.S. Forest Service lodge, and gold mining building for interactive play and learning.

Crested Butte Nordic Center is introducing a new International Ski Federation sanctioned race course located on the “Bench” area above the center.  Although it was constructed with racing in mind (5 kilometer course and 1.2 kilometer sprint course), recreational skiers will be greeted by a more interesting and skiable trails as well.  Big Mine Loop and Electric Loop have been reworked; both are now 20 feet wide and have been moved farther into the forest to improve early-season conditions.  Skiers on the Big Mine Loop will find a trail that gently winds through evergreens until reaching two new moderate climbs that transition into rolling downhills.  Electric Loop will continue to challenge skiers with big ascents and fast descents, but the terrain has been constructed with more variation to improve flow.

Lodging Renovations & New Ranch

The newly branded and recently renovated  The Inn at Tomichi Village in Gunnison opened as an independently owned inn in July and features guestrooms with new bedding/triple sheeting, flat screen TVs, furnishings, and modern decor with a stylish mountain flare.  Pet-friendly rooms are available at the property, which is currently rated #2 on Trip Advisor. A hot complimentary breakfast is included.Visit www.theinnattomichivillage.com.

Located on 500 acres 19 miles east of Gunnison, Monson Creek Ranch opened its doors this summer and offers activities and lodging year-round. Purchased by Pepper and Pam Pesnell five years ago, the couple has been making improvements ever since and now offers lodging for up to 12 in a cabin and snow cat-drawn sleigh rides (complete with toasting marshmallows around a warm fire) and snowmobile rentals in winter.  For summer and fall, the ranch offers horseback trail rides and jeep tours and is located next to prime hunting territory (Hunting Area 551). Monson Creek Ranch has a rental location for jeeps and snowmobiles across from City Market in Gunnison on Highway 135. Go to www.monson-creek-ranch.com.

After being purchased from longtime owners Allen and Judy Cox in late 2012, new local owners of the Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte wrapped up a total renovation in June. The updated interior and exterior look combines the charm and nostalgia of the longtime bed and breakfast hotel with contemporary finishes and amenities. The property has 28 guestrooms and suites, a mountain chalet, a cozy lobby with fireplace, function space for small groups, and a prime location near the slopes.  Main-floor rooms are pet-friendly. Nordic Inn is the longest operating lodge in Gunnison County, opening in 1962 only one year after the opening of Crested Butte Mountain Resort ski area. Go to www.nordicinncb.com.

Culinary & Nightlife Happenings

Since opening in Crested Butte in 2001, Secret Stash has been known as a funky pizzeria with a one-of-a-kind atmosphere and incredibly unique and tasty pizzas. The Stash has moved down the street to a much larger location a the Company Store building on Crested Butte’s historic Elk Avenue, going from a seating capacity of 60 or so to 200-plus. An expanded menu includes pasta, a salad bar, a larger selection of appetizers and pizza by the slice. Secret Stash is open for breakfast seven days a week this winter, and a gift shop featuring gelato is part of the Stash’s new look. Go to www.stashpizza.com.

Jason Vernon, chef/owner of the Crested Butte’s well-known petite bistro Soupcon, has been involved in giving new life to another Crested Butte classic, Kochevar’s Saloon.  This longtime favorite nightspot on Elk Avenue retains its original charm but sports new pool tables, dart boards, and an improved food and drink menu.  Burgers, wings, pulled pork and more are available, plus a late-night menu includes the likes of a $5 burger. Visit www.facebook.com/kochevars.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is the first in the West to bring delicious hand-snack Belgium sugar waffles to the slopes. Through partnerships with a sister resort in Vermont, CBMR is bringing the popular East Coast ski slope favorite Waffle Cabin to Colorado and will locate the makers of golden goodness next to the guest service hut in the base area.  Find out more at www.wafflecabin.com and www.skicb.com.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information

A Feast for Food Fanatics in Gunnison-Crested Butte -- Flavors of Gunnison kicks off

Great food and Colorado’s Gunnison County go hand in hand (or hand to mouth!). Not only do Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison and Almont have more than 80 restaurants, the valley has a calendar of culinary events sure to please any culinary aficionado.

Dinner Float Trip
Enjoy the area’s only dinner cruise, Rocky Mountain style! Start out at Three Rivers Resort in Almont by 4 p.m. and enjoy a 10-mile scenic float trip on the Gunnison River to Garlic Mike’s Restaurant for a delicious Italian dinner. The cost is $65 per person and $40 for children ages 10 and under and includes the float trip, vehicle shuttle and a voucher for up to $27 per adult and $10 per child (age 10 and under) for Garlic Mike’s. Anything above those amounts, including tip, is additional and payable at the restaurant. The total time required is approximately three hours. The trip is available seven nights a week with at least 24 hours notice and a minimum of four people. To book, call Three Rivers Resort at (888) 761-3474.

Cooking Classes
Mike Busse, owner/chef of Garlic Mike’s and 2009 winner of the local Chefs on the Edge competition, hosts demonstration-style classes at Interiors with Oohs & Aahs’ demonstration kitchen in downtown Gunnison. Or gather your own group of at least eight participants to book a class that promises to be entertaining, tasty and full of zest. Busse also has been named the people’s choice winner for best chef in Gunnison every year since 2001. To inquire, contact Mike at (970) 641-2493 or mikegarlic@aol.com. Also visit www.garlicmikes.com.

Explore Fall Colors on Stunning Outings in Gunnison County, Great autumn deals & drives abound in the Rockies

The mountain ranges surrounding the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley will remind you of an artist’s autumn palette, with brushstrokes of gold, orange and crimson evident at every turn in September and early October. Known for the largest, most spectacular aspen grove in the United States, the area offers eye-popping vistas.

Or get surrounded by fall foliage on foot by hiking one of the great trails off Kebler Pass Road, mountain biking Trail 401 or one of the area’s other classic routes, and going on a trail ride through the forests with Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures or Tenderfoot Outfitters. Crested Butte Mountain Guides and Colorado Backcountry can help you hit the trail on bike or foot.

FALL DRIVE ROUTES

Ohio Creek Road to Kebler Pass
From just north of Gunnison on Colorado Highway 135, take a left on Ohio Creek Road (look for signs). About 12 miles up the Ohio Creek Valley, near a series of ranch buildings that mark the abandoned site of Castleton, travelers will see the spires of “the Castles.” These are erosion remnants carved out of volcanic debris that erupted from the West Elk Volcano, now extinct. Continuing on, look for a fine view of the Anthracite Range. Near the end of Ohio Creek Road is the intersection with Kebler Pass Road (County Road 12). At that junction, you can head west towards Colorado Highway 133, where southbound goes toward Paonia or northbound to Paonia Dam and Redstone over breathtaking McClure Pass, a popular route to Aspen. Heading east on Kebler Pass Road, you’ll come to Crested Butte, with the eighth largest National Historic District in Colorado. Before heading to Crested Butte, take a short detour and go north to the beautiful Lake Irwin.

Kebler Pass to Marble & Crystal River Valley
Going north out of Crested Butte on Whiterock Avenue, the road turns into County Road 12, a well-maintained, hard-surface dirt and gravel road. A stop across the road from Horse Ranch Park provides one of the most scenic landscapes of the Anthracite Mountain Range and a predictable pocket of red amongst the expanse of gold and yellow. Continuing on through the West Elk Mountains, which has been called “the closest you can come to a wilderness experience in a passenger car,” you will pass by the scenic vista of the largest aspen grove in the United States. After a total of 30 miles from Crested Butte and at the intersection of Highway 133, go right and travel along the Paonia Reservoir and over McClure Pass. After the right turn onto Highway 133 and another turn on County Road 3, it is approximately 27 miles to Marble, a historic mining town that is like a step back in time.

West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway
From Gunnison, the byway heads north on Highway 135 to Crested Butte, continues on Kebler Pass Road (also County Road 12, take Whiterock Avenue out of town), which is a gravel road and a popular fair-weather route to Aspen. Kebler Pass Road links with Highway 133 near Paonia Dam. At this point, travelers can complete the loop back around to Gunnison by going south on the West Elk Loop Byway (Highway 133) and going east on Highway 92 toward Blue Mesa Reservoir, traveling through Somerset, Bowie, Hotchkiss, Crawford and the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. At the junction of Highway 92 and Highway 50, going east takes you back to Gunnison along 23 miles of Blue Mesa Reservoir and Curecanti National Recreation Area. West on Highway 50 leads to the main south entrance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Montrose.

AutoWeek deemed the drive from Hotchkiss to Gunnison and Crested Butte one of their eight favorite Great American Roads. An “Experience the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway” brochure is available at visitor centers along the route.

Almont to Various Scenic Routes
Between the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte on Highway 135 is Almont, where the Taylor and East Rivers meet to create the Gunnison River. From Gunnison, go east at Almont on Taylor Canyon Road to Taylor Park Dam and Reservoir. From here travelers have three choices: 1.) Go east on Cottonwood Pass to Buena Vista; 2.) Go north and loop back to Almont on Spring Creek Road; or 3.) Go southeast through one of the richest gold strike areas in Gunnison County traveling through Tin Cup, over Cumberland Pass, and through Pitkin, Ohio City and Parlin before reaching Gunnison.

Enjoy all of the benefits of Harmel’s Ranch Resort near Almont, Colorado, and stay in one of the Hitchn’ Post Lodge’s eight motel-style rooms, each with one queen bed and one double bed from only $110 per night for up to four people per room. Book by calling (800) 235-3402, and also visit www.harmels.com.

Experience the West in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado Trail Rides, Guest Ranches & Events Offer Taste of Independent Spirit

With a longtime ranching heritage, laid-back attitude and Colorado’s oldest rodeo, Gunnison County is the West. The only kind of traffic jams you encounter here are cattle drives. In fact, American Cowboy just named Gunnison-Crested Butte one of the “20 Best Places to Live the West.” American Cowboy Publisher Bill Garrels notes, “Whether you’re looking for a new place to settle or the perfect place to vacation, these communities deliver top value in the form of adventure, culture, authenticity, natural beauty and frontier history and tradition.”

To buy a hat or boots to get into the spirit of the place, head straight for The Western World in Gunnison before visiting Pioneer Museum, known for its popular ranching heritage exhibit, 18 out-buildings and train display. There are also dude ranches, trail rides, and cowboy mounted shooting to dig your heels into.

Another option is to take the scenic drive up Highway 135 to Crested Butte and pay a visit to Lazy F Bar Ranch, located approximately 3 miles out Brush Creek Road just south of town. Breakfast and dinner horseback rides, wagon ride dinners, and general horseback riding for any skill level are available. Winter sleigh ride dinners to a rustic 1950s cabin overlooking the East River are popular during snowy months. For more information, call (970) 641-0193 or visit www.lazyfbarranch.com.

Also check out Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures, offering horseback outings and wilderness trail rides from its stables in Almont and Mt. Crested Butte. Fantasy Ranch is well known for its trail ride from the Crested Butte area to Aspen. During winter, Fantasy Ranch offers carriage and sleigh rides in downtown Crested Butte. Contact (970) 349-5425 or visit www.fantasyranchoutfitters.com for more information.

For those who prefer a vacation by Colorado’s largest body of water, horses and their owners are welcome at Ferro’s Blue Mesa Ranch Resort in Sapinero, located on Blue Mesa Lake west of Gunnison. Horse owners pay a corral fee and feed cost for their horses, and horses and guides are available for trail rides. Call (970) 641-4671 for more information.

Dude Ranches
For unforgettable guest ranch experiences, visit Waunita Hot Springs Ranch near Gunnison and Harmel’s Ranch Resort near Almont. To reach Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, call (770) 641-1266 or visit www.waunita.com. To reach Harmel’s, call (800) 235-3402 or visit www.harmels.com.

NATHROP

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort

For lodging specials, please call 719-395-2447 EXT: #0 |

Romance Package

Two Night Stay
60 minute couples massage
2 drinks from Spa Juice Bar
$75 Restaurant/Bar Credit

Bed & Breakfast Package

One Night Stay
One delivery of Scones, Fresh Fruit, Coffee & Juice for two.

Dine At The Princeton Club Restaurant
| Please book activities directly with the Concierge at 719-395-2447 EXT: #7 |

Three Course Dinner
For Two $39.99
Tuesdays Princeton Club Restaurant
Three Course Dinner For Two $39.99
Reservations recommended: 719-395-2447 Ext: 7
18% Service Charge Will Be Applied To All Three Course Dinner For Two Orders

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort Amenities

The following are included with your overnight stay:

Access To The Historic Bathhouse (All Ages)
Soaking Pool
Exercise Pool
Creekside Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs Pools &
400' Water Slide
Open Memorial Day - Labor Day

Access to the Spa & Club (Age 16+)
Fitness & Wellness Center
Daily Fitness Classes
Relaxation Pool Age 16+
Cascading Hot Springs
Sauna & Steam Rooms

The Spa & Club at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
The Spa at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort The Club at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort Hot Springs
THE SPA

Experience true relaxation like you've never experienced before-pairing your spa service with the hot springs. Services range from manicures to hot stone massage.Amenities include a quiet relaxation room, fire place in lobby, and fresh juice or tea from the juice bar. Co-ed steam and sauna, private steam room in each locker room allow guests to recharge and relax.

THE CLUB

The club offers a complete collection of weight and cardio equipment for guest and member use. The club offers numerous classes and is designed to provide health and wellness options for body and mind.

Classes include Aqua Cardio, PiYo, Restorative Yoga, Spin, Water Yoga and Yoga Play.

THE HOT SPRINGS

Explore over 30 hot spring pools along Chalk Creek. Swim some laps in the exercise pool, check out the relaxation pool at the spa or enjoy the soaking pool with the kids.

All the swimming pools at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort are available for use by overnight guests. Day passes are available for the historic bath house and for the Spa & Club.

For more information or reservations, contactMt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
15870 County Road 162
Nathrop, Colorado 81236-9703
719-395-2447

What to See & Do

Events At Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Colorado Snowmobile Association Annual Ride & Convention
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, along with the Salida Snowmobile Club & Buena Vista Snowmobile Club, is proud to host the 2016 Colorado Snowmobile Association Annual Convention.

Gift Certificates Available For All Adventures

Dog Sled Tours
November - April

Copper Mountain, Ski Cooper Monarch Mountain
November - April

Discount Lift Tickets

Snowmobile Tours & Rentals
November - April
Call Concierge For Discounts

Horseback Riding
Year Round

Guests Receive 10% OFF

Guided Fishing
Year Round


Whitewater Rafting
Memorial Day - Labor Day
Guests Receive 10% OFF

Mount Massive Golf Course
Leadville, Colorado

Collegiate Peaks Golf Course
Buena Vista, Colorado

Salida Golf Club
Salida, Colorado

Zipline Tours in Colorado
Year Round
Guests Receive $10 OFF

Guided ATV Tours & Rentals
Memorial Day - Labor Day
Call Concierge For Discounts

SUP Rentals
Year Round
Weather Dependent
Discount Punch Cards

Jeep Rental
Year Round

Aerial Adventure Parks
Year Round
Guests Receive $10 OFF

Rock Climbing
Memorial Day - Labor Day

Guests Receive $10 OFF

Gift Some Adventure with Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Gift Cards

Purchase lodging, spa treatments, day passes with your Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Gift Cards. Give an adventure by purchasing a gift card from the resort's Concierge to one of many preferred outfitters.

Lodging Specials

719-395-2447 EXT: #0

Romance Package

Two Night Stay
60 minute couples massage
2 drinks from Spa Juice Bar
$75 Restaurant/Bar Credit

Bed & Breakfast Package

One Night Stay
One delivery of Scones, Fresh Fruit, Coffee & Juice for two.

Dine At The Princeton Club Restaurant

Three Course Dinner For Two $39.99
Tuesdays Princeton Club Restaurant
Three Course Dinner For Two $39.99
Reservations recommended: 719-395-2447 Ext: 7
18% Service Charge Will Be Applied To All Three Course Dinner For Two Orders

Events At Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

| 719-395-2447 EXT: #0 |

Colorado Snowmobile Association Annual Ride & Convention

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, along with the Salida Snowmobile Club & Buena Vista Snowmobile Club, is proud to host the 2016 Colorado Snowmobile Association Annual Convention.

Gift Certificates Available For All Adventures

| PLEASE BOOK ACTIVITIES DIRECTLY WITH THE CONCIERGE | 719-395-2447 EXT: #3333 |

Dog Sled Tours  
November - April

Copper Mountain, Ski Cooper Monarch Mountain 
November - April

Discount Lift Tickets

Snowmobile Tours & Rentals
November - April

Call Concierge For Discounts

Horseback Riding
Year Round
  
Guests Receive 10% OFF

Guided Fishing
Year Round  


Whitewater Rafting 
Memorial Day - Labor Day
 
Guests Receive 10% OFF 

Mount Massive Golf Course
Leadville, Colorado 

Collegiate Peaks Golf Course
Buena Vista, Colorado

Salida Golf Club
Salida, Colorado


Zipline Tours
Year Round
Guests Receive $10 OFF   

Guided ATV  Tours & Rentals
Memorial Day - Labor Day

Call Concierge For Discount

SUP Rentals
Year Round
Weather Dependent

Discount Punch Cards

Jeep Rental
Year Round

Aerial Adventure Parks
Year Round
Guests Receive $10 OFF
 
Rock Climbing
Memorial Day - Labor Day 
Guests Receive $10 OFF

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort Amenities


The following are included with your overnight stay:

Access To The Historic Bathhouse (All Ages)
Soaking Pool
Exercise Pool
Creekside Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs Pools &
400' Water Slide
Open Memorial Day - Labor Day

Access to the Spa & Club (Age 16+)

Fitness & Wellness Center
Daily Fitness Classes
Relaxation Pool Age 16+
Cascading Hot Springs
Sauna & Steam Rooms

The Spa & Club at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Experience true relaxation like you've never experienced before-pairing your spa service with the hot springs. Services range from manicures to hot stone massage.

Amenities include a quiet relaxation room, fire place in lobby, and fresh juice or tea from the juice bar. Co-ed steam and sauna, private steam room in each locker room allow guests to recharge and relax.

THE CLUB

The club offers a complete collection of weight and cardio equipment for guest and member use.The club offers numerous classes and is designed to provide health and wellness options for body and mind.Classes include Aqua Cardio, PiYo, Restorative Yoga, Spin, Water Yoga and Yoga Play.

THE HOT SPRINGS  

Explore over 30 hot spring pools along Chalk Creek. Swim some laps in the exercise pool, check out the relaxation pool at the spa or enjoy the soaking pool with the kids.

All the swimming pools at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort are available for use by overnight guests. Day passes are available for the historic bath house and for the Spa & Club.


LOCATION: Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
15870 County Road 162
Nathrop, Colorado 81236-9703
719-395-2447

RIO GRANDE

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Debuts New Train Experiences

Departing two hours outside of Colorado Springs in Alamosa, Colo., the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad has announced a number of new scenic train experiences available for summer, 2015. Families and friends can enjoy the natural beauty of the Southern Rockies from the comfort of vista-dome vintage rail cars, traveling along historic rail routes home to abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

Whether it’s an excursion over the majestic LaVeta Pass, sunset dinner passage through the San Luis Valley or country concert at the top of 9,400 ft. Fir Mountain, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad presents travelers with a variety of one-of-a-kind experiences for an unforgettable summer train trip:

Dinner Train & Concert Weekend
Guests are invited to ride the Valley Sunset Dinner Train on Saturday nights and then ride the Mountain Rails Live Concert Train on Sunday, all at a discounted combination price. This special package lets guests experience the full scope of what the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad offers. The railroad has partnerships with select hotels in Alamosa that make the reservation center a one-stop-shop for weekend plans.
Prices vary based on date of travel and start at $142

To book a train journey onboard The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, please call 877-726-7245 or visit www.coloradotrain.com.

About the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad-
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad winds its way through the Southern Rockies on historic railcars, including two authentic City of New Orleans club cars, pulled by a stylish mid-century diesel engine. Guests can choose from a number of excursions, special events or a one-of-a-kind concert at the top of Fir Summit Amphitheater at 9,400 feet. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad departs from the Alamosa Train Depot at 610 State Ave, Alamosa, CO.

About Iowa Pacific-
Chicago-based Iowa Pacific is an independently-owned operator of first-class passenger service on both the Amtrak scheduled network and on several non-Amtrak routes. Iowa Pacific is capable of providing regularly scheduled corridor services on routes such as Tulsa-Oklahoma City and is pleased to be able to provide these demonstration roundtrips in conjunction with Stillwater Central. Iowa Pacific has branded
its nationwide group of passenger train services as the Premier Rail Collection, celebrating the return of first-class services to routes from Cape Cod in the East to Rio Grande in the West.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Rocky Mountain National Park: An Unforgettable Daytrip. . . One of the Top Outdoor and Adventure Destinations in the World Just 1.5 Hours from Denver

In 1909, naturalist Enos Mills wrote about the area that is now Rocky Mountain National Park, “In years to come when I am asleep beneath the pines, thousands of families will find rest and hope in this park.” More than a century later, his prediction has come true – and then some.  Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is the most popular attraction in Colorado, drawing three million annual visitors to its 416 square miles of mountain beauty. The wilderness area includes 359 miles of hiking trails, 150 lakes, 60 mountains taller than 12,000 feet, and the opportunity to see elk, bighorn sheep, and moose.  In 2010, Trip Advisor named the park the number two outdoor and adventure destination in the world, falling just behind Queenstown, New Zealand.

RMNP stands out, among many other reasons, from other outdoor destinations due to its accessibility. Just 71 miles from Denver, the park is a memorable summer daytrip – and at $20 per automobile per day, it’s also a very affordable one.

SCENIC DRIVES

Trail Ridge Road – The highest continuous motorway in the United States climbs to a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, with more than eight miles snaking across tundra, high above the treeline at 11,000 feet.  The views throughout the drive are incomparable: At Milner Pass, motorists cross the Continental Divide.
Old Fall River Road – Completed in 1920, this road was the first to cross the Rocky Mountains.  The drive winds past the stunning Endovalley Overlook (with impressive views of Deer Mountain) and the beautiful 25-foot Chasm Falls, ending at Chaplin Creek Trailhead, 10,640 feet above sea level.
Highway 36 – The drive up Highway 36 to the park is a magnificent scenic drive in itself. Motorists pass the towns of Boulder and Lyons, striking red sandstone rock formations, and the natural beauty of Roosevelt National Forest.

FAMILY FRIENDLY HIKES & ACTIVITIES

Bear Lake Loop – The flat, half-mile interpretive nature trail that circles scenic Bear Lake is great for younger kids, offering the chance to see deer and gorgeous views of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain.

Coyote Valley – This easy, one-mile trail follows the bank of the Upper Colorado River, where thousands of colorful wildflowers bloom in the summer and moose are often spotted during the morning and early evening hours.

Horseback Riding – Experience the high country the old fashioned way – atop a horse.  This is a wonderful way for older children to see more alpine country than possible on foot.

Fishing – Fishing was a popular pastime with early visitors to the Park, and it remains so today, with anglers catching several types of trout – brown, brook, rainbow, and cutthroat – in 150 lakes.  

Note: A valid Colorado fishing license is required for all persons 16 years of age or older to fish in Rocky Mountain National Park.  For current Colorado fishing license fees visit the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.

WILDLIFE VIEWING

Elk – The park is home to an elk herd numbering more than 3,000, so these majestic creatures are among the most-easily-seen wildlife. Look for elk in meadows and any spot where meadow and forest meet. Elk spend much of their time at or above treeline during the summer, moving to lower elevations in the fall, winter and spring.

Bighorn Sheep – After facing near extinction last century, the bighorn sheep population is currently thriving– there are roughly 800 of these striking animals in the park. Look for them at the aptly named Sheep Lakes from May through mid-August, where the bighorns descend to eat soil and obtain minerals not found in their high mountain habitat.  Their visits generally occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Moose – The moose is a naturally shy creature, but sightings occur almost daily in the summer along the banks of the Upper Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley.  Enjoy the moose at a distance...give these magnificent animals plenty of room to roam without human interference.

Birdwatching – Nearly 300 species of birds have been documented in the Park and surrounding areas, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.  Specialty species unique to mountain habitats include White-tailed Ptarmigan, Blue Grouse, Gray Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, and the Mountain Chickadee.

SNOWMASS

SNOWMASS - So Famous, so Popular

Almost everyone's heard of Snowmass, Colorado. It's that family ski mountain near Aspen with all the nice, easy groomers, right? Well, sort of. Snowmass is a thriving year-round community of over 1,800 mountain-loving souls and a ski area so huge it defies belief. With over 3,100 acres, the mountain is larger than the other three Aspen/Snowmass mountains combined. 

Stats lovers take note: Snowmass has the longest lift-served vertical rise in the U.S. and was the first in the country to have a lift operated solely by clean, renewable wind power. Chris Davenport, World Extreme Skiing Champion, says, "the fact is, Snowmass has some of the best steeps, cliffs, couloirs, backcountry, terrain parks, and powder anywhere in North America. Like meeting the girl of your dreams, I'll stick with Snowmass forever."

Ninety-five percent of accommodations are ski-in/ski-out, and that means slopeside, not walk 5 blocks through town in ski boots. This convenience is only amplified by the free Snowmass Shuttle which can take you around town any time of day.

Snowmass just has more, from the largest hotel and conference facilities in Pitkin County at the Silvertree Hotel to the biggest hot tub in the valley at the Timberline Condominiums. We've got the only winter zipline in Colorado, and it's a one-of-a-kind ride you won't find anywhere else on earth. From the historic Anderson Ranch Arts Center to the exciting new Base Village project, it's time to take a new look at Snowmass.

 There's lots going on in Snowmass this winter. Check web site www.snowmassvillage.com for the latest information.

TELLURIDE

More soon

VAIL

There's no place like Vail for year-round recreation, outdoor pursuits and cultural activities in the heart of the Rockies. Located just two hours west of Denver, Vail's fresh air, rugged beauty and charming pedestrian village await guests. Discovery a quaint mountain town where outdoor activities abound and performing arts flourish. Matching the incredible winter mountain experience, Vail from May through October is characterized by a rich culinary scene, family activities, world-class events schedule and everything in between. This summer, guests can experience events like the Vail Summer Bluegrass Series, Vail Jazz Festival, the Vail International Dance Festival, BRAVO! Vail, Gourmet on Gore and much more.

  Hike a Fourteener (with a Llama): Guests are able to discover one of the region's legendary 'fourteeners' during an exclusive two-day adventure led by the local outdoor experts of Paragon Guides. Accompanied by llamas that carry the gear and food, participants will journey to 11,000 feet to set up camp and savor a gourmet meal prepared by chefs of Four Seasons Vail. After spending the night in characteristic Four Seasons comfort, embark for the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross. At 14,005 feet, the breathtaking view leave guests with a feeling of personal accomplishment and a memorable experience for any outdoor enthusiast.

Last summer Antlers at Vail staff and guests got quite a surprise when a baby moose wandered into the lobby and lay down for a little rest, making national news. The unexpected visitor sparked the idea for a wildlife-viewing package that includes a half-day llama trek and gourmet lunch in the wild. For information and reservations, visit www.antlersvail.com.

Hiking enthusiasts visiting Vail this summer are able to explore on their own or use a service that offers personalized tours for individuals, couples, families and groups. Guided nature hikes and alpine walks are among favorites for beginners, while expert outings and overnight trips can be arranged with a guide for those wanted to summit larger peaks near Vail. Hiking trails in and around Vail are generally accessible as early as June and can be enjoyed through the change of seasons into late October. For additional information on hiking in Vail, please visit www.vail.com.

Home | New Jersey Books | Outdoor Tips | Travels | Product Reviews | Holidays | Contact Us

All information and photography © 2007-2011 Arline Zatz. All rights reserved. Contact us if reprint permission is needed.