1 0 H I STO R I C C O LO R A D O H OT E L S | 2 4 H O U R S I N C R E E D E | FA L L P R O D U C E
WEST OF 1O5 THE BEST OF COLORADO
YOUR AUTUMN GUIDE TO
GREAT SAND DUNES
NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE
+ R OA D T R I P
D E S T I N AT I O N
A L A M O SA
G R A N D M E SA L O O P
TOP HIKES FOR FA L L F O L I A G E
AU T U M N
I S S U E 5, 2 0 1 9
ELCOME to the one-year anniversary issue of West of 105 magazine!
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHERS WEST OF
CO-PUBLISHERS BRITTANY PANTER & ROB MCGOVERN
This issue takes us back to where it began a year ago. We think we’ve come a long way, and we know we’ve learned a lot about our part of the state in the last 12 months. We are super excited for year two of West of 105, and we think you should be too! In this issue we explore Alamosa, we look at some great places to hike to see the incredible fall foliage we are so fortunate to have here, we spoke to half a dozen cider producers west of 105, and we talk to a chef and restaurateur who has brought his truly incredible wealth of experience to little Palisade.
GENERAL INQUIRIES HELLO@WESTOF105.COM
ALAMOSA IS THE PERFECT BASE FOR EXPLORING THE SAN LUIS VALLEY
SALES & MARKETING MARKETING@WESTOF105.COM
CONTACT FROM SECLUSION TO FOLIAGE, WE SUGGEST 15 HIKES FOR THE SEASON
Elsewhere in the magazine, we visited Creede for a day, spoke to the Colorado FIVE, and we rounded up 10 historic hotels that between them tell the story of Colorado. And we have some exciting news about the future of West of 105 magazine. Until now, we’ve been exclusively digital, but we will be printing the magazine from the winter issue on and will distribute it around the state with the help of some very cool partners. Even in these days of digital dominance, there is still something nice and nostalgic about the feel of the pages of a magazine in your hands. Check out our partners on the next page and stop by to see what West of 105 feels like in your hands! Take a pic of yourself with a copy of the magazine and use the hashtag #Westof105mag to post it on Instagram and you might win a prize!
TOP PICKS FOR AUTUMN
WESTOF105.COM (970) 632 8649
SOCIAL MEDIA @WESTOF105 #CROSSTHEMERIDIAN
DISCOVER THE DUNES THIS SEASON
COVER PHOTO NPS PHOTO / MACKENZIE REED
PUBLISHED BY PERIOD COMMUNICATIONS, A COLORADO COMPANY PERIODCOMMS.COM HELLO@PERIODCOMMS.COM
The West of 105 team @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
WEST OF 105 IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURY OR OTHER DAMAGE CAUSED PERFORMING ANY ACTIVITY DESCRIBED IN THIS MAGAZINE
OUR DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS From Dec. 1, you’ll be able to read West of 105 in print at the following fine establishments - with more to come!
MARBLE BAR| CARBONDALE & ASPEN A family-and-friends owned and operated business, Marble Distilling is a pioneer when it comes to sustainable distilling. The Marble Bar in Carbondale is where you can get a craft cocktail pretty much straight from the still. With a literal bar cut from a nine-ton block of Yule Quarry Marble, the very same stone you will find at the Lincoln Memorial, the Marble Bar is an entertainment hub where you’ll frequently find yourself enjoying live music, comedy, trivia or karaoke. The Marble Bar Aspen, a Marble Distilling Co. concept and tasting room, is at the heart of downtown Aspen within the Hyatt Residence Club Grand Aspen next to the Silver Circle Ice Rink. Enjoy the spirits of the season at their custom marble bar or lounging fireside. Marble Bar Aspen is the hippest happy hour spot and a destination for nightlife including live music, comedy and trivia. www.marbledistilling.com/marble-bar
THE ELIZABETH | FORT COLLINS The Elizabeth Hotel invites guests to enjoy a memorable hospitality experience in its elegant and welcoming environment in Fort Collins, CO. Situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, the college town of Fort Collins is known for its residents’ love of bikes, beers and bands and is Northern Colorado’s outpost for arts and culture. The Elizabeth Hotel features 164 guestrooms, 3,500 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, rooftop cocktail destination Sunset Lounge, and three locally adored concepts from Sage Restaurant Group: Magic Rat Live Music, Bowerbird Coffee, and The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market. Centrally located just two blocks from the center of Old Town Fort Collins, The Elizabeth Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is a vibrant host to locals and travelers alike. www.theelizabethcolorado.com
THE MAVEN | DENVER The Maven delivers an industrial hotel experience with an energetic lobby highlighting an eclectic mix of local art and handmade products delivered by a passionate staff. Located in the heart of Lower Downtown (LoDo), The Maven anchors the Dairy Block, Denver’s newest micro-district that celebrates the maker – a vibrant community of inspired retailers, chefs, creators and cocktail crafters. This walkable neighborhood is home to Denver’s first pedestrian Alley, offering a progressive experience of curated shopping, dining and drinking destinations in a historic block that once housed the Windsor Dairy. www.themavenhotel.com
UNION STATION & CRAWFORD HOTEL| DENVER Denver Union Station re-opened in July 2014 after a major $54 million renovation. Originally opened in 1881 and named to the National Register of Historic Places, the elegant Beaux Arts landmark is now home to an eclectic mix of 14 Colorado-based restaurants & shops, including the Cooper Lounge, Stoic & Genuine, Mercantile Dining & Provision and a Tattered Cover bookstore. Located inside Denver Union Station, the award-winning Crawford Hotel features 112 luxuriously appointed guest rooms that reflect the different eras of the landmark building’s history. The Pullman-style rooms evoke train travel at its heyday with a subtle Art Deco nod. The Classic rooms are inspired by the Victorian era with a touch of modern elegance. The Loft rooms in the former attic feature exposed brick, massive wood timbers and vaulted ceilings. Denver Union Station offers an extensive schedule of free community programming, including the Union Station Farmers Market and Treble by Train live jazz series. www.unionstationindenver.com
BISON PEAK LODGE AT PUMA HILLS | LAKE GEORGE Bison Peak Lodge is located 90 miles southwest of Denver and 60 miles northwest of Colorado Springs in the Tarryall Mountains on the road less travelled, Park County 77. The owners have taken over the former Outpost Wilderness Adventure to create a unique 40-acre property surrounded by over half a million acres of National Forest including the Lost Creek Wilderness area. Their magical Headwall Valley also hosts over 30 large tipis, cabins and bubble tents – each with comfortable beds and furnishings, grills, tables and bear-proof storage containers. The mission is to primarily host programs for veterans and first responders and their families, or people from around the world whose events and visits help fund programming. There are dozens of activities on property ranging from a 3D eight animal archery course, fly fishing, pine cone putt putt, frisbee golf, kite flying, hiking, volleyball, cornhole, giant jenga and more. www.bisonpeaklodgecolorado.com
C LAZY U RANCH | GRANBY Known for its genuine service and legendary western hospitality, C Lazy U is Colorado’s premier luxury guest ranch getaway. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019, the locally- and family-owned property is located in Grand County and is easily accessible from Denver. C Lazy U features a collection of 40 elegant cabin accommodations and one multi-bedroom luxury private home, fine dining and an award-winning wine program led by an on-site sommelier, the full-service Lazy You Spa, and 8,500 acres of adventure. With its core programming anchored in horsemanship and horseback riding, C Lazy U offers limitless year-round family activities, including a second-to-none children’s program, nightly entertainment, Orvis-endorsed fly fishing, swimming, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, yoga, a zip line and ropes course, trap shooting, archery, hatchet throwing, jeep tours, snow tubing, ice hockey and skating on a Zamboni-groomed pond, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more. www.clazyu.com
VISTA VERDE RANCH | CLARK Just north of the well-known ski town of Steamboat Springs, Vista Verde Ranch offers an all-inclusive luxury guest ranch experience in a relaxed and casual environment. With a diverse selection of activities, Vista Verde is more than just a riding ranch, and guests will delight in the variety and flexibility of the programs. Cozy log cabins feature private hot tubs, wood stoves, luxury amenities, and fabulous views while talented chefs prepare cuisine that walks the line between ranchy and fancy. Creative kid, tween, and teen programs make it enjoyable for the whole family, with special times set aside for adult only escapes. At Vista Verde, the goal is to create an environment where guests can experience true Western hospitality with a luxurious spin and leave the ranch feeling more connected to themselves and their loved ones. www.vistaverde.com
THE DISTILLERY INN | CARBONDALE Just down the road from Aspen, there’s a reason why Carbondale is called the Ultimate Rocky Mountain Hideout. Named one of the country’s best towns by National Geographic and Outside Magazine, and earning the honor of being named a Colorado Creative District – one of only 21 in the state. Carbondale is a hidden gem that boasts a creative, eclectic community where fine food, fabulous drinks, the great outdoors and amazing people come together. The Distillery Inn is truly one-of-a-kind. The only Inn in the world housed within a working distillery offers five luxury hotel suites available for nightly rental. Here guests can “Sleep with the Stills” in a relaxed, state-of-the-art room with refined amenities. Colorado is known for its rugged terrain, but these rooms are far from roughing it. Each room, including one ADA accessible room, is outfitted with hand-selected sustainable materials, sophisticated finishes and the most comfortable beds this side of the Rockies. www.marbledistilling.com/the-inn
In Every Issue
03 08 12 14 98 102
Letter from the Publishers
WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE OF WEST OF 105
TOP 20 FALL ACTIVITIES, FROM SCENIC HIKES TO LOCALLY-MADE CIDERS
READ ABOUT HOW COLORADO-BASED COMPANY BOA HAS REVOLUTIONIZED FOOTWEAR
New & Noteworthy
TOP RECENTLY-DEBUTED ACTIVITIES AND OFFERINGS
ADD HIKING TO YOUR SUMMER BUCKET LIST
A LOOK AT SOME COLORADO COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE MAKING THE STATE BETTER
CHECK OUT FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS TO EXPERIENCE SALT LAKE CITY THIS AUTUMN
SPOKE & VINE MOTEL DEBUTS IN COLORADO’S WINE COUNTRY
DISCOVER SALT LAKE CITY FIVE WAYS Photos (top): Go Fruita; (middle): Spoke & Vine Motel (bottom): Jay Dash Photography / Utah Office of Tourism
WEST OF 105 | WHAT’S INSIDE
TOP 15 FALL HIKING TRAILS FALL FOLIAGE ON HORSEBACK AUTUMN GUIDE TO THE SAND DUNES
AN APPLE A DAY
SPOTLIGHT ON ALAMOSA 24 HOURS IN CREEDE THREE DAYS ON AND AROUND GRAND MESA
Drinking & Dining
6 CIDERS TO SIP THIS FALL PÊCHE.RESTAURANT OPENS IN PALISADE AUTUMN HARVEST
AUTUMN FASHION HAVEN AND BEAUTY 10 HISTORICAL COLORADO HOTELS
YOUR GUIDE TO EXPLORING THE DUNES THIS AUTUMN
Culture & Events
Q&A THE COLORADO FIVE CRESTONE: COLORADO’S SPIRITUAL MECCA 6 FILM FESTIVALS FOR FALL
GLENWOOD HOT SPRINGS OFFERS AN ESCAPE AT SPA OF THE ROCKIES
SIX WAYS TO KICK OFF FILM FESTIVAL SEASON THIS FALL
Photos (clockwise from top left): NPS Mackenzie Reed; Period Communications; Crested Butte Film Festival; Glenwood Hot Springs Resort; Ed Knight
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
THE BUCKET LIST WE’VE ROUNDED UP 20 GREAT ACTIVITIES WEST OF 105 YOU’LL WANT TO ADD TO YOUR COLORADO AUTUMN BUCKET LIST
Surf the Dunes
Cooler temperatures in autumn mean cooler sand which makes surfing the highest dunes in North America that much more pleasant. Page 34
WEST OF 105 | BUCKET LIST
Colorado is home to a burgeoning cider industry that is intent on returning the drink to its former popularity. Check out half a dozen cider producers west of 105. Page 64
Colorado has no shortage of historic hotels, many of which come with their share of resident ghouls. From the haunted hallways of Hotel Colorado to the iconic Stanley Hotel that inspired The Shining, fall is the perfect time to check-in and check them out. Page 80
Wrestle a Gator
Colorado Gators Reptile Park, just outside Alamosa, offers the chance to help wrangle alligators so minor injuries can be tended to. Page 40
Discover Creede in 24 Hours
As the summer season winds down in the quaint mountain town, the crowds thin out and the temperature drops, making it the perfect time to visit. Page 48
Live in Luxury
Check in at Devilâ€™s Thumb Ranch, Resort and Spa in Tabernash for a truly relaxing few days this fall. Page 76
Go By Train
Hop aboard a train in Alamosa or Fort Garland and let the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad take you among the aspens to La Veta and back. Page 40
Check Out SLC
We journeyed pretty far west of the 105 for this issueâ€™s In-Transit story, visiting the capital of the Beehive State. Page 102
Try to Spot Some Wild Horses
Colorado is home to four BLM-managed herd management areas with 812 feral horses. Head to one of the fours areas to see these magnificent animals in the wild. Page 30 9 Photos: (opposite page): Period Communications (bottom): Utah Office of Tourism
Take a Trip
Make time this autumn for a road trip on and around the largest flat top mesa in the world. Enjoy wine in Palisade, the fall foliage and finish up with Applefest in Cedaredge. Page 54
Splish & Splash
Those with kids or the young at heart might want to head to Glenwood Hot Springs Resort to check out the recently-opened Sopris Splash Zone. Page 15
11 14 Wine & Fine Dine
At Marcus Parrott’s new restaurant expect lots of local produce on your plate and in your glass. Page 14
Get to Know the Colorado FIVE We spoke to the eight members of Colorado’s crack team of culinary cohorts. Page 88
12 15 16 18 Saddle Up
As an alternative to hiking or driving to see the foliage, explore the blanket of fall colors in the mountains from the back of a horse. Page 30
Colorado’s spiritual center, Crestone is a quirky community nestled at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Page 94
Experience Alamosa While plenty of people will have head about Alamosa thanks to its proximity to Sand Dunes National Park, it is an up-and-coming destination that is worth more of your time than just as a pit stop en route to or from the dunes. Page 40
Housed in the original sandstone bathhouse that was built in 1890, the full service Spa of the Rockies at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is a tribute to the resort’s magical appeal at the turn of the century. Page 86
17 19 Stay in Wine Country
Spoke and Vine Motel in Palisade is the perfect place to rest after a day of drinking in the views and the wines of this charming little town. Page 15 10 Photos (this page top): Period Communications; (this page bottom): Spoke & Vine Motel; (opposite page): Matt Inden / Miles
Go Red in Redstone
Propaganda Pie is a brand new pizza place that is slinging Detroit-style pizza from their awesome location on the Crystal River. Page 14
WEST OF 105 | WEST BUCKET OFLIST 105
20 Frolic Among the Foliage
The quintessential fall experience in Colorado is to get out and hike among the changing leaves. Weâ€™ve rounded up more than a dozen of our favorite spots. . Page 20 @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
BOA Founded in Steamboat Springs back in 2001 by snowboarder, surfer and entrepreneur Gary Hammerslag, the company has grown exponentially in the intervening 18 years and now has offices in the US, Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Austria. After moving to Steamboat Springs from California in the mid 1990s, Hammerslag eventually turned his 12
attention to improving the fit and performance of snowboard lacing systems. Hammerslag’s previous company had found success by creating catheter solutions that improved angioplasty procedure speed and effectiveness. Hammerslag applied elements of his knowledge from the medical device field to this new problem and
the Boa Fit System was essentially born. Today, Boa helps snowboarders, mountaineers, hikers, runners, cyclists, hunters, golfers and construction workers “dial in” their footwear and headwear, among other products. Boa has also returned to the medical field with several kinds of braces and supports.
WEST OF 105 | GEAR ANATOMY A dial that adjusts fit with precision click by click.
Boa’s patented system consists of three integral parts: a microadjustable dial, super-strong lightweight lace, and low friction lace guides. Each unique configuration is engineered to optimize fit and provide precision, adaptability, and control.
Lightweight, superstrong lace, expertly configured for comfort and performance.
Low-friction guides ensure a smooth closure, every time.
SWITCHBACK ISO SAUCONY $140
DURABILITY L6 is the most widely used dial in the L-SERIES thanks to its versatile cartridge system. The two-part design provides maximum impact protection and easy field repair – when extreme force ejects the dial, you can easily pop the cartridge back in.
The huge thing for the Switchback ISO is obviously the partnership with Boa. Yes, the shoe is very lightweight at just 9.8 oz / 278 g and comfortable, but it is the fit that is so critical, and that is where the Boa Fit System comes into its own. On a practical note, it is nice to be able to get the shoes on and off quickly, but it is the incremental adjustments that really help dial in that snugness - that and the ability to be able to quickly and easily dial it in when you are on a trail. One small drawback is that they aren’t water resistant which wouldn’t matter as much for a regular running shoe, but for trail running shoes it might be handy. 13
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
EAT PROPAGANDA PIE | REDSTONE This funky new pizza place in tiny Redstone has the culinary chops of Slow Groovin’ BBQ’s Ryan Vinciguerra behind it. With his business partners Nail O’Connor and Steve Horner, Propaganda Pie is serving Detroit-style pizza as well as salads, sandwiches and the like on a great spot on the Crystal River.
SALT, POLLEN | PAONIA With a mission statement that aims to bring a taste of the fertile North Fork Valley to the tables of diners, Salt, Pollen’s Marcus Parrott works with local farms, ranches, orchards and wineries to create seasonally-driven menus at this new Paonia eatery.
DRINK CASEY BREWING & BLENDING | GLENWOOD SPRINGS The company has been offering tours of its barrel cellar for a while now but they just recently opened their taproom in downtown Glenwood Springs. Stop by and try their barrel-aged beers. They also have a handful of rotating guest taps from all over the state. Photos (this page top to bottom): Propaganda Pie; Salt, Pollen, Casey Brewing
WEST OF 105 | NEW & NOTEWORTHY
SPOKE AND VINE MOTEL | PALISADE Set in the heart of Colorado wine country, Spoke and Vine Motel is a beautiful and modern boutique property. Simplicity is key here, with a minimalist, yet very stylish approach to hospitality. Right in the heart of Palisade, it is perfectly located.
SOPRIS SPLASH ZONE | GLENWOOD SPRINGS After several months of construction, the Sopris Splash Zone which is made up of a fast-moving white water river run for older kids and adults, and a wade-in pool with waterfalls and a fountain, recently opened at Glenwood Hot Springs. Open daily through autumn (as the weather permits), it will be particularly enjoyed by kids, while parents will enjoy the fact that there is no additional fee.
SAGUACHE TREASURE HUNT | SAGUACHE COUNTY Saguache Treasure Hunt is a free interactive location-based alternate reality game in Saguache County. Players are put in the role of a bounty hunter who is searching for the Man with No Name who has arrived in Saguache County looking for treasure that he believes his great great grandfather has hidden for him.
THANKSGIVING | VAIL
Photos (this page top to bottom): Spoke & Vine Motel; Glenwood Hot Springs Resort; Saguache County, Vail Resorts
This year, Vail will celebrate Thanksgiving with an entire week of events. Kicking off the 2019-2020 season, the series of family-oriented activities throughout Vail Village will include cooking classes, ice skating, a Gobble Gobble Hike, the Explosion of Lights and the Kris Kringle Market. There will also be the 10th Mountain Legacy Parade. The week kicks off on Nov. 21 15
WEST OF 105 BY THE NUMBERS
1889 T H E
THE PERCENTAGE OF
Y E A R
BILLY THE KID V I S I T E D
T H E
M E E K E R H O T E L
THAT IS PUBLICLY HELD
1.5 Million AC RE S
IS THE LARGEST F L A T T O P M O U N T A I N
IN THE WORLD AT
WERE PLANTED IN
750 THE HEIGHT, IN
FEET, OF STAR DUNE, THE HIGHEST
SAND DUNE IN NORTH AM ERICA
S Q UA R E M I L E S
E THERE ARE AN D I R W
U L HO S L R E
TS I IN
1,891 E S T I M AT E D
W I L D 10TH H O R S E S Y E A R
Page 20 - Hiking
From gentle hikes for families to the best trails to hit for beer lovers, weâ€™ve rounded up 15 awesome hikes for fall
Page 30 - Horseback Riding
There are plenty of different ways to see the colors this fall but if youâ€™re looking for a more serene trip try exploring on horseback
Page 34 - Autumn Among the Dunes
From leaf peeping to seeing the sun rise from the dunes, we highlight the top fall offerings at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Photo: Matt Inden / Miles
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
Kammock Mantis Hammock Tent $229 Thru hikers will love the lightweight Mantis hammock tent. Weighing just a smidgen over 2.5 pounds, the Mantis features pockets for stashing, a stargazing panel, rainfly shelter and bug net. The Mantis also sets up in a minute flat and is silky to the touch.
Daehlie Airnet Wool Long Sleeve $90
Smartwool Smartloft-X 60 Pant $200 When the weather really gets chilly but youâ€™re still up for braving the trail, these insulated yet lightweight pants have you covered. Merino lining supplies sweat and odor control while a DWR coating help protect against rain and snow.
With a merino wool baselayer that features a netting structure that acts as a temperature regulator, the fabric evaporates excess moisture when you really ramp up the activity level while the wool acts as a great insulator when intensity is low.
Grayl Geopress Purifier $89.95
Stasher Bags $46.95 Cut down on single-use plastic with these reusable silicone storage bags from Stasher. Perfect for storing anything from GORP to your first aid tidbits, bags vary in size and colors, however weâ€™re really digging their new Mojave collection.
Scarpa ZG Trek GTX Hiking Boot $230
The ultra supportive boot has a suede leather upper which allows for excellent breathability while the GoreTex waterproof membrane and lining keeps feet dry. We found the outsoles offer great traction for scrambles and loose descents.
Great for long distance hikes and backpacking trips, the purifier filters out waterborne pathogens, pesticides, chemicals and more and is great for use in off-grid situations when water sources may be contaminated (better safe than sorry - you never know what lays upstream!).
Balega Ultralight No Show Socks $13 While technically running socks, we find these are great for temperature and moisture control - perfect for the lower elevation hikes that are still pretty toasty well into the fall. One of our favorite features is the heel tab that prevents slippage in the back.
Hillsound FlexSteps $65 When higher altitude hikes start to get icy, these crampons offer 18 spikes to provide adequate grip with flexible spike plates for a great range of motion and a more comfortable gait.
Kari Traa Løkke Base Layers $110 / each The ultra soft pants and top are made with 100 percent merino wool which translates to quick drying layers that insulate even when you sweat. The weight is ideal for chilly autumn days and, like most of Kari Traa’s collections, we can’t get enough of the feminine designs.
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
MSR | PocketRocket Deluxe Stove $69.95 and Pika Kettle $24.95 When hiking or backpacking this ultra lightweight and compact combo is perfect for making a trail cuppa or meal (see below!). The enhanced PocketRocket offers a push-start igniter and pressure regulator which translates to faster boil times. The teapot features a no-drip spout and wide opening - ideal for stashing your PocketRocket.
Sherpa Kalpana Hike Tights $79.95 Ultra soft and comfortable, we have been wearing these tights everywhere, but they are perfect for early autumn hikes with their lightweight, four-way stretch fabric. They’re also breathable, abrasion-resistant and quick drying. There is also a feel-good factor: for every product sold, Sherpa provides education resources for children in Nepal.
Cusa Tea $9.99 / 10 pack
Wise Bars $19.99 for 3
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker $200 Offering a snug, almost socklike, fit, we love these for longer hikes. Delivering traction on wet trails thanks to the Continental Rubber outsole, the shoes also help maintain stable footing in dicier terrain conditions.
The CBD-infused bars from Wise, yet another Colorado company, are made with organic ingredients and compostable packaging. Tasty flavors include PB&J, Mexican Chocolate, Tropical Blastoff, Cashew Lemon Ginger, and (our personal favorite) Apple Pie.
This Colorado-based company delivers a delicious cup of tea in a matter of seconds. Single-serving packets contain instant, organic tea that’s free of chemicals, additives and sugar. Currently available in seven flavors, keep an eye out for a range of herbal teas that are set to launch soon.
Fits Medium Hiker Socks $22.99 The perfect weight for autumn hikes, the cushioned hiker adds enough weight to keep feet warm without overheating. We have tested them on all day hikes and came out blister free every time.
Trailfork | Backpacking Meals Various Prices This woman-owned, Colorado business was started in 2017 and offers a range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, and on top of being downright delicious they come wrapped in compostable packaging. We can’t get enough of the cinnamon roll oats.
15 S P E C T A C U L A R
F A L L
H I K E S
20 Photo: C2 Photography
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
BEST HIKES FOR: FALL FOLIAGE 1. RIVER RUN TRAIL, ASPEN
Not only does this hike in Castle Creek Valley offer a ton of fall foliage, it starts at the historic ghost town of Ashcroft. Just over three miles round-trip, the hike takes you to Pine Creek Cookhouse (which closes for the season at the end of September). Explore the ghost town via a self-guided tour. An honor system for the $5 admission during fall is in place. The trail is dog friendly, but Ashcroft isnâ€™t.
2. BOREAS PASS, BRECKENRIDGE The trailhead starts about four miles from town where the pavement turns into a dirt road. A 2.5-mile loop, the trail is likely to be busier at this time of year than at other times thanks to the golden canopy overhead. Of moderate intensity, leashed dogs are welcome.
3. BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, TELLURIDE This hike is all about the destination rather than the journey. While the almost five-mile road is dirt and open to traffic, it offers several fantastic spots to see the falls, which at 365 feet are the tallest free-falling falls in the state. In autumn, the surrounding hillsides are a tapestry of glorious fall colors. All of this does mean, however, that you arenâ€™t likely to be alone.
22 Photos (top):Jessie Unruh; (bottom): Visit Telluride/ Ryan Bonneau
BEST HIKES FOR: BEER LOVERS
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
4. PASS TRAIL, DURANGO / SILVERTON A moderate trail that is accessible to almost everyone, Pass Trail will take you to the base of Engineer Mountain where you can join up with Engineer Mountain Trail and head to the summit if you are looking to burn more calories (to be replenished with beer, naturally). Hikers should turn around here if they arenâ€™t up for the extended hike and head back the way they came. Bikers can take a left turn and head back down the face of the mountain through spruce, aspen and meadows before pedaling four miles along Hwy 550 back to the car park. Head back to Durango for beers at Chainless Brewing, Animas Brewing Company, Steamworks Brewing Company, Ska Brewing Company or Carver Brewing Company.
5. FISH CREEK FALLS TRAIL, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS With four different options, this is a very popular trail in the area. A four-mile drive outside Steamboat Springs, there is a wheelchairaccessible overlook for the falls (0.25 miles one way) as well as a dirt trail if you want to go to the base of them. The trail is 2.5 miles long one way to the second waterfall and 6.5 miles one way to Long Lake if you cross the historic bridge. Breweries in Steamboat Springs for your well-deserved beer are Mountain Tap Brewery, Storm Peak, Butcherknife, and Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill.
6. PERIMETER TRAIL, OURAY A beautiful loop of just under six miles that circumnavigates the town from on high - and therefore offers great views - this trail is popular which means you almost certainly wonâ€™t be alone. The moderate trail has a waterfall and some sections that require your full concentration. Leashed dogs can use the trail. Stop in for a post-hike beer at Colorado Boy Southwest Pub, Ouray Brewery, Red Mountain Brewing and Ourayle House Brewery aka Mr. Grumpy Pants. @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photos (top to bottom):Craig Butler; Larry Pierce / Steamboat Chamber; Period Communications
BEST HIKES FOR: FAMILIES 7. ORO GRANDE TRAIL SILVERTHORNE At just over seven miles out and back, the Oro Grande Trail near Dillon is as popular with hikers as it is with bikers. Open to dogs and horses, too, the trail has great views of the Ten Mile Range across Dillon Reservoir and is good for fall color spotting.
8. CEDAR POINT NATURE TRAIL BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NPS This easy 0.6-mile roundtrip hike is perfect for families with little ones or older family members. With a gentle slope, it offers the chance to see a wide range of local fauna as well as the chance to peer into the “Black” from two overlooks. You can also see the famed Painted Wall, the tallest cliff in the state from here, too.
9. KENOSHA PASS PARK COUNTY Combining an easy hike and stunning foliage, Kenosha Pass Trail is a popular spot to see the autumn colors. Part of the Colorado Trail, arguably the most popular section, it is likely to be very busy between late September and early October when the aspens are in full fall mode. The views really open up about three miles on the trail east of Highway 285, which is Colorado Trail segment 5.
24 Photos (top to bottom):Bill Linfield; Victoria Stauffenberg / NPS; Gary Nichols
BEST HIKES FOR: END OF SEASON 10. GATES OF LODORE DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT Two miles out and back, this hike isnâ€™t technical and is fine throughout autumn unless there is snow on the ground. The view at the end of the trail of the entrance to Lodore Canyon is what people come for. The trail head is accessible directly from the campground, which is open year round.
Photo: Cindy McIntyre / NPS
11. RABBIT’S EAR TRAIL FRUITA Just outside Fruita, McInnis Canyons NCA has several great hiking trails. Rabbit’s Ear Trail in Rabbit Valley is a 5.6-mile loop that climbs 700 feet and offers beautiful views of the Colorado River and Grand Mesa. It is only open to hikers.
12. DEVIL’S KITCHEN TRAIL GRAND JUNCTION Devil’s Kitchen Trail, located in Colorado National Monument, is less than a mile long but takes hikers on a gradual ascent to the Devil’s Kitchen, a natural grotto formed by a circle by huge upright boulders. The short length and very gradual climb makes this a great hike for pretty much all ages and ability levels.
Photos: Go Fruita
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13. HORSE COLLAR ARCH, URAVAN In the area of Montrose County known as the West End, Horse Collar Arch is just north west of Uravan on Highway 141 and takes hikers down to a unique “arch” that has been cut by runoff creating a 100 ft plunge to a pool below. At just one mile round trip, the hike can be extended slightly by following a faintly marked trail for an extra 0.4 miles each way to the river.
14. EAGLE VALLEY TRAIL IN GUNNISON GORGE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA, MONTROSE AND DELTA COUNTIES A short drive from Montrose, the GGNCA is surprisingly secluded. You might see another hiker two or a few mountain bikers, but that is likely going to be it. Eagle Valley Trail (1.25 miles one way) is a nice but short hike, but it does connect to Sidewinder Trail which will take you 20 miles north through the NCA if you want to go that far.
15. PENITENTE TRAIL, DEL NORTE Known as one of Colorado’s best rock climbing destinations, Penitente Canyon is not far from the unincorporated community of La Garita. Named for Los Hermanos Penitentes, a Spanish religious sect that favored Penitente Canyon for its solitude in the 1880’s, Penitente Canyon Trail is a short trail that goes right through the canyon. While this area is wildly popular with rock climbers and, to a lesser extent, mountain bikers, this trail doesn’t allow bikers so solitude is all but guaranteed. 27 Photos (top to bottom):West End Trail Alliance; Period Communications; Renee Garfias / BLM
fall for the “real”colo
more peaks than pe VISITMONTROSE.COM
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PONY UP Enduring images from Western
movies of horses galloping between
the red rock mesas, cliffs, and buttes of the West bring tens of thousands of visitors to Colorado and the region every year to see where the West was won. But mounting one of these majestic steeds is an altogether different way to experience Colorado. Here are a few places where you can do just that.
Photo: Matt Inden / Miles
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Sable Mountain Outfitters, Meeker
Long Ridge Outfitters, Creede
In Meeker, in Rio Blanco County, Sable Mountain Outfitters offers guided rides in the White River National Forest and Flat Tops Wilderness areas with fall being a particularly beautiful time of year thanks to the quaking aspens. Depending on your experience, you will be paired with a horse that is best for you, whether that is sure-footed and gentle to somewhat more spirited horses.
Long Ridge Outfitters at Freemon’s Ranch just outside Creede offer oneand two-hour rides as well as day and overnight trips to the high country for fishing and sightseeing. Depending on the weather, trips are typically available through most of October.
Action Adventure Trail Rides, Ouray Action Adventure Trail Rides offers a range of rides including trail rides and wilderness pack trips that can be as long as seven days and six nights. Through Oct. 15, Action Adventure Trail Rides offers the chance to explore the alpine landscape above Red Mountain Pass.
Triple G Outfitters, Vail The oldest family-owned and operated horseback riding stable in the Vail Valley, Triple G offers rides for everyone from beginners to experienced equestrians while the ranch setting offers breathtaking views of the Sawatch Range, Castle Peak and Red and White Mountain.
Breckenridge Stables, Breckenridge Breckenridge Stables offers visitors the chance to explore the Ten Mile Range and experience incredible, panoramic views of the Continental Divide. In operation since 1976, they have over 100 horses to choose from. Breckenridge Stables leads rides until Sept. 30.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Stables, Nathrop For trail rides in the Salida and Buena Vista area, there is Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Stables. Offering trail rides for children as young as five (those younger can take a pony ride at the stables) through meadows and past creeks, options range from an hour to multi-day pack trips that take guests deep into the mountains.
Buck’s Livery, Durango Down near Durango, Buck’s Livery sits right on the edge of the spectacular San Juan mountains. Offering rides from an hour long to full day as well as a special “proposal” ride, there are also several different kinds of pack trips. The trail riding season at Buck’s runs through September.
Telluride Wranglers, Telluride Telluride Wranglers offers a variety of trail rides that take guests up into the mountains. For something more involved, the Cowboy Camp Cattle Push offers guests the chance to learn basic horsemanship as well as roping, cowboy shooting and how to round up cattle. Telluride Wrangles also offers trail rides through September.
32 Photos: BLM
WILD STALLIONS Colorado is also home to wild horses. Managed by the BLM, there are four wild horse herd management areas on around 400,000 acres.
public rangelands which are offered to the public for adoption. Unadopted animals are cared for on open pastures for the rest of their lives.
Totaling 812 animals, the BLM routinely removes horses as part of an effort to maintain healthy horses and burros on healthy public rangelands. Since 1971, the BLM has removed nearly 4,400 animals from
A great place to see these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat is the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area eight miles northeast of Grand Junction. Encompassing more than 36,000 acres of rugged
canyons and plateaus, the area is beautiful in its own right, but to see wild horses running free is real treat. The other three herd management areas are Sand Wash Basin, which is about 48 miles west of Craig in Moffat County, Spring Creek Basin between Norwood and Dove Creek, and Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area southwest of Meeker. 33
AUTUMN AMONG THE DUNES YOUR GUIDE TO GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE THIS SEASON
the dunes. Aspen trees typically peak at lower elevations at the start of the month. By mid-October, cottonwood trees around the dunes are also a deep and rich gold, so get your camera out and make everyone who doesn't live here envious. November is essentially early winter at this elevation, with highs averaging 46 degrees during the day and lows dipping to a very chilly 20 degrees at night. With hiking up dunes being such sweaty work, you will need several layers because you’ll be cold to start with but you will quickly heat up! While most days are sunny, there is always the chance of a winter storm, so be prepared. This is also a good time to see elk and pronghorn in the grasslands in the early mornings and evenings as the park quietens down. While visitation is typically around one-seventh of what it is in summer, Thanksgiving weekend will likely see a spike, so plan ahead. A very important thing to remember in November is that hunting season may have started, so if you are hiking in higher portions of the mountains (hunting is not permitted in any areas near the dunes), wear bright colors and be alert. Be sure to check with rangers about where it’s safe to travel during the fall and winter hunting seasons.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is as spectacular as it is otherworldly. Venturing out among the highest dunes in North America offers a very unique Colorado experience you simply can't find anywhere else in this great state, but with the dunes taking up less than one-eight of the park and preserve, there is so much more to explore. Autumn is arguably the best time of year to visit Great Sand Dunes thanks to the combination of great weather and the tailing off of visitor numbers after summer. The juxtaposition of high desert and the craggy peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range makes this entire area truly special, and even though it may be a minnow compared to other parks in the system at just under 150,000 acres, you can find both adventure and solitude.
MONTH BY MONTH With an average high of 71F and a low of 42F, September days are typically sunny and calm although there will be occasional storms to keep everyone on their toes! Bear in mind that the dunes can still get up to 150F in the early afternoon in September. Elsewhere, aspen trees start to turn their trademark gold at higher elevations with the wave of color filtering down to lower elevations by late September. As the month moves on, you may well wake up one morning to find the nearby mountains dusted with snow. Temperatures drop further in October but daytime temps are still pretty pleasant with an average high of 60 degrees and a low of around 32 degrees. As October progresses, you might even experience some snow on
Whether you’re looking for a gentle walk or a tough workout, you’ll find it and everything in between - here, and at this time of the year, there are some spectacularly beautiful hikes. Hiking is allowed on the dunes yearround and although you might see footprints from other hikers, there are no official hiking trails. Bring a compass or stay within sight of the visitor center to avoid an unwelcome night under the stars. The famed Star Dune, which rises 750 feet from the San Luis Valley floor, is a very tough workout and will almost certainly take you longer than you think - just remember it is two steps forward and one step back when walking uphill in sand. Elsewhere, the park is also home to six 13ers - that’s peaks above 13,000 feet - so if you’re looking for a strenuous hike, you’ll find it here.
The 11-mile Sand Ramp Trail is a forested trail that travels south to north with Medano Creek on your left and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on your right. After the first two miles, the trail changes to sandy soil and sometimes just sand which makes it tougher than it sounds. The Sand Ramp Trail also provides access to the park’s seven established backcountry sites. And that is just the tip of the dune, so to speak. There are plenty of overnight options, too, if you are looking for a multi-day hike.
SANDBOARDING When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and at Sand Dunes that means skidding down the dunes on a board or sled, but remember, regular sleds or snowboards won’t work, so pick up a rental at the lodge just outside the park entrance until October or year-round at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa.
SANDBOARDING TIPS Get High: Getting all the vertical you can is the key to a good run. It takes a lot of time and even more effort to reach the top of the higher dunes, but you will simply be wasting your time if you try to surf or sled down an inferior dune. Put the effort in and reap the reward. Wax: Friction is the enemy of the sandboarder, so grab some wax and get lubing. Technique: Get yourself to the edge of the dune with a few small hops. Then, with the board’s nose pointing downhill, drop in with your dominant foot forward. Lean back and bend your back knee. Be sure to look in the direction you want to go. As you start your descent down the dune, keep your body weight on the back of the board. To turn, apply pressure on your toes and heels.
Photos (above): NPS; (below): Period Communications
A STAR(GAZER) IS BORN As a designated International Dark Sky Park, there are few places better to see the night sky in all its cosmic glory than Sand Dunes. Autumn is also great for seeing and photographing the Milky Way, and so whether you're a budding astrophotographer or just want to be overwhelmed with how insignificant you really are, on a cosmic level that is, moonless nights at Sand Dunes are for you. Visibility tails off as the weeks and months progress, but it is still likely going to be fairly visible during early October. In autumn a number of notable constellations are visible, including the zodiac constellations of Aquarius, Aries and Pisces, as well as Andromeda, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Pegasus, Triangulum, Cetus and Cepheus, to name but a few. To help you find them and appreciate whey they are so named, download the Sky Map app. Just point and, well that’s it. It’s bordering on witchcraft.
It is a scenic drive throughout the year but it’s spectacular in late September and early October when fall colors are peaking. If you don’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle, Pathfinders 4x4 are the only authorized Jeep tour company in the national park.
Roadside camping is permitted only at 21 numbered campsites in the park beginning 5.2 miles from where the road begins near Piñon Flats Campground. These designated sites are free of charge and available on a first come first served basis.
The best and most unique camping option is in the dune field Camping is permitted anywhere in the 30-squaremile vastness (outside of the day use area - a 1.5-mile hike over the dunes). Only plan to camp when the weather is calm, particularly if there is a chance of thunderstorms with lightning, there is a limit of six people per party and a limit of 20 parties per night. Permits are first come first served but they are free. No campfires.
September is when first come first served backcountry permits become increasingly easier to acquire, as do spots at Piñon Flats Campground (although these can be booked up to six months in advance via Recreation. gov). Any spots not reserved online become first come first served. The campsite usually fills up every day until it closes at the end of October.
GO OFF ROAD Medano Pass is a rough 22-mile road connecting Great Sand Dunes with the Wet Mountain Valley and Colorado State Highway 69. It isn’t recommended that anything other than a four-wheel drive be used to tackle it mainly because it crosses areas of deep sand and traverses Medano Creek nine times. It also passes through bighorn sheep country.
Page 40 - Spotlight On Alamosa
Smack dab in the middle of the mystic San Luis Valley, Alamosa is the perfect destination to visit for a fall getaway
Page 48 - Creede: 24 Hours
Quite possibly one of Coloradoâ€™s most picturesque mountain towns, Creede has plenty on offer to fill a 24-hour itinerary
Page 54 - Road Trip: Grand Mesa Loop Grand Mesa comes alive with fall foliage in the autumn making it the perfect time to explore the area
Photo: Bob Seago Photography
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ALAMOSA @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
Alamosa is an authentic Colorado experience. It is fair to say the town of around 10,000 isnâ€™t particularly fashionable with urbanites from Denver or those who visit the state specifically for the snow-capped ski resorts along I-70, but it oozes authenticity along with a healthy does of history, culture and a burgeoning farm-to-table movement. At the heart of the San Luis Valley, Alamosa is less than five hours from Grand Junction, four hours from Denver and less than three hours from Durango and is absolutely worth a visit. Alamosaâ€™s history dates back 11,000 years to when Native American Paleo-Indian cultures inhabited the area. Spanish explorers arrived in the late 16th century and the Westward expansion and a boom in mining in Colorado started Alamosa towards its current incarnation. A stroll around downtown, taking note of some of the beautiful buildings, gives this history a tangible quality by showcasing several different architectural trends that found their way to town, from late Victorian to Mission Revival to Art Deco. The best way to see these historic buildings is to take a self-guided
Photos (cover): Period Communications; (top): Savannah Schlaufman; (middle and bottom): Period Communications
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walking tour. The City of Alamosa has a printed brochure with information about 26 buildings. Alamosa was a major point on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and for half a century commercial and passenger trains passed through on their way to and from Denver. The narrow gauge supplied ore, lumber, cattle, sheep and farm products to the developing valley while shipping agricultural and mining products out. The first building on the walking tour is the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot. Over a hundred years old (it was built to replace an earlier depot that was destroyed by fire), it is now a Colorado Welcome Center and home to the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. A big draw for train enthusiasts, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad begins in Alamosa and travels over La Veta Pass. With several different excursions throughout the year, including a Mountain Rails Live concert series in the summer, autumn offers the chance to see the incredible palate of fall colors which contrast with the evergreens and Colorado’s famously blue skies. If you’re still hankering for more history, a visit to the San Luis Valley Museum on Hunt Avenue should satisfy you with educational displays featuring artifacts, photographs, antiques and collectibles portraying early
Photos (clockwise from top right): Period Communications; Kale Mortensen; Visit Alamosa; Savannah Schlaufman
ranch and farm life. There are also exhibits of Native American artifacts, information on Hispanic settlers and the very interesting settling in the area of a Japanese-American community. There is, of course, early railroading miscellany, too, as well as Zebulon Pike’s trunk, he for who Pike's Peak is named. The museum is part of the Museums of the San Luis Valley group.
ELSEWHERE Cole Park, northwest of downtown, is a quaint park that hosts various events and live music from time to time, mostly in summer. A walk along the Rio Grande River from Cole Park will take you, eventually, to tiny Blanca Vista Park where you can get a fantastic view of Mt. Blanca, the fourth highest mountain in Colorado at 14,351 feet. There is Cattails Golf course if you want to hit a few balls, and less than 15 miles southwest of town is the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center. One of three national wildlife refuges in the valley, the 11,169acre refuge has a mission to provide food, cover and breeding habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife and is perhaps best known for the biannual sandhill crane migration which sees more than 20 thousand cranes pass through the valley. The migration peaks in mid-March and mid-October. Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is less than 20 miles west.
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Photos: Period Communications
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REGIONAL FUN Alamosa itself is good for a few days of wandering, eating and learning about the area’s history, but if you’re planning on a slightly longer getaway, you will need to look at what the valley has to offer. In fact, it’s what’s close to Alamosa that makes the town a great jumping off point for several days of exploration. Undoubtedly the most popular nearby attraction is Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. THE draw for the area, Alamosa benefits directly from the volume of people who visit the park every year. As spectacular as it is otherworldly, the highest dunes in North America offer a very unique Colorado experience and autumn is arguably the best time of year to visit. With the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range contrasting with the beautiful dunes, the park offers both adventure and solitude. And speaking of solitude, the park was recently designated an International Dark Sky Park and offers unrivaled opportunities for stargazing and astrophotography. Also, check out Zapata Falls on your way to the park if you have a four wheel drive vehicle. Read more about sand dunes on page 34. Then there is the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in nearby Mosca. Started back in the 1970s by Erwin and Lynne Young, what eventually became the Colorado Gators Reptile Park started as a tilapia farm (made possible thanks to geothermal water in the valley). As a way to dispose of dead fish and the remains of filleted fish, the Youngs purchased 100 baby alligators. Naturally, people wanted to see them
and the park opened in 1990. In the intervening almost 30 years, the park has also become a sanctuary for exotic pets with people dropping off alligators, pythons, tortoises and iguanas among other species. The Greenhouse at Sand Dunes Pool is a relatively new addition to the area and offers adults-only soaking yearround inside a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse. There are three small soaking tubs with varying temperatures, a pool, a 10 person sauna, gardens, several deck and patio spaces and a bar where you can get an adult beverage! It is a few minutes north of the Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Autumn in the region is also great for hiking and biking with the Rio Grande National Forest, which encompasses the San Luis Valley and surrounding mountains, offering numerous biking trails as well as plenty of hiking trails. Penitente Canyon is the place for avid hikers, rock climbers and mountain bikers. See page 20 for more information.
EAT AND DRINK Whether you’re staying in town or have been gallivanting around the valley, there are some great places to cool off with a beer, get caffeinated or fill up pre- or post-adventure. When it comes to beer, this is Coors country, literally. The valley is where Coors grows its barley, or more accurately barley is grown for them. However, the craft beer movement made it to town well over a decade ago when Angie and Scott Graber opened San Luis Valley Brewing Company on
Photos (clockwise from top left): Kristi Mountain Sports; Visit Alamosa; Sand Dunes Pool
Main Street back in March 2006. They have been churning out delicious craft beers ever since. Pretty much a pioneer in the valley, the Grabers and the team at SLV are still experimenting, in fact they recently released their Revenant Double IPA, a floral yet dangerously smooth brew that comes in a 8.1% ABV, while their OktoberFest will hit the taps the first week of September. Also recently released is a special release Kölsch called Imagine that was brewed for the Early Iron Festival. Stumbling distance from SLV is the second of two breweries in Alamosa. Square Peg Brewerks is a laid back place. There are no booths and they don’t serve food. It is sort of the Alamosa version of Cheers, and while it might take a while for the staff to learn your name, it is definitely a place where the community gathers. A farm-to-tap brewery, head brewer and co-owner Mark Martinez uses barley (and sometimes other ingredients) grown by the other co-owner Derek Heersink. Experimentation is big at Square Peg although there are also classic styles, too. With medals from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival under their belt, Heersink and Martinez are nothing if not adventurous. For fall, or at least until they run out, there will be an Alfalfa Farm House, a Brut IPA and the Waverly Tulip, the 2017 GABF Gold Medal Winner in the Historical Beer category, will be back. Both SLV and Brewerks use locally grown and malted barley, which is awesome, but a few miles outside town Josh Cody and his family at the Colorado Farm Brewery have taken it a step further. The Cody family have been in the area farming since the 1930’s but today they are primarily known in the beer world for their malting operation. However, they are currently on course to being known as quite possibly the only place in the world to offer estate beers. Little Alamosa having a world first might sound a little far fetched, but estate beers - basically everything that goes into a beer being grown and turned into beer on site - are not really a thing because of the logistics of being able to malt your own barley. The Codys have no such hurdle to overcome. Long story short, Josh Cody is leading the charge and the estate beers are fabulous. Yes they taste great, but there is something satisfying knowing that you can drink a 46
Photos (top and second from top: Colorado Farm Brewery; Neal Z via Yelp; Woody’s Q Shack via Yelp
beer and be able to survey the land from which it came, which is exactly what you can do at the Colorado Farm Brewery’s taproom patio. As for spots for some good local food, Locavores is a couple of miles out of town and while this place falls into the category of fast-casual, it is the use of as many local ingredients as possible that elevates it. Meats come from Gosar Natural Foods in Monte Vista, and potatoes come from Rockey Farms in Center and Seger West Farms in Del Norte among other places. The entire menu looks and sounds very appealing, however this is a great place to get yourself a Gosar sausage with the Gosar Bold (a green chile sausage with sautéed veggies, cheddar cheese and house-made garlic mayo on a flatbread pita). If you’re watching your weight, Locavores has several Lite & Fit options that are under 500 calories. Be sure to treat yourself and get a side order of local fingerling potatoes. Locavores recently started carrying beer and wine, too, including the aforementioned estate beers from Colorado Farm Brewery. For something that will stick to your ribs, Woody’s Q Shack recently opened across from SLV Brewing. Following success with a food truck (read about Woody’s and 11 other food trucks West of 105 in the summer issue here), Kyle Woodward decided to try his luck with a brick and mortar store downtown. Elsewhere, Rubi Slipper on State Street is a no nonsense place to grab American classics. For your morning cup of joe look no further than Milagros or Roast Cafe. The former is a non-profit on Main Street that supports La Puente (The Bridge), a charity that operates lots of services in the valley including an emergency shelter, 15 pantries, housing with support services, afterschool youth-stabilization services and homeless prevention resources among many more. And the latter is not only owned by the Grabers of SLV Brewing but it is next door and is home to fermentation tanks for the brewery. It is very likely the only place around that brews beer and roasts coffee under the same roof! Using ethically-sourced, locally-roasted coffee beans, their signature dark roast Wolf Creek Blend is very good. Both cafes are great in their own way.
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If you want to take some local produce home, stop by the Alamosa Farmers’ Market which runs on Saturdays until the middle of October while Wednesdays through September vendors set up at Rio Grande Farm Park.
WHERE TO STAY As for where to stay, Alamosa isn’t exactly awash with boutique hotels like other parts of the state, but there are certainly some quirky options as well as more run-of-the-mill choices. There are a few Airbnb listings, too.
Alamosa is one of those Colorado towns that partly inspired the creation of West of 105 magazine to begin with. Somewhat under appreciated, it is as Colorado as anywhere else. With all of its quirks and charms and a core group of people trying to elevate the town by being innovative and creative and melding their goals with the history and tradition of the region, Alamosa should be on everyone’s Colorado bucket list.
The dunes at Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve aren’t just any dunes, they are the highest in North America. Clear nights offer some of the most amazing stargazing you’ll experience anywhere. Free permits for camping in the approximately 30-square-mile dunefield are available in the Visitor Center and are allocated on a first come first served basis. Not far from Great Sand Dunes National Park is the UFO Watchtower. Owner Judy Messoline offers those seeking to make contact with extraterrestrials the chance to camp on her property and climb the watchtower to keep and eye out for flying saucers. Those in the know say that the San Luis Valley is a known hotbed for UFO sightings.
Photos (clockwise from top left): Locavores via Yelp; Carolyn via Yelp; Period Communications; Mo J via Yelp
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Photo: Kara Brittain at B4Studio
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CREEDE WHILE THE 2019 VISITORS’ GUIDE TO CREEDE AND MINERAL COUNTY’S CLAIM THAT IT IS “THE LAST GREAT PLACE” MAY BE A TOUCH HYPERBOLIC, THERE IS NO DENYING THAT CREEDE IS STILL SOMETHING OF A HIDDEN GEM. SMALL ENOUGH TO SEE MOST OF TOWN ON A FLYING VISIT, THERE IS ALSO PLENTY FOR OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS TO ENJOY THANKS TO CREEDE BEING NESTLED AMONG ALMOST TWO MILLION ACRES OF RIO GRANDE NATIONAL FOREST
7 AM | COFFEE & BREAKFAST Cafe Ole on Main Street is a down-to-earth spot and perfect for breakfast. People rave about their freshly baked pastries, especially the cinnamon rolls, and the sandwiches are somewhat revered thanks to them being so generously filled.
9 AM | FALL FOLIAGE FIX The aforementioned two million acres of public land that envelopes Creede offer a multitude of options for outdoorsy types, but during autumn it is the changing of the leaves that has to be seen to be believed. There are plenty of options for other outdoor pursuits, too, including fall fishing (the colors are said to be particularly good around Rio Grande Reservoir and Road Canyon Reservoir) and there are a few outfitters and guides in town if you either don’t know the area well or just want a guided trip.
Photos (top): Bob Seago Photography; (this page bottom left and right): Kara Brittain at B4Studio ; (opposite page right): Denise Chambers / Miles
Rio Grande Angler and Ramble House are both on Main Street. And if you don’t want to or can’t get out into nature on your own two feet, the fall colors can be seen from the comfort of your car along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. The 120mile journey ventures from Gunnison to South Park (or vice versa), but heading south towards South Fork from Creede will see you pass Wheeler Geologic Monument. Be sure to stop and see North Clear Creek Falls, too, which is along State Highway 149. A different drive that will delight those who love incredible scenery and the mining history of the region is the 17-mile Bachelor Loop Historic Tour. The self-guided loop winds its way through the historic mining district above Creede. Former mines and long-since abandoned ghost towns line the route while the West Willow Creek route takes you through bristlecone pine forests. There are two routes, with the east route being specified for four-wheel drive vehicles only. A guide book is available for purchase at the Creede Visitor Center with information about interpretive signs that are found along the route.
12 PM | POST-LEAF PEEPING PROVISIONS After a few hours of even modest activity, however you choose to do it, head to Kip’s Grill on Main Street. By all accounts, Kip’s is THE place in town for tacos, but they also serve Tex-Mex dishes and all round comfort food. The chipotle bacon shrimp tacos sum up Kip’s taco philosophy while the smothered green chili cheeseburger is a glutton’s delight. Depending on your energy levels, you could opt to take a guided horseback ride at Freemon’s Guest Ranch 20 miles outside Creede in the direction of North Clear Creek Falls before having lunch there. We’ve heard the hamburgers at the ranch restaurant are particularly good. See page 30 for more horseback riding opportunities.
2 PM | MINING MUSEUM In much the same way as so many places in Colorado, Creede’s history is inextricably linked with mining. With almost 100 years of mining history, Creede’s Underground Mining Museum was, somewhat appropriately, blasted out of solid rock. Built as much to tell the mining history of Creede as it was to show how a mine worked, the complex has a 600 foot drift (a near-horizontal passageway that follows the bed or vein of ore) with 22 displays, a gift shop and the Creede Community Center.
3 PM | MAIN STREET USA Creede’s postcard perfect downtown is a beautiful place to spend a few hours strolling and shopping, window or otherwise. There are several art galleries, including CWaters Gallery which has art from local and regional artists including the multi talented Kris Gosar (read about Gosar’s sausages in our Alamosa story on page 40) and the Quiller Gallery which was established in 1970 by Stephen Quiller, a painter who has lived and worked in the southern Colorado mountains for over thirty years. For something more practical, Rare Things offers designer jewelry and antiques among other things. There is also the Creede Historical Society Museum and Library in Basham Park on Main Street. The one-story wood frame depot was built in 1891-92 during Creede’s boom days.
AUTUMN EVENTS Cruisin’ the Canyon Car Show Sept. 20 - 22 Classic cars saunter along the Upper Rio Grande before lining Main Street where they are admired all weekend long. Thanksgiving Chocolate Festival Nov. 29 - 30 Two days filled with all things chocolate.
6 PM | DINNER Antler’s Ranch is about five miles outside town on the banks of the Rio Grande. The ranch restaurant offers dishes you would expect to find at any restaurant that calls itself fine dining such as roasted rack of lamb, seared salmon and filet mignon, but it is arguably for the setting that many people choose to dine here. A popular choice with locals as well as visitors, the ranch and restaurant close at the end of September for the season so be sure to call ahead to make a reservation. There are several other options depending on how hungry you are or what you feel like eating including diner-style food at Mj’s Cafe, the BBQ Bistro at Tommyknocker Tavern, Miners Restaurant offers food with a southern accent, food truck Mac Mine offers variations of mac n cheese, and Arp’s at The Creede Hotel is also popular.
REST YOUR HEAD As for where to stay, there are several nice options including Dragonfly Flats on Main Street which can be booked on Airbnb, Blessings Inn BnB and Cascada Cabins (which is owned by the same people as Cascada Bar and Grill. It is also worth noting that towns like Creede can sometimes operate at a more leisurely pace and opening hours and days are subject to change, so call ahead if you have your heart set on anything. In fact, many places close for the season, so be sure to check if anywhere of interest closes.
Photos (top left): Kara Brittain at B4Studio ; (top right): P C via Yelp (bottom): Kayela M via Yelp
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72-HOUR ROAD TRIP: GRAND MESA LOOP
The largest flat top mesa in the world, Grand Mesa has an area of about 500 square miles (about a third the size of Rhode Island). With lots of recreational activities, including a full on ski resort, Grand Mesa is also perfectly positioned for exploration of both the Grand Valley and Delta County. Photo: Visit Grand Junction
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AT A GLANCE Day 1: Grand Valley Do
Mountain biking in Fruita Wine tasting in Palisade
Day 2: Grand Mesa & Cedaredge Do
Fall foliage hike on the mesa Stroll downtown Cedaredge
Grand Mesa or Cedaredge
Day 3: Delta County Do
Fly fishing on the Gunnison River
Camping in DominguezEscalante National Conservation Area
DAY O N E GRAND VALLEY Palisade, Grand Junction and Fruita make up the core of the Valley and there is a ton on offer, from wonderful wineries to world-class mountain biking.
Morning Head to Fruita for an early morning mountain bike ride on some of
Colorado's most famous single track. There are hundreds of miles of bikeable terrain here, with something for everyone. If you want to explore outdoors but aren’t up for mountain biking, Colorado National Monument is a great place to head. You can road bike, hike or drive to take in the aweinspiring scenery.
Lunch If you want to stick around Fruita, Hot Tomato Pizzeria offers some of the best pizza in the state and arguably the most eccentric business owners around. (Google the short movie “Life of Pie” to see). If you want to head into Grand Junction and stroll the historic downtown, stop at Tacoparty. From the same culinary minds as Bin 707 Foodbar, Tacoparty showcases the best of the Grand Valley with an ever changing menu. There is also soft serve and great drinks.
Photos (clockwise from top right): Michael S via Yelp; Period Communications; Period Communications; Visit Grand Junction; Matt Inden / Miles
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Afternoon Tour the fruit and wine byway in Palisade via bike or e-bike. Visit Palisade has a downloadable fruit and wine byway PDF available here. If you’re a hard cider fan, venture to Talbott’s Farm Market & Taproom which offers delicious ciders and seasonal produce. For more cider, there is 13 Brix Cider Bistro. The taproom for Forbidden Fruit Hard Cider (itself a sister business to Varaison Vineyards and Winery), they have a menu of European-style bistro fare to accompany their lovely ciders.
Drinks and Dinner Start at Peach Street Distillers where the philosophy is if you use the finest
local ingredients the spirit in the glass will be extraordinary. Here you can sample the fruits of the valley, whether that’s juniper berries that are handpicked from the surrounding mesas to sweet corn grown less than half a dozen miles from the distillery or peaches that are so fresh “they have never seen the inside of a cooler.” For dinner, head to the newly-opened Pêche. Restaurant Open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday and on Sunday for brunch, diners can expect elevated dishes that incorporate local ingredients. Read more about Pêche on page 70.
Stay Spoke and Vine is Palisade’s newest boutique property. Beautiful, modern and pared back, it is perfectly located right in the heart of wine country.
57 Photos (top to bottom): Karl P via Yelp; Spoke and Vine Motel; Colorado Wine
DAY T W O
GRAND MESA & CEDAREDGE Soaring 6,000 feet over the valleys below, Grand Mesa is the perfect spot to head for foliage in September, while Cedaredge, at a touch over 6,000 feet, offers colors later in the season when the snow starts flying on the mesa.
Morning Get your caffeine fix and fuel up at Pressed Coffee and Wine Bar before making the 60-minute drive to Grand Mesa where we recommend spending the morning on the water. At this elevation and at this time of the year it takes a brave soul to actually get into the water, but kayaking or SUP boarding in the early autumn is fine - as long as you don’t fall in. With around 300 lakes, it is very possible to find a lake all to yourself. Water temperatures are pretty much frigid to begin with and as fall progressives they only get colder.
Aquaphobes fear not, a hike among the stunning fall foliage is around every corner. We like Lake of the Woods Trail. At just 2.3 miles one way, it is at a lower elevation which means more deciduous trees and therefore more beautiful fall foliage. This time of year is hunting season on Grand Mesa, so be sure to wear something fluorescent! If you’re visiting later in the season bring your crampons, or even snowshoes, as there is always a chance of snow. For more information about Grand Mesa and what to do there, visit the Grand Mesa National Forest Visitor Center (open through September).
Afternoon Stroll around Cedaredge’s downtown. Stop in at the AppleShed, a fine art gallery with work from dozens of artists
from all over Western Colorado. There are home furnishings on offer as well as the opportunity to try local wine from Williams Cellars, a deli and even an artist co-op. Artist Connie Williams owns the AppleShed and also happens to be the artist responsible for many of the murals that adorn downtown Delta as well as the Williams Cellars wine labels. While you are in the area be on the lookout for cider from Cedaredge’s Snow Capped Cider (to read about Snow Capped and five other cider makers west of 105 see page 64) which is available at liquor stores and local restaurants. If you’re in town on the weekend of Oct. 5 stop by Cedaredge AppleFest, and if you’re visiting in September and have more time, consider stopping in at Pioneer Town Museum. The living museum of 24 buildings on nearly five
WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION Cedaredge. A few miles southwest of town is Stoney Mesa Winery where you can try a rich Bordeaux-style blend called Rojo as well as merlot and pinot noir, while a little further away in the opposite direction is Chill Switch Winery where syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon are among the wines on offer. Both offer tours by appointment, so be sure to call ahead to arrange. Then there's the Williams Cellars tasting room inside the aforementioned AppleShed where you can try Lunar God (riesling), Hunting Ground (pinot gris) and Moondance (pinot noir).
Evening Cedaredge is a small town so expect down-to-earth cooking. Lost Mesa Grill comes highly recommended by people in the know. Expect anything between meatloaf and salmon tacos with a lime and dill aioli (both of which have been on the menu recently).
acres has hundreds of artifacts from the late 1800’s through the early and mid 1900’s.
Lunch J&S Bakeria (which is technically in Eckert, the next town over, but is just five miles away) has baked goods and pizza - and a lot more - hence the name. Also in Eckert is Route 65 Burger and Fries, which locals claim is the best burger in Delta County. For dessert a visit to Drost’s Chocolates just up the street is a must, assuming you catch them on a weekend when they are open.
There are, somewhat surprisingly, lots of options up on Grand Mesa including cabins and a suite at Grand Mesa Lodge. There is also Thunder Mountain Lodge as well as Kiser Creek Cabins. In Cedaredge there is the Creekside Bed and Breakfast, while a short drive south of Cedaredge is the Lodge at Black Canyon Anglers (the lodge closes for the season in early fall so be sure to check).
If you are hungry and want to eat straight after your morning activity atop the mesa, Grand Mesa Lodge has a fullservice restaurant and bar. If you want to spend the night on Grand Mesa, this is a good option as there are several quaint cabins on offer right on Island Lake. If you're a wine lover, you’ll love exploring the wineries in and around
Photos: (clockwise from top right): Stoney Mesa Winery via Yelp; Lost Mesa Grill via Yelp; Grand Mesa Lodge via Yelp; Alisha E via yelp; J&S Bakeria via Yelp; (opposite page): Visit Grand Junction
DAY T H R E E DELTA COUNTY Morning Before heading to Delta for the day, grab breakfast or coffee in Cedaredge. Stacy’s On Main is open Tuesday through Saturday 6.30 am to 4 pm and offers breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, pastries and even parfaits, while the eclectic looking Coffee Barn is great for a grab-and-go coffee. Spend the early hours trying - and no doubt mostly failing - to outwit the local fish population with some fly fishing along the 27 miles of Gold Medal Waters of the Gunnison. Gunnison River Pleasure Park is an outfitter a short drive from Delta that offers gear (including boats), guided fishing trips and rafting trips, among other things. There are other outfitters in the region too.
Lunch After a few hours of back casts and break offs head into Delta for lunch. The City of Murals actually has several very nice murals that tell people the story of Delta’s agricultural heritage.
Starvin Arvins’ is a regional chain with five locations that serves standard American and Tex-Mex fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner - think biscuits and gravy, huevos rancheros, burgers, and chicken-fried steaks. The chain is sort of famous for the enormous cinnamon rolls that come with every breakfast dish, but be warned the rolls themselves are enough for most people. There are several Mexican restaurants in Delta, too, as well as Needle Rock Brewing which prides itself on its burgers and offers a few of their own brews along with a handful of guest brews. If you need another coffee, Moca Joe’s on Main Street is a lovely little independent shop.
Afternoon The BLM-managed DominguezEscalante National Conservation Area is made up of over 200,000 acres of protected public land and has some truly breathtaking canyon country scenery including red-rock canyons and sandstone bluffs that are 600 million years old. It is a must see if you’re in the area, and as you might expect, there are plenty of recreational opportunities including trails beloved by motorized vehicle enthusiasts as well as the 142-mile Tabeguache Mountain Bike Trail which connects Grand Junction to Montrose. The NCA is also home to the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, the
shortest-known route from Santa Fe to Los Angeles between 1829 to 1848.
Stay There are several primitive campsites along the Gunnison River inside the NCA as well as the developed Big Dominguez campground which can be accessed from Highway 141 or from Highway 50. Sites include fire rings and picnic tables. Big Dominguez Creek runs through the campground year-round and is a popular fishing spot. Grab some provisions and spend the night.
WESTOF105.COM Photos (top right, middle and bottom right): Bob Wick for BLM; (bottom left) Rita B via Yelp; (above left): Period Communications
DRINKING & DINING
Page 62 - Autumn Produce
Take a look at Coloradoâ€™s bounty of fall produce - stock up now for winter and beyond
Page 64 - Colorado Ciders
Six cider producers west of 105 are turning out some seriously good ciders - the perfect fall drink
Page 70- Restaurant Profile
PĂŞche. Restaurant makes its debut in Palisade and offers upscale cuisine in a casual atmosphere
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
AUTUMN PRODUCE Colorado is a hotbed of produce production and autumn is that time of year when farm stands and orchards are bursting at the seams with apples, corn, pumpkins, peaches and, of course, the world famous Pueblo Chiles (sorry New Mexico) among others. And not only does a lot of this produce make it on to menus
across the state and the country, it is also turned into delicious drinks and pungent pickles and preserves So whether you want to pick your own from an orchard, shop at a farm stand or farmers’ market or just attend a festival that celebrates the bounty of harvest, read on to see what you can expect this fall from the land.
An enduring image of fall in Colorado is barrel roasters blistering chilis and turning them into that staple of Southwestern cooking. Hatch chilis are good but Colorado’s Pueblo chilis are king of the capsicum.
There is no debate as far as we are concerned that Olathe corn is as good as it gets. Available statewide for a pittance, we love ours simply cooked and slathered in butter.
CEDAREDGE APPLEFEST CEDAREDGE OCT. 3–6, 2019
CARBONDALE POTATO DAY PARADE & CELEBRATION, CARBONDALE OCT. 5, 2019
COLORADO HARD CIDER FESTIVAL HOTCHKISS OCT. 26, 2019
A fall tradition since 1977, more than 20,000 fruit lovers pack into tiny Cedaredge in Delta County each year to sink their teeth into delicious locallygrown apples.
This 110-year-old festival is the longestrunning community event in Carbondale, which once rivaled Idaho in potato growing. The celebration includes a cookout, games and entertainment.
This event presents the opportunity to sip creations from a dozen cideries from Colorado and beyond at Big B’s Delicious Orchards, a picturesque orchard in the North Fork Valley.
YOU PICK Fruit Basket Orchards Grand Junction Until mid-November 970 434 3063 Uncle Johnny’s U-Pick Farm, Cedaredge Blackberries, grapes, peaches, plums, tomatoes and cucumbers and raspberries Call ahead 970 250 5829
Whether you like apple pies, cider or just the sensation of biting into a crisp apple, Colorado apples are available in all of those forms and more. Big B’s Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss is one of the best places to get your apple fix, but it isn’t the only one.
A food staple in the US, Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the second largest fresh potato growing region in the country and the 150 families that grow there produce a staggering amount of potatoes.
Orchard Valley Farms, Paonia You pick until end of October Peaches, nectarines and pumpkins 970 527 6838 Big B’s Delicious Orchards, Hotchkiss Check website for current list of what is available. No appointment necessary 970 527 1110
SHOPPING TIPS Sweet Corn Sweet corn should have fresh green husks with silk ends that are free of decay. Ears should be evenly covered with plump, consistently sized kernels. Avoid corn with discolored or dry-looking husks, stem ends, or kernels.
PUMPKINS When it comes to fall produce, there is nothing more quintessentially autumn than the pumpkin. Whether you’re eating pumpkin soup, drinking a pumpkin spiced latte, running around in a pumpkin patch or carving one into a jack-o’-lantern, pumpkins ARE fall.
HONEY Fall is when honey can be harvested one last time. Pots of this food of the gods are then either stored or turned into all kinds of delicious products like mead and Colorado honey whiskey.
Potatoes All potato varieties should be uniformly sized, fairly clean, firm and smooth. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, soft dark spots, cut surfaces or green appearance. Apples Choose apples that are firm to the touch, without bruises, with good color and a pleasant smell. Avoid fruit with bruises or broken skin. 63
CIDER HOUSE RULES Colorado is rightly known as a beer mecca, and there are some excellent spirits and some fine wines produced here, too, but there is also a cadre of cider makers that are attempting to bring cider back into the mainstream - and it might just be working.
WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING
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When Prohibition went into effect on Jan. 17, 1920, the manufacture, importation, sale, and transportation of alcohol became illegal, however, the Volstead Act did allow wine and cider to be made from fruit at home. That much is true, however, what follows is often an amalgamation of myth and fact. Some say that overzealous temperance supporters and FBI agents destroyed many apple orchards and along with them heirloom apple varieties that had been providing the raw material for cider since colonial times. Others put the decline of cider down to beer becoming more economically attractive thanks to industrialization, grain being less perishable and easier to ship and store as well as German and Irish immigrants bringing beer making traditions to the US with them. Whatever happened, cider fell out of favor after being widely popular with everyone from working people to presidents - several of them in fact. Here are six cider producers west of 105 that are producing everything from modern flavor combinations to ciders that follow old world traditions - and a mix of the two.
1. FORBIDDEN FRUIT HARD CIDER
Forbidden Fruit Hard Cider is a sister brand to Varaison Vineyards and Winery in Palisade. Launched under the Varaison Vineyards winery license in 2013, there was just one flavor initially - Apple Cinnamon that used Saigon cinnamon sticks for their version of apple pie in a bottle. Production was quickly outpaced by sales, so the team took a step back and cidermaker Andy West went back to school and got a Master of Science in Food Science. The brand relaunched in 2015 with four flavors. The ciders at Forbidden Fruit aren’t overly sweet, thanks to a mantra that flavor should not be sacrificed for sweetness, and are produced much like wines - some are spiced, some flavored and others oaked. 66
13 Brix Cider Bistro in Palisade is the tasting room for Forbidden Fruit Hard Cider where the following can be found (along with wines from Varaison): Apple Cider (fermented with Champagne yeast on American Oak and spiced Saigon cinnamon sticks), Cherry Cider (an apple juice base, fermented with Champagne yeast on American Oak and flavored with dark sweet cherries post-fermentation), “Just Peachy”
(Palisade peaches are pressed and fermented with Champagne yeast on French Oak and aged with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans for thirty days) and Cranberry Apple (sweet apples contrasted with tart cranberries fermented with Champagne yeast). There is also a hard pear cider (or perry) and a very interesting sounding blueberry lavender cider.
WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING of Talbott’s Cider Company founder Charles Talbott (with Christopher Leader as co-founder) moved to the Grand Valley and became one of the first people to plant an orchard in the Palisade area. The first cider mill was constructed in 1983, and as production increased in the 1990’s a larger mill was built. Today, Talbott’s produces seven canned ciders’ Alpine Start (a semi-sweet cider), IPC (a hopped cider), Scrappy Apple (a tart dry cider), the Colomosa (Talbott’s cider version of a mimosa), Grow a Pear (a perry with splash of riesling), Summer Sunset (a peach cider), and Alpine Winter (a cloudy cider mulled with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and clove). Talbott’s also have three special releases: the Finn Iced Cider which is aged for six months in rum barrels; Neva, an iced dessert cider; and Opal, a delicate iced cider that highlights the light and tropical aromas of opal apples.
2. SNOW CAPPED CIDER
Snow Capped Cider, or at least the apple growing aspect of it, has a history going back around 100 years when James Howard Williams and his wife Bertha moved his family to Cedaredge in the early 1900’s and began growing apples and various stone fruits. The family was in growing, packing and shipping fruit for around a century until Ty (the great-grandson of James) and his wife Kari created Snow Capped Cider in 2014. Snow Capped currently have seven canned ciders: Sour Cherry, Colorado Peach, Plum Lemongrass, Honeycrisp, Magna Vino, 6130’ Dry, and a perry called JalaPEARno with, as you may have guessed jalapeño; and two bottles, the Cider Makers’ Reserve and Habanero Lime.
3. TALBOTT’S CIDER COMPANY
Talbott’s Cider Company has a history dating back to the early 20th century when the great-great-great-grandfather @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
4. BIG B’S
Big B's, which is one mile west of Paonia, was started as a juice company in 1973 by Bernie Heideman and stayed that way until 2002 when the company was bought by the Schwartz family. With a solid foundation to build on, the Schwartzs expanded into hard cider making among other things. The orchard that is the foundation of Big B’s was planted in 1965 by Bob Kokes and became part of the company in 2006. Today, Big B’s has a wide range of products including a good number of hard ciders including some flagship products as well as some creative ciders including a semi-sweet, a cider with tart cherries, a straight up dry cider and a peach and apple cider. Then there is Awesome Sauce, a cider with blood orange that has been fermented with saison yeast, and the Ciaison Grand Cru, a limited edition that is made with organic West Elk Winesap apples, tart orange peel, coriander seeds and is fermented with a traditional French saison yeast before being aged in French oak chardonnay barrels.
5. NEW AVALON GROWER CIDERS
New Avalon Grower Ciders, much like Forbidden Fruit, come from the same fan of fermented beverages that produce Jack Rabbit Hill Farm Wines in Hotchkiss, namely Lance Hanson. The three ciders and one perry are classic ciders that are fermented dry. Each one is single origin, which is to say made from apples or pears from a single orchard with the fruit being crushed and whole fermented (juice, pulp, skins and seeds) which, Hanson says, gives the ciders (and the CapRock brandies that are distilled from what’s left) layers of complex flavors. Hanson likes to compare his ciders to wines in that there is distinct fruit expression in these old-world-style ciders. New Avalon Filigreen Cider is a biodynamic cider that is both complex and rich and is made from classic heirloom apple varieties grown at Filigreen Farm in Boonville, CA, for which it is named. The organic New Avalon Pale Cider is made from whole
Braeburn and Jonathan apples grown at Ela Family Farms, which is just six miles down the road, with a sprinkle of dried hops grown at Jack Rabbit Hill Farm and pink rose buds. And the Spitzenburg Cider, made with what is said to have been Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple, is a dry cider made in an old-world style that has layers of complexity. The apples for the Spitzenburg are also grown at Ela Family Farms.
6. FENCELINE CIDER
Fenceline Cider in Mancos is dedicated to reviving America’s cider tradition by working with historic local orchards to build quality cider from the apple up. Those apples undergo cold, slow fermentation that produces a drier, more delicate apple flavor. With varietals that date back nearly 100 years, Fenceline crafts ciders that hark back to classic versions from England and France. Current ciders include: Seedling, Fenceline’s take on the modern American classic cider, is slowly fermented during cool autumn days, Seedling is off-dry with a light apple aroma; Thunderbolt, which utilizes wild native yeast, is a cider that brings together Dolgo crabapples and cellarconditioned late-season fruit, which is then aged in French oak casks to mature to its full potential; and Whip & Tongue, Fenceline’s interpretation of a bittersharp cider which is made with Colorado-grown, English-style cider apples aged in French oak casks. Balanced and fruit forward, this cider has rich layers of tannin and malic acid. Fenceline also has some special ciders that are the product of very limited quantities of very unique and interesting apples that never leave the property. They are only available on tap at the cider bar, so stop by and see what creations are available that day.
Matthew Chasseur and his wife Ashley opened Pêche.Restaurant in Palisade in August this year. We spoke to the New Hampshire-born head chef and co-owner about his culinary career and why he and Ashely decided to open a restaurant in rural Colorado With a resume that is pretty much as impressive as they come, it is more than a little surprising that Matthew Chasseur has ended up in little Palisade after a culinary journey of around 20 years that has seen him train and work in New Hampshire, New York, London and Chicago. Chasseur’s introduction to the world of food, real food that needed to be caught or grown, plucked, gutted or cleaned, began when he was a child in New Hampshire. “I came from a family that hauls its meals from the soil, the woods, and the waters of New Hampshire,” he says on the Pêche. Restaurant website. “My father often spent his autumns in the woods. In [the] days [that followed his return], we would get lessons on hanging and
aging the animal, the process of skinning, and the complete breakdown of all the different cuts.” Chasseur started his formal culinary career working for Michael Buckley, New Hampshire’s pioneer of high-end cooking, at his restaurant Michael Timothy’s when he was a sophomore in high school. This is where Chasseur says he learned the fundamentals of what it took to be a chef and restaurateur. From New Hampshire, his culinary pilgrimage took him to the Culinary Institute of America in New York City where he spent two years training before moving on to the Mandarin Oriental in London where he held a few positions during his two years there. It was here, he says, that he would be forced to utilize everything he had been taught. WESTOF105.COM
Leaving London, he moved back to New Hampshire where he spent the summer of 2007. Then in September of that year he got a call from friend Justin Albertson (who is now Chasseur’s sous chef at Pêche) that would change his life. Albertson told him about an opportunity at a restaurant in Chicago. That restaurant was Grant Achatz’s Alinea, a restaurant that since its inception in 2005 has been showered with awards including being awarded three Michelin stars from the venerable food guide every year since the guide’s inaugural edition in 2011. “September 10 I flew out to Chicago and did two days in the restaurant to feel it out and see what it was all about,” he recalls. “It took the first hour to know that this was the place I wanted to be.”
The following morning he met with Grant Achatz and Chef de Cuisine Jeff Pikus who basically asked Chasseur what they needed to do to get him to relocate to Chicago. “It was a simple response on my behalf. I just needed a few hours to go and find an apartment and I needed a week to drive out to Chicago.” Later that month on Sept. 25, Chasseur started working at Alinea. “[It was] the day precision, refinement, efficiency, tenacity, and push entered my life,” Chasseur says on the Pêche. Restaurant website. “Alinea polished my craft. Each day was spent taking a raw ingredient and pursuing countless ways to achieve the perfect balance of taste, texture, appeal, and shape, while never misleading from the integrity of its original form. Grant Achatz pushed me to chase my imagination.” Chasseur spent six years in Chicago at Alinea before leaving at the top - as chef de cuisine - for personal reasons. That was in 2013. Two years later he became the executive chef at High Lonesome Ranch in De Beque, Colorado. “Ashley and I finished up in Chicago and at that point we knew we were expecting our first child, so we decided to go and be close to our family and we would work on opening a restaurant,” he says. “We spent about a year and a half trying to put a project together, [but] we eventually got to the point where we realized that the dream we saw wasn’t going to come to fruition,” he says. “[Then] Ashley saw a posting for the ranch.” Chasseur wasn’t completely unfamiliar with Colorado having interned at the Little Nell in Aspen during culinary school, but even though he agreed to fly out to High Lonesome Ranch, he had pretty much decided this wasn’t going to be the right place for him before he even got to the ranch. “I landed in Grand Junction and immediately thought that there was no way I was living in a desert.” But after getting to the ranch and seeing how things worked, and how different it was from Alinea (where, Chasseur says, there are 25 cooks with each one being responsible for one element) and how everyone was forced to wear many hats, he was pretty much sold on the job. Wanting to spend time together as a family and raise their kids helped with the decision. “That small town in the middle of nowhere gave us that opportunity.”
aspects of not only cooking but running a business,” he says. “This is the first time during my culinary career that the numbers have become just as important as the food and service. The food, beverage and team can all be flawless, but without a sound financial operation, nothing is possible.”
Which brings us to Pêche. Chasseur says that he always wanted to open a restaurant, but Pêche is completely different from a restaurant he and Ashley would have opened five years previously. “We were striving for a three Michelin star, landmark restaurant,” he says. “Ashley and I are so happy it didn’t come to fruition.” From the perspective of the food, the desire to serve the best plates possible remains, and local, seasonal produce is key to that. Chasseur says that it was his time at High Lonesome Ranch, driving from there to Grand Junction to pick up groceries for the restaurant, that revealed all of the people in the area who were taking the time to grow delicious food. It turns out that his time at HLR was sort of an unwitting five-year journey sourcing all the ingredients he would use in Pêche. There is also a desire not to be restrained or pigeonholed by a particular type of cuisine, instead allowing creativity to flourish and ingredients to shine through, highlighted by the menu at the time of writing which includes both herb-basted lamb and jerk chicken, while a recent Facebook post informed everyone that the daily special that day would be poke made with ahi tuna that had arrived that day. Moving forward through autumn, Chasseur says that the food is going to shift. “You’re going to see more confit items and more braises. We’re really going to move in that warm direction with fresh bread, more root vegetables, Photos: Pêche.Restaurant
more jams and preserves,” he says. Preserves and jams, in particular, are a good example of how Pêche proposes to support local farms throughout the year when there is no fresh produce available. One thing that won’t be making a permanent appearance on the menu is seafood. Chasseur does bring in fish on pretty much a weekly basis, but it is a small amount with the goal of selling it out as soon as possible to ensure customers get the freshest seafood possible. And even though Chasseur says that he and Ashley are glad that the landmark restaurant they previously wanted didn’t work out, don’t be mislead. Pêche is a fine-dining restaurant, at least in terms of the quality of the ingredients and the execution of the dishes, but you aren’t going to feel as if you are in a fine-dining restaurant. That is down to a general feeling you get from Chasseur that the restaurant, while dedicated to serving delicious dishes, should be a more holistic addition to the community it is in. “I would say we are casual ... we’re not trying to do tasting menus or long, drawn-out dining experiences. We really want to drive home that this is a place to come and be comfortable,” he says. “Paired with delicious food.” Then there are more practical considerations to running a restaurant that Chasseur has learned over the years, particularly at HLR. “I have been able to stop and truly look at all
That is perhaps where wife and coowner of Pêche Ashley Fees Chasseur comes in. Ashely brings an incredible restaurant pedigree to the venture, too, having worked at Alinea (which is where they met) as the hostess before eventually going on to become the assistant general manager at Next (another Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas venture) before moving to Colorado with Matt where she ran the front of house for the food and beverage team at The High Lonesome Ranch. Ashley eventually became the general manager of Josh Niernberg’s Tacoparty in Grand Junction before Pêche became a reality. Kitchens, particularly of the type Chasseur made his name in, are notorious for being very high pressure environments, and so away from the food, Matt and Ashley are committed to making the environment at Pêche one that focuses on the wellbeing of the staff, including themselves, as much as possible. “It took moving out to the Ranch and to Western Colorado, [and seeing and experiencing the millions of acres of public land] to realize that there is a way to have a professional career and to be able to enjoy life.” And to make sure the staff have the time to enjoy what is on their doorstep, Pêche has two teams - one that prepares the restaurant for service and one that executes service. Chasseur says that translates into a happy staff and that in turn gives customers a better experience. Pêche is currently open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 5 -9 pm and for Sunday brunch from 10 - 2 pm. Reservations are highly recommended.
Page 74 - Autumn Fashion Our top apparel and accessory picks for her and him this season
Page 76 - Haven
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is a sanctum tucked away in a quiet corner of Grand County
Page 80 - 10 Historic Hotels
Colorado has a long list of storied hotels, we’ve rounded up ten worth checking into this season
Page 86 - Beauty
Spa of the Rockies in Glenwood Springs strikes the balance between luxury and pampering just right Photo: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
FASHION What we love: Packed with tech, the Prizm lenses on Oakleyâ€™s Low Key sunglasses make a genuine difference by maximizing contrast. The oversized square silhouette works with a wider range of styles than other sunglasses designed for active lifestyles.
What we love: With quilted nylon uppers, these slippersneakers really are cozy. The fact they are ankle height adds to the coziness factor. With grippy rubber outsoles and a cushioned footbed, they are versatile and can be worn all day and night.
Oakley Low Key Sunglasses $196
What we love: Functional enough to wear on a morning run, but trendy enough to wear around town, the Groundbreaker has the fantastic combination of warmth without bulk. The durable water repellent finish blocks light rain and wind while a drawcord hem keeps wind out and heat in.
Teva Ember Mid $90 What we love: A bomber-style jacket that is rain and snow resistant, the Semira features performance fleece side panels, collar and cuffs to offer warmth while the exterior fabric is lightweight and durable. Arcâ€™teryx Semira Jacket $229
REI Co-op Groundbreaker Insulated Vest $59.95 Kari Traa Rothe Midlayer $90
What we love: The super lightweight Quadro Pro is a solid piece of gear with a few cool features. We really like the ActiveShield compartment. Essentially a removable bag that when empty takes up no room, it is a vaporand-odor-resistant compartment that separates dirty clothes from clean. There is also a TSA-approved combination lock and proprietary Quadro spherical wheels.
What we love: This soft, cozy jacket is the perfect weight for autumn nights. We love the cuff sleeve color detailing and the new color options added this season.
Bionica Dalton Boot $159.95 What we love: The water-resistant treated upper makes for easy clean up after a muddy hike, while the cushioned footbed makes that hike all the more comfortable. The boots are lightweight making them ideal for everyday wear.
What we love: Made from a sustainable organic cotton blend, these baby cord pants are super soft. They also help us be responsible consumers as the company promotes environmental and social benefits through the expansion of organic agriculture. Adventura Logan Pant $82
Gregory Quadro Pro $169.95
What we love: Stay toasty while you cheer on the Broncos from the sidelines with a knit beanie that features a warming fleece lining and Broncos logo felt patch on the front.
FASHION What we love: FOR HIM Designed for anglers, quick switch interchangeable lenses come courtesy of magnets in the temple lug. One set of lenses is designed for bright sun use while a second ChromaPop Ignitor set are for low light Smith conditions. Caravan MAG Frames $249
What we love: Very lightweight with a satin lining, the Journey has a microsuede trim and a very handy inside travel pocket. The luggage gauge metal zipper is very welcome and feels sturdy. The perfect addition to an autumn wardrobe, the Lone Mountain is a versatile piece of kit, especially as autumn progresses.
New Era Cold Weather Sport Knit $29.99
Purist 18 oz Mover Bottle $48.00 What we love: The silicon dioxide interior of the Purist water bottle means no more lingering flavors, which can be a problem if you want to use it for water, coffee, beer and wine like we do! The interior glass finish is said to be unbreakable too. It is double-wall vacuum insulated and promises 12 hours hot and 24 hours cold.
Dakota Grizzly Journey Vest $72
Ecoths Griffin Sweater $92
What we love: Available in 35L or 65L, both are packed with great features that we have come to expect from Peak. The 65L has ergonomic padded backpackstyle shoulder and waist straps, but we love that they can be stowed beneath magnetically-sealed back panels. The grab handles make it versatile. The main opening on both bags is like a medical bag and allows you to see everything without rummaging. The 35 L travel duffel is carry on size and the perfect partner to the 65 L.
Peak Design 35L Travel Duffel / 65L Duffelpack $129.95 / $219.95
What we love: The merino wool blend makes this sweater super soft and warm, perfect for autumn, particularly at higher elevations. The knit sweater features ribbing details at the hem and has an interesting pointelle pattern under the arms for extra breathability.
What we love: Bringing practically and style together, these are perhaps the perfect everyday pants for the Colorado lifestyle. The trim fit is paired with functional articulation for a good range of movement, while integrated reflective elements that tuck away when not needed are good for more urban environments.
Arcterâ€™yx A2B Commuter Pants $139
Arbor Foundation LX $89.00 What we love: Combining classic style and technology, the Foundation LX shoes have a rustic look thanks to the leather and canvas uppers, while the recycled polyurethane sock liner adds a touch of tech. Regrind rubber made from the remnants of other rubber products 75 adds a nice eco-conscious aspect.
HAVEN EXPERTLY AND PURPOSEFULLY STRADDLING THE LINE BETWEEN RUSTIC AND LUXURIOUS, DEVIL’S THUMB RANCH OFFERS THE COLORADO EXPERIENCE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW IT.
ET on 6,000 acres and surrounded by millions of acres of public land, Devil’s Thumb is set up to give you whatever kind of experience you want, whether that be comprehensively relaxing or packed with adventure - or a combination of both. In keeping with the overall feel of the resort, the rooms are cozy yet luxurious. Rich wood paneling and flooring and stonework bring the outside inside, while luxurious furnishings, fireplaces and soaking tubs amp up the luxury. Devil’s thumb can accommodate an impressive 275 people, but as the accommodations are somewhat spread out, you’re unlikely to ever feel that the place is too crowded, even at full capacity. The beautiful main lodge looks out over the grazing land for the resort’s herd of wagyu cattle, which ups the ante when it comes to shortest distance traveled from farm to table and sets the scene for dining at the resort. 77
Perhaps the most interesting of the dining options at Devil’s Thumb is the Ranch House Restaurant & Saloon which is located in the original homestead that was built on the ranch in the 1930’s. The views are magnificent and are matched by the New American Mountain Cuisine served there - think bacon-wrapped elk loin, dry-aged loin of Colorado lamb and Rocky Mountain trout. The 18,000-square-foot Ranch Creek Spa offers a wide range of massages, facials, scrubs and wraps, and is great for a quick spruce up for an entire day to well and truly relax. If you want to get out and earn dinner, there are lots of activities on offer, from hiking, horseback riding, cattle driving and fly fishing (in the onproperty ponds) and when the snow starts there is snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, among other pursuits, on the 120 km of on-site groomed and tracked trails. And if you aren’t exhausted or too blissed out, there is a movie theater and a game room with a bowling alley and pool tables.
Photos: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
Photos (all): Gateway Canyons
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COLORADO HAS PLENTY OF BEAUTIFUL AND INTERESTING PLACES TO STAY, FROM YURTS AND TIPIS TO CABINS AND COVERED WAGONS, BUT FOR A NIGHT ’S SLEEP WITH A SIDE OF HISTORY, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN ONE OF THE MANY HISTORIC HOTELS AROUND THE STATE
HOTEL COLORADO Glenwood Springs
Opened in 1893 at an astonishing cost of $850,000 (the Beaumont in Ouray, which you’ll read about, opened just six years before and cost less than one tenth of that), Hotel Colorado was the idea of Walter Devereux who thought that the mining town of Defiance, as Glenwood Springs was originally known, needed a dose of European elegance as well as a touch of flamboyance which came in the form of a fountain that shot water 200 feet in the air and a 25-foot indoor waterfall. Such was the grandiose nature of the hotel that it attracted the famous and the infamous including Teddy Roosevelt, Molly Brown and Al Capone (who is said to have used a secret tunnel to smuggle liquor into the hotel during prohibition), among others.
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THE BEAUMONT Ouray
Listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places, the Beaumont Hotel was built by the Ouray Real Estate & Building Association at the height of the area’s gold boom at a cost of $75,000. Opening on July 25, 1887, it was considered by many to be the finest hotel in Western Colorado thanks to an elegant dining room and lavish furnishings. A mix of architectural styles, namely Queen Anne and French Second Empire with a Mesker Brothers cast iron facade and a slate Mansard roof, the hotel has played host to some notable names throughout its history including presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, King Leopold of Belgium, Chipeta, widow of the Ute Chief Ouray, and French actress Sarah Bernhardt among others. Tours are offered by appointment.
THE STRATER Durango Finished in the same year as the Beaumont, the Strater Hotel is another iconic Colorado hotel. Bringing the history of Durango to life, the Strater was the idea of Cleveland pharmacist Henry Strater. Durango wasn’t yet a metropolis of any kind but Strater knew that if it was to become one, it would need a grand hotel. Built at a cost of $70,000, the Strater is akin to a living museum, not only decorated with beautiful woodwork and period wallpaper, it is also home to a large collection of American Victorian walnut antiques which are scattered throughout the property, in both guest rooms and common areas. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you are welcome to walk around the lobby and get a taste of the property.
3 NEW SHERIDAN HOTEL Telluride
Photos (top to bottom): The Beaumont; Visit Durango; New Sheridan Hotel
Originally built in 1891 to accommodate the increasing number of prospectors who flowed into Telluride with hopes of striking it rich, the three-story wood-frame Sheridan Hotel burnt down just three years later. Rebuilt in 1895, this time in brick to reduce the chances of it burning down again, the new hotel was named the New Sheridan Hotel and is Telluride’s oldest and most historic hotel. A thoughtful renovation in 2008 paid homage to the property’s history by retaining and highlighting the history with Victorianstyle furnishings, details, fabrics, papers and moldings in the 26 rooms and common areas. The hotel is also home to the Historic Bar, Telluride’s oldest bar which has a beautiful carved mahogany bar and room dividers with beveled and lead glass panels.
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MEEKER HOTEL AND CAFE Meeker
The Meeker Hotel and Café were originally housed in an adobe building which had been used as a military barracks. Charlie Dunbar, one of the original partners, was shot and killed during an argument about a card game a few months after the hotel and café opened for business, while the other partner, Susan Wright, died in March of 1893. She left her real estate and personal property to her brother, Rueben Sanford Ball who constructed the new Meeker Hotel and Café in 1896 at the location of the present Meeker Hotel. In 1904, the east and west wings were added to the building. The hotel has hosted some very well-known names of the years including Billy the Kid, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Gary Cooper among others.
HOTEL JEROME Aspen Jerome B. Wheeler, who made his money as a partner in the Macy’s department store chain, facilitated the building of Hotel Jerome by donating land and loaning the two innkeepers who conceived the idea for the hotel (they wanted to build a hotel to rival the Ritz in Paris) $60,000. Going well over budget, the innkeepers, Bixby and Phillips, left before construction was complete and Wheeler was stuck with an unfinished building. He oversaw the completion of the hotel, and Hotel Jerome opened on Thanksgiving eve 1889. The three-story property had ninety rooms, steam heat, electric lighting, indoor plumbing (with hot and cold water), and the first elevator in Aspen when it opened. With its fate mirroring that of the town, the Jerome emerged from a barren period to be resurrected when the ski industry revived the town’s fortunes.
6 GRAND IMPERIAL HOTEL Silverton
Photos (top to bottom): Meeker Hotel & Cafe; Hotel Jerome; Myste French
Commissioned in 1882 by perfume importer and mill owner W.S. Thomson, the imposing Grand Hotel was completed in a remarkably short 10 months. The Grand was so grand, in fact, that for more than two decades it served as the base of operations for the town of Silverton and San Juan County as well as being home to the local post office, a bank, a general store, a doctor’s office and the Silverton Standard Newspaper in addition to housing guests. The Grand stayed open through the silver crash, the Great Depression and both World Wars, changing hands in 1951 and being re-branded as the Grand Imperial Hotel. The hotel changed hands again in 2015 when the Harper family, owners of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, purchased it and embarked on an extensive restoration project.
VICTOR HOTEL Victor Built in 1900 by the Woods brothers, the four-story Victorian brick building was a reincarnation of the original which burned down. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 20-room hotel was rebuilt to be larger than the original so the Woods Brothers Investment Company and the First National Bank as well as storefronts along the first floor could be added.
The “new” Victor also had an elevator which was used for, among other things, transporting the deceased up to the fourth floor when the ground was frozen where they were stored until the ground was thawed and they could be buried. It is for this reason that the Victor is said to be particularly haunted. Eddie is said to be partial to spooking the occupants of room 301, the room he was staying at the time of his untimely demise.
THE STANLEY Estes Park Built by inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley in 1909 after a visit to the area allegedly restored his health after suffering from consumption, the Stanley was a compromise between this wilderness wonderland and the sophisticated lifestyle he and his wife were used to back on the East coast. When it opened, the Stanley Hotel had electric lights, telephones, en suite bathrooms, uniformed servants and a fleet of cars. The Stanley is probably most famous for inspiring Stephen King’s “The Shining” after he stayed there the night before it closed for the winter in 1974. Falling into disrepair by the time King visited, it was quite likely that his visit and subsequent success with “The Shining” helped save the hotel. In the intervening period, the Stanley has undergone several rounds of renovation and today it looks as good as it ever did.
9 DELAWARE HOTEL Leadville Built by the Callaway brothers from Delaware in 1886, what is now the Delaware Hotel was originally the Delaware Block. The Victorian building served as a monument to the brothers’ home state and is estimated to have cost around $60,000 to build.
84 Photos (top to bottom): Lisa M via Yelp; Elliott W via Yelp; Michael S via Yelp
Architect George King designed the building with space for storefronts both in front and on the Seventh Street side while the second and third walk-up floors had fifty furnished rooms that were suitable for offices and bedrooms. The building was fitted with steam heat, hot and cold water and gas lights. Leadville was a classic mining boom town and during its heyday famous faces walked the streets with some staying at the Delaware including Doc Holliday, Houdini, John Phillips Souza, Butch Cassidy and Molly Brown.
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
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BEAUTY AFTER A SUMMER OF OUTDOOR ACTIVITY, BODIES CAN BE A LITTLE BRUISED AND SKIN A LITTLE WEATHERED. AUTUMN IS A GOOD TIME TO REPAY YOUR BODY WITH A LITTLE TLC AND A TRIP TO A SPA IS THE PERFECT WAY TO DO THAT.
PA of the Rockies at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is something of a surprise find in Glenwood. That’s not to take anything away from charming Glenwood, it’s just that Spa of the Rockies really is that nice. Opened in 2008, the spa has eight treatment rooms including a couples’ suite, as well as one specialized hydrotherapy room for Vichy shower treatments (a water treatment where several shower heads pour large quantities of water over a spa patron), two nail stations and five hydrotherapy tub rooms (three for women and two for men). With a sizable menu that features a group of treatments that honor the resort’s long tradition of utilizing the mineralrich waters of the area to treat all manner of ailments, there is sure to be a treatment to suit your particular needs. All signature services feature a foot treatment, a therapeutic soak in the mineral hot springs pool and access to the Athletic Club for the day. One of the most interesting treatments is “Native Awakening,” a 120-minute treatment inspired by Native American culture and purification ceremonies. Starting with a tapotement of willow branches, a mask of crushed corn and clay is painted onto the skin to absorb toxins and eliminate impurities. Next is a full body wrap while heated pieces of basalt sweat out toxins before you are cleansed with an ayate cloth. Finally, herbal compresses infused with spearmint and echinacea are applied and the treatment is finished with a full-body hydrating massage using fluorite stones and sage oil.
Photos (this page):True Nature Healing Arts; (opposite page): Theatre Aspen Photos: Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
CULTURE & EVENTS
Page 88 - Q&A: The Colorado Five
We spoke to some of the stateâ€™s finest chefs and beverage professionals about food, drinks and superheroes
Page 94 - Coloradoâ€™s Spiritual Mecca The Baca Grande near Crestone is home to spiritual centers from around the world, but how did it come to be?
Page 100 - Six Film Fests for Fall Kick off film festival season with these must attend celebrations of all things celluloid
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WEST OF 105 | CULTURE & EVENTS
INSIDE THE COLORADO FIVE Formerly the Denver FIVE, the Colorado FIVE, newly renamed for this year to reflect the sheer quality of F&B professionals that can now be found all over the state, are a group of some of the finest chefs in the state. Factor in the three-person beverage team and you basically have the Avengers of the Colorado F&B scene. Started in 2008 as a way to spotlight Denverâ€™s culinary scene, the Colorado FIVE host innovative dinners around the state and make appearances at food festivals and fundraisers representing the Centennial State. The group has also been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City every year since its inception. With a nod to James Lipton, Bernard Pivot and Marcel Proust, we had a chat with each of the members of the squad and asked them about everything from seasonal produce to their favorite superheroes.
One third of the Colorado FIVE beverage team, Henderson is the co-founder of The Storm Cellar, a winery based in Hotchkiss, and the creator of the acclaimed blog, holly & flora. Hollyandflora.com.
From repossessing cars in Alaska to slinging wieners on a Denver street corner, Biker Jim is now delighting diners with innovative takes on the tube steak. bikerjimsdogs.com.
What quality do you most admire in people? A strong work ethic and a respect of others’ time top my list. What’s your favorite cocktail?
What is your favorite meat? Caribou is right up there. Depending on the cut, a simple seasoning with salt, pepper maybe some fresh tarragon, thyme and olive oil, and either pan seared and finished in a hot oven or on a hot grill. It can be a bit toothy but man is it full of flavor.
When I’m out, I order The Last Word. I love its complexity, and Chartreuse is pretty much LIFE.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Who is your hero or heroine?
Cross country travel on a motorcycle, it’s meditation with speed!
Amelie, the character from the eponymous film. She sees life so beautifully and revels in simplicity. Favorite autumn activity in Colorado. Fall is harvest season here at the vineyard, so sleeping is my favorite activity! Joking aside, I love finding hidden pockets of aspens, going to pumpkin patches, canning peaches, and hiking in the cooler weather. Favorite super hero. Definitely Jessica Jones, Wonder Woman, and Cat Woman. I can’t pick just one. Jones takes no bullshit and shares my love of whiskey, Wonder Woman fights for justice and equality, and Cat Woman is such a solid mash-up of confidence, shrewdness, and power.
Who is your favorite musician? Way too many. Carlos Santana, Mick Box, Michael Hedges, Randy Bachman, Jimmy Page…you might notice I tend to like guitarists. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I am going to be a writer! I can write, but until I do that every day, I’ll be a restaurant guy…then I will be a writer. Who is you favorite superhero? Certainly not the guy with the bow and arrow. Next thing you know, they’ll bring out a tether-ball champ in spandex to knock the evildoers of the galaxy down from behind.
Niernberg’s restaurant Bin 707 Foodbar in Grand Junction is “a think tank for food as applied to industrial design.” A certified sommelier and fourth-generation Colorado native, the menu at Bin 707 Foodbar is packed with local and regional ingredients. Bin707.com
Another third of the FIVE beverage team, Mattioni is the co-owner and beverage manager of Q House in Denver. An active member of the Colorado Bartenders Guild, she presently serves as membership coordinator on the Guild’s board of directors. Qhousedenver.com
What’s your favorite ingredient?
What’s your favorite Colorado wine?
I don’t have a favorite single ingredient. My lens focuses on local and regional cuisine. So, anything I’m able to use to turn into a dish, I love. Today I’m excited about heirloom peppers, sumac, and badger flame beets.
The Storm Cellar is making unbelievable wine and I am currently obsessed with their off-dry riesling. We just put it on the menu at Q House and it crushes out on the patio with Szechuan peppercorn heavy dishes.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Colorado?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
As a fourth generation native who has lived all over the state, I would have to say access to the outdoors and availability of incredible and unique native ingredients.
Brown or Clear? Who is your favorite character from literature?
What’s your favorite possession? Lorrie Moore is one of my all time favorite authors, so I’d say almost any character she creates. Or Molly from Neuromancer.
Skateboard What is your favorite curse word? Sonofagotdamnnedmotherpicken’ Who is you favorite superhero? Alice Waters
Which cocktail, drink or drinking tradition would you like to revive from obscurity? I don’t know if it’s obscure, per se, but I’d love to see more people drinking out of porrons! So fun and communal Who is your favorite superhero? Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
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Bryan Jay Redniss
The third member of the beverage team, Steese is the other co-founder of The Storm Cellar. He was selected two years in a row as one of fifteen international “Sommelier Stars” to host the Sonoma County Wine Weekend. StormCellarWine.com
The New York native made his way to Colorado to pursue his dream of snowboarding and did just that for fifteen years, both competing and making snowboarding films. He eventually ended up opening The Rose, a cocktail-focused bar, bakery and bistro in Edwards that focuses on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients with recipe inspirations from all over the world. TheRoseEdwards.com.
What’s the best wine you’ve ever had? Jayme and I were gifted a bottle of ‘89 Lynch Bages from some friends when we passed our certified sommelier tests in 2007. That may be the most memorable wine experience I’ve ever had. If you were reincarnated, who would you like to be? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe a great musician or famous comedian.
What’s your favorite dish to eat on a chilly autumn day? Ice cream, pizza and tacos with side of fried chicken. Todo dias. What is the best or most interesting country you’ve ever visited?
What do you do to “zen out”
Not sure I have been there yet. They all seem to be pretty amazing. I’ll answer this question in a couple of years
I was a club DJ for many years and played under the name Big Zen, so it seems obvious that music is the answer for me.
What profession would you not like to do?
What’s your favorite autumn hike in Colorado? Lost Creek Wilderness may be tops for me in the fall, but I’m excited to spend more time exploring the Western Slope, which is still very new to me.
Telemarketer or run a diaper service... seems like a lot of other people’s piss and shit you’re dealing with. What’s a good motto to live life by? Shoot the moon. Who is your favorite superhero?
Who is your favorite superhero? Howard the Duck William H. Macy’s character “The Shoveler” from the movie Mystery Men because I basically dug a thousand holes by hand in preparation for new vine plantings. 92
WEST OF 105 | CULTURE & EVENTS
With aspirations of becoming a professional snowboarder, Walker cooked in restaurants in Breckenridge to support himself. He eventually fell in love with food and decided to pursue his new passion. He recently became the executive sous chef at Morin in Denver.
Chef and owner of The Regional in Fort Collins, Grossi worked in Boston, San Diego, Vail and Denver before moving north. TheRegionalFood.com What’s your go to autumn comfort food?
Geoduck. It’s an acquired taste.
I would say I’m a turkey pot pie kind of guy. Anything pie. Chicken pot pie... any bird will do. Pumpkin pie, too, those are always awesome.
Who would you like to see on a new banknote?
What’s your favorite thing about Colorado?
The weather and the recreation.
What quality do you value most in your friends?
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
What’s the most underrated seafood?
Spending time with my wife and my daughter. If not that, fishing.
What’s your favorite world cuisine?
What is your favorite song?
I don’t have a favorite of anything to be honest. I like working with moles because you can build flavor on top of flavor. It’s a lot more challenging than people give it credit it for.
I’m a huge Trampled by Turtles fan, so Victory by them
Who is you favorite superhero? Thats a tough one. I like Aquaman because he gets a bad rap. Nobody likes him or at least didn’t before the recent film. I also like Batman because he’s just a man with no superpowers.
Who is your favorite superhero? Spiderman. He’s very supportive when it comes to other Avengers and I play a very supportive role. Kevin also offered his thoughts on which superhero he thinks best suits the rest of the team members. Jen - Deadpool Duane - Hulk Jim - Thor Bryan - Antman
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Josh - Captain America Steve - Hawkeye Jayme - Black Widow
SPIRITUAL MECCA JUST OUTSIDE CRESTONE IN SAGUACHE C O U N T Y I S T H E B A C A G R A N D E , A P R I VAT E COMMUNIT Y ENCOMPASSING 80 SQUARE MILES. THANKS TO SEVERAL LARGE SPIRITUAL CENTERS, IT IS CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE THE HOME OF SPIRITUALISM IN COLORADO
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In 1977 Maurice Strong and his partners purchased a large ranching operation consisting of two million acres which included two parcels totaling 146,000 acres in Colorado - the Luis Maria Baca Ranch and the Baca Grande Development. Strong and his family were planning to relocate to Phoenix, but his wife Hanne said she couldn’t live there as she didn’t feel a connection to the area. They visited several different places across the country including the recently acquired parcels in the San Luis Valley. “I instantly recognized the land, felt its spirit and felt the sacred mountain welcome us,” she says on the Manitou
Photos: (clockwise from top left): Period Communications; Nikki M via Yelp; Crestone Mountain Zen Center via Yelp
Foundation website, the non-profit set up to support in-house environmental and educational programs, land conservation initiatives and the development of programs and projects being developed on land donated or sold to various spiritual and educational organizations in the Baca.
alternative community), and RediscoveryFour Corners (a camp for Native American Indians). More religious and spiritual centers have been added since.
In 1979, Hanne invited several organizations to move to the Baca after she was visited by Glen Anderson, a man known in the area as a mystic and prophet. The organizations included the Lindisfarne Association, the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies, Spiritual Life Institute, a Tibetan Order of Buddhists, the Village Group (an
DHARMA SANGHA C R E S T O N E M O U N TA I N ZEN CENTER
Here is an overview of a few of the religious and spiritual centers in the Baca.
This Zen Buddhist monastic practice and retreat center offers training in Zen meditation and practice under the guidance of head teacher Zentatsu Baker Roshi and resident teacher Zenki Dillo Sensei.
K A R M A T H E G S U M TA S H I GOMANG This buddhist temple was founded by His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism after he foresaw a place where the Tibetan culture could survive.
THE NUR ASHKI JERRAHI SUFI ORDER The Nur Ashki Jerrahi community is an order of dervishes that welcomes seekers and students of all religious and non-religious paths.
S H U M E I I N T E R N AT I O N A L INSTITUTE Inspired by the philosophy of Mokichi Okada, the Shumei International Institute helps people of the world realize that they are world citizens able to act for the common good.
CAMINO DE CRESTONE The Camino de Crestone is a week-long pilgrimage that is intended to promote religious unity and diversity. During the week (this year the walk takes place Sept. 29 - Oct. 4), pilgrims will visit several spiritual centers with a view to learning about each one.
THE CRESTONE END-OF-LIFE PROJECT And then there is the Crestone End-of-Life Project (CEOLP). This non-denominational community group promotes â€œinformed end-of-life choicesâ€? for Crestone and Saguache County residents or property owners. Among the services CELOP offers is open-air cremation. In fact, CELOP operates one of the only legal, openair cremation sites in the state. Said to return the body to its original fire and air elements, the process involves a pyre, a half-cord of wood, a wooden stretcher and a shroud. Many of these institutions welcome visitors for the day or for retreats of various kinds. Some offer overnight stays. There are a few accommodation options in Crestone, too.
Photos (top and middle): Joshua Lawton; (bottom): Period Communications
CARE FOR COLORADO THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF TOURISM TO THE STATE CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED, BUT THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN ATTRACTING TOURISTS AND OVERLOADING THE STATE’S NATURAL RESOURCES
T WEST OF 105 we try to straddle the line between the tried and tested and the unknown and the yet to be discovered. We want to ensure people have the best possible time in Colorado, whether they are visiting from another part of the state or coming from the other side of the world, but we also want to make sure people visit lesser-known spots (for both sustainability reasons and because there are some incredible places, things and experiences that do not get the attention they deserve). The Colorado Tourism Office has the same task, and we spoke with Cathy Ritter, director of the CTO, about the organization’s efforts to ensure that the increasing number of visitors to our state have both a positive and sustainable time. “Three years ago, when the CTO was developing a new state-wide strategic
plan for the Colorado tourism industry, we held a series of listening sessions around the state - 23 in all - and it didn’t matter where we were in the state, we were hearing concerns about the impacts of travelers on Colorado’s natural resources,” Ritter said. “Sometimes that was expressed as concerns about impacts on water, sometimes the impacts on land, on wildlife and on special places. It quickly became clear that this was an issue that was very much on the minds of residents and tourism stakeholders, and we, as the state tourism agency, needed to develop a meaningful response to those concerns.”
to visit popular places at different times of the year,” Ritter explains. “Every one of those itineraries includes some sort of sustainable tourism activity, too, whether it’s an educational or voluntourism activity so we can hopefully encourage and inspire travelers to visit in ways that benefit the state and protect resources.”
A year later, and the first stage of that meaningful response had been formulated.
“The other major initiative we undertook took a little more time to unfold because we were really interested in aligning ourselves with a highly credible organization to develop messaging to inspire travelers to protect Colorado resources while they were here,” Ritter said. “We looked around and ended up creating a
“The Colorado Field Guide is an online resource that contains more than 130 travel itineraries throughout the state that aim to take travelers to less visited places or to encourage them
Visit colorado.com/colorado-field-guide to see it. That was the first step of a multi-year plan. Ritter explains what else the CTO has been up to when it comes to achieving sustainability goals.
groundbreaking alliance with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics that came about in October 2017.” The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics was founded in the early 2000s by the US Forest Service and eventually spun off as a non-profit. Under the stewardship of the US Forest Service, the seven principles of Leave No Trace were developed. “We became the first state tourism agency to form a partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and that became the foundation of our messaging,” Ritter says. “We spent the first few months of our partnership crafting a message to travelers based on those seven principles which have been widely embraced by the other federal public land agencies and the outdoor retail industry, among other organizations.” That messaging became known as the Care for Colorado Principles. Since then, the Care for Colorado Principles have been spread far and wide including as part of brochure that was developed in time for the 2018 summer travel season asking visitors if the were Colo-ready. They have also been included on CTO messaging of all kinds - printed publications, on the organization’s website and via media outlets, including some truly excellent digital publications. Perhaps the most inventive and fun way the CTO has spread the Care for Colorado Principles is through a brilliant animated video. “Care for Colorado – Are You Colo-Ready?” turns the principles into a very catchy
song sung by an animated elk and a bear. You can see the video on the CTO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Be careful, because it really is an ear worm and you’ll be humming it for days. The most recent iteration of the promotion of the principles is the development of a partnership with three major tourism-based organizations: the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA), the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA), and the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association. Between them they encounter more than 20 million visitors every year, giving the CTO even better access to visitors to the state.
And that isn’t all. “We’ve also formed an alliance with the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations,” Ritter said. “What these broader alliances mean is that we are able to get the Care for Colorado Principles in front of millions of travelers who we hope will carry that message during their travels in Colorado.” And it seems to be working. “A few months ago we received some interesting results from a survey of 2,500 travelers from across the US. We asked how they ranked Colorado compared to other states and destinations in terms of how it is protecting its natural resources and they ranked Colorado first,” Ritter said.
Here are the Care for Colorado principles as sung by elk and bear from the animated video 1 Know before you go And go where fewer people go And keep yourself hydrated Disposables are overrated 2 Stick to the trails The Rocky Mountains don’t have rails. A new path may seem fun but it causes lots of erosion 3 Leave it as you found it The flowers and the trees
We don’t need to know who you dated in 1983
haze could cause a major forest blaze
4 Trash the trash 6 Keep wildlife wild Do we really need to write a clever They may be cuddly and cute lyric about putting your trash in the But give them food and trash can? And keep in mind you’d I’m telling you dude hate to find a domestic critter’s Best not get them riled leave-behind 7 Share our trails and parks In every kind of weather 5 Be careful with fire Be respectful of others’ space Make sure they’re out and won’t grow higher. Even a little cigarette We’re all in this together 99
6 FILM FESTIVALS TO BRECK FILM FESTIVAL Sept. 19 - 22
Hosted by the town of Breckenridge, the Breck Film Festival (BFF) celebrates its 39th year this September. Over 100 films will be screened in four venues throughout the fourday festival in a robust program that includes something for everyone from documentaries to films for kids. Opening the festival this year is the Billy Crystal / Ben Schwartz comedy “Standing Up, Falling Down.”
2019 ASPEN FILMFEST Sept. 23 - 29
Celebrating its 40th year, Aspen Film is set to make this a year to remember. The 40th Anniversary Filmfest will take place at the Wheeler Opera House and Metropolitan’s Isis Theatre in Aspen as well as at the Crystal Theater in Carbondale which will screen several documentaries. This year the films will range from Cannes Film Festival selections, including the Palme d’Or winner; biographies; political satires; and a world premiere. There will also be a range of panel discussions with special guests.
CRESTED BUTTE FILM FESTIVAL Sept. 26 - 29
Established in 2011, the Crested Butte Film Festival brings 80 films, including several from around the world, to little CB for four days of films and conversations. Covering narrative, documentary, outdoor adventure, children’s, and short films, there will also be talks, panel discussions and parties among other events. There will be at least eight films with ties to Colorado. A highlight of the festival will be “Into the Grand” by Aspen-based filmmaker Pete McBride who walked the 750 miles of the Grand Canyon.
O ATTEND THIS FALL ORIGINAL THINKERS Oct. 3 - 6
In just its second year, Original Thinkers is still trying to understand the turbulent age in which we live through the stories of the people who are living through it. Comprised of ten shows, all of which have a short film as part of the presentation (show eight has a feature-length film), the festival will no doubt make you consider things from a different perspective. The Secret Life of Muslims: Richard McKinney caught our eye.
Grand Junction Film Fest Oct. 6
In just its third year, the Grand Junction Film Festival will be the closing act of the Grand Junction’s 4th Annual Downtown Art Festival. Taking place at the historic Avalon Theater, the line-up includes films from both local filmmakers and those from around the state and the country. There will also be panel discussions with, among others, five-time Emmy awardwinning producer and director Neil Mandt.
TELLURIDE HORROR SHOW Oct. 11 - 13 A must-attend festival for lovers of horror, the annual Telluride Horror Show returns for its 10th year this year. Bringing the latest and best genre films from around the world to the beautiful San Juans, the festival is three awesome days of horror, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, sci-fi and dark comedy. This year will also see a screening of “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” with director Eli Craig which is appropriate given it was the closing night film at the inaugural Telluride Horror Show in 2010.
Photo: Utah Office of Tourism
SALT LAKE CITY FIVE WAYS
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N ESTLED RIGHT AT THE BASE OF T HE ROC K Y MOUNTAINS, SALT LAK E CIT Y HAS AN AMAZING SLEW OF REC REATIONAL ACTIV ITIES RIGHT AT ITS D OORSTEP AS WELL AS A THRIV ING D OWNTOWN SC ENE T HAT OF F ERS EV ERY THING F ROM S PEAK EASIES TO ART MUSEUMS. 103
STAY EAT YOUR HEART OUT
Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek is located smack dab in the middle of the city and is within walking distance of dozens of Salt Lake’s best restaurants, including Salt Stone, the hotel’s recently rebranded restaurant which is located right off the lobby.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Held in Pioneer Park until the end of October, the Downtown Farmers Market takes place every Saturday. Foodies shouldn’t miss the opportunity to chat with local deli owner Tony Caputo and friends. Known as the ‘old coots,’ they give away free advice to anybody who stops at their tent.
For a peek into SLC history, stop in at the Peery Hotel. Built in 1910, it features Early Prairie and Classical Revival architecture styles. The interior is an eclectic mix of art and knickknacks from vintage to antique. The hotel is conveniently located for exploring the museums and historic landmarks 3 downtown.
Modest in size but worth the $5 suggested donation, the Contemporary Art Museum offers interesting exhibitions on top of educational and outreach programs. The size of the museum means you can breeze through in less than an hour, but you’ll likely leave impressed by the exhibits.
With 850 guest rooms on a 10-acre property, Little America Hotel is more of a community than a hotel. The grounds are home to fountains and beautiful landscaping with indoor and outdoor pools that will keep the kids busy.
The Natural History Museum of Utah is as stunning on the outside as it is interesting on the inside. We recommend saving your visit for a Wednesday evening when admission is discounted. The later closing time means you can also catch the sunset from this prime spot.
Centrally located and as trendy as they come, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City has all of things we love about the brand a social wine hour every evening, a great ‘forget it we got it’ borrowing program, yoga mats in every room, and the place was practically as full of dogs as it was people. We rest our case.
The Gateway offers a combination of shopping, dining and entertainment. They also have all kinds of events including art strolls and pop up galleries. And stay tuned for a new boutique hotel which is slated to open in the very near future.
There is no better way for foodies to get some hands on experience than diving right into a cooking course. SLC has a variety on offer, including various offerings at the Salt Lake Culinary Center, the University of Utah (classes on offer include dumplings 101 and Scotch classes) as well as the Sur la Table in Gateway. Temple Square should be a stop on any visitor’s itinerary, particularly if you’re interested in architecture and history. Friendly volunteers abound and are always keen on answering questions and filling you in on the history of the buildings. After walking around stop by the library to search your genealogy and family 4 tree for free. Snowbird ski resort offers a range of summer activities that wrap up mid autumn. Alternatively, pack the family up and head to the mountains for some amazing autumn hikes. Fall foliage peaks at different elevations so if you plan it right you’ll be able to do some seriously amazing leaf peeping. Ax throwing is all the rage these days so it stands to reason that SLC would have its own ax throwing hall. Social Axe is housed in an old steel fabrication shop. They have four dedicated walk-in targets for experienced throwers and a beer license.
With tennis courts and a fitness center, the Residence Inn in Cottonwood has the facilities to keep you up to date with your fitness regime, but the most appealing aspect for fitness buffs is the proximity to the mountains to get a sunrise hike or mountain biking session in before you kick-off your day.
Speaking of sunrise hikes, Salt Lake City is a stone’s throw from the mountains. There are numerous hikes that can be accessed right from the city, with Ensign Peak being a local favorite. Catch it as the sun rises or sets for some good selfie action.
Colorado has its fair share of farm goat yoga, but in SLC you can do it right in the heart of the city. The Gateway offers goga (a portmanteau of goat yoga, obviously) every Tuesday.
P D T U M vi
Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek via Yelp; Mary P via Yelp; The Peery Hotel via Yelp; Matt Morgan / Visit Utah; Period Communications; Natural History Museum via Yelp; Kimpton Hotel Moncao; Tony L ia Yelp; Residence Inn at Cottonwood
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@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): Kathryn B via Yelp; Mountain Hard West Cider via Yelp; Maile106 M via Yelp; Lala P via Yelp; Derik B via Yelp; Thirst Drinks via Yelp; Ginger Street via Yelp; Alice W via Yelp; Cotopaxi via Yelp
EAT EAT YOUR HEART OUT
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The aforementioned Salt Stone offers a slew of dishes that have utilized locallysourced products. We loved the Fog River trout cakes, and the salted caramel milk shake was to die for. Elsewhere, HSL comes highly recommended.
Hard cider is all the rage in Colorado, so it’s no surprise that Utah is the same. Mountain West Cider uses local products in their beverages. The Ruby Hard Cider clocks in at a somewhat boozy 6.8% ABV but is easy drinking and crisp - perfect for autumn sipping during one of their Garten events.
Die hard foodies will know that fry sauce reigns supreme in the state of Utah. Hunt down the original fry sauce at Arctic Circle which can be purchased in 16 oz bottles. If you have a sweet tooth, stock up on delectable goodies at Hatch Family Chocolates
The area in SLC between 200 South and 400 South was given the moniker of Whiskey Street as this stretch housed saloons, breweries, billiards clubs and parlor houses. Taking its name from this, Whiskey Street is a restaurant and bar that offers up great food. Go for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.
After a drink at Whiskey Street, head to The Red Door. Offering a range of expertlystirred (or shaken if that’s more your speed) cocktails, the bar offers a sultry setting for a night out. Located right across from the Capitol Theatre, the bar is perfectly located for a post-performance tipple.
Phillips Gallery is THE place to go for art, where prices and styles suit all budgets and tastes. Bookworms should check out Ken Sanders Rare Books where a selection of rare and collectible titles await.
Red Iguana is one of Salt Lake City’s best casual eateries and has garnered numerous awards. The menu offers tasty Tex Mex dishes as well as a kids’ menu. The food is great, prices reasonable and service is friendly and prompt.
For dessert or a post-lunch hydration stop, try Thirst Drinks. Build your own drink with a base, flavor shots, fruit purees and flavored creams among other add-ins. If the pressure is too much they have a drink menu that includes the delectable sounding ‘Yer Killin’ Me Smalls - root beer, toasted marshmallow and vanilla 6 cream.
City Creek Center is located smack dab in the middle of downtown and offers a range of upscale retail offerings for mom and dad, with a few fun shops that the kiddos will enjoy (Disney Store among them!). They also put on regular fountain shows at Transcend fountain in Richards Court.
The newly-opened Asian restaurant Ginger Street is a funky mix of delectable Asian cuisine and 90s pop culture. The dishes are authentic (don’t’ miss the Bird’s Eye View cocktail and kao soi). Self-described as ‘Southeast Asian Hawker Style Street Food” - they really hit the nail on the head. Don’t leave without trying a G-bar for dessert. 7
Sip on a perfectly-crafted cocktail at Lake Effect’s Rabbit Hole basement lounge. Jazz in the Rabbit Hole at Lake Effect is Salt Lake City’s only jazz “listening room” with a good list of craft cocktails and beers, an extensive wine list and dining. Live jazz is every Wednesday from 7.30 pm to 10 pm.
Zest offers organic plant based and gluten-free dishes with a cocktail bar that uses fresh ingredients (beet sangria anyone?). After your hike up to Ensign Peak try the “antioxidrink” with organic green juice mixed with local gin and green Chartreuse.
If you’re lucky enough to get Mamachari Kombucha at the taproom, count yourself lucky (they’re only open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 - 6 pm). If not, you can still find their drinks at Harmon’s. Flavors include Lemon Ginger, Mint Lime, Roots & Botanicals, Jasmine Rose, Concord Grape, Honey Hops, Flower Power, and Lavender Honey.
Antoinette’s Antique Jewelry offers rare pieces of vintage and handcrafted jewelry. From amazing antique pieces to whole sets of boho finds, the prices are reasonable and the selection great.
8 One of our favorite outdoor brands, Cotopaxi is headquartered in Salt Lake City so it’s a no-brainer to visit a retail outlet and support a local brand when you’re in town. Known for colorful and fun apparel and accessory items, the trendy servers at Ginger Street even use their fanny packs as server aprons! 9 107
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