UNI QUE ROADSIDE AT TRACTIONS | 24 H OU R S I N GR AN D L AK E | FOOD TR U C KS
WEST OF 1O5 THE BEST OF COLORADO
BEST CAMPING SPOTS
D E S T I N AT I O N
SALIDA COLORADO Rosé FARM to TABLE
SUMMER ISSUE 4, 2019
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHERS WEST OF
TOP PICKS FOR SUMMER
UMMER is here, finally, and so is another issue of West of 105 magazine. This is our very first summer issue and it will take us right up to our one year anniversary this fall. For many people, summer is the best time of year in Colorado. The hot but dry weather is perfect for getting outdoors but it is also relatively easy to escape with a little shade going a long way.
BRITTANY PANTER & ROB MCGOVERN
GENERAL INQUIRIES HELLO@WESTOF105.COM
MEET YOUR NEW FAVORITE PIECE OF SUMMER GEAR
SALES & MARKETING MARKETING@WESTOF105.COM
Summer is also the time to get out and enjoy all of the bodies of water and waterways we have West of 105 - from lakes, reservoirs and ponds to rivers of varying intensities. We’ve given our thoughts on some of the best places to get into the water and how to best enjoy it. Something else that pairs very nicely with Colorado summers is wine, specifically Colorado rosés. We chose a few that we’ve enjoyed recently. They work just as well as part of an alfresco meal or after a session whitewater rafting. Similarly, we’ve rounded up a few beers we will likely be drinking all summer long.
CONTACT THE TOP PLACES TO PITCH A TENT THIS SUMMER
WESTOF105.COM (970) 209 2290
SOCIAL MEDIA @WESTOF105 #CROSSTHEMERIDIAN
WARM-WEATHER WORTHY BREWS
We also have a story about some amazing places to camp around the state - from unique spots to places next to the water as well as some incredible backcountry sites. You can see one of the most unique spots to camp on the cover of this issue - literally on a cliff face.
COVER PHOTO KENT MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE CENTER
PUBLISHED BY PERIOD COMMUNICATIONS, A COLORADO COMPANY PERIODCOMMS.COM HELLO@PERIODCOMMS.COM
And that is just a taste.
WEST OF 105 IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURY OR OTHER DAMAGE CAUSED PERFORMING ANY ACTIVITY DESCRIBED IN THIS MAGAZINE
The West of 105 team @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
In Every Issue
03 06 10 12 106 112
Letter from the Publishers
WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE OF WEST OF 105
TOP 20 SUMMER ACTIVITIES, FROM FARM-TO-TABLE DINING TO ALPACCA YOGA
FIND OUT HOW ORU KAYAK IS MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY
WHAT TO DO, SEE, EAT AND SIP THIS SUMMER
ADD SUP BOARDING TO YOUR SUMMER BUCKET LIST
CHECK OUT FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS TO EXPERIENCE CHICAGO THIS SUMMER
Parting Words WE’VE CAPTURED THE SEASON IN ONE PHOTOGRAPH
GET TO KNOW ORU KAYAK
DISCOVER CHICAGO FIVE WAYS Photos (top): CPW/Ken Papaleo; (middle): Oru Kayak (bottom): Divvy Bikes
WEST OF 105 | WHAT’S INSIDE
CAMPING WATER SPORTS UNIQUE COLORADO
FARM-TO TABLE DINING
SALIDA 24 HOURS IN GRAND LAKE NATIONAL PARKS
Drinking & Dining
FOOD TRUCKS COLORADO ROSÉ FARM-TO-TABLE DINING
SUMMER FASHION HAVEN AND BEAUTY TOP 10: SUP SPOTS
15 AMAZING PLACES TO PITCH A TENT THIS SUMMER
Culture & Events
MUSEUMS SPOTLIGHT EVENTS FOURTH OF JULY
SPA ANJALI IS AN EXPANSIVE WELLNESS SANCTUARY IN THE MOUNTAINS
FOOD & WINE CLASSIC IN ASPEN AND OTHER AMAZING SUMMER FESTIVALS
Photos (clockwise from top left): Period Comms; Vail Farmers’ Market; Marc Fiorito; Spa Anjali; Scott Peterson
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
THE BUCKET LIST WE’VE ROUNDED UP 20 GREAT ACTIVITIES WEST OF 105 YOU’LL WANT TO ADD TO YOUR COLORADO SUMMER BUCKET LIST
Indulge in Adventure
Taylor River Lodge is equal parts indulgence and adventure. A morning whitewater rafting, say, can be paired with a sumptuous riverside picnic while an afternoon of rock climbing can be followed by a soak in the hot tub and an indulgent dinner. Cocktails before bed are an option, too. Page 82 Photo: Eleven Experience 6
WEST OF 105 | BUCKET LIST
Sleep in an Orchard
There are some truly unique accommodation options across the state, but those options seem to expand exponentially if you are willing to pitch a tent. Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss is one of those awesome places. Page 25
Care for Colorado
We love Colorado and that is why we want to try hard to protect it. Read how you can too (and, remember as the very catchy song goes “it’s the only one we’ve got”). Page 28
Bottle Some Spirits
Head to Marble Distilling Co.’s website and sign up to get an email when the next bottling party is scheduled. You’ll likely get a superb bottle of spirits in exchange for your efforts!
Bag a 14er
There are over 50 14ers in Colorado and summer is a good time to go “peak bagging.” Be warned, the mountains will be teeming with hikers, but getting yourself a 14er is somewhat of an outdoor right of passage in Colorado, so get bagging!
Take a Train to a Concert in the Mountains
The Mountain Rails Live concert series brings together music, trains and the majestic Rocky Mountains. Climb the steep grades of the Southern Rockies, enjoying the incredible vistas en route, to an intimate concert venue where a range of well-loved singers will be performing this summer.
Visit a Castle
Bishop Castle and Cano’s Castle offer interesting takes on the castle concept. The former went from cabin to cottage to castle after someone asked if Jim Bishop was building a castle. With five structures reaching skyward as well as beer can-lined walls glimmering in the Colorado sunshine. Both are quite the sight to behold. Page 38
Attend a Tiny Porch Concert
On both Wednesdays (July 31 and Aug. 7) of the Breckenridge Music Festival, tiny porches of historic homes throughout Breckenridge become tiny stages. Enjoy storytelling paired with chamber music that has been composed specifically for the occasion.
Do Yoga With Farm Animals
Quite the trend these days is doing yoga while having some kind of animal on or around you. There are several places that offer animalinclusive yoga including goat yoga at Mountain Goat Lodge and alpaca yoga at Cedar Ridge Ranch.
7 Photos: (top): Chris J via Yelp; Cedar Ridge Ranch
Visit Colorado’s Go UFO Sighting Largest Natural Lake Not far from Sand Dunes Grand Lake is a wonderful little town that just happens to sit right on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, making it the perfect base for a visit. The lake for which the town is named also offers all kinds of options for aquatic fun. Page 50
National Park is the UFO Watchtower, an observation platform, campground and gift shop just north of Hooper. With a 360-degree view of the San Luis Valley, a hotbed of UFO activity, you are sure to see some little green men. Page 24
11 14 Go Off Grid
Piney River Lodge is a great option for those who want to escape modern life for a night or two but don’t want to sleep with the beasts. Enter glamping, the perfect middle ground between camping and luxury.
Celebrate Fourth of July is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by visiting an incredible national monument and watching a group of fearless people climb us a sheer rock face to plant a flag? Page 104
16 18 12 15 Cool Down
Sleep in the Dunes
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is, as the name suggests, home to the highest sand dunes in North America. An incredible and unique national park, it offers everything from backcountry adventure to dune surfing. Complete a visit by camping out in the dune field. Page 57
Balance Your Aches Away
Yogis will take to the water across Colorado this summer to offer an aquatic version of the ancient Indian practice. Read our top 10 SUP to find out where you can headstand your way to physical and mental wellness. Page 86
Hot weather and refreshing beer go hand in hand, so we did the dirty work for you and sipped our way through dozens of beers to find six of our favorite brews for the season. From light and refreshing to hazy and hoppy, these six beverages will keep you cool this summer! Page 68
Colorado is home to hundreds of miles of fishrich Gold Medal Waters. Whether you’re new to fishing or an old hand, the Arkansas River near Salida is one of the top spots in the entire state to cast a line. Page 42
The Colorado wine industry is a sleeping giant with truly amazing winemakers producing truly delicious wines. It is only a matter of time before people all over the world are cooing over them. Get a head start by trying a few of these rosés this summer. Page 70
17 19 Go for Gold
Photos (this page top): The Storm Cellar; (this page bottom): Meta Yoga Studios / ; (opposite page): Outstanding in the Field / Neringa Greiciute
Sip Some Rosé
Discover the Past
With a dazzling array of museums across the state from mining and classic cars to Colorado celebrities and outlaws - summer road trips should incorporate as many of these repositories of the past as possible. Page 90
WEST OF 105 | WEST BUCKET OFLIST 105
Dine Farm to Table
Summer is when culinary creatives go al fresco to take advantage of the perfect Colorado weather. There are some incredible farmto-table dinners taking place through the summer. Read about them on Page 72. @WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
O R U K A YA K THE HAVEN
ASSEMBLED STATS -Length: 16 feet -Width: 31 inches -Weight: 40 pounds
DURABILITY -Made of 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene -Manufacturer-rated for 20,000 fold cycles -10-year UV treatment
EASY ASSEMBLY -10 minute assembly from box to boat
adjustable configurations -Can be configured for use with one or two seats -Fully adjustable seats and footrests -A universal track mount system on the edges of the cockpit can accommodate fishing gear or other accessories
WEST OF 105 | GEAR ANATOMY
ABOUT Co-founders Anton Willis and Ardy Sobhani founded Oru Kayak in 2012. Willis developed the original Oru and over the past seven years, the fleet has expanded. The Haven is the newest kayak in their four-boat fleet. Oru draws inspiration from Greenlandic kayaks and Japanese origami, which is evident in the thoughtful design.
BOXED STATS -Folds up into the size of a suitcase -33 inches by 30 inches by 16 inches
The Haven is a tandem kayak that can be folded into a portable box, making it great for transporting without roof racks and for smaller vehicles. At 16 feet with two seating configuration options, the Haven easily converts to a single-seater, high-performance kayak in a few simple steps. $1,999
SEASON MUSTS IF YOU DO, SEE, EAT AND SIP ONE THING WEST OF 105 THIS SUMMER, MAKE IT THE FOLLOWING
WHAT: “Bag” a peak WHY: Peak baggers “collect” peaks and Colorado is not short of those. Yes, there are over 50 14ers, but there are literally hundreds of 13ers, too. And the benefits of bagging a 13er include being pretty much on your own. The mountains will be teeming with peak baggers this summer, but a good percentage of them will be going after the highest 14ers. But if you aren’t into bragging rights but are into solitude, a 13er might be the answer. There are around 600 13ers spread throughout Colorado, and the highest of them, Grizzly Peak in the Sawatch Range, is just 13 feet shorter than Sunshine Peak, the lowest 14er at 14,001 feet!
WEST OF 105 | SEASON MUSTS
WHAT: Stop and smell the wildflowers WHY: Colorado is going to be carpeted with them this summer, so take some time in between all the biking, camping, drinking and partying to enjoy this gift from Mother Nature. There are some very popular spots for skipping through meadows of wildflowers, but with great popularity comes increased stress on the area. Go into your local public lands office and ask the very knowledgeable rangers about lesser-known areas so we can spread the wildflower love around a little bit and play a part in helping to preserve the Colorado we all love!
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photo (this page): Matt Inden / Miles; (opposite page): Denise Chambers / Miles
WHAT: Eatery 66 WHY: This Ridgway serves up food that adds flavors from around the world to old school and homey dishes. The food is a reflection of the lifestyle of the area, both in terms of ingredients available and how the dishes are prepared - that is to say healthy and delicious yet casual. Using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible, Eatery 66 tries hard to ensure they are an integral part of the community they serve.
WEST OF 105 | SEASON MUSTS
WHAT: A rosé by any other name WHY: Colorado’s vibrant and burgeoning wine industry produces some very good wines, and while there are plenty that are perfect for a hot Colorado summer day, there is something particularly nice about sipping a glass or two of coral-hued rosé. And, as rosés are made from a range of grapes - merlot and the other Bordeaux varieties to Rhone varieties such as cinsault, syrah and mourvedre, as well as from hybrid grapes such as chambourcin - there is a Colorado rosé out there for everyone.
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photo (this page): The Storm Cellar (opposite page) Eatery 66
WEST OF 105 BY THE NUMBERS
SEGMENTS O N
T H E
Trail THE WEIGHT OF THE BOULDER THAT RECENTLY ROLLED ONTO CO HWY 145 IS
SIX DARK SKY
1921 THE YEAR THE GRAND RIVER WAS O F F I C I A L LY C H A N G E D T O T H E
C O L O R A D O H A S A R O U N D
MILLION COLORADO RIVER POUNDS
SMOKE Y THE BEAR IS
75 YEARS OLD
T H E W E I G H T, IN POUNDS, OF THE CREEDE FORK
Page 20 - Camping
From pitching a tent next to the water to camping on a cliff, we round up our favorite places to sleep under the stars
Page 30 - Water Sports
Thanks to an epic winter many rivers, lakes and reservoirs will be plenty full this summer. Now is the time to explore them
Page 36 - Unique Roadside Attractions
From sasquatch sighting to castle hopping (no really!), Colorado has a unique collection of roadside spots that are pure Americana
Photo: Bob Wick / BLM
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian
CAMPING GEAR GUIDE
PrimeTech Stove Set – 1.3L $149.95 Thermarest Hyperion 20 sleeping bag $419.95 and NeoAir UberLite sleeping pad $179.95 Weighing in at just 1lb, 4oz, the Hyperion not only weights next to nothing but compresses down into an unbelievably small bundle. With a temperature rating of 20 thanks to the 900-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, you’ll stay dry and toasty on the trail. Pair it with the NeoAir UberLite sleeping pad for a cozy night at camp.
Perfect for trails, the PrimeTech pot offers an integrated heat exchanger, optimized burner and wind guard. Combined, the set up allows for lower fuel consumption. The set comes with two 1.3-liter pots, lid, integrated strainer and handle that doubles as tongs. Weighs just weight is 25.6 oz.
Osprey Rook Pack $155 Available in 50 or 65 liters, the Rook is a straightforward pack that offers the brand’s new AirSpeed suspension system which translates to a more comfortable, dialed-in fit. This entry-level pack is ideal for beginner backpackers heading out on a weekend trip.
GSI Outdoors. Pioneer Enamelware Table Set $69.95 Eschew the plastic, run of the mill camp dishes for this beautiful fourperson enamel set this season. Available in three bold colors, the sturdy dishes are built from heavygauge steel so can survive the inevitable fall on the ground.
Patagonia Provisions Prices Vary Gone are the days of dry, tasteless Pre-packaged meals. Patagonia Provisions offers backpackers, campers, hikers and every one in between the chance to dine on delicious meals during their next outing. After putting over a dozen of items to the test we fell in love with the organic mussels - available in lemon herb, smoked and savory sofrito.
Überleben Hexå firestarter $32 The perfect trailcompanion, or emergency kit addition, the brand’s proprietary hexagonal ferro profile means six flat sides which offer more surface area when striking. It is also waterproof and has a handy multi-tool scraper.
Big Agnes Mica Basin Camp Chair $129.95
An easy to assemble chair that packs up into a nice little package, it is great for stashing in the car for impromptu picnics or for outdoor music festivals. The chair gives you a feeling of stability and the construction is clearly solid and built to last.
Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket x Nipomo $129 A collaboration that celebrates the craftspeople of Tlaxcala, Mexico, the puffy camp blanket is perfect for keeping you cozy on chilly evenings by the camp fire. It can even be used in lieu of a sleeping bag or as a throw at a festival.
Wacaco Nanopresso $64.90
Big Agnes Big House 4 tent $299.95 with accessory vestibule $119.95 This three-season tent allows for plenty of headroom and the optional accessory vestibule is ideal for stashing gear. This is an ideal go-to tent for festival season and weekend road trips.
Pass on the cowboy coffee and enjoy a shot of espresso courtesy of the Nanopresso. Easy to use and clean with minimal force required to pump out the espresso shot, this tiny device gives an impressive crema, too.
BioLite HeadLamp 330 $49.95 Eureka! Ignite Camp Stove $99.95 The two-burner camp stove offers flexibility for camp meals with an option to add additional stoves for larger groups. On the highest flame the stove delivers 90 minutes of burn time with 10,000 BTU burners and a push-button ignition.
At less than 2.5 ounces, the BioLite HeadLamp delivers a range of beams which reach up to 330 lumens (which is very bright!). There is no slippage on the forehead and the band is comfortable and moisture-wicking. The batteries are also rechargeable.
Dursten Lore 12 Camp Cup $32 Made from natural hardwood, this 12 ounce cup is as beautiful as it is functional. A utility cord makes for easy storage..
VSSL Camp Supplies Compact Adventure Kit $129 The neatnik in you will love the kits from VSSL. Made of military-grade aluminum, they are virtually indestructible, not to mention being waterproof, lightweight and one of the most convenient pieces you can carry in your camp kit or hiking bag. There are over 70 pieces of essential supplies including the option to build your own kit.
Gregory Jade 63 $229.95 This lightweight pack offers plenty of techy features - namely the FreeFlat suspension which makes even the heaviest pack feel manageable and is designed to move with your body. A women-specific design means maximum comfort, even on highmileage days
OtterBox Elevation Wine Tumbler $19.99 Perfect for keeping that glass of Colorado rosé nice and chilled on hot summer days, this insulated wine tumbler comes with a press-in basic lid and holds two standard wine pours.
Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag $129.95 - $249.95 Kelty’s best selling sleeping bags got a revamp for 2019 which brought the weight down by five ounces, which is a lot when you’re counting every last ounce on the Colorado Trail! This three-season bag features quickdrying 600 fill down and a durable yet soft nylon taffeta shell.
Rovr RollR 60 Cooler $399 High-performance, punctureresistant tires, 7-10 day ice retention and a wagon bin to help carry your gear are just a few of the amazing features on the RollR 60. With accessories that allow you to customize your RollR for any adventure (there is even a bicycle attachment!), this is going to be our go-to cooler for any and all summer adventures.
CAMP SPOTS FOR SUMMER
20 Photo: (this page NPS / Jacob W. Frank
WEST OF 105 | OUTDOORS
The area West of 105 is of such outstanding beauty that people travel from every corner of the world to come and enjoy it. The mountains of Colorado, whether they are covered in snow or lush vegetation , are among the most incredible anywhere in the country, and in summer they become accessible and extremely hospitable. Setting up a tent in their midst is the b est way to appreciate them. At West of 105 we love camping, and it’s safe to say that most of the time we are unashamed “keep it comfor table crusaders.” This summer, we are going to be crisscrossing the state and setting up at festivals, state parks, national parks, and amongst the millions of acres of other public land we are so for tunate to have.
Camping season will be well underway for some people by the time you read this, but for most of us, summer is the time to dust of f the camping box and get out and enjoy the bounty of nature that we have on our doorsteps (if you’re for tunate to live West of 105, that is). While dif ferent people have dif ferent ideas when it comes to how much gear to take camping, there are so many incredible spots West of 105 that everyone will be able to find somewhere whether you want to sleep in a bivy sack or a multi-room tent with a vestibule - or something in between. We’ve chosen a few spots in a few dif ferent categories depending on what you want to do when you are on your camping trip.
STEAMBOAT LAKE STATE PARK
On the Water
Photos: (this page top): CPW / Vic Schendel; Katja S via Yelp
On the shores of Lost Lake Slough between Paonia and Crested Butte (90 minutes from the former and just over an hour from the latter), there are two separate camping areas with a total of 18 sites which both open when the snow melts, which is typically around mid-June but could be later this year. At 9,600 feet, the area has incredible views. Nonmotorized water sports are allowed as is horseback riding. There are also two hiking trails in the area, including Beckwith Pass which allows dispersed camping along the entire route. There are no reservations for the two campgrounds.
LOST LAKE SLOUGH
Reservations for the 188 campsites, some of which are along the shore, can be made six months in advance. There are also cabins and yurts. At 8,100 feet, Steamboat Lake doesnâ€™t get as warm as other parks with water temperatures in summer hovering around the low 70s, but there is a swim beach for hardy souls. The 1,053-acre reservoir offers opportunities for a range of water activities with a large portion of the reservoir zoned for wake boating which means water skiing and jet skiing. Windsurfers and SUP boarders (the marina has rentals available) are also welcome. There are also places that are restricted to wakeless boating. There is also bait, lure and fly fishing, three hiking trails, and more than seven miles of mountain bike trails. From Jan 1 this year all sites at the park will be available by reservation only. Visit cpwshop.com to book.
NAVAJO STATE PARK
3 45 Just five miles west of Leadville, Turquoise Lake Recreation Area isnâ€™t exactly a secret, how could it be (in fact the area is pretty heavily visited in summer which means reservations are recommended)? However, with eight different campgrounds and a total of 300 sites, you are going to have to be very unlucky to not find somewhere. Taking its name from the turquoise that used to be mined in the area, the east end of the lake hosts the majority of campgrounds while the west end of the lake hosts the popular May Queen Campground near the Timberline Lake trailhead, which accesses the Holy Cross Wilderness. To the southwest of the lake rises the Mount Massive Wilderness along with beautiful hikes such as Native Lake and Windsor Lake. Snow in these areas can stay well into midsummer, and possibly longer. There is also motorized and non-motorized boating and fishing (both lake and pond). The area is run by the Forest Service.
Photos: CPW / Dustin Doskocil
ARKANSAS HEADWATERS RECREATION AREA
Straddling the border between Colorado and New Mexico, this state park has 15,000 surface acres of water and offers all kinds of aquatic fun, including power boating, personal watercraft, sailboats and sailboards, jet skiing and fishing. Swimming is currently not permitted on the Colorado side of the lake because there is no swim beach. When it comes to camping, Navajo has 118 RV and tent sites across three campsites. There are also 19 primitive sites available on a first come first served basis.
The de facto capital of whitewater rafting in the state (and one of the most popular spots in the entire US), the area is jointly managed by the BLM and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. On top of river rafting, the Arkansas River provides some of the best fishing in the state. The steep, narrow, rocky canyons make for beautiful scenery and are home to all kinds of wildlife, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. With more than 25 developed river-access areas, this is the place to go for an aquatic adventure. Rockhounds (thatâ€™s amateur geologists to you) also enjoy doing their thing at Ruby Mountain. There are over 100 basic campsites with more primitive and dispersed sites available.
Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa is one of the most unique national parks in the system, so it stands to reason that it would also be one of the most unique places to camp. With several camping options, including a campground as well as backcountry camping, perhaps the most unique aspect of camping at Sand Dunes is heading out into the dune field and setting up wherever you like (outside the day use area, which means a hike of at least 1.5 miles). Bad weather can mean blowing sand or thunderstorms, so be sure to check the weather before deciding. There is a limit of six people per party and 20 parties in the dunefield per night. Free permits are issued on a first come first served basis.
BENEATH A UFO WATCHTOWER
WHERE DINOSAURS ONCE ROAMED
Dinosaur National Monument is 210,000 acres along the Colorado and Utah border with each side of the monument offering a different experience. The Colorado side is home to spectacular canyons and rivers, including Harpers Corner Road, a 32-mile scenic drive that includes overlooks of the Yampa and Green Rivers. The short Harpers Corner Trail at the road’s end is a must to get the most dramatic views. Most of the dinosaur fossils are actually on the Utah side. Perhaps the coolest name for a campsite in the entire state, the Gates of Lodore Campground is on the Green River at the head of Lodore Canyon.
IN A DUNE FIELD
7 6 1 8
In Center, just outside Alamosa and not far from Sand Dunes National Park, the UFO Watchtower is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Opened by Judy Messoline in 2000, legend has it (well her own website actually) that she heard repeated mentions of the area on TV shows like “Sightings” and “The X-Files” and thought there must be something in it so she created the UFO Watchtower. Located on 600 acres, the isolated nature of the watchtower means that it is equally as good for stargazing as UFO spotting.
Photos: (this page above: NPS / Jacob W. Frank; (below); Mo J. via Yelp
ON A CLIFF
Kent Mountain Adventure Center in Estes Park has been teaching people how to rock climb and mountaineer for decades, but back in 2014 they started offering cliff camping. Suspended hundreds of feet off the ground on a “portaledge” next to a sheer rock face, the cliff camping experience with KMAC also comes with steak and wine for dinner and omelettes and lattes for breakfast.
IN AN ORCHARD
Delicious Orchards, just outside of Paonia offers tent, car and RV camping in its apple orchard. There are no sites, so set up whereveryou like (not literally among the trees during rowng season). There is a single restroom, a portable toilet for after-hours bathroom visits and an outdoor sink. There is plenty of space, but it is technically possible for it to fill up. Calling ahead won’t hurt. Well-behaved pets are welcome, and there is a dog clean up station.
11 12 COLORADO TRAIL
Mount Sneffels Wilderness is part of the Uncompahgre National Forest near Ridgway, Ouray and Telluride. A popular access point for a climb to the top of Mount Sneffels (the Nordic word for snowfield), the Blue Lakes Trail is a relatively easy and beautiful 3.5-mile hike to Lower Blue Lake, the first of three. There is a campsite here, but it can get pretty busy on weekends.
26 Photos: (this page top): Period Comms; (this page bottom): Xnatedawgx
BLUE LAKES LOOP
Camping is allowed on the majority of The Colorado Trail with the exception of Waterton Canyon. There are several designated campsites along the trail (some free, some charge a fee), but most people just set up along the trail where they can find what looks like a previously used spot (try not to camp on undisturbed ground). Divided into 33 segments (each one has an access point at the start and end) the CT can also be accessed at various other points. Angel of Shavano Campground, which is less than 20 minutes from Poncha Springs, is a good place to access the trail and a great little campsite. Hike in from the campground and camp on the trail or set up at the campsite and spend a day on the trail.
Lost Creek Wilderness was officially designated by the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1980 with additions in 1993. Today it totals 119,790 acres. Elevations range from 8,000 feet to 12,400. Lost Creek was named after a creek of the same name that repeatedly disappears underground only to reappear again further downstream where it ultimately becomes Goose Creek. Accessed by a 136-mile trail network, 105 miles of which are within the Wilderness boundary, the area hsa black bears, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and bobcats, so be vigilant.
LOST CREEK WILDERNESS
CONTENINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL
Winding its way through Colorado, the entire trail is essentially a dispersed campsite with no actual designated places to stop. With fewer access points than the Colorado Trail, the CDT passes near several towns, but a good spot to start a backcountry hike of pretty much any length you are up for is at Twin Lakes Reservoir. The CDT and the CT actually meet up east of Breckenridge and follow the same path for a while. They divide on the southern shore of the Twin Lakes Reservoir (a 30-minute drive from Leadville takes you to pretty much that point) for around 80 miles before briefly meeting up again for a short time before dividing permanently. Hardy hikers, can tackle the 160-mile loop that is formed by the two trails - the Collegiate East and Collegiate West routes, known collectively as the CT Collegiate Loop.
Be Inspired to Linger!
DNelta CouMnty COLORADO
LEAVE NO TRACE SEVEN PRINCIPLES The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. One way in which they do that is by promoting the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. PRINCIPLE 1: PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. Poor planning often results in miserable campers and damage to natural and cultural resources. Rangers often tell stories of campers they have encountered who, because of poor planning and unexpected conditions, degrade backcountry resources and put themselves at risk. PRINCIPLE 2: TRAVEL & CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES The goal of travel in the outdoors is to move through natural areas while avoiding damage to the land or waterways. Understanding how travel causes impacts is necessary to accomplish this goal. Travel damage occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond recovery. The resulting barren area leads to soil erosion and the development of undesirable trails. Backcountry travel may involve travel over both trails and off-trail areas.
PRINCIPLE 3: DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY The Center encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider the impacts that they leave behind, which will undoubtedly affect other people, water and wildlife. PRINCIPLE 4: LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND Allow others a sense of discovery by leaving rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them. PRINCIPLE 5: MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS Fires vs. Stoves: The use of campfires, once a necessity for cooking and warmth, is steeped in history and tradition. Some people would not think of camping without a campfire. Campfire building is also an important skill for every camper. Yet, the natural appearance of many areas has been degraded by the overuse of fires and an increasing demand for firewood. The development of lightweight efficient camp stoves has encouraged a shift away from the traditional fire for cooking. PRINCIPLE 6: RESPECT WILDLIFE Learn about wildlife through quiet observation. Do not disturb wildlife or plants just for a “better look.” Observe wildlife from a distance
so they are not scared or forced to flee. Large groups often cause more damage to the environment and can disturb wildlife so keep your group small. If you have a larger group, divide into smaller groups if possible to minimize your impacts. Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Travel quietly and do not pursue, feed or force animals to flee. (One exception is in bear country where it is good to make a little noise so as not to startle the bears) In hot or cold weather, disturbance can affect an animal’s ability to withstand the rigorous environment. Do not touch, get close to, feed or pick up wild animals. It is stressful to the animal, and it is possible that the animal may harbor rabies or other diseases. PRINCIPLE 7: BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITORS One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward other visitors. It helps everyone enjoy their outdoor experience. Many people come to the outdoors to listen to nature. Excessive noise, uncontrolled pets and damaged surroundings take away from the natural appeal of the outdoors. For more information visit www.lnt.org
The 210,172 acres of the protected Dominguez-Escalante NCA, which includes the 66,280-acre Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, is great for all kinds of hikers. For a good hike and camp, start at the Bridgeport Trailhead and aim for Big Dominguez campground using the Big Dominguez Trail. The 12-mile hike will see you traverse pretty much the entirety of the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness following Big Dominguez Creek. En route, youâ€™ll see scenic canyons and mesas, cascading streams, waterfalls, desert bighorn sheep, Native American rock art and historic structures from early mining settlements. Really adventurous travelers can make a large loop using Big and Little Dominguez Canyons, but be warned, not only can this trip take several days, but crossing between Little Dominguez Creek and Big Dominguez Creek requires advanced route-finding skills as there is no defined trail and is not recommended for novice hikers. See the BLM website for more details info.
@WESTOF105 | #CrosstheMeridian Photo: BLM / Bob Wick
Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area
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WATER, WATER IT’S GOING TO BE AN EPIC SUMMER FOR WATER SPORTS THANKS TO A SNOW-PACKED WINTER, SO BE SURE TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE BY CHECKING OUT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SPOTS
Rivers The arteries of the state (and the country), rivers are bringers of life, and for many locals and visitors to Colorado, they bring a whole lot of joy, too. The flow of rivers that aren’t controlled by dams can go from slow moving trickles to veritable monsters, in some cases making them unraftable, unfishable and good for not much more than looking at, which is still nice. Whitewater rafting is arguably the predominant river pursuit in the
state with a lot of outfitters (there are around 200 river outfitters registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, but that does include dedicated fishing outfitters) calling the Arkansas River home. In fact the Arkansas is one of the most heavily rafted rivers in the entire country.
Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). Jointly managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the BLM and the Forest Service, the AHRA stretches from just north of Leadville to past Pueblo. The AHRA also has abundant camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, mountain biking and rock climbing.
One thing you might see on the Arkansas that you will likely not see elsewhere are people panning for gold. The park office is in downtown Salida where you can find information on all of the above.
The epicenter of fun on the most commercially rafted river in the United States is the Arkansas
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The Gunnison A tributary of the Colorado River, the Gunnison River is 180 miles long and starts in Almont and ends in Grand Junction, flowing through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where it pours into the Colorado River. The lower section of the river is designated as gold medal water and is very popular, and while the section of the river that flows through the Black Canyon is not raftable due to its technical nature and numerous difficult portages, kayaking is technically allowed by not advised thanks to the aforementioned dangers. In fact, it has claimed the lives of experienced and respected kayakers. The river is, however, perfect for floating on after Black Canyon National Park, particularly through Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. Rafting opportunities are available in Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area west of the national park. Several outfitters offer guided raft trips on the Gunnison Gorge section of the river.
The Yampa A tributary to the Colorado, the Yampa is one of the few free-flowing rivers in the western United States. Flowing from its headwaters in the town of Yampa, it makes it way through downtown Steamboat Springs where it is a hotspot for water-based fun and for simply cooling off for locals and visitors throughout the summer (last year wasnâ€™t so good, but this summer promises much more). Hire a tube and float down through town. The Yampa eventually joins the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Between May and July, snowmelt means rafters and kayakers can traverse the Yampaâ€™s Class III and IV rapids through canyons and into Dinosaur National Monument. Remember: Having the right equipment and knowing how to use it - for any sport is critical to your safety and a successful day, so be sure to consult local experts when buying and learning how to use equipment. If in doubt, seek a guide for a day or even a half day to show you how to safely and responsibly use any equipment you are not sure about.
Photos (this page top): Bob Wick / BLM; (this page bottom): Period Comms; (opposite page top): Matt Inden / Miles
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The Taylor Particularly popular for fly fishing and whitewater rafting, the Taylor River is short and sweet at just under 50 miles long. Rising in the Elk Mountains, it flows southeast through Taylor Park Reservoir and eventually joins the East River at Almont to form the Gunnison River. The river flows right past Taylor River Lodge (see page 82) and through the beautiful Taylor Canyon.
Open for business, so to speak, between May and September, the upper Colorado is known for calmer waters, while the lower offers faster moving rapids. Rising near Grand Lake, the mighty Colorado spans 1,450 miles passing through 11 national parks en route. Little Gore Canyon near Kremmling is perfect for a relaxing float on an inflatable kayak (not to be confused with Gore Canyon Whitewater Park which has Class IV and V rapids). Further south, near Glenwood Springs, the river offers a more testing time with plenty of Class III rapids through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon. The BLM Kremmling Field Office is a great source for rafting and kayaking information in the area.
Useful Gear SealLine Skylake Dry Daypack A large enough dry pack to keep a change of clothes and shoes along with snacks, camera and phone. There is a front mesh pocket, removable shoulder straps and an attachment point for clipping keys, lights or other accessories. $99.95 OtterBox Trooper 12 Soft Cooler Perfect for shorter day trips, the soft cooler from OtterBox delivers exceptional ice retention (up to three days) is leakproof and the perfect size for a six pack with snacks. There is also a line of accessories to allow you to customize it to your needs. $199.99 Skinners This sock / shoe hybrid fits like a second skin and features a seamless antibacterial StretchKnit fabric; each pair is estimated to last 400 miles. They are perfect for SUP boarding and easy kayaking. $59.90
Lakes and Reservoirs The beauty of lakes and reservoirs is obviously that the water isn't moving, although the wind can quickly pick up - look out for small cresting waves called whitecaps - and that can mean a very different experience. Lakes and reservoirs offer a wide range of options for fun, with kayaking being a popular option. A relatively simple pursuit, kayaking can be tailored to make it as easy or difficult as you like - go out on a windless day and you can cruise around, but a little wind and you have a workout. With that wind, however, comes more options. Windsurfing is a more adrenaline pumping pursuit and it may well be the case that they enter the water when kayakers leave! SUP boarding is another great way to get out on the water as is kitesurfing, and when it comes to motorized sports, there are a whole lot more options, including wakeboarding, waterskiing and parasailing. You could also tether an inflatable flamingo to a partner’s kayak and get towed around. And if you don’t want to get in the water, there’s always fishing. 34
State Park Situated between Montrose and Ridgway, Ridgway State Park has 1,000 surface-acres (depending on the level of the reservoir) and as such is very popular with the surrounding communities and visitors for everything from motorboating to kayaking. There is also a swim beach, more than 14 miles of trails for hiking or biking, and rainbow trout are stocked annually. There are also plenty of camping options including 25 walk-in tent sites, 187 sites with electrical hook-ups and 81 full hook-ups. There are also three yurts.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
The big boy of Colorado’s lakes and reservoirs, Blue Mesa is the largest body of water in the state. One of three reservoirs that make up Curecanti National Recreation Area near Gunnison, Blue Mesa draws people from far and wide for everything from salmon and trout fishing to all of the
Photo: (top) Dustin Doskocil; (middle) Ken Papaleo; (below) Michael Kirsh
above water sports. There is also plenty of hiking, camping and wildlife spotting.
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Grand Lake The largest natural body of water in the state, Grand Lake has the advantage of having the town of Grand Lake right there. Popular with both motorized and non-motorized pursuits, including pleasure cruisers, Grand Lake is also very popular for fishing. Read more about Grand Lake in our 24 Hours in Grand Lake story on page 50.
Harvey Gap State Park
A short drive from Silt off I-70, Harvey Gap is popular with anglers who fish for catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, rainbow trout and northern pike. At just 190 surface acres, it is a minnow by comparison to some others, but size isnâ€™t everything! The dedicated swim beach makes paddling a popular way to cool off in summer while canoes, kayaks, sailboards and paddle boards are also welcome. There is one boat ramp on the east side of the lake, but before you put in remember to stop and get your boat inspected for aquatic nuisance species. There are picnic sites with grills and restrooms, but there is no camping and pets are not allowed.
Vega State Park Sitting pretty at 8,000 feet, and just an hour west of Palisade on the northeast edge of Grand Mesa National Forest, the big draw for Vega is the parkâ€™s high-mountain lake. Set in a beautiful mountain meadow, the lake is great for fishing and water sports.
35 Photo: (top) Matt Inden / Miles; (middle and below) Dustin Doskocil
7 UNIQUE ROA ATTRACTIONS Driving around the state often reveals a wealth of curious sites, but most people are usually on their way somewhere and don’t always have time to stop and check out every oddly-shaped building, hot dog-inspired restaurant or giant piece of cutlery. And that’s a shame, because they are worth a stop. Here are several roadside attractions that are not only worth a stop, they should be the reason for a trip. Combine them and you have a ready-made weird and wacky road trip.
GIANT ARROWS | HOGAN TRADING POST A few minutes west of Mancos in southwest Colorado is the Hogan trading post. Easily identifiable thanks to the giant arrows that are speared into the ground outside, the Hogan is a genuine trading post that still trades with Native Americans in the region. Named for the traditional dwelling of the Navajo people, the trading post has been in the Countess family for over 30 years. The third family to own and operate the post, it was originally built in 1959 by Wilma Brimhall who operated a trading post on the Navajo reservation before moving to southwest Colorado. Made from telephone poles, the arrows were installed in the 1980’s by Bill Countess who
still operates the Hogan with wife Judy and daughter Emily. Inspired by a similar installation in Holbrook, Arizona, the arrows were also a nod to Wilma Brimhall. The Hogan trading post was actually built by Navajo that came to southwest Colorado with Wilma Brimhall. They lived on site in a small hogan while they built the trading post (the smaller hogan is still right there amongst the arrows). Today, the Hogan trading post is still a fully functioning trading post and has relationships with many craftspeople of various tribes. The post also carries more typical tourist trinkets such as T-shirts. The Hogan trading post operates seasonal hours, and is typically closed between October and May.
Photo: Hogan trading post
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CANO’S CASTLE | ANTONITO South of Manassa, and not far from the New Mexico border, there is a neighborhood of pretty normal houses, all but one that is. Cano’s Castle (pronounced Cah-no), with its reflective walls made from cut and flattened beer cans, honestly doesn’t look structurally sound. There is of course lumber and rocks, too, but it is the facade that stops passersby in their tracks. Of the five separate structures, two dominate,
rising up into spires that have all been built up with whatever is lying around. Cano’s Castle is the work of Dominic “Cano” Espinoza and it is being built - how do you ever stop building something like this - for Jesus. Cano actually lives across the street. A Vietnam veteran, Cano started on the project in 1980 and is said to have been inspired by the Asian temples he had seen more than a decade earlier during the Vietnam War.
CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK | BAILEY Marcus Shannon had a dream. That dream was to have a franchise of hot dog restaurants that were shaped like hot dogs. Marcus achieved that dream. He filed for a patent for his sausage-shaped restaurant in 1965 and the dream was on. Shannon was granted the patent the following year for four years. Initially situated on Colfax Avenue in Denver, the hot dog moved around, first to Aspen Park and then in 2006 to its current location in Bailey. The
Coney Island Boardwalk was purchased in 2016. Serving eight or so kinds of hot dogs including a vegetarian carrot dog as well the sides you would expect from a hotdog stand, the owners try their best to use Colorado products where they can. And if you can’t make it to the Coney Island Boardwalk because you are rushing to Tiny Town (see below), fear not, there is a 1:6 scale model of the hot-dog stand there!
TINY TOWN | MORRISON Tiny Town, a short drive from Denver, is exactly what it sounds like. Old school fun, Tiny Town has more than 100 1:6 scale buildings as well as a train, which has two miniature but working engines, and is a major draw for kids. The train ride allows you to see parts of the park that are not accessible any other way, so bear that in mind if you are a
model buff. Tiny Town’s very existence is a testament to the tenacity of several people given the town has undergone fire and flood, and it lay unwanted and closed for several years on more than one occasion. With a history that goes back to the early part of the 20th century, Tiny Town seems to be standing the test of time.
GIANT FORK | CREEDE The “Creede Fork” is the largest fork in the country and possibly the world. How many huge forks there actually are is another matter, although it is said that Keith Siddel, who commissioned local artist Chev Yund to make the fork, wanted to beat the current record, which he apparently did. A gift for his wife, the fork is situated outside Cascada Bar & Grill, Siddel’s
restaurant. The fork is made from hand-welded aluminum and is just over 39 feet and weighs over 600 lbs. It is very popular with visitors and at the height of summer (which is a very popular time for Creede, in no small part to the town’s amazing Creede Repertory Theatre and its fantastic theater program) people queue to have a photograph taken with it.
BISHOP CASTLE | RYE Bishop Castle was originally intended to be a cabin, then a cottage due to the abundance of stone on the site, but legend has it that the project took a much grander scale after several people commented to Jim Bishop that it looked as if he was building a castle. Bishop’s mind raced and Bishop Castle, or at least the idea for it, was born. The monumental structure has three stories of interior rooms, a grand ballroom,
towers and bridges with impressive views and a firebreathing dragon, naturally. Entrance to the castle is free, but if you make a donation, a percentage goes to the Bishop Castle Non-Profit Charitable Foundation for NewBorn Heart Surgery, an endeavor that helps local families. The rest of the donations go towards funding construction and maintenance of the castle.
THE SASQUATCH OUTPOST | BAILEY Literally less than five minutes away from the Coney Island Boardwalk, is the Sasquatch Outpost. Also known as Bigfoot, sasquatch (the Salish word for “wild men”) is a North American folklore legend about hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creatures that are said to live in the wilderness and leave large footprints, hence the alternative name. They are said to be the missing link between humans and apes. The Sasquatch Outpost is dedicated
to solving the mystery. Comprised of a museum and shop, Sasquatch Outpost also hosts meetings where enthusiasts share sightings and stories, so if you have an interest in or have seen a sasquatch, get in touch with the Sasquatch Outpost and share your sighting! And if you want to head out into the wilderness to try and spot one of the beasts, the Outpost has you covered with all the gear you will need for fishing, hiking and camping.
Page 42 - Spotlight On Salida
With the Arkansas River running through town, Salida is unsurprisingly a popular place to access the Great Outdoors
Page 50 - Grand Lake: 24 Hours
This quintessential Colorado lake town has plenty of outdoor and cultural offerings during the summer months
Page 56 - National Parks
All of Coloradoâ€™s national parks are West of 105. We share the best of summer in all four
Photo: Scott Peterson
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D E S T I NA
Photo: Period Comms
AT I ON
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S A L I D A 43
Photo: Scott Peterson
Salida is a classic Colorado town. It isn’t in the mountains, but it is surrounded by them. It sits at a crossroads of sorts - Buena Vista and Breckenridge are to the north, Gunnison and Montrose are directly west, Colorado Springs is east, sort of, south is Alamosa and New Mexico and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are directly west. In Colorado, once you get away from the Front Range, the cities shrink and become towns, many of which are really quite small. Salida has fewer than 6,000 people but on any summer weekend, you might not believe it.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? As is the case with a lot of places in Colorado, the pronunciation of Salida always comes up. Champions of the generally accepted pronunciation - Salie-da - have much less evidence in their corner than their neighbors in Buena Vista (it is pretty well documented that BV’s bizarre pronunciation was intentional). Salida, it seems, was pretty much just a mispronunciation. But, it is Sa-lie-da for better or worse, so stick with it unless your native tongue is Spanish. 44
ART AND CULTURE Salida is a very creative town, so much so that it is a state-certified creative district and one of the five districts that together make up the Colorado Creative Corridor. The Salida Creative District is a collection of people that run the gamut of creativity from advertising and architecture to fine art, music and murals. The Salida Creative District’s website is THE place to go to find out what is going on year round in Salida from an arts perspective. Elsewhere, there is the historic SteamPlant Event Center, a multi-use facility that is home to all manner of events and gatherings throughout the year, from concerts and art shows to movie screenings and galas. It is also home to lots of community gatherings and events such as Brazillian Jiu Jitsu classes, live poetry and country western dancing. Built in 1887 by the Salida Edison Electric Light Co. and eventually retired in 1963, it was purchased in 1987 by the Salida Enterprise for Economic Development and deeded to the city.
What would eventually become the SteamPlant Event Center opened in 1989. The summer schedule at the SteamPlant includes a returning partnership with the City of Salida. Thursdays throughout the summer there is a free summer concert series from 6 pm at Riverside Park, a short walk from the event center. There is also a new series that begins this summer. Songs OnScreen will showcase a movie that has a significant music performance. Check the SteamPlant website for details.
GET OUTSIDE You can go to Salida and not ever break a sweat because there is more than enough to do, see, eat and drink, but Salida is arguably one of the most Colorado places there is, and that means, at least in part, getting your heart rate up. Not only is the town surrounded by mountain ranges and all of the opportunities that come with them, but it sits on the Arkansas River and therefore the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. While
WEST OF 105 | DESTINATION the river and surrounding area offers opportunities year round, summer is possibly the best time to get out and enjoy it all. There are quite literally dozens of rafting companies in and around Salida. On a recent visit, we went out on the Arkansas with River Runners. Paddling and floating through Browns Canyon and through several Class III rapids was a fantastic experience. River Runners has been running trips since 1972, and our guide in particular had more than 20 years experience which showed. The company currently has four whitewater rafting locations, and they also offer kayaking, tubing and off-roading. Whitewater rafting is an absolute must on a Salida trip whether you’ve been before or not. River Runners also have a great little place for a snack after your trip, too. The Riverside Grill has pulled pork sandwiches, burritos and the like along with local beer and cocktails. Prices are reasonable.
reel it in while simultaneously coaxing the fish towards the bank where Colin is waiting with a net. Fish safely in net, all that is left is to take a celebratory photograph and release the trout back into the water. A few more successful hooks and one more fish later and we are trudging back to our car, newly minted flyfishers. There is so much to do in and around Salida from an adventure perspective, but that doesn’t mean you need to be pumping adrenaline all day every day. For a few hours of truly sedate activity, a stroll around town with a side of history is a great way to break up the activities. Steve Chapman runs Salida Walking Tours and offers ghost, wild west and past to present tours. Coffee in hand (possibly iced coffee - we like Gathering Grounds), a stroll around town really is a great way to
And that is just the tip of the paddle, so to speak. Moving down the spectrum toward sedate is fly fishing. Standing on your feet in moving water and continually casting, especially when you aren’t doing it right, isn’t what you would call exhausting, but it does expend energy, especially if you move up or down stream. But one thing fly fishing is, is mentally relaxing. The repeated motion and the sound of the river (and not much else) is also therapeutic. Then comes the hook. That split second when the fly disappears beneath the water is when you pull to hook the fish. (Trout, it turns out, aren’t stupid and after a lightning-fast taste they realize it isn’t a real fly and let go). That is also the time when your heart races, also momentarily. For beginners, almost every hook is a dud. The ones you actually try to hook that is. Colin Medved, co-owner of The Next Eddy, a full-service fly shop and guide service on First Street in downtown Salida, is patient, gently shouting “hook!” to one of our party as he untangles the other one. Then there is that one hook that, well, hooks. The fish immediately runs and Colin moves swiftly to your side and advises to let the fish run and then
Photo: Scott Peterson
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Photos (this page top right): Dream Cafe; (this page left): Rob McGovern / Period Comms; (opposite page top): Highland Distillery; (opposite page bottom): Visit Grand Junction Photo: Scott Peterson
While all of the above are great and can be tailored to families, there is one activity just outside Salida that is a must. Captain Zipline is an adventure park that has a zip line, an aerial course and a via ferrata. The Captain Zipline in question is Monty, owner, guide and general all round nice guy. The Lost Canyon Zipline Tour is one of four adventures available at Captain Zipline. Described by Monty as an eco-adventure, the tour lasts around two hours and is part adventure, part geology lesson and, thanks to Monty, part open mic as he alternates between offering fascinating snippets about the area’s geology, flora and fauna and wellrehearsed jokes - some good and some so bad they circled all the way around to good again. For some, the thought of stepping off the edge of an ancient canyon is a lot to think about, but after a thorough safety briefing and some practice on a purpose-built ground-level zip line, it really only takes a few seconds of the first ride to settle in. Then there is the aforementioned Canyon Aerial Course. Tucked in a canyon, the course is made up of more than 120 interconnected elements which are broken into nine routes which are graded like ski runs. Elements include swinging bridges, cargo nets, balance beams, tunnels and more. And there is also the via ferrata. These “iron roads” are essentially a series of stainless steel rungs bolted to cliff faces. Strap in and climb.
kick off a day in Salida, and if you really need an adrenaline fix that day, you have all afternoon. Salida is also a great location for mountain bikers and road cyclists. A great ride that isn’t too taxing is the 12 miles (gaining 1,800 feet) along Chalk Creek Drive from nearby Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort to Saint Elmo, a ghost town that is undergoing a sort of renaissance. The Chalk Cliffs en route are beautiful. Part of the road is unpaved, so choose your bike carefully.
Photos (this page): Scott Peterson; (opposite page top): Elevation Beer Company; (middle photo): Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub
If you prefer bikes with fatter tires, there is some great mountain biking around, too. Spartan East and Little Rainbow Trails south of town are good for beginners, as are a series of trails just north of town including Poblano, Lil’ Rattler, Jalapeño, Hatch and Sgt. Pepper. Absolute Bikes on Sackett Avenue has a great map of area trails that also includes the routes of area bicycling events so you can ride them anytime.
A great option for everyone from individuals to families, Captain Zipline will celebrate 15 years in 2020. In that time, the operation has received a number of accolades, including the West of 105 seal of approval!
DRINKING & DINING Salida is awash, relatively speaking, with great places to eat and drink. There are burgers at 50 Burger Shakes and Beer which serves 14 different burgers as well as interesting appetizers like bulgogi barbecue steak skewers. 50 Burger is also one of only five Certified Green Restaurants in the state. Perhaps with the best location in town, Boathouse serves American
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classics and Baja Mexican-inspired dishes like ahi tuna and Baja fish tacos. They also serve oysters. Overlooking the Arkansas River, try to sit on the patio overlooking the river if you can, it makes all the difference. A few minutes down F Street, Moonlight Pizza & Brewpub offers a classic combination - pizza and beer. There are also wings, salads and sandwiches, but you really should have a pizza, after all it is in the name. There are a dozen specialty pizzas as well as an option to make your own, but you have to try the Mirkwood Chicken if only to have everything you know about pizzas questioned. The Mirkwood has chicken, red onion and green chiles on a base covered in a mix or marinara and barbecue sauce. Oh, and the top is dotted with globs of cream cheese. Be sure to add bacon. The blobs of cream cheese stay in shape but are practically liquid inside and ooze as you bite in. A revelation? Perhaps. Delicious? Absolutely. While the pizza is good, the beer at Moonlight is excellent. The High Side! IPA is a great version of the classic, and the Auburn Ale won a bronze medal at the 2018 Colorado
State Fair Craft Beer Competition. There are also rotating beers, so you can expect a little surprise every time you visit. Moonlight is currently expanding its production facility into the building next door, which will mean there will be more delicious beer and the tiny bar will be expanded a little. Be sure to pop next door to see where your brew was made! Just outside Salida (a mere 10-minute drive) in Poncha Springs is Elevation Beer Company. A great brewery with some really good beers, including imperial porters, kettle sours, IPAs and quadruples. We love the new Tres Amigos, a zesty and refreshing lager that people all over the state will be drinking all summer. We were advised to try it as a michelada. They also have a food truck on site (see the website for details). Elevation has eight regular brews with plenty of seasonal and collaboration brews at the modest tap house. Wine lovers will be very happy with Vino Salida Wine Cellars. Just half a mile west of Elevation, Vino Salida has a
really impressive range of wines - from the zinfandel, merlot and cabernet franc blend of Vino Rosso di Salida to the 2015 Cuvee Blanc comprised of viognier, riesling and chardonnay. On Thursdays, all wine by the glass is half price, there is a weekday happy hour (Mon-Fri 4-6 pm; $2 off wine by the glass and appetizers), and a wine-based cocktail menu that changes seasonally. There are also small plates to accompany your wine, and an outdoor space with games and picnic tables. Check the Vino Salida website for details of all of the above and summer events. Back in town, stop in at the mayor’s place - literally. Wood’s High Mountain Distillery is owned by PT Wood, the town’s mayor. The hopped gin is probably our favorite Wood’s product, but the whiskies are also delicious. Stop in for a cocktail or get a bottle to go. To make your libation odyssey easier, several businesses in Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs have banded together to come up with the Ark Valley Libation Society Drink Card. Costing $25, it gives you one drink (up to $7.50 meaning a potential value of over $50) at seven places in the area (four in Salida, Vino Salida and Elevation in Poncha
Photos (this page top and middle): Period Comms; (this page bottom and opposite page): Scott Peterson
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Springs and two in nearby Buena Vista). And, new for this summer is the Mountain Passport. A similar idea to the Ark Valley card, the Mountain Passport offers 48 2-for-1 drink offers for $25. There are several places in and around Salida where you can utilize the passport.
dozen people; it can only be booked via Airbnb. Finally there is the Palace Hotel. A historic boutique hotel established in 1909, the Palace has 15 suites and blends modern convenience while maintaining and respecting the essence of the spirit of the building.
For something a little different, there is the previously mentioned Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. A short drive from Salida, Mt. Princeton is nestled at the base of the Chalk Cliffs.
Finally, itâ€™s time to rest what should be a very weary head. In Salida, there are several very cool places to stay including Amigo Motor Lodge, the Poor Farm and the Palace Hotel. Lovers of Americana and iconic design will love Amigo Motor Lodge. With four refurbished Airstream travel trailers, Amigo Motor Lodge is as cool as it gets. The Poor Farm, located on the Arkansas River, is a beautifullyrestored historic house that has five bedrooms and can accommodate a
Mt. Princeton has several accommodation options including creekside, cliff side and hill side rooms and suites, but if you really want to treat yourself, a standalone log cabin is the way to go. Capable of sleeping between two and eight people, with the larger cabins having kitchens (stove tops but no ovens) lofts and fireplaces. The cabins are less than one minute from the hot springs pools and being nestled in the hills, you are likely to see some wildlife (we saw lots of deer
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literally inches from the back door). As for the actual hot springs, there is the historic bathhouse that started it all, creekside pools (these are literally in the creek so may or may not be accessible depending on the time of year), upper hot spring pools with a 400 foot water slide and the spa and club which is closest to the cabins and is reserved for those aged 16 and above. The spa and club area also has several cascading pools with varying temperatures. And remember to look around, you are in the Rockies after all and there are some incredible views to be had while you soak. And if you want to rough it a little bit, there are seven campgrounds with more than 100 sites in the AHRC, but they donâ€™t have hook-ups or potable water. All of the campgrounds are open 365 days a year. Salida is a wonderful town with so much to do; there is no better place for a classic Colorado summer adventure.
Photo: Matt Inden / Miles
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GRAND LAKE GRAND LAKE HAS A LOT GOING FOR IT. ABOVE ALL, IT IS A LOVELY LITTLE MOUNTAIN TOWN PERCHED ON THE SIDE OF A LAKE. IT HAS A QUAINT BOARDWALK, LOTS OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES, GOOD PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK AND SOME UNIQUE QUIRKS THAT ELEVATE IT ABOVE SOME OTHER PLACES. IT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE THE WESTERN GATEWAY TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (ONE OF THE COUNTRYâ€™S MOST INCREDIBLE PARKS, NO LESS) AND WHILE IT IS A LOVELY PLACE TO VISIT DURING THE TOURISM OFF SEASON, IT REALLY COMES TO LIFE IN SUMMER.
7 AM | WAKE UP CALL Fat Cat Cafe is a good old fashioned cafe. Open until the early afternoon, it is primarily a spot for breakfast or early lunches during the week. On weekends, however, Fat Cat lives up to its name when it offers a breakfast buffet with all the breakfast buffet dishes you expect - bacon, eggs, corned beef hash as well as vegetarian options like quiche. Fat Cat might just be best for those with a sweet tooth as there are always pies, cakes and other dessert dishes galore. The perfect way to start what should be a busy day taking full advantage of everything Grand Lake has to offer. As with any and all places in towns like Grand Lake, until summer season really kicks into high gear, be sure to call ahead to make sure places are open and to check what they are offering. Mountain towns can be more laid back with opening hours.
9 AM | GET ACTIVE A gentle hike to Adams Falls is a great way to start the day and perhaps ease you into something more strenuous later on. Starting at the East Inlet Trailhead on the eastern shore of Grand Lake, itself only a 30-minute walk from Fat Cat Cafe, the hike is less than half a mile one way and winds its way through conifer and aspen trees before reaching the falls which will likely be flowing pretty well this year given the snow this winter. Adams falls is technically inside RMNP and this hike is therefore a great taste of what the park offers. If this whets your appetite for Rocky, see page 58 for more info on the park in summer. If you don’t feel as if you’ve burned off your breakfast, the East Inlet Trailhead is also the starting point for hikes to Lone Pine Lake (5.5 miles one way), Lake Verna (6.9 miles one way) and Spirit Lake (7.8 miles one way).
12 PM | RETAIL THERAPY When you decide you’ve exerted yourself, head back to town. A stroll along the boardwalk with some shopping (window or actual) before lunch is a good idea if you took it easy in the morning. One of the most unique shops in town is the Quacker Gift Shop, which is exactly what it sounds like. The duck-themed emporium sells everything duck including a very wide range of rubber ducks - from presidential ducks and firefighter ducks to ducks that celebrate occasions like Mardi Gras. You can also buy Moose Mountain Fudge while you browse the ducks. Next door, and owned by the same people, is the Mountain Gal, a “mountain chic boutique” that has all kinds of apparel and accessories, jewelry and bath and body products such as handmade soaps. A recent addition to town and located above Mountain Gal is Where Art Thou Gallery.
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2 PM | REFUEL Whether you’ve hiked miles or shopped the calories off, you are probably going to be ready for lunch. A good spot is Squeaky B’s. Named in honor of restaurateur Bob Wheeler, who was known as Squeaky Bob thanks to his high-pitched voice, who opened a restaurant in the mid 1900’s where the current Squeaky B’s stands, the restaurant only serves all natural, prime Angus beef from the owners’ Franktown ranch or neighboring ranchers. Also, the brats are made by a local company and the fries are made freshly every day. Open from 7 am for breakfast and offering among other things, a breakfast burger (with a fried egg, bacon and crispy potatoes), avocado toast, and a farmer’s breakfast (three eggs, bacon, steak fries and toast). But it is for the burger and shakes that you should visit. Simplicity is the order of the day at Squeaky B’s. There are burgers (single, double and quad) and the Impossible Burger, all of which come with butter lettuce, vine ripened tomatoes, pickles and squeaky sauce on a brioche bun. There also a few kinds of hot dog and a couple of salads. They are also rightly proud of their shakes and malts.
2 PM | GET WET After a short respite to allow your digestive system to work its magic, it is time to take advantage of Grand Lake’s grand lakes. In addition to Grand Lake, there is also Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby a bit further afield, both of which also offer all kinds of activity options. If your town has the word lake in it, never mind if it is accompanied by grand, water sports have to part of a summer visit. And while the lake is perennially chilly, it offers plenty to do from boating (hire a ski boat, pontoon, a pleasure boat or a fishing boat or bring your own, there is a public
Photos (clockwise from top left): Jose V via Yelp: Ali L via Yelp; Period Comms; Janet D via Yelp
boat launch on all three lakes - and Shadow Mountain Lake is connected to Grand Lake so you can enjoy both from the same boat). There is also fishing (both Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake are renowned for rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, mackinaw and kokanee), SUP boarding and there is even a lovely little beach, although you may only want to take a full body dip if it is a particularly scorching day! If you need supplies for your afternoon activity, Never Summer Mountain Products on Grand Avenue is the place to go, especially if you want maps or information about hiking in RMNP. They have a sweet line of Grand County and Grand Lake hats and T-shirts, too! There are plenty of other ways to spend a few hours, both in town and a little further afield, including playing a round of golf (there is a course less than 10 minutes away) If you’re a history buff, the Grand Lake Area Historical Society has a self-guided walking tour with a printable map and info about all of the sites which includes the Kauffman House Museum, a log hotel built in 1892 and operated as a hotel until 1946; and the Historic Owen House, a century-old holiday home that is still owned by the same family. Visit grandlakehistory.org. If your Colorado sojourn takes you to other parts of the state, you might want to consider visiting another museum. See page 90 for a few other interesting and curious museums West of 105.
5 PM | PRE-DINNER DRINKS Obviously, there is not a bad time for a beer, so whenever you want one head to The World’s End Brewpub on Grand Avenue. This family-owned pub is currently in the process of setting up its own brewing system, but until they start pouring their own brews, they have a rotating selection of craft beers from across Colorado. There is also a good range of single malt Scotch, several wines (including a few from Colorado) and even a selection of ports. The World’s End Brewpub also has a selection of pub food.
6 PM | DINNER Dinner at Sagebrush BBQ & Grill is a good choice. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Sagebrush is as much a bar as it is a restaurant and is a popular spot for locals to hang out or watch sports. The rustic and laid back atmosphere - so laid back in fact you are actively encouraged to throw peanut shells on the floor - is complemented by the food. There are appetizers - nachos, wings, Rocky Mountain oysters and the like - as well as salads and soups, but the reason to come to a barbecue place is for slow cooked meat that melts in your mouth - think racks of ribs, brisket, pulled pork and barbecued chicken. Not sure what to have? Make your own platter. There are also steaks, fish, pastas, burritos and burgers - quite literally something for everyone on what might be the largest menu in the state. 54 Photos (second from top): The World’s End Brewpub; (bottom two photos): Sagebrush BBQ & Grill via Yelp
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8 PM | THEATER SEASON
For a truly unique evening head to the theater in the mountains. The Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre is a Grand Lake institution, but the quality might surprise people who aren’t familiar with it. The RMRT uses only professional actors with the addition of some college students that study theater, and they hold auditions for the summer program in Denver, Memphis, Chicago and New York to find the 25 actors and 25 supporting professionals they need. This summer season, the RMRT is putting on “Sister Act,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Always...Patsy Cline” and “Disaster!” The season at RMRT runs from June to September and is on a repertory schedule.
Theater Season June 7 Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre opens for the summer
Read more about the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre and several other theater groups around the state in the spring issue of West of 105 magazine here.
Second Saturday Every second Saturday throughout the summer A summer celebration and art walk every second Saturday throughout the season
REST YOUR HEAD There are a good number of cabins and lodges of all shapes and sizes in and around Grand Lake with something to suit most budgets. The truly budget conscious can bring their own accommodation and set up camp at one of the 78 sites at Green Ridge Campground on the shore of Shadow Mountain Lake. Reserve a site at recreation.gov. If you want to sort of split the difference, Elk Creek Campground and RV Resort is five minutes from downtown Grand Lake. Western Riviera Lakeside Lodging is the only lakeside property in Grand Lake within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and so is a very convenient place to lay your head after a day of classic Colorado fun. The Riviera has various cabins and rooms in a lakeside motel, lakeside cabins, courtyard cabins, and for larger groups there is a lake house and a three-bedroom penthouse. There is also a “treehouse” that offers great views of the lake and mountains.
Photos (top): Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre; (bottom): Western Riviera Lakeside
Fourth of July Celebrations July 4 Fireworks over Grand Lake Buffalo Days July 13 and 14 The annual Buffalo Days festival features music, activities, the 5K Buffalo Stampede, a parade with a water fight and buffalo dishes
Grand Lake Classic Boat Show July 27 Classic boats on display at the town docks from 9 am-12:30 pm. Boat parade following, weather permitting.
Photos: (this page clockwise from top left,): Renee Ramge; Cedar Ridge Ranch; Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home; opposite page clockwise from top left): Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home; Marble Distilling Co; Lauren DeFilippo / The Way Home
FIND YOUR PARK SUMMER
C O L O R A D O I S V E R Y F O R T U N AT E T O H AV E F O U R U N I Q U E A N D A M A Z I N G N AT I O N A L P A R K S . H AV I N G SPRUNG BACK TO LIFE IN SPRING AFTER A WINTER RECESS, SUMMER IS WHEN THE PARKS ALL SEE THE MOST VISITORS THANKS TO THE ENVIABLE C O M B I N AT I O N O F I N C R E D I B L E A N D D I V E R S E T E R R A I N A N D AT T R A C T I O N S A N D C O L O R A D O â€™ S T Y P I C A L B L U E S K Y D AY S . C A M P E R S A R E A L S O O U T I N F U L L F O R C E I N S U M M E R , TA K I N G A D VA N TA G E O F B E I N G A B L E T O S L E E P I N T H E G R E AT O U T D O O R S . T H R O U G H O U T S P R I N G , S N O W M E LT F I L L E D WAT E R WAY S A N D N O W THE PARKS ARE TEEMING WITH LIFE OF ALL KINDS 56
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Photo: NPS / Patrick Meyer
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE One of the youngest and most unique national parks in the system, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has 30 sq mi of sand dunes, including the highest dunes in North America. The park attracts a very large number of visitors in summer and in addition to the dunefield there are grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and six 13,000-foot mountains.
thanks to the park being 8,200 feet above sea level, and so are a good time to consider making your way out to High Dune on the first ridge (a 2.5mile round trip that will take around two hours) or Star Dune (the tallest in the dunefield at 755 feet; a trip will take closer to five hours). Two sand wheelchairs are available for loan at the visitor center, one designed for adults and one for children.
While climbing and surfing the dunes is a must, sand surface temperatures can reach 150F on sunny summer afternoons. On these days it is best to wait until the temperature has dropped before venturing out onto the sand. Average daytime highs reach around 75-80F. The mountain areas of the park are perfect for exploring when temperatures are too high on the sand. Summer evenings are surprisingly cool
With such huge swings in temperature, layered clothing is recommended as it can drop to around 40F. Also in summer, afternoon thundershowers are common, especially in July and August, and with them often comes lightning. You need to get off the dunes as soon as you can if it looks as if a thunderstorm is threatening. Lightning strikes are common and can be fatal.
Medano Creek is a popular seasonal creek that is currently flowing at average annual peak flow, however, that won’t last through summer. Check the park’s website for current creek conditions. The flowing creek also means that weekends are extremely crowded with long lines of traffic and full campgrounds. Plan to visit on a weekday for a better experience. Summer is a great time to camp at Sand Dunes. Piñon Flats Campground is open and camping is also permitted anywhere in the dunefield (outside of the day use area). There is a limit of 20 parties in the dunefield per night; permits are free and are issued on a first-come-first-served basis.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK Summer at Rocky is peak visitation time so you can expect congestion on roads and trails, so advance planning is essential. Probably the best thing you can do, if possible, is to schedule your visit between Monday and Thursday. The main reason that the park is so busy during the summer is because almost all areas are accessible, including Long’s Peak, Rocky’s 14er. Much like spring, lower elevations can bring gloriously sunny days, but higher elevation parts of the park can be frigid with snow, so plan accordingly, particularly if you are planning on exploring different areas of the park. Another big difference in summer is that Trail Ridge Road is open. Connecting Estes Park on the east side of the park and Grand Lake on the
west side, Trail Ridge Road is actually US Highway 34 and goes right over the Continental Divide with at least 20 miles of road exceeding 11,000 feet in elevation and peaking at 12,381 feet. As for what you can see in Rocky in the summer, animals tend to spread out with herds of elk moving up to the alpine tundra where the weather is cooler. You may see elk in other ares, but it is all but assured on the tundra. You can also see bighorn sheep inside the park in late spring and early summer when they descend from the Mummy Range to Sheep Lakes in Horseshoe Park. They typically leave the park in the second or third week of August. Moose, coyotes, mountain lions, mule deer and bears also call the park home. With Rocky covering several different climate systems, you can see
wildflowers blooming at different times in different parts of the park. Whether you’re taking a short hike or a multi-day trip, always check trail conditions online or stop in at a visitor center. RMNP has five visitor centers, some of which are open year round while and others are only open seasonally. Pick up a hiking brochure at entrance stations, visitor centers, or at staffed trailheads to find the right hike for you. RMNP also offers several rangerled programs year round. Programs offered throughout summer include night sky programs, evening programs and you can also catch the 23-minute park movie ‘Spirit of the Mountains” at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
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Photos (this page) Aramark; (opposite page): NPS
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK Unique among national parks, Mesa Verde National Park offers a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made the area their home for over 700 years from 550 AD to 1300 AD. The park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde, along with sites in the Four Corners area, have allowed archeologists to compile the story of one of the most significant chapters in the story of ancient America. While Spruce Tree House remains closed for the foreseeable future due to continued safety concerns relating to rock falls, overlooks near the museum offer superb views of the cliff dwelling. Balcony House is open for tours, but the one-hour tour involves climbing a 32-foot ladder to enter the site. You will also crawl through a 12-foot tunnel which is just by 18 inches wide and climb
60 feet up an exposed cliff face using two ladders. Tours of Balcony House are by ticket only. Away from organized tours, Mesa Verde offers the chance to explore on your own. There are exhibits at the visitor center and Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum that provide insights into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo. For something a bit more active, the 2.4mile Petroglyph Point Trail leads to a large petroglyph panel. It begins near the museum. Twelve miles from Far View Lodge (the only lodging inside the park) is Wetherill Mesa and Long House cliff dwelling. The five-mile Long House Loop can be explored by foot or bicycle where you can stop to see several cliff dwelling overlooks. Tickets for a two-hour ranger-guided tour of Long House can be purchased at the visitor center.
Summer can be very hot at Mesa Verde, but is a great time to visit the park with programs and that arenâ€™t on year round. Until Sept 1, visitors can enjoy the Morefield Campground Evening Program. A National Park Service tradition, rangers give lectures in the amphitheater about Mesa Verdeâ€™s natural and cultural history. There is no fee, but you might need a flashlight! Also this summer, the Four Corners Lecture Series continues with a range of talks and performances including very special performances of traditional Hopi dances by the Lomayestewa family at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center on Saturday June 29 at 11 am, Noon, 2 pm and 4 pm and Sunday, July 30 at the same times.
BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK Summer is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison’s busy season and while visitor numbers are dwarfed by other parks in the system, the size and layout of the park means that it can feel as crowded as any other park, so if you want to avoid the crowds, get an early start or camp out and get up with the dawn! Even though it is one of the smaller parks in the network, the Black Canyon packs in the spectacle. Summer brings a good percentage of the park’s annual precipitation, so be sure to check the weather before you venture out to avoid disappointment, although unless the rain is particularly heavy, you will be able to find somewhere to hike, and the canyon looks stunning in all weather, anyway. If you are planning on taking your four-legged friend, note that dog restrictions will be in effect for South Rim Campground and the Rim Rock Trail from June 1 to Aug. 10, 2019.
60 Photos (this page): NPS / Victoria Stauffenberg; (opposite page): Vail Farmers’ Market
Summer also means the East Portal Campground is open. Technically located within Curecanti National Recreation Area, the campground is two miles downstream of Crystal Dam at the bottom of the canyon. Accessed via a turn off at the park’s entrance station and an extremely steep (15% grade) five-mile drive with hairpin curves down to the river, the campground is shaded by box elder trees and is near the historic Gunnison River Diversion Tunnel, a technological marvel of its day. There are 15 sites with vault toilets. There is water in summer. Vehicles with an overall length greater than 22 feet are prohibited.
than 9,000 miles of trout streams in Colorado, only 168 miles are designated as gold medal.
East Portal Road is also the easiest access point for fishing the gold medal water and wild trout water of the Gunnison River within Black Canyon. The gold medal waters begin 200 yards downstream of Crystal Dam and continue to the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Of the more
The North Rim of the Black Canyon is much less visited and offers a different experience. It can be accessed via North Rim Road (which is itself accessed from CO Highway 92 at Crawford).
Elevation in the park ranges from 5,400 feet at the bottom of the canyon to 8,775 feet on Signal Hill, and as such the flora and fauna change with it. The rims of the canyon are dominated by scrub oak and pinyon-juniper forests as well as some high-desert sagebrush while the north-facing slopes have Douglas fir and Colorado blue spruce. Down in the canyon and near the river it is a different story with deciduous trees and shrubs.
DRINKING & DINING
Page 62 - Food Trucks
A dozen food trucks worth checking out this summer and where you can find them
Page - 68 Summer Beers & Rosés Check out the half a dozen beers and four rosés we’ll be sipping on all summer long
Page 72 - Farm to Table
A look at the bountiful feasts that are offered direct from farm to table across Colorado
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62 Photo (this page): 11st Street Station
12 Food Trucks to Check out This Summer
These days, there is a veritable convoy of food trucks scattered across Colorado. They often crisscross the state for festivals and events bringing dishes from across the globe to a new audience. Here is a selection of some we love.
11TH STREET STATION
A food truck collective, 11th Street has been in operation since October 2017. Open year round, the food trucks bring a range of global cuisines to Durango - from pizza to poke. There is also plenty of seating. 11th Street also hosts events throughout the year including special events for nonprofits and family events around major holidays. As for what you can expect, there is currently pizza from The Box; sushi, poke bowls and more from Mannies Fresh Co.; Mexican dishes from Cuevas Tacos; breakfast burritos, sliders and salads from Backcountry Gourmet; and Thai dishes from Marianna’s Authentic Thai Cuisine. There is coffee from Taste Coffee.
Just over a year ago, family members Michelle, Alex and Daniel Castillo started the Dliciousfoodco food truck. Primarily located at Storm King Distilling, the truck moves to Centennial Plaza in Montrose for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. They also make occasional appearances at local festivals. Everything at Dliciousfoodco is cooked to order and made from scratch. The menu is updated regularly, especially seasonally, but most often when chef Chef Daniel has “the urge to get creative.” They have a “Date Night” dinner every Saturday which can be paired with cocktails from Storm King. Guests are welcome to sit on the Storm King patio or inside the tasting room.
Roaring Fork Valley & Beyond Slow Groovin’ is primarily two brick-and-mortar restaurants, one in Marble and one in Snowmass, but the company also has a food truck that travels to different festivals and events throughout the area. Regular events include the Carbondale Rodeo on Thursdays during the summer, Glenwood Springs Music in the Park, and the 5 Point Film Festival. As for the food, over the last eight years, the team has found that the combination of simple yet high-quality is the key to cooking on the road. To that end, pulled pork and brisket sandwiches and ribs, seem to do the trick for them.
EATERY 66 Ridgway
Located on 520 Sherman Street in Ridgway, Eatery 66 is technically a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but there is a gleaming converted Airstream on the property that serves smoothies, drinks, desserts and tacos on select nights. Eatery 66 is run by husband and wife team Spencer and Katie Graves. After moving around for several years Charleston, San Diego, Telluride, Costa Rica - they eventually landed in Ridgway in 2012. Eatery 66 opened in 2014. The menu at Eatery 66 is, as is typical with people who truly care about what they serve, changeable. That is to say, it changes with creative inspiration, seasonality, availability and the desires of the community. The philosophy of Eatery 66 seems simple enough: simple food, from simple ingredients made with love.
Authenticity is the order of the day at Paonia Paella which serves fresh and organic Spanish cuisine made from scratch. There is always a seasonal salad and tortilla patata, but the plato fuerte is authentic Valencian paella. Vicente Perez Martinez and Sarah Perez Sadler conceived the idea for Paonia Paella while they were living in Valencia, which also happens to be the home of both Vicente and paella. Learning the art of cooking paella from his grandfather, Vincent and Sarah have brought the classic rice dish from the Spanish countryside to the North Fork Valley. They serve three types of paella: the traditional Valencian Paella which has chicken; a vegetarian version; and Paonia paella which is made with local pork.
BUENA VIKING Buena Vista
Evan and Anna Winger have been serving BV since May of 2017 (well between May and September at least) from the patio at the awesome Deerhammer Distillery on Main Street. Serving all kinds of goodies from a funky food truck on Main Street, the Buena Viking has an extensive menu that includes signature burgers, melts and a few different kinds of loaded tater tots and sweet potato fries. Favorites include the Boone Burger (which has a slab of cream cheese and jalapeños) and signature burger the Viking (cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo). The First Snow has goat cheese and honey on it while the truffle parm tots are surely to die for.
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65 Photos: (in order from 1 - 6); 11st Street Station; Christina B via Yelp; DLiciousfoodco; Gabrielle Louse; Slow Grovinâ€™; Buena Viking
BISCUIT TRUCK Basalt
Owned by Matthew Campbell, the Biscuit Truck has been in business for less than a year. Open 6 am - 10:30 am, Monday through Friday in the Movieland parking lot in Basalt, the Biscuit Truck serves, as you might imagine, biscuits. In fact, only the breakfast burrito doesn’t involve biscuits.
Drawing inspiration from Southern food traditions, Campbell offers sizable portions while being as fresh and inventive as possible. The truck also serves Rock Canyon coffee which is roasted a block from Campbell’s commissary kitchen. This summer, Campbell will be taking the Biscuit Truck on the road for various events. Find out where by following the Biscuit Truck on Facebook.
BURNELLS FARMHOUSE EATERY
Gunnison & Crested Butte
This year is the third year of operation for Burnells. Back in the summer of 2017, Denise and Kevin Reinert brought their Southern-inspired food to the Gunnison and Crested Butte area with a menu that blended the flavors and styles of New Orleans and Santa Fe. Typically in operation between May and October (although they are exploring ideas for next winter), the menu changes for each event but typically you will find dishes inspired by Southern comfort food as well as a few with some heat courtesy of the southwest. Named after Kevin Reinert’s maternal family of farmers from Illinois, Burnells focuses on using as many local ingredients as possible and presenting them in a range of interesting dishes.
Michele Poumay has been serving authentic crepes from his food truck on the corner of Main Avenue and College Drive in Durango for a decade. Open all year, but with somewhat irregular hours in winter, summer sees the truck open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm (later during holidays and special events). The menu at Michele’s rarely changes, but special crepes are added from time to time. Michele doesn’t stray too far from classic combinations, but he does put his own spin on them. Of course, classic crepe combinations from a European aren’t necessarily what most visitors expect, particularly the savory crepes such as ham, Gruyère and tomato or chicken and wild mushroom. The other selling point for Michele’s Crepes is the setting - the truck and seating area is practically encased in flowers during the summer and classical music fills the air.
Caravan offers a range of dishes from around the Middle East including falafel, shish kebabs, hummus, baba ganoush and baklava. Caravan also offers a range of smoothies and drinks, including the interesting Whole Meal Vegetable, a blend of kale, carrot, banana, rice milk, mango, apple, quinoa and vegan protein mix! Caravan makes a big effort to use as many local and organic products as it can. In fact, Caravan’s website lists almost 50 organic ingredients that they use. Located on East Colorado Avenue in the heart of downtown Telluride, Caravan is open for business between 10 am – 5 pm every day in summer.
WOODY’S Q SHACK
Operating since 2012, the Woodys in question are Kyle and Michelle Woodward. Open year round, the shack spends most of the year at Hoser’s Car Wash. When they do take to the road, the shack tends to stick to southern Colorado and the San Luis Valley. As for what to expect, well that would be award-winning barbecue. As one of the state’s most successful competition barbecue teams, the menu is pretty much made up of classic barbecue cuts - brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, turkey, wings and sausage. There are sandwiches and burgers, too, as well as the classic sides of beans, potato salad and coleslaw.
SURFIN’ SALMON Grand Junction
While Surfin’ Salmon has been in business for three years, Logan Pettit only took over as owner this year, and he is pretty excited about it. Typically in operation from April to September, Pettit is considering extending into October, or even later, this year. Surfin’ Salmon offers a range of seafood filled tacos as well as quesadillas and salads, although the exact menu depends on what is available. You can, however, expect tacos made from ingredients like red salmon, Dungeness crab and Alaskan cod. There are also non-seafood tacos like carne asada and portobello mushroom. You can expect to see Surfin’ Salmon all over the Grand Valley this summer at various events including the summer music series concerts in Ridgway and Paonia. Keep track of where Surfin’ Salmon will be by following their Facebook page.
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67 Photos: (in order from 7 - 12); Biscuit Truck; Robert L via Yelp; Burnells; Woody’s Q Shack; Period Comms; Sorfin’ Salmon
MURAL NEW BELGIUM
PINEAPPLE ACIDE ELEVATION BEER CO.
CAN-O-BLISS HAZY IPA OSKAR BLUES BREWERY
Brewed in collaboration with Cerveceria Primus from Mexico City, this fresh vibrant number is an easy sipping beer featuring hibiscus, agave, watermelon and lime.
A kettle sour saison featuring amarillo and tettnang hops and two row and white wheat malts, this is a refreshing, tart and sour (but not overtly so) brew.
Brewed with strata, cashmere, enigma, hallertau blanc and eureka hops has resulted in a hop-forward hazy IPA with peach, nectarine, cantaloupe and white wine flavors.
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SIPPIN’ PRETTY ODELL BREWING CO.
MEXICAN LOGGER SKA BREWING
THIS SEASON’S BLONDE ASPEN BREWING COMPANY
A fruited sour blended from the tropical combination of acai, guava and elderberry which are balanced out with the addition of Himalayan pink sea salt.
Ska’s take on a Mexican-style lager, this is an easy-sipping brew that’s perfect for soaring summer temps. The lager is brewed using aromatic saaz hops. Add a lime.
Another crisp and clean offering for summer, this American blonde ale has flavors of wheat and honey malt with stirling, cascade and palisade hops.
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Rosé All Day Rosé seems to have shaken off any negative reputation it once had with sales across the country in the last few years soaring thanks, in part at least, to its light and easy drinking nature. Long associated with Provence, where the Mediterranean makes for cool evenings which in turn create a distinct growing climate, Colorado also has very hot days that are mediated by cool evenings thanks to the high altitude. An ideal climate for several grape varieties that are in turn great for making rosés, it is no surprise that there are more rosés than ever before in Colorado. Perfect for hot and dry Colorado summers, now is a great time to get out there and explore what the cadre of capable winemakers in the state have on offer. Here are a few that we have enjoyed recently.
Photo: The Storm Cellar
WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING
LONG DAY ROSÉ Red Fox Cellars $19 Red Fox Cellars in Palisade has just seven acres of vines where it grows its seven varietals. The Long Day Rosé is made from estate-grown tempranillo grapes that are crushed, cold soaked and pressed in a single long day. Refreshing but still bold and dry, it has aromas of strawberry, honeydew and cantaloupe while in the background there is grapefruit and a hard to define herbal quality. Strawberry is the dominant flavor but there is also a hint of watermelon and fresh mint. Easy enough to drink by itself, it can also be paired with spicy foods and works well with tacos and the like. The Long Day Rosé is also a former Governor’s Cup gold medal winner.
2017 COLORADO ROSÉ Buckel Family Wine $19 Made from mourvedré and grenache grapes, Buckel’s 2017 Colorado Rosé is made for sipping on cool summer evenings and hot summer days. Reminiscent of strawberries, rose petals and hibiscus, it pairs well with the bold flavors of prosciutto, olives and goat cheese as well as oysters. Fermented for 29 days in 100 percent stainless steel, it has a refreshing acidity with a recognizable minerality. Along with the rest of the Buckel range, the 2017 Colorado Rosé can be purchased online at buckelfamilywine.com and at a number of wine shops across the state. They can be found using the tasting room locater feature on the website. The wine will also be available at the new Buckle Family Wine tasting room will open in Gunnison this summer.
ROSÉ OF PINOT NOIR The Storm Cellar $22 A combination of 80 percent pinot noir and 20 percent riesling, Storm Cellar’s rosé is a blend of grapes that have been hand-harvested from both Storm Cellar’s Redstone Vineyard at 5,885 feet and from the former Terror Creek Vineyard at 6,400 feet. This ultra high-elevation, Provençal-style blush has aromas of spring petrichor, Rainier cherry, alpine strawberry, cherry blossom and tart white peach. With a mediumplus acidity, it has a crisp finish and is preceded by notes of white peach, sour strawberry and salt water taffy. With just 55 cases produced, this won’t be around for too long. Pair with charred vegetables, grilled chicken or shrimp, and hard, aged cheese.
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2017 CANTERRIS Colterris $22 / four pack When it comes to rosés, Colterris might be considered somewhat prolific given that it currently has three available: the Coral White Cabernet Sauvignon, the Livid Malbec Rosé and the “Canterris” Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Canterris is of course notable because it is a canned wine, which if nothing else lends itself very nicely to the active lifestyle enjoyed by many Coloradoans. Made from 100 percent cabernet sauvignon, Canterris has notes of strawberries and sweet cherries and is smooth yet fruity on the palate. To produce the rosé, the fruit is picked earlier to get a higher acid content and therefore a much different fruit profile than with the full color red version.
72 Photo: Neringa Greiciute / Outstanding in the Field
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Farm to Table A perfect storm of fresh, local and seasonal produce prepared by experts and served in a beautiful setting, farmto-table dinners are a great way to savor the bounty of the season.
Outstanding in the Fields at the Fresh Herb C o., Longmont Started 20 years ago, Outstanding in the Field is a sort of traveling restaurant that comes to town and utilizes the resources on offer to create a memorable dining experience, including both local ingredients and local talent. Celebrating everyone in the supply chain - farmers, chefs, cheese makers, vintners, brewers etc - the field kitchen will be making a stop in Longmont on July 27.
brewers who will contribute their beers to be paired with Dulyeâ€™s summer feast include Troy and Emily Casey from Casey Brewing & Blending in Glenwood Springs, Emily Cleghorn from Outer Range Brewing Co in Frisco and Juice Drapeau of Oskar Blues Brewery. Plenty of the culinary herbs and specialty vegetables and salad greens from The Fresh Herb Co. will be part of the feast, too.
The seated dinner at The Fresh Herb Co. will bring around 180 people together for a dinner that will be paired with beer and prepared, appropriately, by Adam Chef Dulye, executive chef of the Brewers Association. Guest
The table will no doubt be set in the fragrant fields of lavender, near the tranquil trickling stream, or under the shade of cottonwood trees. Tickets for the The Fresh Herb Co. dinner are $265.
Sustainable Settings, Carbondale Just outside Carbondale on the Crystal River, Sustainable Settings Ranch has a mission to create a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable society, one that can provide permanent prosperity within the biophysical constraints of the real world in a way that is equitable to all of humanity, other species, and future generations. Part of that mission involves hosting an annual harvest festival dinner fund-raiser, an event that has been going on for almost 20 years. Sourcing the vast majority of the produce used in the harvest festival dinner from the ranch itself - including biodynamic herbs, meat, dairy and eggs - several chefs are brought in to turn that produce into a delectable dinner. Local musicians will be on hand and drinks will come from Jack Rabbit Hill Biodynamic Wines, Cap Rock Biodynamic Spirits, Roaring Fork Brewery craft beers, Elevated Elixirs and Big B’s juice and hard cider. The Annual Harvest Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 4-9 pm. Tickets are $150 and it typically sells out sometime in August.
Dinner on the Divide, Devil’s Thumb Ranch This summer, Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Resort will host two farm-to-table dinners on property as part of its farmto-fork culinary program. The Ranch’s culinary team will bring together a menu made up of ingredients sourced from local and regional farms, breweries and distilleries as well as plenty of fresh produce from the property’s own garden. There will also be musical entertainment and wines from Cline Cellars. Lasting approximately three hours, dinners include pre-dinner cocktails and tastings. The two Dinners on the Divide this year are on June 16 and July 21 and tickets are $110 per person.
Photos opposite page Neringa Greiciute; photos this page (top): Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa (bottom): Sustainable Settings
Vail Farmers’’ Market Farm to Table Dinner Series, Vail Returning for its fifth season, the Vail Farmers’ Market Farm to Table Dinner Series can accommodate up to 150 people per dinner. Part of the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show, which is returning for its 19th summer season, the three dinners will be held on July 12, July 26 and Aug. 16. In such a fertile and productive area, it is no surprise to find out that the vast majority of the produce used in the dinners (more than 95 percent) comes from within 100 miles of Vail, with the rest being fish brought in. Chefs receive a list of ingredients that are available from the market and use that information to create menus for the dinners. The valley’s culinary chops are on full display at these dinners as chefs
Photos opposite page (top): Kimberly Mitiska Photography; photos this page: Vail Farmers’ Market
to collaborate to present different courses of the same dinner. A previous dinner saw an appetizer of pan-fried green tomato salad with fire-roasted corn, pepper and onion relish and tomato with an oregano vinaigrette, mixed greens and AnnaVail ricotta cheese from Tim McCaw of The 10th precede grilled Colorado lamb chops with a honeycomb lamb leberkase, zucchini, corn mousse and a garlic scape verge from Hotel Talisa Executive Chef Jay Spickelmier. Dinners cost $115 per person and typically sell out a week or two before each event. Taste of Vail participating wineries and craft beer is also included with each meal. The dinners run from 6 pm -8 pm.
WEST OF 105 | DRINKING & DINING
Lyons Farmette, Lyons Old hands at hosting farm dinners having held them for the last eight years, Lyons Farmette will be collaborating with a number of local and state-wide gastronomic figures for dinners between July 3 and Sept. 25 this year.
environmental sustainability. In addition to farm dinners, there are also various workshops. It is also a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.
All of the produce, herbs, meat and flowers come from the Farmette and other local organic farms nearby. Chefs are told what will be harvested the week of their dinner and menus are built around that produce. Each dinner can accommodate around 80 people.
Dinners this year include a collaboration with The Butcher and The Blonde, a catering company based in Lafayette, on Wednesday July 17 from 6 pm - 9 pm. Chef Thomas Brome will prepare a multi-course dinner using local produce and locally raised meats. There will, however, be something for both meat eaters and vegetarians.
A working organic farm and education center, Lyons Farmette was initially established with the intention of creating a community center in Lyons by bringing together art, animals, locally-grown food, education and
All Lyons Farmette dinner are benefits with proceeds from the sale of wine and beer going to a nonprofit. This dinner will benefit the Colorado Haiti Project. Tickets are $100 per person.
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Stone Cottage Cellars, Paonia With four events this summer and autumn, each with two seatings (4 pm and 6:30 pm), there are plenty of opportunities to experience a Stone Cottage Cellars farm-to-table dinner. However, each event is limited to 20 guests.
The barrel tasting and wine pairing dinners utilize as much local produce as possible and in the past have included beef from Hotchkiss, lamb and goat cheese from Paonia as well as local peaches, apples, vegetables, sausage and artisan sourdough. There is also a
good amount that comes from the on-property farm including herbs, cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, garlic and microgreens. Dishes for this yearâ€™s dinners include a pickled ginger sesame salad and ginger soy sesame shrimp ceviche served with a dry gewurztraminer, and a beef peppercorn cured sausage, Italian basil crusted eggplant with roasted red pepper and romesco with red wine pesto, arugula, heirloom tomato and balsamic vinaigrette salad with a merlot - from the highest altitude merlot vineyards in the northern hemisphere, no less. The dinners are on June 15, July 6, Aug 3, and Sept 28.
78 Photos: Kasey Ericksson Kropp
Page 80 - Summer Fashion Our top apparel and accessory picks for her and him this season
Page 82 - Haven
Taylor River Lodge offers the perfect balance between indulgence and adventure
Page 86 - Top 10
From gentle waters to full-on waves (and even yoga!) we round up our favorite places to SUP
Page 88 - Beauty
A sprawling yet relaxing haven of wellness and relaxation awaits in the mountains Photo: Cedar Ridge Ranch
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FASHION FOR HER
What we love: This reversible top offers wide shoulder straps and full coverage, great for SUP yoga sessions, kayaking or just lounging lake side.
What we love: This jumper is ideal for summer festivals and road trips. The lightweight fabric blend is cooling and there are pockets for stashing the essentials
What we love: Stay sun safe with this full coverage, water and wind resistant layer while you enjoy the plethora of Colorado water activities this summer. Bonus points for being made in the USA and having zip pockets.
prAna | Vivir Reversible Bikini Top $60
Carve Designs Stella Zip Up $122 United by Blue Anywhere Jumpsuit $108 What we love: Sweaty summer activities should be paired with this odor-resistance, merino tank which also features mesh panels that help regulate temperature. It is also quick drying.
Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Tank $60
Mountain Khakis Sandbar Short Classic $64.95
Forsake Women’s Maya $114.95 What we love: These breathable shoes will keep feet nice and cool on hot summer days thanks to a nylon knit upper and moisture-wicking lining, while the brand’s “Peak-to-Pavement” outsole will do just that - carry you from the mountains to the brewery effortlessly.
What we love: These trendy little shorts offer a mid-rise, classic fit and shorter inseam. We love the color (which happens to be the Pantone color of the year!). They are also available in a pant option.
Toad & Co. Earthworks Skirt $75 What we love: This super soft skirt is a dressy alternative to shorts but moisture-wicking properties and a decent amount of stretch means you can wear it on gentle hikes. Deep drop pockets are perfect for snacks and a phone.
What we love: This multi-use duffel bag can be configured into three different sizes (30, 45 and 60 liters) and is perfect for a wide variety of uses including day trips to the lake or longer weekend getaways. When not in use the duffel packs up into a small disc.
FASHION FOR HIM
What we love: A shirt that can take you from an outdoor adventure to a nice dinner out (it is Colorado after all!). We love this cotton / linen blend top for virtually any summer outing or festival.
Costa Spearo Sunglasses $269 What we love: Sturdy frames stand up to more intense outings while the green mirror lenses make the beautiful Colorado summer colors downright pop. Features include nose pads, and a non-slip grip.
Trivium Duffel Bag $59
Dakota Grizzly Chase Shirt $68
What we love: This ultra lightweight (under 11 oz) waterproof jacket performs impeccably. Breathability is essential for warmer summer showers, while pit zips keep you cool and airy. The hood is helmet compatible and it self-stuffs into the chest pocket.
What we love: Made of 100 percent brushed cotton, these chinos are plush and have a great fit thanks to the 35.5 inch inseam. They are offered in a wide array of colors Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket $199
What we love: If youâ€™re looking to hit the trail for a short hike or multi-day thru hike, these Danners have you covered. Lightweight, comfortable and stylish, they are also great for just jaunting around town.
Helly Hansen Vippa Walkshorts $70 What we love: These versatile shorts have a quick-drying fabric and water wicking properties - perfect for going from trail to lake to brewery.
Danner Trail 2650 $150
Life After Denim Long Weekend Chino $138 81
HAVEN THE COLLECTION OF RUSTIC-CUM-LUXURIOUS CABINS IN THE WOODS JUST OUTSIDE THE HAMLET OF ALMONT IS ACTUALLY A GATEWAY TO ADVENTURE AND INDULGENCE
HE first thing you probably won’t notice about Taylor River Lodge, is the actual property. Somewhat hidden in plain sight behind a high wooden fence (that blends with the landscape) right off County Road 742, the dozen or so buildings that make up the property are easily concealed. It is actually hard to define Taylor River Lodge. It’s definitely luxurious, but not in a shiny, superficial way, but rather in its richness. There is an authenticity that you can see in the buildings and furnishings (in fact, many of the buildings are built on original footprints using the original six-inch D-log kits). Without the modern amenities (steam showers, wifi, Nest thermostats and the like), the cabins would be pretty much as they were decades before.
Copper John, the first building you come to that is the reception, a fishing supplies shop and the media and games room, is warm and cozy, while the cabins, of which there are eight - six queen-sized, three with twin bedded lofts and three without; and two single family homes, one king suite and one queen suite - are beautiful but rustic at the same time, which is somewhat of a theme at Taylor River Lodge. That theme seems to extend across the property and throughout the experience. The rough with the smooth, the adventure with the luxury, professionalism without fawning. Your hands might be soft and nails manicured after half day in the spa on Monday and those same nails broken and those hands blistered after a half a day scampering up a rock face (which conveniently is minutes from the lodge across the river). Of course, you don’t have to earn the delicious dinners served up in the Main Lodge. If you want to use your time to relax totally and completely, you can, but don’t be surprised if the staff continue to offer
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Photos (all): Gateway Canyons 84
excursions or options for adventure (particularly as TRL is, for the most part, an all-inclusive resort). With so few cabins, even at full capacity, it is hard to imagine the property feeling too busy, especially as most guests will likely be out and about doing something, reading in the lodge with a cocktail or basking in the sun riverside. The cabins are also set far enough apart and with enough trees between to offer relative solitude. A key component of the TRL experience is adventure. With a whitewater river literally flowing past the property and excellent rock climbing minutes away (as well as a rock climbing wall on property), there is no excuse to not indulge. But the real beauty of TRL is that whatever you want can pretty much be accommodated whether that is half a day mountain biking on the trails at Hartman Rocks in nearby Gunnison or a multi day adventure. The same goes for fishing. You can reel in fish from the on-property pond or fish some of the best trout rivers in the country. The same applies to hiking, stand up paddle boarding, whitewater rafting and inflatable kayaking. Want to climb a 14er? Than can be arranged, too. There is also a marksman’s range including axe throwing and archery. Dining follows the same philosophy. It isn’t that TRL isn’t fine dining, the elk tenderloin and gratinated potatoes are testament to the fact that it is, but it isn’t trying too hard. For example, the food is excellent, but the menu is purposely limited. You get to choose meals in advance, but the menus aren’t extensive with typically just a few main courses to choose from (for some of us a lack of options is in itself relaxing). Dishes can, of course, be tailored to your dietary needs and personal preferences, within reason. The same goes for wine. There is a lot of effort that goes into what wines to stock, mostly based on what the menus choices are, but they don’t have a bottomless cellar and can’t necessarily pull out a Château Mouton Rothschild 1947 on request (although it wouldn’t be a surprise if one can be acquired if you are staying long enough). The whole idea behind Eleven Experiences, or at least it seems to be, is to give you the choices that allow you to create your own vacation, whatever that may be. elevenexperience.com
Photos: Eleven Experience
TOP 10: SUP SPOTS
While stand-up paddle boarding has been broadly popular across the country for some time - at least a decade, during which time Colorado played its part in the sport’s evolution as whitewater rafters took the boards down mountain rivers bursting with snowmelt - it was a more recent innovation, namely the arrival of inflatable paddleboards, that enabled the sport to become even more accessible. Now, you can pick one up for a few hundred bucks, pump it up lakeside and paddle away. This summer will inevitably see thousands of SUP boarders take to Colorado’s waterways for everything from a gentle paddle to a full on whitewater adventure. Here are a few places that you can get your paddle on (as well as other waterbased pursuits, too!).
1. MONTROSE WATER SPORTS PARK Montrose The Montrose Water Sports Park was created back in 2015 thanks, in part, to a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). Designed to be able to accommodate everyone, from waders to whitewater kayakers, the park consists of 1,000 feet of river with six drop structures as well as spectator areas. There are also beach areas and ADA-accessible put-in and take-out ramps. In fact, it is one of the largest of its kind in the state and one of the few in the US to be ADA accessible. The park is also host to FUNC Fest, a two-day party on the Uncompahgre River that includes live music, craft beer, camping, freestyle kayaking and surfing contests and SUP board events from Aug. 9-10.
2. HIGHLINE LAKE Grand Junction Northwest of Grand Junction, Highline Lake State Park is something of an oasis in the desert. The park’s two lakes - Mack Mesa Lake and Highline Lake - are the highlights are very popular in summer for obvious reasons, particularly on weekends. Highline is open to power boating, jet skiing, water skiing, sail boating, sailboarding and paddle boards from March 1 through Sept. 30. Mack Mesa Lake is restricted to paddle boards and hand or electricmotor powered boats only. There is also camping, fishing, birding and biking in the park.
3. CRAWFORD STATE PARK Crawford Not far from the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Crawford State Park is almost entirely made up of the 414 surface acre lake and as such makes it popular with jet skiers, paddle boarders, water skiers and even windsurfers although few take advantage of this last one. There is also a swim beach. Popular for overnight trips
Photo: Tripp Fay / Meta Yoga Studios
WEST OF 105 | LIFESTYLE
thanks to the 60 plus campsites, there is also fishing, biking and hiking although at a total of 734 acres, the park is one of the smallest state parks, so don’t expect too much in the way of trails.
4. MAGGIE POND Breckenridge Maggie Pond is right in the heart of Breckenridge at the base of Peak 9. A continuation of the Upper Blue River as it begins its flow through downtown Breckenridge, the pond was originally a mining pit that was later filled with water. It’s a quick walk from Main Street and a great way to spend a few hours on a hot day. There are outfitters in town where you can rent a paddle board. The pond is also popular with local yoga practitioners with several classes on offer including from Meta Yoga Studios (pictured here). The pond also has great views of the Tenmile Mountain Range.
5. BOULDER RESERVOIR Boulder Very close to the 105th meridian, Boulder Reservoir is a 700-acre, multi-use recreation and water-storage facility that is owned and managed by the City of Boulder. Popular with boaters (although all watercraft, including canoes, kayaks and kiteboards require a boat permit), sailing classes and camps are offered for ages seven to adult by the nonprofit group Community Sailing Colorado. The reservoir is popular with SUP boarders, too, and several companies, including Rocky Mountain Paddleboard, offer SUP yoga classes (as they have for the last seven years). Rocky Mountain Paddleboard also offers full moon and new moon paddles. A $7 entry fee per adult is charged for access to th reservoir. Open until Sept. 2 this year.
6. ELKHEAD RESERVOIR STATE PARK Craig Just 10 miles northeast of Craig in the Yampa Valley, Elkhead Reservoir State Park is something of an oasis in a veritable desert as it is surrounded by gently rolling hills of irrigated farmland, dryland wheat and rangeland. The park’s 900acre reservoir offers all kinds of recreational opportunities including boating, swimming, jet skiing, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, bird watching, biking, horseback riding and fishing. SUP boarding is best undertaken in the designated no-wake areas on the north end of the lake. A personal flotation device must be worn while in the water (except at the designated swim beach). The park is also home to the Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic. The tournament will take place between June 22 and June 30.
7. EAGLE RIVER PARK Eagle The Eagle River Park project is a 4.3-acre park including two main components - the in-stream design and construction of a new world class whitewater park and the Upland Park parcel on the north side of the Colorado River. The whitewater park features waves, eddies, chutes, and drops that will be fun to tube and float during low water times, while higher flows will bring larger and more challenging waves that will be ideal for kayakers and SUP boarders. These waves will also be ideal for competitions.
8. TWILIGHT LAKE Durango Located right across the highway from the entrance to Purgatory Resort and 30 minutes north of Durango, Twilight Lake is a quaint lake that is perfect for beginners and families to learn the basics of SUP boarding, kayaking or canoeing. Durango Board and Boat are on hand with rental boards and boats. They also have paddle boats for those who really want to take it easy.
9. LAKE SAN CRISTOBAL Lake City Lake San Cristobal is the lake of Lake City. Formed around 700 years ago by a rare natural earth flow called the Slumgullion Slide, which blocked the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the state and a great place to stop for a day of fun on the water. It is a well-known spot for trout fishing and there is a county-owned public campground with 31 sites on the east side of the lake. It is popular with boaters too, including canoeists, kayakers and those who want to fish from the surface. Bring a SUP board and glide around on its glassy surface.
10. PRIEST LAKE Telluride Not exactly a secret, but less used than some other bodies of water on this list, Priest Lake just outside Telluride is a small and undeveloped lake with a dispersed campground on its banks (that, however, is currently under review by the Forest Service). A short drive past the more developed and more utilized Trout Lake, Priest Lake is perfect for an afternoon floating as only non-motorized boating is allowed. Telluride-based SOL Paddle Boards are one of several companies in Telluride that have rentals if you don’t have your own.
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BEAUTY NESTLED IN THE HEART OF THE VAIL VALLEY AND TAKING ITS TREATMENT CUES FROM MOTHER NATURE IS THE 27,000-SQUARE FOOT SPA ANJALI.
ITH 14 treatment rooms, a full-service salon and an athletic club, Spa Anjali, which means “divine offering” in Sanskrit, is one of the larger spas around. Located at the The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, other facilities include an outdoor saline lap pool, three infinity hot tubs and the aforementioned athletic club which offers daily yoga, Pilates and cycling classes. In addition to a range of massages and facials, Spa Anjali offers what it calls spa excursions. These curated spa journeys offer treatments inspired by the Rocky Mountains, the Alps and the Himalayas, with each “journey” offering several treatments. Among the other treatments on offer, the CBD massage stands out as the most Coloradan. Using CBD hemp oil to hydrate and rejuvenate skin while easing the aches and pains that result as part of an active lifestyle, the treatment also includes muscle-specific work and focuses on any problem areas. Other treatments we like include the gentleman’s deep cleansing facial and the Rocky Mountain sports massage.
Photos (this page):True Nature Healing Arts; (opposite page): Theatre Aspen
CULTURE & EVENTS
Page 90 - Mountain Museums We round up some of the more unique and interesting museums located West of 105
Page 98 - Event Spotlights
Three must-attend festivals or events this summer
Page 104 - Holiday: Fourth of July
A time-honored tradition in Grand Junction is to way the raising of Old Glory in Colorado National Monument
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LIVING HIST There is no accounting for tenacity or passion. Across the state, people and organizations have gathered collections and assortments of all kinds of memorabilia, curios, oddities and knick knacks into museums.
Some offer thoughtful and curated insight into the life and times of interesting people while others merely catalog a personal proclivity. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of museums across the state. Here are a few we like.
MUSEUM OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST, MONTROSE The Museum of the Mountain West is a tribute to and historical record of the Old West. With thousands of artifacts, the museum, actually a collection of buildings rather than one structure, is the result of a 90 Photo: Museum of the Mounta
lifelong passion for collecting historical archaeologist began Western memorabilia. With collecting when he was the vast majority of the just four years old, had memorabilia coming from the his first “museum” in his period between the 1880’s parents’ guest room at the to the 1940’s, the museum age of eight, and by 12 he was founded by Richard E. had begun his card catalog Fike in 1997. The retiredWESTOF105.COM of artifacts.
Located just outside of Montrose, tours of the museum are available and are guided by docents. Allow two hours for a complete tour. The museum was incorporated in 2005 and is a registered nonprofit.
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GATEWAY AUTO MUSEUM, GATEWAY A genuinely world-class museum, the Gateway Auto Museum is part of Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa that was founded by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks. The 30,000-square-foot museum features more than 50 cars, including some that are very rare and historic like the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car which was purchased at auction for $3.25 million. All of the vehicles are immaculate and look as if they have just come off the production line.
Photo (top): Gateway Canyons; (bottom): Period Comms
Devoted to understanding and celebrating the history, design and social impact of the American automobile, the museum quite possibly has no equal anywhere in the country. The collection captures a century of American automotive history, from the 1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe all the way to the historic NASCAR Chevrolet raced by driver Jimmie Johnson. Broken up into several galleries, the museum is an absolute must for car enthusiasts or anyone who appreciates art or engineering.
JACK DEMPSEY MUSEUM, MANASSA Tiny Manassa in south central Colorado is, at least in part, responsible for producing one of the world’s greatest heavyweight boxers. Jack Dempsey, AKA the Manassa Mauler, was born in Manassa in 1895. Although he had to , leave the area to follow his boxing ambitions, his legend lives on here. He went on to win the heavyweight championship in 1919 by knocking out Jesse Willard and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
A museum in his honor was dedicated in 1966 in the cabin in which Dempsey was born. The museum contains several artifacts from Dempsey’s career including gloves he wore during a fight in New York in which he successfully defended his title. Black-and-white photographs line the walls as do art pieces and plaques. Outside the log cabin there is a full-size statue of Dempsey in full fighting pose. Lovers of boxing history or the man himself should add Manassa to their next Colorado road trip.
SAGUACHE COUNTY MUSEUM, SAGUACHE The Saguache County Museum is housed in an adobe building that has, at various times, been a school, a temporary courthouse and a residence for jailkeepers and their families. Offering the chance to step back in time and see how the pioneers lived and worked, the museum tells snippets of the stories of some of Colorado’s most noted and infamous residents of the
day including Otto Mears, convicted cannibal Alferd Packer and Ute Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta. The museum manages the old jail, too. Built in 1908, the interior includes a sheriff’s office, a women’s or V.I.P. cell, and a large room or “bullpen” with an escapeproof maximum security “cage.” Used until 1958, graffiti from prisoners still adorns the walls.
Photo (top and middle): Jack Dempsey Museum; (bottom): Saguache County Museum
UTE INDIAN MUSEUM, MONTROSE The recently renovated Ute Indian Museum in Montrose is a celebration of the history and living culture of Colorado’s longest continuous residents. Built in 1956, the museum features one of the most extensive collections of Ute ethnographic objects in existence as well as works by contemporary Ute artists. Exhibitions examine the history of the Ute people as they adapted to a changing world and fought for cultural
survival, political selfdetermination, economic opportunity. The museum sits in the heart of traditional Ute territory near the former ranch of Uncompahgre leader Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta, and the grounds include the Chief Ouray memorial park which is where Chipeta is buried. There is also a shop that sells Native American turquoise and silver jewelry, bead work and Ute pottery, among other items.
FORT GARLAND MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER Fort Garland Museum gives visitors a glimpse of what it was like to live during the westward expansion of the 1800’s when tensions between settlers and natives would routinely turn bloody. Established in 1858, the fort had a garrison of more than 100 men that served to protect the earliest settlers in the San Luis Valley. Visitors can walk the parade grounds and tour the adobe buildings to get a taste of what life was like for the men stationed here. The commander’s quarters
have been thoughtfully recreated to give a better idea of what life was life. Fort Garland saw some interesting times. It played a role in the Civil War, “Kit” Carson commanded the New Mexico Volunteers at Fort Garland, where he worked with Chief Ouray and other Ute leaders in negotiating peace, and the legendary Ninth Cavalry of the Buffalo Soldiers was stationed here between 1876 and 1879. Fort Garland was used for a quarter of a century and was decommissioned in 1883.
94 Photo (top): Period Comms; (middle and bottom): Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center
BARNEY FORD HOUSE MUSEUM, BRECKENRIDGE Barney L Ford was born a slave in Virginia. After escaping a life of servitude via the Underground Railroad, he ended up in Colorado, after a period in Nicaragua, to seek his fortune in gold but was told that African Americans were not allowed to stake claims in Colorado. He ended up opening a barbershop, restaurant and several hotels. Ford was active in the Republican Party and was the first black person nominated to the Territorial Legislature. He also worked for the admission of Colorado to statehood with suffrage
for its nonwhite residents. Eventually Ford became one of the wealthiest men in Colorado. In 1882, Ford and his wife moved to Breckenridge where they built a home on a city block that he owned. His home has been restored and is now the Barney Ford House Museum, though none of the furnishings now in it belonged to the Fords. This restored 1882 Victorian home offers a glimpse into the 19th century lives of a well-heeled Breckenridge family. The Barney Ford House Museum opened in 2004.
RANGELY AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM, RANGELY If cars are your thing, then you really are in luck in Colorado, because in addition to the Gateway Auto Museum, there is the Rangely Automotive Museum, too. Opened by car collector Bud Striegel who began collecting cars when he was 12, there are usually around 35 cars on show at one time. Among the many unique vehicles at the museum is a restored Pierce motorcycle, an extremely rare motorcycle with only 12
believed to be in existence. Another vehicle that takes pride of place is a McFarlan that was once owned by Warner Brothers Studios and was used in numerous movies. Perhaps the most unique vehicle in the museum is a circa 1930 Detroit Electric car, one of the earliest allelectric vehicles. Rangely Automotive Museum is Open between May and October.
Photo (top): Bob Winsett; (bottom) Rangely Automotive Museum
DURANGO AND SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD MUSEUM, DURNAGO Hidden away at the back of the rail yard at the end of Main Avenue in Downtown Durango is the 12,000-square-foot D&SNG Railroad Museum. Created in 1998, many of the thousands of artifacts have been donated by old railroad workers or their families as a way to share the history of railroading, especially on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad line. Among the artifacts is an 800-square-foot model railroad which was donated as a shell and brought to life by thousands of volunteer
hours. Now, as a fully working model railroad, it depicts the 1950s operations of the D&RGW Railroad including trains passing a drive-In theater. There are also antique trucks, tractors, a covered wagon, an Indian motorcycle, full size steam locomotives and vintage coaches. Then there is the tragic story of a Kate, a young woman whose spirit is said to haunt one of the train cars at the back of the museum. Be sure to ask curator Jeff Ellingson about her.
Photo (top): D&SNG Railroad Museum; (bottom left and right): Period Comms
NATIONAL MINING HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM, LEADVILLE
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The museum, in downtown Leadville, is a celebration of the people who played roles in changing the West into the place it is today through mining. With a mission to tell the story of these people, the National Mining Hall of Fame does such a good job it was once called the “Smithsonian of the Rockies.” The 25,000-square-foot property is home to interactive and informative
exhibits that tell the story of mining and how it impacted the development of the West. Appropriately located in Leadville, a town that went through a silver boom in the 1800’s, the museum has a Hall of Fame and offers various tours including one of Matchless Mine where you will hear the tragic story of Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor.
THE OUTLAWS AND LAWMEN JAIL MUSEUM, CRIPLE CREEK The Wild West wasn’t called that for nothing. When Cripple Creek grew from 15 people to 50,000 as gold fever struck Colorado, a good number of ne’er-do-wells came to town, too. The town’s posse kept the miscreants in line as best as they could, and for that their legends live on at the Outlaws and Lawmen Jail Museum. Housed in the building that was the county jail for more than 90 years, from 1901
until 1992, the museum tells the story of the town from the perspective of the outlaws, criminals and the good guys who tried to keep the peace. With the original cells of the jail intact, visitors can experience what is was like to be on the wrong side of the law. There are displays of police logs from the 1890’s as well as newspaper accounts of various crimes, among other artifacts.
Photo (top): National Mining Hall of Fame; (bottom) Michelle Rozell
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98 Photo: Marc Fiorito
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FOOD & WINE Classic JUNE 14 - 16 ASPEN
One of the top culinary festivals in the entire country, the Food & Wine classic in Aspen is three days of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and panel discussions with a bevy world-class chefs and wine experts.
This year will see domestic goddess Martha Stewart host a book signing, present a cooking demonstration and share her top tips on summer entertaining.
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RIDE Festival J U LY 1 2 - 1 4 TELLURIDE
With a history that only dates back to 2012, the RIDE festival has evolved especially quickly into a must-attend summer festival in Colorado. Featuring both established
and up-and-coming bands, this year will see jam band Widespread Panic play on both Friday and Saturday evenings.
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Photo: RIDE Festival / Linda Carlson
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Photo: CKS Paddlefest
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FUNC Fest AUG 9 - 10 MONTROSE
A free festival that takes place at the Montrose Water Sports Park, FUNC Fest is in its fifth year and for the first time will offer overnight tent camping on the first night. Come to watch or register to take part in the water sports competitions which will include SUP boarding kayaking. And donâ€™t miss the FUNC-y River Parade where you
can join in along the fun as the group parades down the Uncompahgre. On top of water-based fun there is also food and beer vendors and other family-friendly activities. Friday night will see Bon Jovi tribute band Living on a Bad Name entertain the crowds.
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Fourth of July, Colorado Style
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VERY Independence Day, a special kind of celebration takes place at Colorado National Monument just outside Grand Junction Colorado National Monument is without doubt one of Coloradoâ€™s most incredible parks. Surely a future national park, it is also the site of one of the most impressive flag raising ceremonies in the entire country. While people all over the US are firing up grills and washing down hamburgers with beers emblazoned with patriotic imagery, the Mesa County Technical Rescue Team will be atop Independence Monument, the 450-foot monolith of sandstone in Colorado National Monument, raising Old Glory. Year after year, the highlytrained nonprofit group reenacts the journey that John Otto, the man responsible for the fact that National Monument exists at all, made back in 1911 when he spent several weeks pounding iron pipes and carving out footsteps into solid rock to make it possible for anyone to get to the top. As much a publicity stunt as it was a patriotic act, Otto started a tradition of raising the flag every Fourth of July. Today that tradition is continued by the Mesa County Technical Rescue Team. On May 24, 1911, five years after he first laid eyes on the red rock canyons and resolved to have them recognized as a national treasure, President Taft signed a proclamation that established Colorado National Monument. 105
Photo: Choose Chicago
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FIVE WAYS WHETHER YOU K NOW IT IS THE WINDY C IT Y OR THE SEC OND C IT Y, CHICAGO IS AN AMAZING PLAC E WITH A C ULINARY HISTORY TO MATC H ITS BLUES HERITAGE AND GANGSTER PAST. PERC HED ON LAK E MIC HIGAN, THE C IT Y OF 2.7 MILLION PEOPLE SHOULD BE ON EV ERYONEâ€™S BUC K ET LIST. 107
EAT YOUR HEART OUT
The Peninsula. An icon in the world of hospitality, foodies staying at the property can pop downstairs for a spot of afternoon tea. Enjoy decadent desserts and finger sandwiches from the culinary team at The Lobby. Wash it all down with one of several teas or, better still, some Taittinger Brut Champagne.
McDonald’s new global headquarters features the McDonald’s Global Menu Restaurant. Scoff away, but the Global Menu Restaurant offers McDonalds creations from around the world. The menu rotates, but currently you can find the Veggie McMuffin from India among other things.
Take a food tour. Chicago Food Planet offers a range of tours. The Best in Chow tour gives you a taste of five Chicago-style versions of well-known dishes: pizza, hot dog, Italian beef, popcorn and brownie with a good amount of Chicago history thrown in for good measure. Tours take around three hours. 1
An historic hotel in the heart of the city and less than half a mile from many of the city’s tourist destinations, including the Theatre District, Kimpton Hotel Allegro is also beautiful and architecturally significant. Formerly the New Bismarck Hotel, a Chicago hot spot in the roaring 20’s, Kimpton purchased it in 1996 and 2 opened the Allegro.
The Art Institute of Chicago’s contemporary art galleries contain the largest gift in the Institute’s 136-year history: 44 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns that were donated by Chicago collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson.
Tour Fulton Market. A booming area of the city, Fulton Market is the city’s meatpacking district, but has undergone a transformation to become the trendiest part of the city. Chicago Detours offer a Factories to Calories food tour that explains the macabre history of the area with tastings at several 4 key spots.
The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago’s Kids Clubroom is open from 9 am to 9 pm every day and has video games, board games, arts and crafts, a movie area and more. Access is complimentary, but adult supervision is required. The hotel also has its own ice cream man who will bring his cart to your room so you can 5 make your own sundae.
The Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theater. Pure entertainment from start to finish and brilliant fun for all ages. The otherworldly Blue Man Group are hugely talented musicians, actors and all ‘round entertainers. The band and everyone else who makes the show happen, do a really fantastic job.
With Chicago sitting on the shore of Lake Michigan, a boat tour is a good idea. Shoreline Sightseeing’s Classic Lake Tour takes you out into Lake Michigan and offers great views of the city from the water. The audio guide that is played through loudspeakers offers a commentary on some of the buildings and a potted history of the city.
One of the grand dames of Chicago hospitality, the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile’s history goes back to 1929 when the building was originally constructed as the Medinah Athletic Club. It took 12 years and 250 million dollars to turn it into the property it is today. Be sure to check out the junior Olympic 7 swimming pool.
Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s House and Studio. Managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, the master architect’s house and studio in the Oak Park neighborhood of Chicago is a musty visit for lovers of beautiful things. Wright used his first home to experiment with design concepts, and you can see the nexus of his 8 architectural philosophy.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the world’s great opera companies. Offering more than just opera, the 2019/20 season starts in September, but backstage tours of the magnificent venue, including the beautiful art-deco Ardis Krainik Theatre, are available throughout the summer.
Sofitel Magnificent Mile. Just over a year ago, the 32-floor prism of glass underwent an extensive renovation that was intended to celebrate French architect Jean-Paul Viguier’s modern design. The renovation included a new interior design, including the hotel’s modern lounge, Le Bar that includes a new door that allows access to the outdoor patio. Perfect for summer.
Get up close and personal with the city’s art collections on a private tour. Noble Private Art tours was founded by Cynthia Noble and offers private tours of museums and galleries. Tours can be tailored to your interests, requirements and schedule. Noble is affiliated with Northwestern University as Adjunct Faculty and the Art Institute of Chicago as Adjunct Lecturer.
See the city from the sky. For a different kind of Friday night flight, take a helicopter tour over Chicago. A great experience any time of day, the city looks truly amazing at night from thousands of feet up in the air. Chicago Helicopter Experience offers several tours.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
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Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): Adam Alexander Photography ; X; X; Chicago Detours; Four Seasons Chicago; Justin Barbin; Inter Continental Chicago; Frank Lloyd Wright Trail; Chicago Helicopter Experience via Yelp;
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Photo: (in order from 1 - 9): Lisa I via Yelp; Erwin 110 Debbie F via Yelp; Eden; Imperial E. via Yelp; Lamian; SafeHouse; Carrie Jiawei L via Yelp; Virtue; LH Rooftop via Yelp
EAT YOUR HEART OUT
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Chicago is a foodie city, and there are plenty of special dishes to try, but there is also Alinea. It has been named Best Restaurant in America three times and is one of 15 restaurants in the country with three Michelin stars. It features a single tasting menu of between 18 and 22 courses.
The Aviary, Grant Achatz’s (of Alinea fame) swanky cocktail lounge says it offers creative cocktails and delicious food, but that might be an understatement. Can’t get in when you want? Try The Office. Directly below The Aviary, it offers classically inspired cocktails and vintage spirits.
Garrett Popcorn is a Chicago thing, so when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And by Romans we mean tourists, like you. The Garrett Mix, which interestingly is a registered trademark, is cheddar and caramel. Apparently created in Chicago in 1949, a one-gallon tub is $33.
Located in the city’s West Loop, Eden offers a contemporary take on American food with an emphasis on clean cooking and sustainability. Eden has an on-site greenhouse that provides a lot of produce used on the menu. Housed in a beautiful building, Eden is a trendy eatery with inventive 4 and delectable dishes
With 70 neighborhood breweries and counting, Chicago is a beer lover’s dream. Running until Sept. 13, Friday Night Flights is a series of summer tasting events that showcases Chicago’s neighborhood brewing corridors. A tasting pass to each event includes 10 threeounce pours for $20. There will also be food vendors and live music.
Local company Dearborn Denim are trying to play their part in saving the world. Not only is everything cut, sewn and crafted at a factory in Chicago, but they also use cotton sourced from the last remaining denim mills in the U.S. They have two stores in Chicago and offer factory tours.
Imperial Lamian. Communal dishes, chopsticks and tables where you can watch chefs expertly make hand-pulled noodles make for a fun family experience. Dishes traverse Asia, from spicy beef rendang to the flavor packed Hainanese chicken. There is also dim sum and xiao long bao among other items.
Spy-themed bar and restaurant SafeHouse offers a taste of the world of espionage. Find the secret password to enter or go through a clearance test to prove you aren’t a double agent! Inside, there are interactive spy gadgets, moving doorways, memorabilia from spy movies, and missions ready to be solved. Offers burgers and the like.
With hundreds of vendors selling everything you can possibly imagine, you are sure to find something for everyone at Randolph Street Market. Or you can just wander around and window shop while enjoying the hustle and bustle. There is occasional live music and other entertainment, too.
Marisol at the Museum of Contemporary Art is a newer addition to the city’s dining scene. Featuring innovative flavors from chef Jason Hammel, Marisol is immersed in an art environment courtesy of artist Chris Ofili.
The Tortoise Supper Club is a classy lounge offering jazz and craft cocktails as well as small plates. Thursday nights in June, July, and August are swingin’ jazz nights on the outdoor patio, while there is live jazz every Friday and Saturday. Be sure to check out the caricatures of some of Chicago’s most scandalous individuals that adorn the walls.
Stop by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to shop artwork created by talented undergraduate and graduate students with everything from paintings, prints, drawings, jewelry, ceramics, sculptures, and more. Proceeds go directly to the individual students, and you never know, you might just be making an investment! Sales happen several times a year.
Summer means alfresco drinking, and where better for a drink than a rooftop bar? The rooftop bar at London House, LH ON 22, offers magnificent views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile. Enjoy a classic cocktail while you take it all in on the outdoor terrace.
Illinois native Cynthia Rowley started her career at the Art Institute of Chicago and has gone on to build a global lifestyle brand that has at its core a pretty-meetssporty philosophy. Rowley is considered by some (Vogue mainly) to be the pioneer of “surf-leisure.” Rowley has a store in the Wicker Park neighborhood of the city, which is just five miles from downtown. 111
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Chicago seems to have a taste for Southern food, and rightly so. Virtue and Blue Door Kitchen & Garden are both excellent restaurants that offer upscale versions of southern classics. The shrimp and grits and beef short ribs with creamed spinach and crushed potatoes at Virtue were to die for, while chef Art Smith’s buttermilk fried chicken and duck breast were equally delectable. 7 8
POSITIVE VIBES THERE ARE AN INCREDIBLE NUMBER OF GROUPS AROUND THE STATE DOING INCREDIBLE WORK IN ALL KINDS OF DIVERSE FIELDS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. POSITIVE VIBES IS OUR WAY OF SHINING A LIGHT ON THEM AND DOING WHAT WE CAN TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO TAKE UP THEIR CAUSES.
1. OPEN SKY WILDERNESS THERAPY
2. VOLUNTEERS 3. THE LOCKWOOD 112 OUTDOOR WESTOF105.COM FOR Photos: (clockwise from top): New Belgium Brewing Co.; EcoVessel;FOUNDATION RMU; Big Agnes / CDT; Pearl Izumi COLORADO
4. THE COLORADO Y CORPS ASSOCIATIO
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy assists teens, young adults and families struggling with difficult challenges and life circumstances. Transcending traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family, Open Sky provides life-changing opportunities to discover and create a healthy life. Based in Durango because of its proximity to the San Juan Mountains and the canyon country of southeastern Utah where they conduct field operations, Open Sky is driven by core values of courage, community and excellence. After more than a decade of operations, Open Sky has worked with thousands of students and family members, inspired by the belief that all people have the capacity to thrive. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a leading statewide nonprofit whose mission is to motivate and enable people to be active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership programs have engaged more than 115,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of nearly $23 million. These volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado communities through hands-on work in wildfire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and reforestation, and much more. The Lockwood Foundation is a nonprofit with a mission to help underprivileged children and people with disabilities enjoy and explore the outdoors through creative event planning, volunteering and charitable contributions. Founded by professional mountain guide Jeff Lockwood, the foundation recently announced the acquisition of the Trail Rider, an adaptive wilderness access vehicle that allows people with mobility restrictions to explore Colorado’s hiking trails beyond ADA compliant routes. The innovative equipment,
5. BIG CITY MOUNTAINEERS
which is powered by front and rear human ‘sherpas’ and resembles a sophisticated rickshaw, can navigate any trail. The Trail Rider was purchased thanks to a donation drive. Volunteering information can be found by connecting with the Lockwood Foundation on Facebook. The Colorado Youth Corps Association changes lives and landscapes by creating opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans to serve their communities on public lands. With a mission to transform lives and communities through service, personal development, and education statewide, the Colorado Youth Corps Association has developed partnerships that generate millions of dollars that is used to deploy crews and place interns around the state. The outcome is healthier natural resources for Colorado and a brighter future for our members. Members can engage in all kinds of activities, from building highly-technical trails on 14ers and felling hazardous trees around campgrounds to installing high-efficiency light bulbs in low-income urban housing developments or re-building 19th-century homesteads. Golden-based Big City Mountaineers works alongside Mother Nature and her the transformative powers to leave a lasting impact on the lives of under-resourced youth. Wilderness expeditions bring kids out of their comfort zones and into the wild where they develop the confidence needed for more promising futures. Programs focus on improving self-esteem, developing a sense of responsibility, group communication and decision-making skills. Engaging with nearly 1,000 youth annually, BCM is always interested in hearing from potential volunteers, details of which can be found on the website.
YOU ARE NOT IN T H E M O U N TA I N S . T H E M O U N TA I N S A R E I N Y O U . - JOHN MUIR
114 Photo: Denise Chambers / Miles
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