Recent Blog Posts

  • Fourth of July Trailhead Fourth of July Trailhead

    Intro Located a few miles past the town of Eldora, the 4th of July trail is a portal to an amazing assortment of peaks, lakes and vast mountain scenery. The trail is named for the old 4th of July mine which is part of the many mine ruins along the way. As a gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, this popular trail is ideal for day hikes, backcountry camping and mountain climbing. What Makes It Great As an easy-to-access backcountry trail, the wealth of wilderness scenery along a well-maintained path opens up many options for intrepid explorers. South Arapahoe Peak (13,379 ft.) is a popular walk-up that offers a class 3 scramble over to North Arapahoe Peak (13,502 ft.). Mount Neva (12,814 ft.) has a nice, semi-technical scramble from Arapahoe Pass. These are also fine mountains to ascend in the winter/spring via several couloirs. For those just looking to hike, the trail is only 2.0 miles to breach treeline, where several old boilers and mining ruins remain embedded in the landscape. A standard day hike along the trail parallels the rushing waters of the North Fork of Middle Boulder Creek, complete with waterfalls and a few easy river crossings. Hiking[…]

  • Weekend Epic: 14er Triple-Header in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristos Feature

    For a weekend of high-alpine adventure, answer the alluring call of the Crestone Group, a cluster of fourteeners in southern Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo range. These rugged peaks rise like a hilltop castle, forming a rocky rampart between the San Luis Valley in the west and the Wet Mountain Valley in the east. In one weekend, you can knock off three giants—14,081-foot Challenger Point, 14,165-foot Kit Carson Peak, and 14,064-foot Humboldt Peak—amidst some of the most stunning scenery in the state. There’s no doubt this is an epic journey, requiring solid navigation and class-three scrambling skills. It could even turn into “An Epic.” If you live in Colorado, chances are you know the difference. Epic is off-the-charts awesome. “An Epic” is an adventure where plans go slightly awry—perhaps you wander off-course, encounter unexpected obstacles, battle bad weather, or the journey stretches a tad too long. In either case, the word epic is rooted in poetry, involving long tales of heroic feats, and creating everlasting lore. Whether epic or An Epic, this adventure will leave you war-torn and weary, yet satisfied. It’s a Hero’s Journey. Here we outline a rough route. The rest is up to you. Part of the challenge[…]

  • The Matterhorns of North America Grand Teton 35967549865_462dd883c4_o

    The word Matterhorn smacks of the golden days of Alpine mountaineering, and summons up the signature, craggy summit that even today tantalizes climbers. Indeed, it’s the Matterhorn of the Pennine Alps—not Everest, not Mont Blanc, not Mount Fuji—that perhaps best embodies the idealized, majestic mountain, particularly its enshrined east and north faces. This windblown-looking 14,692-foot tooth of rock is the textbook example of a glacial horn: a steep-sided peak whittled by the headward erosion of ringing cirque glaciers. It has a fantastical look to it: a subtly corkscrewed slant, and the sort of fierce posture of the flagpole dorsal fin of a bull orca among whitecaps. A bit of science here: To qualify as a true glacial horn, a peak generally must have at least three sheer faces. The Matterhorn (big “M”) has given its name to a particularly extreme version of the glacial horn: those that come planed on all four faces. In other words, you don’t have to travel to the Alps to feast eyes on a matterhorn (little “m”). In fact, many of these pyramidal peaks can be found in the glaciated (or once-glaciated) heights of North America. Let’s get acquainted with some of these mythic rock-skyscrapers,[…]

  • 10 Awesome Outdoor Documentaries to Inspire You to Get Outside 20180117_Desert Runners Movie

    In the dead of winter, the desire to get outside can be tempered by sub-zero temperatures and the lure of a cozy couch. But there’s no better cure for stoking your adrenaline and getting after it—no matter how chilly it is—than being inspired by others doing just that. To that end, here are our picks for 10 gripping, critically acclaimed outdoor documentaries that each tell a remarkable story about the outdoors and the adventurers, athletes, and environmental icons who run, climb, race, and row their way to glory (most can be streamed on Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu). Grab the popcorn and get ready to get inspired (and then outside). 1. Desert Runners Desert Runners, which was released in 2013, follows a group of amateur runners as they attempt to complete the 4 Deserts race series, one of the most difficult endurance series in the world, in one year. The races take place over the course of 155 grueling miles in the Gobi, Sahara, and Atacama deserts, with the final race in Antarctica. Runners compete over the course of several consecutive days, sleeping at designated camps and slogging on the next day. You’ll have a newfound appreciation for gear like gaiters[…]

  • A Guide to Dispersed Camping in the Mountain West 20170309_Montana_roadside-worthy-camping

    A loud bugling throws my eyes open. I’m curled up in the back of my car, zipped tight into my sleeping bag. The windows have frosted over a little bit in the cold. The night before, I’d sped south from Yellowstone in search of some place to sleep before heading to Grand Teton National Park in the morning. It was dark when I pulled in, crawled in the back and fell asleep, but now, opening the back hatch, I can see where I am. I had backed up to the edge of a small knoll over the Snake River, and the bugling that woke me was coming from a small group of elk wading into the steaming water only a few hundred yards away. Not a bad spot, I think. For anyone van-lifing, road tripping out of their car, or living the climbing bum lifestyle, one perpetual stress is knowing, after a long day on the road or trail, where you’ll be spending the night. If you’re away from home for any extended period, paying much more than a few dollars a night—whether that’s for a cheap motel room, Airbnb, or in an established campground—is generally out of the question.[…]

  • The 20 Best Hikes in the United States Teton_Crestx

    From the Smokies to the Rockies, and the Everglades to the highest point in Maine—and everywhere in between—the United States is full of world-class hikes. Whether you’re a hardcore peak bagger, out for an ambitious day hike, or are obsessed with the panoramic views for your Instagram feed, there’s always something thrilling to lace your hiking boots up for. Here, we tapped RootsRated editors for intel on some of the best hikes in the United States. Use them as inspiration for your next outing—or as a reason to plan a trip. Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming The Teton Crest Trail epitomizes the splendor of the West. John Strother There are a lot of really great hikes on this list, but Wyoming’s Teton Crest Trail might just take the cake as being the most epic. For 35-45 miles (depending on your route), this slender singletrack path cuts a dwarfed, serpentine figure as it slices through the heart of one of America’s most stunning mountain ranges, linking together its very best features along the way. Over the course of two to five days, hikers will pass through wildflower-filled meadows, over airy mountain passes, past glacially-fed tarns, and across expansive basins that swallow up[…]

  • 10 Things to Look for in Your Ideal Adventure Partner IMGP0332

    Good adventure partners are hard to find. Someone who is in tune with your goals, reliably shows up on time, and can tolerate your smelly hiking boots is a keeper. In Colorado, you and your adventure buddy will not only challenge the high mountains, you’ll also endure hours trapped in traffic, and long drives to Rocky Mountain hinterlands. Mornings will be brain-disablingly early, some adventures will unexpectedly continue long after sunset, and there’s always the realistic possibility that one of you will forget your car keys on the summit. But through thick and thin, an ideal partner will make the wilderness more fun, more safe, and get you psyched for the next adventure. Here’s some of the traits to look for in your perfect mountainous counterpart. 1. They Complain About the Right Things Are they going to give up when the going gets tough? Katherine Mills No one likes a whiner (citation needed). True, there are things worth whining about (mostly traffic and marmots eating your gear). But once it’s go time, your ideal adventure partner won’t be complaining that the trail is too steep, the wind too cold, or the river too deep. They’ll complain nary a peep about[…]

  • 15 of the Most Iconic Hikes in the World 20180215_kilimanjaro

    At the A-Lodge, we get travelers from all over the world coming to Colorado to enjoy the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. We thought we would help showcase a classic list of the most epic trails on the planet, as our guests seem to be good at getting around! There are snowy summit trips for fleet-footed peak-baggers, long and leisurely rambles for wildlife lovers, and everything in between. Enjoy and feel free to tag us if you have pictures and posts from these bucket list adventures! 1. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania One of the planet’s Seven Summits, 19,341-foot Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain on Earth—and Africa’s loftiest peak. Despite the distinction, the glaciated summit is accessible courtesy of a number of a non-technical routes, leading climbers through five distinctly different climate zones. On the path to Uhuru Peak, trekkers traverse a lowland rainforest inhabited by colobus and blue monkeys, ascend the scrubby montane moorland of the Shira Plateau, cross hulking glaciers, and catch glimpses of the megafauna-loaded grasslands of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. At basecamp, vividly colored tents dot an unearthly moonscape, and climbers rest in the shadow of toothy 16,893-foot Mawenzi. 2. Table Mountain, South Africa While the flat-topped mesa[…]

  • The 10 Best Hikes in Boulder jkszl5xchzx6zgmujfgg

    It’s no secret that Boulder boasts a wealth of top-notch hiking. The foothills and mountains above town represent the eastern terminus of the Rocky Mountains, rising up to elevations more than 8,000 feet—meaning a great workout is almost guaranteed if you’re starting from Boulder, which is roughly 5,400 feet above sea level. Meanwhile, the mesas and plains in east Boulder offer mellow terrain rich in history and ancient geology. Here, a look at 10 of the best day hikes in Boulder—once you’ve knocked these off the list, there are many others to discover! For detailed maps and directions, check out Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks website. 1. Mount Sanitas Difficulty: Moderate Time to Hike: 2 hours Mount Sanitas is a favorite among locals for both its views and ability to provide a serious workout. Notice evidence of the Sunshine Canyon fire from March 2017. James Tiffin Jr. It’s easy to see why Mount Sanitas is Boulder’s most popular mountain. Despite a modest elevation of 6,843 feet, this beloved hike is a real-deal workout with more than 1,300 feet of elevation gain. Spacious views of Boulder, sprawling plains, and Denver to the east are complemented by the dramatic panorama of[…]

  • Fishing at the A-Lodge Fish the A-Lodge

    Taking Your Kids Fishing at the Boulder A-Lodge You’ll never have trouble finding fun things to do when staying at the Boulder A-Lodge. From bluegrass jam sessions to skiing and world-class dining to rock climbing, there is more than enough to keep you busy during your stay. Just be sure to set aside some time for bonding with your youngsters. It’ll make your trip more enjoyable and give your kids plenty of memories to cherish forever. There are a number of family-friendly opportunities at A-Lodge, but few are as well-suited for parent-child bonding as fly fishing. Fourmile Creek runs right through the A-Lodge property and provides a perfect location to introduce your child to the sport. And remember: While spending a few hours on the water with your child will give you a chance to hang out with your son or daughter in a picturesque setting, it may also spark a love of fishing, which is a positive, constructive and healthy hobby that often lasts for decades. But if you want to ensure your child has a good time, you’ll have to embrace a few tips and tricks. Otherwise, you’ll likely have more challenges and problems than successes, which may[…]