Recent Blog Posts

  • Cat Skiing in Colorado: What to Know and Where to Go 201612 BoulderColorado BackcountrySkiing Image4 Shredding AveryStonich IMG 8385

    Here’s the deal with cat skiing (and snowboarding) in Colorado—you don’t have to be a total shredder. But you do have to be ready to shred. Cat skiing delivers you the bounties of the backcountry with the potential for fresh tracks all day, so say goodbye to those lift lines. What could be better? (Well, maybe a helicopter, but that’s bound to break the bank.) Whether you’re a cat skiing virgin or are just looking for new places to check out, here’s all the beta you need to know. What’s the deal? Cat skiing is backcountry skiing without having to hike or decide on terrain. Take a snowcat (a grooming machine that also has a cabin) up, hop out when you get to the top, and bounce down fresh tracks until your tongue is lapping at your chin. Then do it again. It’s a hoot. But it’s also serious business—backcountry skiing is backcountry skiing. Full stop. You have to listen to your guides, carry avalanche gear, and be ready for variable conditions. Most cats hold 12 people plus a couple of guides (usually a lead and a sweep). In some cases, operators can split the group into different skill levels,[…]

  • A Quick and Dirty Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding Near Boulder

    Boulder isn’t technically a ski town, but with eight world-class ski resorts within two hours, it’s a suitable launching point for getting out and ripping lift-accessed turns. Eldora is a short drive away and holds a special place in Boulderites’ hearts as the local ski hill. Farther afield, world-class resorts line the I-70 corridor and are within reach for a day trip—just beware of traffic and try to avoid peak travel times. Better yet, make a weekend of it so you can relax into the mountain lifestyle—including drinking in the après scene. Inspired to hit the slopes? Here’s all you need to know about skiing and snowboarding near Boulder. Eldora Mountain Resort A quick 40-minute drive up Boulder Canyon and through Nederland, Eldora Mountain Resort is Boulder’s backyard ski hill—perfect for a last-minute powder day or knocking out a few runs before work. Eldora’s terrain keeps all levels of skiers and snowboarders grinning, from tiny tots making turns for the first time to rad rippers who charge down steeps and through tight trees. Best of all, Eldora is one of the few ski resorts in Colorado that maintains a homespun feel. Lunch in the lodge is about chowing down calories rather[…]

  • Lake City Ice Park – Ice Climbing s8nvr3qfxczj94g6lnic

    Intro Lake City’s first brush with fame came in 1875, when guide Alferd Packer notoriously returned to town after wintering over in the remote backcountry—having eaten the rest of his prospecting party. The sensational tale is memorialized in the Hinsdale County Museum and at a “Packer Bar” (featuring images of both a football player from Green Bay and the infamous Alferd) on Silver Street, but don’t worry: the guides you’ll run into at Lake City Ice Park are more likely to offer you a turn on their ropes than to cannibalize you. Much of the town shuts down in winter, but a small grocery store and a couple of bars stay open to supply the growing stream of ice climbers. Who is Going to Love It The climbing at Lake City Ice Park is suited for climbers of all ability levels, though knowledge of climbing systems is a must for at least one member of any party in order to safely lead or set topropes. Groups with less experience are in luck: you can hire a guide to show you the ropes. Anyone who leaves the parking area should be equipped with a helmet to protect from falling ice, and you’ll[…]

  • See it All in 48 Hours: A Winter Guide to Crested Butte/Gunnison 20171114-Colorado-Crested Butte- town

    Despite all the amazing adventure activities to be had in Boulder, sometimes we have to break out of the bubble. Crested Butte has more historic Old West charm than you can shake a ski pole at. Its one of our favorite Colorado adventure destinations, so we decided to include a 48 hour guide to your CB adventure! Residents work hard to maintain its flair and authenticity. Its truly an off-the-beaten-path Colorado adventure destination, unlike many resort towns found on major highways like I-70. You have to be seeking Crested Butte out to make it to this mountain oasis. One look at the snow capped Elk Mountain range and it’s easy to see why the slopes of Crested Butte enjoy legendary status as some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. The smorgasbord of winter fun just begins on the slopes. There’s lots to do in this winter wonderland: snowshoe & cross-country ski trails, snow tubing, ice fishing, fat biking, and an extensive web of snowmobiling trails. And did we mention dog sledding? To maximize time, book a stay at one of the several “ski in/ski out” accommodations that are available. Axtel Condominiums is located in Village Center at[…]

  • 6 Stellar Hot Springs in Colorado The 8.5-mile hike to Conundrum Hot Springs outside of Aspen is well worth it.

    Colorado is bubbling with hot springs, fed by water that is naturally heated by the geothermal energy of the Earth. After a day on the trail or ski slope, there’s nothing better than soaking in a steamy pool, soothing your aching muscles. Don’t let the smell deter you. These sulfur waters are rich in minerals that have natural detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, which will leave you feeling like a million bucks. Check out these particularly lovely hot spots scattered throughout the state. 1. Mount Princeton Hot Springs In Nathrop, between Salida and Buena Vista, Mount Princeton Hot Springs is a fun getaway for the whole family. Pick your pleasure—a 105-degree soaking pool, 90-degree exercise pool, 75-degree swimming pool with a 400-foot waterslide, three Japanese-style cascading pools, a quiet relaxation pool for adults only, or a cluster of natural shallow hot pools right in Chalk Creek. Tuck in for the night in guest rooms that range from cozy cabins to the Cliffside Hotel. The property also features a beautiful restaurant and spa. You may never want to leave. 2. Conundrum Hot Springs Conundrum Hot Springs. Pierce Martin You’ll have to hoof it 8.5 miles from Aspen to reach Conundrum Hot[…]

  • Creature Comforts on the Slopes: How to Stay Warm and Happy During Your Next Western Ski Vacation 20170106_happy-face

    For those living in mountain towns, dressing for the slopes is a part of everyday life. But when you’re traveling from Florida, Arizona, Texas, or other states where winter isn’t all about bundling up, planning what to wear for a ski trip can take some thought. While the sun at high elevation is so strong you can bathe in it in the afternoon as temps reach up to 60 degrees on a sunny day, it’s not uncommon for them to plummet into the single digits within a matter of hours. If you’re new to spending time in the Rockies or the Sierras in the winter, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you pack appropriately and are as comfortable as possible during your visit. Gear: If you don’t own your own skis or a snowboard, it’s best to rent at the resort rather than at home (schlepping the stuff on and off of planes is best avoided). Most rental shops include a helmet (a must!) in a package, so you can probably save space in your luggage that way, too. How to dress for skiing and outdoor winter activities: A helmet, warm hat, wool socks, and[…]

  • Boulder Valley Ranch – Fat Biking Boulder Valley Ranch - Fat Biking

    Intro North Boulder’s network of biking trails are rather tame in the summer but once they hold a little snow, they become ideal for a fat bike tour. Boulder Valley Ranch is a fine starting point, since it offers riders the option of doing a few quick laps around the Sage Trail or linking together farther out trails for a longer day. All the trails are either single or double track and are non-technical, though there is one brief, steep hill that connects the Sage Trail with the upper mesa trails that can be a bit tricky if it’s icy. Directions, Parking, & Regulations From the intersection of Highway 36 and Broadway in north Boulder, go north 1 mile on 36 and turn right onto Longhorn Road. Follow Longhorn Road 1 mile to the trailhead (the road goes from pavement to dirt halfway through). Park at the Boulder Valley Ranch Trailhead. The parking area is well marked and obvious on the right side of the road. There are restrooms at the trailhead. The area is open dawn until 11 pm — consider a fat bike night ride if you have lights! What Makes It Great A single lap around the[…]

  • Hessie Trail – Snowshoeing Hessie Trail - Snowshoeing

    Intro Though it can get a little crowded on winter weekends, the Hessie Trailhead out of the tiny town of Eldora is worth a visit. Only about an hour from Boulder, this snowshoe-friendly trail features a 1.5 mile route to Lost Lake, a scenic destination that is easier to find than its name suggests. Beyond that, there are miles of forested trails to explore so you can make the day as long as you like. Who is Going to Love It Snowshoers of all levels who want to enjoy the history, scenery and tranquility of the mountain forests. The crowds get much thinner past Lost Lake — and the navigation gets tougher — perfect for those looking for peace away from the higher traffic sections of the trail. What Makes It Great The access road to Hessie Trailhead is not maintained in the winter and will close as soon as snow makes it impassable (usually mid-November). Normal parking is here at the end of the paved road / closure gate and it is 1-mile to the trailhead proper. If the road happens to be open, stay left at the fork about 0.5 miles up (the right road goes to the[…]

  • Boulder Happy Hour: Best Spots 00-201609_BoulderColorado_HappyHour__T_aco_IMG_5859

    You’ve just finished climbing the First Flatiron, biking Walker Ranch, hiking Bear and South Boulder peaks, or running the Mesa Trail, and you’re starving. The last Kind or Bobo bar you ate is long gone, and you’ve been dreaming of your next meal. What is it about tough outdoor workouts that makes visions of melted cheese dance in your head (not to mention an icy cold drink)? Fortunately, Boulder is a town that’s big on food and not fussy about fashion. So even if you failed to throw a fresh set of clothes in the car, you can still head out on the town for post-adventure pints and eats. Here are some of our favorite Boulder happy hour spots, including where to go whether you’re coming from north, south, east, or west. From West or Central-Downtown Options T/aco T/aco is all about making things fresh.   T/aco (pronounced tee-ah-ko) is a little spot that dishes out a whole lotta love. Everything is as fresh as if your mama made it, with three salsas (grilled pineapple, tomatillo, and chipotle) made every day, guacamole made twice a day, and chips cooked to order, creating the perfect light crunch. And don’t say we[…]

  • How to Ski Eldora Mountain Resort: Insider Tips for the Local Hill Learn to ski Eldora just outside Denver with these insider tips

    Just minutes up the hill from Boulder, and a mere hour-plus drive from downtown Denver, lies the lesser-known ski “resort” of Eldora. Famed for its less expensive lift tickets and “Just Say No to I-70” slogan—which encourages people to avoid the crowds and traffic at bigger, more popular resorts along the I-70 corridor—locals have long loved this little family ski area, affectionately known as “Eldo.” Just 47 miles from Denver, the ski area sits at 9,200 feet, boasts 680 acres of skiable terrain, and is accessed by three main lifts, with an additional seven across the mountain. This year there is the brand new, Alpenglow 6 person, high speed lift. This new lift gets you to the top of the mountain in the matter of a few minutes! A big improvement from what loyal Eldora patrons are used to. And while the powder days at Eldora Mountain Resort can be somewhat scarcer than those at a larger resort, it’s still well worth a visit by local snowsport enthusiasts, with surprisingly powerful snowmaking efforts (“100 percent coverage of groomed terrain”, it claims), a welcoming, no-attitude vibe, and more wallet-friendly passes than some of its pricier cousins (day tickets max out at $89 this year compared to $165 at[…]