Recent Blog Posts

  • 20171210-Colorado- Durango-Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad How to Take a Train into the Heart of Some of Colorado’s Most Stunning Mountains

    There’s no shortage of things to do in Durango, Colorado. Whether you’re on the lookout for a heart-pumping hike, a high-adrenaline adventure, or something the whole family can enjoy, there’s something just outside city limits for you. Among the best adventures is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, but it’s not just a phenomenal modern-day adventure. The railroad is actually closely tied to Durango’s history. By the late 19th century, thanks to successful mining in the San Juan Mountains, southwestern Colorado needed a real town. The Denver & Rio Grande Railway chose the site of present day Durango, on the banks of the Animas River, to build its depot. The railroad officially made its way into the Animas Valley in August 1881, and began building the line out to Silverton later that year. The route to Silverton was completed in 1882. Unlike many historic railroads originally used primarily for freight, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has always served passengers; service began almost immediately when the route was finished. It was also used to transport gold and silver ore mined in the San Juans. (In fact, the historic railway estimates that it’s transported more than $300 million worth[…]

  • Chatfield's "Miracle Wave" appears like magic below the dam when the water is right. SUP Summer Escape Denver

    With the sun finally shining and the mercury rising in Colorado, now is the perfect time to hit the water. Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is the latest craze, which is turning out to be more than a passing phase. It’s easy to learn, and morphs into whatever form you like—supremely sublime or totally thrilling. Set afloat on flat water and lose yourself in the rhythmic dip of your paddle, and the prism-like pattern of sunbeams that penetrates the surface. Or charge hard in river rapids and feel your adrenaline spike. Wherever your interests lie, figuring out where to find a board, what gear to bring, and where to go are the first steps. Check in with local outdoor stores for this information and more—see our list of recommended shops. To get you started, we asked Alex Mauer, pro athlete for BIC SUP and an instructor for Surf'SUP Colorado, to share his secrets about great places to SUP around town. Here are four top spots: Big Soda Lake – Bear Creek Lake Park Set out in the early morning when Big Soda Lake is glassy smooth. Terry Stonich Nestled against the mountains just south of Morrison, Big Soda Lake at Bear[…]

  • whitewater SUP Adventurous Ways to Celebrate Memorial Weekend in Boulder and Beyond

    It’s that time of year, when the hills light up with water-drenched green, wildflowers start to poke up their cheery heads, and summer beckons around the corner. Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, rings out from the calendar with a hearty call to adventure. There’s no need to stick around town for the Denver Memorial Day Parade, because it’s been cancelled this year. Instead, consider other ways to honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. Whatever your fancy, you’ll find plenty of options to celebrate Memorial Weekend in Boulder in outdoor style, whether by busting out the camping gear, dipping a paddle into swelling snowmelt, or entering a bike event or footrace. Camping Around Colorado To many, Memorial Day signals the start of camping season. Avery Stonich For many Front Rangers, Memorial Day weekend is a seasonal prompt to head for the hills. Depending on how much snow Mother Nature dumps on Colorado’s peaks in May, a camping trip can be a wet, chilly affair, or a welcome glimpse of summer to come. The holiday falls early this year, so call ahead to check conditions before heading out with your tent. Or pick a spot that’s lower in elevation[…]

  • 5 of Boulder’s Best Bike Adventures

    The sheer amount of ground you can cover from Boulder on a road bike is astounding. Boulder’s perfect location at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains gives riders the option of smooth flats or big climbs, all right from town. Heading out north and east, the scenery quickly changes as riders go by farms, fields and lakes. Heading west into the canyons offers incredible rides up into the mountains and ambitious riders can climb over 4,000 vertical feet then loop back home along some of the most scenic paved roads in America. Many professional riders (and triathletes) come to Boulder specifically to train on the bounty of well-maintained roads. The high altitude helps with the cardio side of things and the 300+ days of sunshine makes rained-out rides a rare occurrence. It’s one of Colorado’s secrets that many of the cities located along the foothills have relatively mild winters, meaning roadies can get rides in year round — as long as they don’t mind bundling up a bit. For those visiting Boulder, renting a bike is easy. There are several shops that offer bike rentals for about $40 a day, including Full Cycle, University Bikes and Bicycle Village. And rest[…]

  • tubing boulder creek How to Tube Boulder Creek

    If you’re planning a trip to Boulder, Colorado, it quickly becomes clear that one of its greatest draws is its natural beauty. When it comes to outdoor adventuring, there is something for everyone. Home to a diverse array of natural ecosystems, there’s something for you whether you’re a seasoned hiker or someone who just needs a break from urban living. Overwhelmed by choice? One of our favorite outdoor activities in Boulder is tubing. And this year, A-LODGE is rolling out a tube rental program, right from the frontdesk! What is tubing? Tubing, also known as “inner tubing,” is exactly what it sounds like: an individual rides on top of an inner tube. It’s appropriate for all seasons, as it can be done in the snow or on a body of water, like a river. Boulder’s summer tubing season runs from May to August and the water can get rough during the peak months. Keep in mind the temperature of the water will be cold, so you may want to consider a wet-suit. While tubing is safe and great for all ages, you want to ensure that you’re taking proper safety precautions. This means being careful about your choice of inner[…]

  • 00-20160419 BoulderCO ChautauguaFlatironsHiking Balanced Life: A Look at How Colorado Business People Get Re-Energized in the Outdoors

    It’s no secret that Colorado is a popular place to be if you love to be outdoors. It’s consistently recognized as the fittest state in the country, and was ranked 4th in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in 2016 (Colorado has been in the top 10 for the past eight years). With developed trails rarely more than a few minutes away and decent weather practically year-round, it’s hard to find a reason to not get outside. Which is good news, because studies have shown that spending time in nature can make you more creative, more focused, and less stressed‑all of which can make you better at your job. For Nick Cerratani, owner of Cerratani Aviation Group, Colorado has always been his top choice for where to work (and play). "I came to Boulder in 1983 on a rock climbing trip, and the first sight of Boulder Valley affected me in the same way as my first flight-I immediately knew I would live here someday. It took me a while, but … Boulder was the only option on my list." Cerratani believes that spending time on the trail makes him both a better father and a better boss. And when you’re based in[…]

  • Six Amazing Wildflower Hikes in Colorado

    In the high reaches of Colorado, summer is short, giving wildflowers just a brief season to show off their glory. Peak viewing is typically June and July, when Colorado’s high country explodes with a riot of color. Some years, the wildflowers are a little late out of the gate, with winter reluctant to release its grip. But as soon as the snow starts melting fast, the buds that have been patiently biding their time in alpine meadows are ready to pop. Here are six amazing wildflower hikes in Colorado that will make your spirit soar. Indian Peaks Wilderness: Devils Thumb Bypass Devils Thumb Bypass Trail in Indian Peaks Wilderness passes through meadows ablaze with blooms. Elaine Wells West of Nederland, the Indian Peaks jut dramatically skyward, topping out with a string of summits along the Continental Divide. It’s the quickest shot to high alpine wilderness from Boulder. The Hessie Trailhead is a great place to start, with trails leading to a variety of lakes (you really can’t go wrong with any of them). To maximize your wildflower mission, take the Devils Thumb Trail to the Devils Thumb Bypass Trail, which emerges from the trees into a beautiful meadow full of flowers. You’ll[…]

  • Boulder County Farmers Market Boulder County Farmers Market

    Intro Boulder, Colorado is always showing up on “best of” lists, and with good reason: loads of sunny days, lycra-clad buff bodies, homegrown pot and craft-brewed beer. For foodies living in this Rocky Mountain playground, though, it’s having the one of the best farmers markets around that inspires hometown pride. The Boulder County Farmer’s Market (BCFM), in its 28th year, celebrates another thing that Boulder does well: supports local farmers and other food artisans. The BCFM celebrates the best of every season, running from April – November. If you’re a dedicated locavore, that’s plenty of time to stock up on food to eat while its fresh and enough to put away for the wintry months. The market is producer-only, which means that the folks selling the food grow it, rather than buying from a wholesaler and re-selling. What Makes It Great The market happens twice weekly, and Saturday markets happen in Boulder and Longmont. All markets feature food vendors, as well, so come hungry and enjoy gingery dumplings, polenta and marinara sauce, or a loaded gyro. On Wednesdays in Boulder, you can have a pint of local beer or a glass of wine with your snack! Live tunes round out[…]

  • Magnolia Road Trail Run Magnolia Road Trail Run

    Intro Magnolia Road is a classic Boulder run. “Mags”, as it is called by the locals, is a 12 mile road that connects Boulder Canyon with Peak-to-Peak Highway in Nederland. Oh yeah, it’s also the steepest paved and maintained road in the country. The first four miles are paved and average a 9.1% grade, maxing out at a ridiculous 17%. Luckily, where the pavement ends and the dirt begins, the road takes on a more inviting demeanor consisting of rolling hills and flat stretches. This 8 mile section (from the end of the pavement to Peak-to-Peak Highway) is the ideal place to plot out your workout. What Makes It Great Somewhat amazingly, Magnolia Road is serviced year-round (there are dozens of residences along the road) so it’s possible to access it in any season. The area has an entirely different atmosphere than Boulder. The peaceful, wooded surroundings occasionally open up to grandiose views of the western mountains. There is very little traffic and yet there are enough residences that you never feel entirely removed from civilization. Moose, elk and other critters are regular sights on Magnolia Road. As a high-altitude run, pushing it over 8,000 feet above sea level is[…]

  • Finding a Special Place in Nature

    Richard Louv would rather hike than write, but the time spent putting pen to paper has been well worth it. As a journalist and author of eight books, he focuses on connecting the younger generations to nature. Louv is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network, an organization that seeks to do something that has become increasingly lost to children through the wires of technology: bring them back to nature and the great outdoors. “I was actually a kid once,” Louv said during a recent visit to Atlanta. He was speaking to a group of Children & Nature Supporters on the eve of the 10-year anniversary for his book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. “I spent a lot of my boyhood in the woods. Those were my woods and I had my special place in nature.” Louv’s other book, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder also attributes the absence of nature to the diminishing rates of children’s mental and physical health. “Nature deficit-disorder,” although not a medical diagnosis, is a phrase that has unlocked the conversation about the future of children. While the phrase may seem[…]