Navigate the bizarrely named roads north out of Fruita to some of the best single-track in Colorado. From the roundabout downtown head north on N. Mesa Street. Turn right onto K Road and after almost a quarter mile turn left onto N. Maple Street. Continue onto 17 1/2 Road for 3 miles. Turn Right onto N 3/10 Road and then a half mile later take a left on 18 Road. You'll know you're heading in the right direction if the Book Cliffs, the walls along the mesa, keep getting closer. Pull into the 18 Road parking lot 8 miles later. On a dry day the trails are hard, smooth and fast.
Blast down Prime Cut or Kessle's for a luge-like ride, or straddle the skinny spines of Joe's Ridge. And, always keep an eye on the clouds. Rain turns the desert clay into "peanut butter", and makes for Quick read more or view full articlea very long day if you're on one of the outer loops - no one likes to walk a bike, especially when the wheels don't turn!
CO is home to 4 of the 15 best small vacation towns in the country!
June 26, 2017
Visitors hike in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area near Aspen. (Christina Capasso, The Aspen Times)
If you think Colorado’s mountain towns make ideal weekend getaways, you’re in good company.
Four Colorado mountain towns made U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 15 Best Small Towns to visit in the USA. The magazine’s travel rankings are based on an analysis of expert and user opinions. Each town on the list includes information about best hotels, airfare deals and things to do.
Sonoma, in the heart of one of America’s best wine-making regions, tops the list.
Here’s how the Colorado towns ranked:
No. 2: Breckenridge. The magazine, which says the town “retains the same Victorian-era charm it had during the height of the gold rush,” also put Breckenridge at No. 6 on its list of Best Ski Destinations in the USA, No. 13 on its list of Best Places to Visit in the USA and Quick read more or view full articleNo. 18 on its list of the World’s Best Places to Visit. While in Breckenridge, the magazine recommends getting some exercise — whether skiing, snowshoeing or hiking — while enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.
No. 7: Steamboat Springs. The magazine says Steamboat offers “excellent ski conditions, a community of friendly locals and geothermal hot springs that are perfect after a long day spent on the slopes.”
No. 10: Aspen. Aspen makes several of the magazine’s lists including No. 3 on Best Luxury Destinations in the USA, No. 4 of Best Romantic Getaways in the USA, No. 5 on Best Ski Destinations, No. 7 on Best Winter Family Vacations, No. 8 on Best Ski Destinations in the USA and No. 13 on Best Winter Vacations. The magazine says few destinations can compare with Aspen as a winter wonderland: “This scenic mountain town is straight out of a snow globe, featuring picturesque mountain chalets hugged by the soaring Colorado Rockies.”
The magazine touts Aspen’s non-skiing attractions, including high-end shopping, museums, funky galleries and fun festivals.
No. 14: Vail. Vail also ranks on several of the magazine’s lists including No. 4 on Best Ski Destinations and No. 9 on Best Family Summer Vacations. “Jagged peaks, miles of slopes and perfect powder attract thousands of visitors every year, earning Vail a noteworthy place among Colorado’s other winter heavyweights, Aspen and Telluride,” the magazine says. It also cautions that Vail “is a hard city for those on a shoestring vacation budget” and recommends a summer visit as a less expensive option.
If your travels take you to Summit County in the brief mountain summer, you can take advantage of bike paths that are snow-covered half the year to hit several great breweries.
Start in Dillon at the Dillon Dam Brewery, then ride accross the namesake dam on the Dillon Dam Recpath. Pedal into Frisco and hit Backcountry Brewery a full-service restaurant like the other two on this ride. Once you're rested make the 9-mile ride to Breckenridge on the Frisco-Farmers Corner and Blue River recreation paths.
Hit Breckenridge Brewery at the south end of town for dessert and a vanilla porter. If your legs are too tired use the free Summit Stage bus service to return from whence you came.
Vast and grand with dizzying steep cliffs and sheer vertical walls that disappear into disquieting depths, Black Canyon National Park, near Montrose, CO is a rare beauty. Also featuring a stratlingly narrow gorge - a mere 40 feet across at the narrowest point - the canyon is like no other in North America.
About the Black Canyon
Designated a Colorado national park in 1999, Black Canyon earned its name for the darkness within its depths. Looking below can be shadowy business, but the geological wonder is a stunning playground for outdoorsy folks who wish to explore.
As the Gunnison River carved Black Canyon’s narrow, deep crack over time, the hard stone did not crumble away. Instead the rock (some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet) held firm, creating a sharp, almost unfathomably deep fissure plummeting down over 2,000 feet — a shocking vertical drop that swims before your eyes when peering Quick read more or view full articleinto the dark abyss.
Every year the canyon grows only 1/100th of an inch deeper — the mere width of a human hair — the Gunnison River taking just a little more earth with every second it roars through. The rock strata (layers of sedimentary rock) are shockingly beautiful, and the iconic Painted Wall on the canyon’s north side is named for the distinctive cream-to-salmon colored streaks of pegmatite that splash across its face.
Fishing, Kayaking and Rafting the Gunnison River
Countless river groups spend their free time down in the roaring or trickling Gunnison River, depending upon the locale. Water lovers on the river vary from kayakers and rafters pounding through breathtaking sections of world-class rapids and smooth eddies, to the fly-fishers who wade along the calmer sections and expertly whip their custom flies in an elegant dance over the river’s surface. More about rafting and kayaking >>
Climbing at the Black Canyon
In the warmer months, world-renowned rock climbers from across the planet descend upon Montrose. The Black Canyon is an international, bucket-list worthy destinations for climbers, who refer to the outdoor haven as “The Black.” Since the canyon known for its dangerous exposure and limited protection, only seasoned, savvy climbers should pursue its brilliant cliff faces. More about Black Canyon climbing >>
Hiking and Trail Running
Experience the canyon by wandering to the many different overlooks to glance below, strolling the short trails along the rim, embarking on half-day hikes or biting off one of the more challenging trails, which are also popular with trail runners. All you might want to bring is hiking poles, a can of bear spray, an appreciation for natural beauty — and a desire for open spaces, fresh air, sunshine and adventure.
On the North Rim, many enjoy the North Vista Trail, which skirts the rim of the canyon. It’s an easy hike that winds from vista to vista, giving the visitor repeated doses of splendor. Hermit’s Rest Trail, a more challenging hike that starts on the rim and reaches all the way to the river, is another favorite located just a few miles east on State Highway 92. More about hiking at the Black Canyon >>
Road-biking enthusiasts are taking over the world, and the Black Canyon is on many of their lists. If you haven’t tracked your progress on South Rim Road on Strava (a mobile app for runners and cyclists), then you haven’t experienced road biking in the park. Bikers can take in the views while zooming along or opt for a more leisurely trek along the gently rolling rim route. More about road biking in Montrose >>
Discovering the Black Canyon’s Best Views
Picnic tables are available along the South Rim at Gunnison Point, Pulpit Rock, Sunset View, High Point and along the water’s edge at East Portal — all excellent spots to stop and enjoy an alfresco picnic lunch. The Chasm View outlook, featuring a striking near-vertical plunge, is also a favorite.
Beautiful blue ice for your climbing pleasure is located just one block south of historic Lake City, Colorado. Lake City's farmed ice climbs are really easy to get to, and you won't be waiting around in a line.
Lake City Ice Climbs, Inc. is a Colorado non-profit organization dedicated to providing a one-of-a-kind climbing experience at the Lake City Ice Park. It is a volunteer-based organization. The Lake City Ice Park is located, with permission, on public, Bureau of Land Management lands. Water for the park is generously provided by the Town of Lake City, Colorado.
For more information about the Lake City Ice Park and Lake City Ice Climbs, visit the website or call 970-275-4106.
The last snow storm sure made the start to December a beautiful one. Just this morning, while looking at our snow covered mountains I said, "I'll never get tired of this view". With 23 inches YTD and more snow expected this week, skiing is off to a great start. Photo below curtesy of TravelCrestedButte.
December 3rd - Beacon Brush up
All backcountry skiers - this is a must attend event. Starts at 9:00 at the Community School. Free and free beer - really...you should go!
December 10th - Get the Girls Out ski event
Join some fabulous female CBMR Ski Instructors for a free day of skiing. Click Here for info.
December 10th - The World Famous Santa Ski and Crawl
Yes, I said world famous! Such a fun event - starts at 2:00. Sign up Here.
Watch as two of the world's most renowned ice carvers create life sized sculpture.
December 23rd - Crested Butte Nordic Center Yurt Dinner
After 22 years of living in CB, this is still one of my favorite events. If the 23rd doesn't work, there are still more dates in December, Click Here for more info and dates.
December 24th - Torchlight Parade and Santa's Sleigh Ride
Watch Santa come down the mountain in his sleigh and hand out candy canes to all the kids. Starts at dusk.
December 30th - Warren Miller Presents; Here, There and Everywhere
Who doesn't love a good Warren Miller film and this one features Crested Butte! Click Here for tickets. Don't wait, this one will sell out.
December 31st - New Year Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
This is another event that I don't miss. It's a perfect and festive way to end 2016. Dress warm it starts at dusk.
I honestly can't think of a better place to be in December than Crested Butte, the snow, lights and beauty make this place magical. For those looking for the latest travel deals click Here. If you are wanting a real estate update, check out my website or call me.