Colorado native living for God and adventure around the world. Cyclist, runner, hiker; addicted to summit views and singletrack. Proud husband to an amazing videographer and my adventure partner for life.

Ride from camp to town and back!

My favorite itinerary in Crested Butte is camping up Slate River Rd, riding the Lower Loop trails into town for coffee and/or food, and then taking Lupine Trail back up to camp. It's the perfect blend of camping, biking, and a day on the town!

Find solitude 2 hours from the Front Range

Such a great backpacking loop. The trail is quite short and easy for an overnighter, and the camping spots halfway around the loop in the high alpine meadow are beautiful. Camp 2 nights and summit the Buffalo Peaks 13ers if you want more of a challenge.

Remote access into the Maroon Bells Wilderness

Hiked to the lake in spring from Crystal. The river was raging and there were many waterfalls by the lake. It was beautiful! The views of Snowmass Peak over Geneva Lake are breathtaking. All other trail users were backpackers as you can access the 4 Pass Loop or Lead King loop from here.

Worth driving the road and camping near Crystal!

First of all, this adventure has some great pictures - well done! My wife and I drove the road in a stock 2000 Jeep Cherokee, and I am glad we didn't hike. Because we drove, we were able to camp near Crystal for 2 days and thoroughly enjoy the entire area rather than snapping a picture of Crystal Mill and heading home. We came for the Mill, but we left with more memorable sights of the town and surrounding hikes. If you want to stay in Crystal, Crystal Mountain Ranch rents some cabins and camping spots. Contact them at 970-340-8022.

An oasis in the San Luis Valley

Joyful Journey is the perfect place to unwind after a weekend of camping, sandboarding, and mountain biking in the San Luis Valley! The three pools can hold about 10 people each comfortably. It wasn't too crowded even on a Saturday night over Easter weekend. Worth the $15 entry fee to relax sore tired muscles.

So much fun! When it worked

This Adventure is spot on and helped us plan our trip to sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes. I was disappointed that the sandboard didn't work about half of the time. I tried waxing each run like they recommend, but the board just stuck to the sand. Same story with lots of wax or no wax. I could tell others were having the same problem. It might have been because the sand was damp about 1" down, so if you carved at all, you'd just stop. But when the board did work, it was exhilarating!! I think the perfect time to do this would be late spring when the sand is dry but summer heat/crowds aren't there yet.

Brace yourselves

This hike is much more difficult and not as straightforward as the description makes it seem. I would never call this hike "easy peasy," and doing so can create a dangerous situation for those who come unprepared for this rigorous hike. The 2nd half of this hike is scrambling up a 45-degree scree field - bring hiking boots with good tread. The trail is not well marked and can be lost easily. My recommendation: go hike Eagle Peak to the north. Same elevation gain, much better trail, still a difficult workout.

Hard but worth it

Compared to it's neighbor to the south, Blodgett Peak, which also has no "official" trail, Eagle Peak is a much more straightforward hike with very rewarding views in very little mileage. In the winter, the stream that the trail follows turns into a massive ice flow, which was a cool sight! At some points it covers the trail entirely. My round trip mileage from the visitor center was 4.2 miles and 2000ft.

One of the best free camping areas in the Arkansas River Valley

Centrally located between Aspen, Leadville, and Buena Vista, this dispersed camping area is the perfect base camp for any adventure. There are a ton of camping spots, mostly 50 feet away from eachother for some seclusion. If you're lucky enough to get one on the southern ridge, you get amazing views over Twin Lakes and the surrounding mountains.

Lovely little lollipop loop

This is a perfect loop for trail running. At nearly a 10K distance, it begins with a good, run-able climb to the top of the bluff, a scenic loop on top, then a fun descent to bomb back to the car. The trails are wide, so even when it's crowded, passing hikers is pretty easy.

An Excellent Double 14er Hike

These are two of my favorite summits. In early summer, I loved the contrasting red dirt, snowy mountain backdrops, and blue skies. The peaks are aptly named. After bagging these two, throw in a 3rd 14er summit while you're camped near the trailhead - Handies Pk is only 6.75 miles RT.

Mars Is Just A Short Drive Away

The Paint Mines is great in the daytime, but at night it is otherworldly! My wife and I tried our hands at night photography for the first time here, and we came away with some amazing images looking like we were on Mars or the Moon. The rocks reflect light really well at night, plus there is some glow from the city in the Western sky, so I'd recommend going during a new moon. Although if you go during a fuller moon, you can hike without a headlamp and enjoy the solitude.

The best bang for your buck 14er hike

Hitting four 14ers in under 8 miles is like a gift from the hiking gods! The summit of Bross is technically private property so proceed there with caution. If you're feeling especially trepidatious, the grassroots Kite Lake Triple mountain race is held over these four summits in September. You can bag 4 summits in 2-3 hours!

A must-do hike in Queenstown

My wife and I were only travelling through Queenstown for a few days, but summiting Ben Lomond was the first thing on our agenda and the highlight of our trip! The hike is fairly grueling, and it compares with many 14er hikes in my native state of Colorado. The views of Queenstown, The Remarkables, and Lake Wakatipu at the top are jaw-dropping and rewarding. Make sure you do this hike!

Connor Bruson

almost 3 years ago

A gem in the middle of COS

Not only are the views of the city and Pikes Peak top notch from Pulpit Rock, but the neighboring Austin Bluffs Open Space is also a great place to play and explore, whether running, hiking with dogs/kids, or mountain biking! It is an extremely under-utilized area, so you avoid crowds, but the trail maintenance in areas is often lacking (erosion, overgrowth).