9 Outdoor Dates for Valentine’s Day

We all want to have a special date with our partner on Valentine’s Day, but we’re all bored of the same fancy dinner year after year. How about trying something different? Like heading outside for a special adventure and sharing the memorable experience with the one who stole your heart.

Campout for Two – Pick-out your favorite tent for two, sleeping bag for two, and even a chair for two and head to a perfect campsite where you can relax in the company of your significant other. Grab your S’mores to eat by the campfire, and you can even set-up camp with extra lights and flowers to create a romantic ambiance. Don’t forget lots of blankets to snuggle-up in during the sunset.

Brunch + Driving Range – Have a brunch date at your local golf course then hit the driving range!

Snowmobile Tour – Reserve a Private Snowmobile tour for you and your sidekick in the back country. You will be challenged as well as going new places neither of you have seen. Just be sure to dress appropriately. Normally, dressing like your headed out snow skiing will suffice. Need Gloves? Snow Pants? Winter Jackets?

Food Truck Hopping – Trek around the city looking for the best food trucks around. Find an appetizer truck, move to the main course truck, then find a dessert truck! If you’re lucky enough to be in the big city over Valentine’s day, you will probably find all three and be pleasantly surprised with how full you are at the end of the date. Plus, you get exercise between each course! If it’s raining or snowing, you might want to be prepared with a trench coat or parka like one of these!

Your Very Own Drive-In Movie – Head to a romantic location with spectacular views and you and your significant other will have your very own romantic movie night getaway. Download a movie of your choice on your laptop or tablet, fold down the seats in your car, pile in the blankets and pillows (the more the merrier), open the tailgate and enjoy the movie with a fantastic backdrop. Don’t forget to bring the chocolate and make the popcorn before you head out!

Batting Cages – Pack a lunch and head to the local batting cages. End the date with fresh smoothies from your local smoothie bar or head home to make your own!

Disc Golf – It’s not your normal game of Disc Golf. At each hole, you will answer a certain question before tossing the Frisbee. Then there are consequences whether you win or lose each hole. This idea comes from The Dating Divas:

Hole 1: Name the top 5 most attractive physical things/features about your spouse

Hole 2: Name the 5 most attractive things about your spouse’s personality or character

Hole 3: Name 5 things you did today that your spouse didn’t know about

Hole 4: Name 5 places you wouldn’t mind moving to

Hole 5: Name 5 desserts you could eat right now

Hole 6: Name 5 favorite ways your spouse makes you feel special

If you lose (a hole), you get to choose one from the list:

  • 5 push-ups
  • 5 sit-ups
  • 5 leg squats

If you win (a hole), you get to choose one from the list:

  • 5 kisses
  • 5 hugs
  • 5 kisses & hugs intermixed
  • 5 of whatever you want

Day Hike – Head to AllTrails.com to find local hikes in your area. Pack your lunch, water, and camera to document your hiking date. Don’t post any of the photos online. Later you can gift a scrapbook of the day for your partner! This element of surprise is the best part! You guys might even like to try one of our new Daypacks for the date!

Date Night on the Ranch – Head out of the city and unplug in the solitude of a quiet ranch high-up in the mountains or deep in the hills. There are many ranches located on acres of land offering unique settings and an “Old West” type feel when you stay in their cabins. One family ranch that comes to mind is the Schmid Family Ranch located outside of Telluride, Colo. Make reservations fast though! (You might even recognize this setting from a recent movie.)

There are so many different Outdoor dating ideas to experience! This Valentine’s Day, maybe one of these will catch your eye. If you have other unique outdoor dates that you have been on, we’d love to here from you!



Ski Colorado


The ski resorts in Colorado all have something spectacular to offer and a unique story to tell.  If you feel extremely adventurous Silverton Mountain has 22000 heli/hike-to acres, recently established in 2002 with the highest and steepest ski area in North America admitting about 80 skiers per day.  Ski Cooper, established in 1942 as a training site for ski troopers in WWII, won’t disappoint.  If you visit Howelsen you may come across an Olympian athlete in training.  This slope has sent 79 athletes to the Olympics since its opening in 1915.  Steamboat is home to Mount Werner, Sunshine Peak, Storm Peak, Thunderhead Peak, Pioneer Ridge, and Christie Peak.


The following Colorado ski resorts, the length of their season, their annual snowfall, the number of skiable acres, and their trails (beginner, intermediate, difficult, advanced, and expert) are broken down by county.




Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert  
Wolf Creek Ski Area Nov-Apr 430” 1600 20% 35%   25% 20%



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Eldora Mountain Resort Nov-Apr 300” 680   20% 50% 30%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Monarch Mountain Nov-Apr 350” 800 27%   30% 43%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Sunlight Mountain Resort Dec-Mar 250” 680 20% 55%   20% 5%



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Ski Granby Ranch Dec-Apr 220” 406 30% 50%   20%  
Winter Park Resort/Mary Jane Nov-Apr 348” 3081 8% 18% 19% 52% 3%



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Crested Butte Mountain Resort Nov-Apr 300” 1547 27% 57%   16%  


Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Ski Cooper Dec-Apr 260” 400 31% 35%   34%  


La Plata:

Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort Nov-Mar 260” 1360 20% 45%   35%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Loveland Ski Area Oct-May 422” 1800 13% 41%   46%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Powderhorn Mountain Resort Dec-Mar 250” 1600 20% 50%   30%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Aspen Highlands (Aspen Snowmass) Dec-Apr 300” 1040 18%   30% 16% 36%
Aspen Mountain (Aspen Snowmass) Nov-Apr 300” 675     48% 26% 26%
Buttermilk (Aspen Snowmass) Dec-Apr 300” 470 35%   39% 26%  
Snowmass (Aspen Snowmass) Nov-Apr 300” 3332 6%   47% 17% 30%



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Howelsen Hill Ski Area Nov-Mar 150” 50 20% 60% 20%    
Steamboat Nov-Apr 349” 2965 13% 37% 6% 40% 4%


San Juan:

Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Silverton Mountain Dec-Apr 400” 23819       100%  



San Miguel:

Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Telluride Ski Resort Nov-Apr 309” 2000 23% 36%   41%  



Resort Season Snow Acres Beg Int Dif Adv Expert
Arapahoe Basin/The Legend Oct-June 350” 960 10% 30%   37% 23%
Copper Mountain Nov-Apr 269” 2465 21% 25%   36% 18%

Gold Rush Days

Gold Rush Days in Buena Vista, Colorado will be held in McPhelemy Park on August 10th and 11th, 2013.  Come out for the races, old-time costumes, live music, great food, fresh lemonade, kids’ games, storytelling, blacksmithing, local vendors, and mountain life.  From fresh peeled fries to homemade jams, soaps, and honeys, to personalized handbags and signs, you’ll never get bored.  Watch a log transform into a bear, beaver, moose, or eagle right before your eyes.  Visit booths for local businesses and talk with the people behind the products.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the cooler things:

At 11:30AM on Saturday the costume promenade will take place and you’ll even have the chance to wear an outfit from the olden days.

At 10:00AM on Sunday, the best part, the burro races begins.  These professional racers train for months with their burros.  Buena Vista is the last stop for these athletes participating in the Triple Crown with the Fairplay and Leadville races already behind them.  What began as a single, 23 mile, race transformed into six races taking place in Central City, Cripple Creek, Frisco, and the Triple Crown locations.  The burro carries a 33 pound pack of mining gear for the duration of the 13.5 mile event in BV.  The railroad tracks on Main Street will act as the finish line for these brave racers, so stick around and see who wins.

Shortly after the burros and their runners take off the toilet seat race will take place.

At 2:30PM is the duck race at the town lake in McPhelemy Park.

Fishing around Buena Vista

The upper Arkansas River winds through many towns and areas of Colorado from Leadville to Canon City, prime fishing right at your doorstep, depending on where you’re staying.  Just be careful to stay on public land.  About 70 miles of the upper river is accessible via walk-in.  There are many local guide shops in the area more than willing to help you bait your hook, tie your fly, answer any questions, and get you aboard a raft to fish the remainder of the river not accessible via foot.  You can only use artificial lures and flies to try and nab a wild brown trout, and the bag limits vary depending on where you are, ranging from four of any size to one 12 inches or smaller.

If the river is a little too fast-paced for you, try fishing one of the many lakes in the area.  Fish are jumping every morning at Ptarmigan Lake and the hike up is beautiful and can be either long or short depending on which direction you hike in from.  Lost Lake is a short, granted steep hike, but I don’t think there’s been a time that I’ve been there that someone hasn’t caught a fish.  Taylor Reservoir has great pike fishing, and hosts a pike derby every year in June.  The local marina offers boat and fishing pole rentals if you need gear.  Twin Lakes Reservoirs offers great trout fishing.  The limit for lake trout though is one, and if it’s 22-34 inches long you can’t keep it.

So, no matter your fishing flavor, get out here and try your hand at catching one, and if, at the end of the day, you haven’t caught supper, dine in one of our local restaurants and tell the locals an amazing fish tale.  Trust me, we live to overhear those, it’s better than cable.

*Just be prepared for some mandatory Zebra Mussel inspections.

Hiking near Buena Vista

It’s not hard to find a great place to hike near Buena Vista, Colorado.  Many hiking trails meander and weave through the area in and surrounding BV.  Class I and II fourteeners are within an hour’s drive from the city limits.  Right in town, at the end of Main Street is the Barbara Whipple Trail, and Hop Gulch.  If you have kids there are great places to splash in the Arkansas River, and easy walking paths and stairs to get you there.  The town also sits at the base of Cottonwood Pass.  Ptarmigan Lake, Lost Lake, and so many other treasures await.  Go for the view or the wildflowers.  Take pictures at the top of the divide and follow the pass into Gunnison County.

If you follow 285 South toward Salida you can cut off toward Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, past Nathrop on County Road 162, and find many beautiful trails past the resort.  The Colorado Trail and Agnes Vaille Falls are there to greet you.  If you’d rather you can travel North on Highway 285 and cut off toward Twin Lakes.  An awesome walking path that curves around the lakes will take you to an old lakeside town full of history.

Wherever your journey takes you there will always be some trail you can take to explore the surrounding wilderness.  So come see us and while you’re here go on an adventure!Creek

Colorado Day

“We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in order to form a more independent and perfect government; establish justice; insure tranquility; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the ‘State of Colorado’.”

                                                -Colorado’s Original Constitution


Happy birthday Colorado!  You may be considered over the hill at 137 years old, but you’re definitely not over the mountain yet!  On August 1st, 1876 Colorado became the 38th state, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed the proclamation declaring Colorado a part of the Union.

Miners discovered gold in 1858, and within a few months citizens realized that they needed to form a government and by 1859 they decided they needed to draft a constitution.  It took many revisions, but finally by July 1st, 1876 the people agreed upon a constitution and that same year became a state.  Chaffee County was created in 1879 and named after Jerome B. Chaffee, a United States Senator.

To celebrate Colorado’s big day all 42 Colorado state parks will have free admission on Monday, August 5th.  It’s even better than cake!


Looking ahead, all National Parks will have free admission on:

– August 25, 2013 in celebration of the National Park Service Birthday

-September 28, 2013 in recognition of National Public Lands Day

-November 9-11, 2013 in honor of Veterans Day Weekend

Colorado State Parks

The following parks allow cycling, camping, fishing, hiking, cross-country-skiing, and snowshoeing:

Barr Lake (northeast of Denver)

Cherry Creek (south of Denver)

Crawford (close to the Black Canyon near Montrose)

Mancos (close to Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez and Durango)

State Forest (east of Walden)

Steamboat Lake (near Steamboat Springs)

Sylvan Lake (south of Eagle)

Trinidad Lake (southwest of Trinidad)

Vega (northeast of Grand Junction)


The following parks also allow rock climbing:

Arkansas Headwaters (Buena Vista!)

Eldorado Canyon (southwest of Boulder)