Tags Posts tagged with "Hiking"


By Deb Stanley,

When you think volcanoes, you probably don’t think Colorado. However, we have a volcano crater in Dotsero, a town on Interstate 70 between Eagle and Glenwood Springs. Dotsero got its name when it was listed as “Dot Zero” as a reference point on survey maps created in the late 1800s.

Dotsero Volcano erupted about 4,000 years ago creating a crater about a half-mile across and 1,300 feet deep, according to the Smithsonian. Over the years, sediment has filled the crater. Now visitors will see a crater that is about 600 feet deep.

Visitors can drive up to the lip of the crater (directions below). Hiking the area will give you a better appreciation for this place.

Park next to the sign for Castle Peak and take a look around. You’re standing at about 7,100 feet in elevation. The bottom of the crater is about 6,800 feet. The top is 7,300. Hikers can trek up the road toward the top of the crater and an old mining structure. You may also want to take a social trail closer to the lip of the crater. Adventurous hikers can pick their way down the slope of the crater to explore the bottom. However, this is not an easy trek and is not recommended for children. Just remember, if you go down, you have to hike back up the steep slope.

At the bottom, hikers will find the remnants of car wrecks and trash. Exploring through the vegetation we found numerous tires, wheels and even a car engine. You may also find a diamond. A BLM geologist told me to look for dark Basalt rocks, crack them open and if there is something sparkling inside, it’s likely a diamond. The only problem with that? Basalt rocks are hard and diamonds are even harder. We think we spotted a rock with two diamond chips, but we left it behind in case you want to look yourself.

When you’re done exploring, return to your vehicle and return the way you came.

Details: Hiking to the top of the crater, to the bottom and back to the parking area is about 1.25 miles with 650 feet of elevation gain.

Directions: From Interstate 70, take exit 133 and turn right on U.S. 6. Go a couple hundred feet and turn right on the frontage road for the highway going east. Just before the entrance to the trailer park, go left around the north side of the trailer park. This road continues east for a short distance, then turns uphill. It’s about 2.3 miles from the highway to the crater. The BLM says to park carefully because work trucks use this road and they need plenty of space.

For more information, call the BLM Colorado River field office at 970-876-9000. For more hikes in the Glenwood Springs area, visit Hanging Lake, Doc Holliday’s graveStorm King Mountain or Grizzly Creek. For more hikes in Colorado and throughout the west, click here.





By Deb Stanley,

Looking for solitude? Then consider the scenic drive, then hike to Fryingpan Lakes.

The drive is about 40 miles from Highway 82 in Basalt (directions below). While the drive is a bit long and slow (35-40 mph most of the way), it’s also very beautiful. The road is lined with Aspens, so if come in mid-to-late September, you’ll be tempted to stop often to photograph the turning leaves. Along the drive, you’ll also pass the very large, Reudi Reservoir. Look for sailboats skimming across the water.

The trail starts at a water diversion structure. Walk to the left of the structure, past a sign and cross the river on a bridge.

The first few steps of the hike parallel a pretty river, then the trail turns into the thick forest. It’s much cooler, temperature-wise, in the forest. And make sure you look at the trees. There are trees of all size here — small, medium and large.

Less than a half-mile from the trailhead, you’ll come to a sign letting you know you’re officially entering the Hunter-Fryingpan wilderness.

One mile into the hike, the trail emerges from the forest and into a meadow in the middle of a valley. This is a beautiful spot with the river below you and the cliffs above you.

For the rest of the hike to the lakes, you’ll be hiking in and out of the forests and meadows. This is also an up and down hike. While the elevation difference from the trailhead to the upper lakes is 1,000 feet, add at least another 250 feet of elevation gain each way for all the ups and downs.

After walking one side of the valley for 2.3 miles, suddenly the trail drops down to the river and crosses the Fryingpan River on a bridge. (Note: if you read older articles about this trail, you’ll be warned about this river crossing, but in 2012 we found a nice bridge here.) The rest of the hike is on the opposite side of the river.

After crossing several more meadows (most of them avalanche paths), and walking through several more forest sections, suddenly the lake appears at 3.8 miles from the trailhead. This is a good-sized lake in a very pretty setting. The question now — what lake is this? My GPS said it was “small lake.” Some articles call this Lower Fryingpan Lake. I’m going with Lower Fryingpan Lake. That striking mountain peak in the distance? That’s Deer Mountain, standing 13,761-feet high.

After some pictures, it’s time to hike on. From here, it’s 0.75 miles to a pair of Upper Fryingpan Lakes. Some trip reports say the trail maintenance ends at the lower lake, but we had no problem following the trial to the upper lake.

Upper Fryingpan Lake is still in the middle of a valley, but it’s a very scenic valley. The lake, at 11,059 feet, sits below two 13ers — Deer Mountain at the end of the valley and Mount Oklahoma to your left. Even the peaks on the other side of the valley will help you create amazing photos of the lake.

After a break, boulder hop to the third lake, which sits in a grassy area just past the lake or return the way you came.

Details: The hike to the upper lake is 9 miles round-trip with about 1,500 feet of elevation with all the ups and downs.

Directions: From Highway 82, take Basalt Avenue east and zero your odometer. At the traffic circle, go three-quarters of the way around to Midland Street. Go straight ahead to the stop sign and turn right, staying on Midland. Midland winds through town and turns into Fryingpan Road. When your odometer hits 31 miles, start watching for a turnoff on the right for the Fryingpan Lakes trailhead. Turn right and take the dirt road 5.7 miles to where it dead-ends at the trailhead.

If you’re in the Aspen area, don’t miss Cathedral Lake and American Lake. Find more great hikes in Colorado and throughout the west here.

Courtesy of

By Carri Wilbanks,

Headed to Aspen this summer? Well, after seeing this line-up of cultural events and outdoor activities you will want to head West to the Roaring Fork Valley!

Outdoor Plays by Theatre Aspen

Talk about a unique theater experience – Theatre Aspen’s shows are staged at beautiful Rio Grande Park, just steps off Main Street. Imagine a backdrop of Aspen Mountain and nights dotted with starts, all the while watching Broadway actors as well as local talent put on a tremendous show. Coming up this summer:

Les Misérables: June 21 – Aug 17

Fully Committed July 5 – Aug 15

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – July 11 – Aug 17

Theatre Aspen
110 E. Hallam St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-9313

Adrenlaine Rush With Blazing Adventures

Keywords here: Rafting, Inflatable Kayaks, Jeeping and Hiking. Here are three trips offered from this outdoor adventure company.

  • Whiskey River: Get ready to get whisked away on this trip down the Middle Roaring Fork. Take the trip in either a ducky or raft, followed by a stop at the Woody Creek Distillery for a tasting of locally made spirits.

*Available Tuesdays & Fridays.

*Cost: Ducky’s: $112.50 per person. Rafts: $112.50 per person

  • Cathedral Lake Hike: Trek to a stunning spot with a guide to a lake which is named for its unique feature of a cathedral stone wall.

*Round trip distance: 6 miles

*Cost: $98.50 per person, includes lunch.

  • Standup Paddle Board Tours: Learn the latest way to ride the waves. Instructors will teach you skills such as balance, paddling techniques and safety moves. Expect a great core workout! Trip finishes with a riverside BBQ lunch at a private river park near the Glenwood Canyon.

*Cost $158.50 per person. Includes lunch, rentals of wetsuit, booties, helmet and needed gear.

Blazing Adventures
555 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 923-4544

Discover Culture at Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum continuously rotates contemporary art from artists from around the world. Head here to check out a few of the innovative exhibitions of the summer:

  • Lorna Simpson: Works on Paper

July 26 – September 22, 2013

Through drawings and collages, this artist examines ways gender and culture shape the experience of life in our contemporary multiracial society.

Aspen Art Museum
590 N. Mill St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-8050

Connect with History at Aspen Historical Society

Learn the history of this 1888 Queen Anne style built by Jerome Wheeler. Inside you can find- Seasons of the Nuche: Transitions of the Ute People. The exhibit explores the past and present of Native Americans in the American West. The exhibit journeys through the loss of their culture, territory, language and forced assimilation and their position in the world today.

Open Tues. – Sat. 1 – 5pm. $6 adults, $5 seniors (admission fee also includes the Holden/Marolt Museum) Children under 12 Free.

Aspen Historical Society
620 W Bleeker St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-3721

Step into Nature with Aces (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies)

Learn about ecology, natural history and stewardship. Here is the line up of ongoing programs:

Starting on June 15- travel along mountain streams, over ridgelines, and through beautiful valleys with ACES’ naturalists. Options include:

  • Aspen Mountain: tours offered daily on the hour from 10 am to 3 pm. Meet at the top

of the Aspen Mountain gondola.

Discovery Center in the Snowmass Village Mall.

the Maroon Lake information center.

This hike has it all: explore the historic silver mining ghost town of Ashcroft and wander up along Castle Creekon this a 3.5 mile round-trip hike. Includes a gourmet lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.. $75 includes tour and lunch. (Unless ordering a la carte for $38).




DENVER — In a Friday, Dec. 15, announcement, the Great Outdoors Colorado Board awarded a $38,847 habitat restoration grant to the town of Vail for restoration work along Gore Creek . GOCO's habitat restoration grant program improves and restores Colorado's rivers, streams, wetlands and critical habitat on conserved lands and open spaces. Designated as a 303(d) waterway under the Clean Water Act, Gore Creek does not meet standards for aquatic life due to loss of habitat, polluted more