ACTIVITIES, Summer Activites


photography by brent bingham Anyone who has ever ventured on a hike, be it a flat trail or a 14er, has experienced the instant feeling of peace and contentment that takes hold. Even on the most stressful day, nature’s chorus has a way of taking over. And that might be the best part of hiking: allowing nature to sing. In fact, a Stanford University study found that time spent in nature calms the portion of the brain that reduces your mind’s tendency toward negative thought patterns. That outdoor exercise — particularly hiking — has a direct correlation to a greater feeling of positivity and energy. Buddhist monk Ryojun Shionuma scaled Japan’s Mt. Omine (5,640 feet), almost 30 miles round-trip, every day for 30 consecutive days for nine consecutive years. He completed the journey 1,000 times in an ancient ritual that promised pain, suffering and, if completed, enlightenment. His incredible feat, […]



From the bubbling rapids of the eagle river to the dips and eddies of the colorado, the rivers, streams and lakes of eagle county offer themselves to sportsmen, adventurers, conservationists and more. by Krista Driscoll and Katie Coakley – photography by Brent Bingham The put-in is alive with excitement. Commercial vans and buses jockey for position to lower stacks of rafts to the water, alternating turns up and down the boat ramp with trucks hauling kayaks and SUVs towing drift boats. People mill about in various states of river dress, lifejacket buckles flopping unceremoniously as they wave their arms to provide traffic control to the many vehicles.“It’s like organized chaos,” says Miranda Hicks, with Timberline Tours, a local river guiding company. “Making sure guests know how to get themselves ready, where they can stand to watch us put boats in the water and get gear ready for them. “But if you go to each guide, we are very […]



THE BEST RUNS FOR YOUR MIXED GROUP Navigating ski resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek can be a bit tricky when you’re with a group. Honestly, navigating just about everything (including dinner) can be tricky with a group but finding options to suit a range of skiers and riders on the slopes doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Nor does it mean waving goodbye to each other only to reconnoiter for lunch or apr.s. Whether you’re enjoying a day at Vail or Beaver Creek, here are some great runs for mixed-level groups to enjoy together.   VAIL   Now that you’ve navigated Beaver Creek, you’re up for the Vail challenge. With 195 runs and 5,289 skiable acres, there are plenty of areas to choose from. When skiing with a group of varying abilities, Chair 7 should be your first destination.   Chair 7 (technically the Game Creek Express Lift) accesses a playground for almost […]



Head out and discover the magical world of snowshoeing by moonlight By Katie Coakley Photograph by Brent Bingham It was blissfully quiet as I gathered up my pack, strapped on my snowshoes and made my way to the trailhead. A group of five women were waiting; with minimal conversation we turned on our headlamps and tromped onto the trail. It wasn’t long before our headlamps were switched off: The full moon cast enough light to suffuse our surroundings with a blueish glow. Though the snow gathered in pillow-like humps in some areas, there was a faint crunching that set a cadence as we walked.  There was little conversation until we stopped for a break, to regroup and sip hot beverages from our packs. The silence wasn’t imposed; it was simply a response to the almost ethereal nature of our surroundings. But laughter floated over the snow as various threads of […]



THE LAST WEEK OF THE SKI SEASON IS FULL OF MUSIC, COSTUMES, REVELRY — AND POND SKIMMING In those halcyon days of spring, there’s a unique feeling emanating from folks on the mountain. It’s a mix of joy and wistfulness, a desire to soak every last sensation out of the season while reveling in the memories of unforgettable skiing. It’s celebration and commemoration, all wrapped into a few fervent days.  The Vail Valley knows how to say farewell to the lift-served season in style. Accentuating the joy of sun-filled days and spring snow, the week (plus) of live music, contests and activities of Spring Back to Vail celebrates the end of the season. Add to that the costumed chicanery of closing day and inimitable exuberance of “one last run,” there’s no better place to say sayonara to ski season.  THERE’S NO BETTER TO TIME TO SPRING BACK…TO VAIL  After the […]


Fun On Wheels

Like most of her fellow mountain bike enthusiasts who live in Eagle, Laura Turitz’s trailhead is her garage. “There are so many things about Eagle that are ideal for mountain biking, including accessibility, variety of terrain, and really fun trails,” shares Turitz, co-writer of Mountain Bike Eagle, a printed and online guide to riding in the area. This community on the western side of the Vail Valley is all about cranking on dirt, and now with Gypsum’s new Dry Lake Motocross Park open for its first full season, motorized bike riders can get rolling on down valley trails as well. When the seasonal wildlife closure ends in April, Eagle trails are often in prime riding condition long before summer hits. “So we have a nice long season, which is great,” says Turitz. “We also have a variety of terrain, so especially with Haymaker which is a trail that was purpose-built […]


Wildflowers: A WALK IN Wildflower

Summer is fleeting in the High Country. No sooner does the snow melt than it seems as if we’re expecting the first snow of the season. However, between the cooler seasons, spring and summer provide enough life and color to help mitigate their fleeting nature. One of the best ways to soak up the summer is to go searching for wildflowers, their reds, yellows, purples and blues accenting the trails. Botanists estimate that there are more than 3,000 species of flowering plants in our state, ranging from majestic sunflowers to diminutive beauties. The Vail Valley is home to a vast number of trails — hiking them all in one summer season is a massive undertaking. However, it’s not necessary to tackle them all to enjoy our alpine flora. From mellow strolls to high- elevation gaspers, there are plenty of options for a walk among the wildflowers; here are some of […]


A Walk To End Alzheimer’s

The annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held on September 28 at the Brush Creek Park and Pavilion, in Eagle. An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease which includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. The disease is irreversible and destroys brain cells, causing thinking and memory to deteriorate. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. While there is no fee to register, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages participants to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and to raise awareness. It provides free, easy-to-use tools and staff support to help participants reach their fundraising goals. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcoming ceremony at 9:30 a.m. The two-mile walk will begin at 10:00 a.m.


FAIR to Remember

Who doesn’t like a county fair? As someone once put it, “County fairs are opportunities to bring in those handsome Holsteins competing for Best Bessie, to sample food that don’t normally belong on sticks and definitely shouldn’t be deep-fried and to enjoy carnival rides and games with unfavorable odds.” Wealthy New England farmer and businessman Elkanah Watson, who showcased his sheep in the public square of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1807, is credited with the idea of a state fair. However, state and county fairs, as we know them today, have been around in the U.S. since 1841 when the first one took place in Syracuse, New York. And, food has been the centerpiece from the very beginning, including the judging of recipes, which is one of the oldest competitions at the fairs. Fairs of the early 1800s certainly didn’t feature the salty, greasy, pick-up snacks of today’s county fairs. One […]