Category Archives: Outdoor Adventure

4 Reasons to be Thankful You Live in Colorado

By Mike DelliVeneri

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Be grateful you live in such an amazing state surrounded by some pretty awesome people. Photo by © Mike DelliVeneri/CPW

It’s November in Colorado, which means our famous peaks will start to turn white, the bighorn sheep will clash and both people and wildlife alike will brace for winter. November also means it’s time to loosen our belts and prepare for turkey, stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes. But before you do, we thought we’d remind you (in the true spirit of Thanksgiving) just some of the reasons why we should be thankful to live in the Centennial State. Read more

Set Your Sights on Sighting In

The Chaffee County Shooting Range

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A shooter takes aim at the Chaffee County Shooting Range. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

“Don’t tell anyone about this place,” said the target shooter as the smell from the rifle rounds he just shot hung in the air. “This place is great and I don’t want it to get too crowded.”

“Sorry, but telling people about this place is why I’m here,” I replied, smiling.

“This place” is the Chaffee County Shooting Range, or “the best, nonfee, public range in the state,” as Jim Aragon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) area wildlife manager for Area 13, proudly stated. And from my tour of the range, I would enthusiastically agree. While I understand the shooter’s worry, with the range covering more than 55 acres, I think there is room for more visitors. Read more

Go Now: 4 Colorado State Parks near Denver Already Showcasing Fall

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Photo by Alicia Cohn/CPW.

Are you ready for fall? Colorado state parks are already showcasing the best of changing nature, with cooler temperatures for hikes, leaves bursting into red, yellow and orange, and unique animal mating rituals on display in the mornings and evenings.

If you’re hunting for fall colors near Denver, where it still looks like summer downtown, there are multiple state parks within easy driving distance that already look and feel like fall. Here are 4 parks perfect for day trips: Read more

KOKANEE

Article and Photos by Scott Willoughby

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Spawning kokanee by © Scott Willoughby

In a state that pretty much has it all, the most glaring gap in Colorado’s vast menu of outdoor options becomes obvious at its borders. The ability to walk across state lines almost anywhere without getting your feet wet serves as evidence of a basic reality: We’re landlocked. High and dry.

For a large chunk of the fishing world, that could be considered a problem. There are plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, and the opportunity to chase a wide variety of them is what drives many an angler to wet a line. But in the network of rivers and lakes draining from the mountainous spine of the nation to oceans east and west, well, the species selection falls a bit short by comparison. Sure, we’ve got a respectable assortment of more than 40 types of cold-, cool- and warm-water fish species statewide in Colorado, but it seems like the grass can always get a little greener. Read more

Fishing, Fisher and Fall Colors at Urad Lake

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Urad Lake. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

If you are looking to either fish, hike, see the aspens change, wildlife watch or all of the above, you can do far worse than a trip to Urad Lake.

Urad Lake is in the Urad Lake State Wildlife Area, the newest SWA in Colorado. Located off of Jones Pass and Berthoud Pass in Clear Creek County, it is the result of a cooperative effort between the Climax Molybdenum Company (Henderson Mine), the City of Golden and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

The property was historically open to the public for several decades, even though privately owned by the mine.  In 2011, the property closed to the public as Henderson Mine did a massive, multimillion dollar mitigation project in the Woods Creek Valley.

During the closure, the mine, City of Golden (which owns the water and reservoir) and CPW were able to work out a long-term lease to turn over the management of the property to Colorado Parks and Wildlife which reopened the area in 2014. During that time, CPW stocked the lake with 6,000 10- to 12-inch cutbow trout. The lake is full of small brook trout, recently stocked rainbow trout and plenty of the cutbows. Read more

Get in the Game

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A father and son hunting GMU 37. Photo by © Wayne D. Lewis

If Colorado’s big-game seasons were a football game, we’d be halfway through the first quarter. Muzzleloader season just ended (but keep your muzzleloader out for rifle seasons, if you choose) and bowhunting continues until Sept. 25. If you haven’t ventured afield yet, there are still over-the-counter licenses available. Time to get in the game.

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Wayne D. Lewis is the editor and art director of Colorado Outdoors magazine.

Browns Canyon’s Monumental Fishing Opportunity

Article & Photos by Scott Willoughby

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Floating a scenic slice of the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon. Photo by © Scott Willoughby.

When it comes to their favorite places to wet a line, fishermen are pretty tight-lipped by nature. So it comes as no surprise that the one-year anniversary of the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument came and went last February with little fanfare among Colorado’s angling community.

Besides, nothing has really changed along the scenic slice of the Arkansas River that qualifies among the nation’s premier public trout fisheries. And that’s precisely the point.

“I grew up in big, wide-open spaces in Nevada, and there’s been enormous change to the landscapes — transmission lines, oil and gas coming in, major hard-rock mines and other projects,” U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director Neil Kornze said while rafting through the newly minted monument last July. “So I love it when I see a community come together and say: ‘Let’s not just trust that this will always be the way we love it. Let’s do something about it.’ It’s not necessarily about changing something in a dramatic way. Sometimes it’s about keeping what you’ve got and what you love.” Read more

Colorado Gold

Article & Photos By Scott Willoughby

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Jon Becker mans the oars of a drift boat. Photo by © Scott Willoughby

Just on the outskirts of the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” at the riverside community known as Rancho Del Rio, the light grows dim and the bats begin their evening swirl. In a moment, the Colorado River begins to boil like a bubbling cauldron of fish. Then the big bang hits. m  “There he is,” oarsman Jon Becker booms from the cockpit of his Hyde drift boat. “Nice fish!”

The hardy brown trout turns out to be the nicest among a steady string of “nice fish,” it’s girth amplified by the cloak of twilight yet easily overshadowing others landed and released throughout the afternoon. There’s no measuring tape to verify the size, yet no reason to suspect the fish is anything less than the 18-inch guesstimate of an optimistic angler’s imagination. Read more

Staying Hydrated (Outdoor Survival Series Chapter 6)

 

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Water purification tablets. Photo by Nick Clement/CPW.

Dehydration is one of the greatest threats to hunters, hikers and outdoor recreationists. Each year, hundreds of people face potentially life-threatening situations in the outdoors simply because they didn’t bring enough water with them. In this Colorado Outdoors Survival Series, we’ll discuss the best methods for purifying water and offer tips on how to stay properly hydrated in Colorado’s backcountry.

Click HERE to visit the previous chapter in this series.

A Quiet Hour on Barr Lake

 

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Sunset Serenity at Barr Lake State Park. Photo by Sue O’Shields

It was a beautiful early summer evening—perfect for a boat ride on the lake at Barr Lake State Park. Eight of us met at the park’s boat ramp, donned life vests and settled in the comfortable seats. Ranger Jake Zanetell backed the boat into the lake and we were off!

The evening light was soft, the clouds pastel and the breeze pleasant. It was fun to be among the waterbirds instead of looking at them from the shore. For an hour we glided across the nearly mirror-smooth lake, tucking in near shore to watch for wildlife. Buoys swayed gently in the water, some topped with gulls. These buoys mark the boundary between the waters of the park’s wildlife refuge and those where boating is permitted.

According to Michelle Seubert, park manager, Barr Lake has offered pontoon boat rides for about a decade. “The park’s boating safety program has received funding from the U.S. Coast Guard,” she explains. “This enabled us to purchase the boat and the life vests—and to help visitors who don’t own boats to learn about the park and enjoy the lake.” Read more

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