Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

Lance Benzel reports on outdoor recreation along with feature stories - occasionally dipping into hard news. Benzel is a former courts reporter at The Gazette.
  • Spring rains in Colorado result in bounty of morels, other mushrooms

    Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Nutty, meaty and a little bit sweet, morels hold a unique allure among the wild mushrooms of Pikes Peak's damp understory. Sauteed in butter with salt, pepper and a dash of chardonnay, they boast flavors "indescribable" to the uninitiated, said John Spengler of Colorado Springs, a...

  • Red Rock Canyon to reopen in 'next few weeks,' official says

    Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Closed for nearly a month for flood repairs, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is nearly ready for the public - though the question of when remains open. "We are hoping that we can open it up and have people in there in the next few weeks," said Kurt Schroeder, park operations and...

  • Adventure camps aimed at 'sparking a light in women'

    Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Storms troubled the waters on Quail Lake, but Erin Elkaim, fresh from a lesson on the basics of stand-up paddle boarding, was smiling just the same. "It's really neat," said Elkaim, who joined a handful of participants at a women's-only adventure camp in Colorado Springs despite a...

  • Pack the car: 16 quality places to camp in and around Colorado

    Updated: Mon, Jun 15, 2015

    It's the season of wanderlust, but the snow has yet to melt from the high country. While it's a bit early to begin your backcountry adventures, there is perhaps no better time to hit the road for some quality car camping. Inspect your gear, make a list of stuff you can't forget -...

  • Colorado Springs author: God speaks to us through pop culture

    Updated: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    God is present in Gotham City - whether the Caped Crusader knows it or not. He walks with Walter White, the doomed antihero of "Breaking Bad." We hear his voice in pop music anthems and violent video games. Those are just some of the provocations at the heart of "Burning Bush 2.0:...

  • Colorado resorts enjoy busy ski season

    Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    Skiers and snowboarders this season paid 7.1 million visits to Colorado Ski Country USA resorts, coming within half a percentage point of last year's record-setting numbers. Colorado Ski Country represents 21 of Colorado's 25 resorts. Visitation numbers were announced Thursday at the...

  • Trail to Colorado Springs mountain gets an upgrade

    Updated: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    Not every visitor to North Cheyenne Cañon Park will want to scramble up the final, scree-strewn push to the Mount Muscoco summit. But those who do are in for a treat. Billed as the highest peak in any Colorado Springs city park - several hundred feet higher than a popular lookout...

  • BLM reviewing land use designations on 680,000 acres in central and eastern Colorado

    Updated: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    The Bureau of Land Management is inviting public comments on an extensive review that will determine how the agency manages 680,000 acres of public land in central and eastern Colorado, including much of the Arkansas River corridor. Expected to take several years to complete, the...

  • Rider in residence: Open space deal is 1st step in creating loop around Cheyenne Mountain

    Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    Cyclists burned by a 2012 decision banning them from the Cheyenne Mountain summit have reason to rally behind a new cause - along with anyone else who's dreamed of exploring the hidden reaches of Colorado Springs' second-most recognizable peak. A land deal being mulled by the city...

  • Report card: Love for trails on Colorado 14ers comes with a cost

    Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Peak baggers prepare to shell out: The trails you love to climb to 14,000-foot summits will cost $24 million to build or replace. That's the upshot of a new report by Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, a Denver-based nonprofit that spent three years evaluating trails on 14,000-foot...

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